Update Finally!


Queridos Amigos y familia!

Buenos Dias and greeting from latitude zero. It is a beautiful day in which the Cotopaxi volcano (one of the highest active volcanoes in the World) seems to tower over the clouds and mountains to remind me of how small I am, as well of the beauty, creativity and power of the God that is in control of every detail in my life… So here I am sitting at a coffee shop in the San Rafael Valley sipping on some fresh delicious jugo de naranjilla and being reminded of what the Lord has been doing in my last 2 and a half months here in Ecuador.

I want to start the update by apologizing for not sending one sooner. I ask you to understand that I had to be consumed and busy on trying to make the transition as smooth as possible. I lived in the US by myself for about 10 years, and returning home was really challenging in many different aspects and for various reasons. God had important lessons to teach my heart, and I needed to take those head on. By the time I felt ready to email, the Lord had opportunities to serve and minister that kept me busy until recently.

Unfortunately, it would take forever to update you on every lesson that the Lord has been teaching me. Ecuador has been the perfect canvas for the Lord to paint important lessons about practical Christian living, service, missions, love, relationships, family, grace, obedience, service, Jesus and many other important things in my life. I say paint because it has been a beautiful, yet sometimes messy and creative process. I think in short, my return to Ecuador has been a time in which the Lord took the different parts of Juan and is merging them into who He wants me to be. From a boy growing up in Ecuador, to traveling all over the place Juan, touring music Juan, crazy wanting to be involved in evangelism Juan, Business working in a bank Juan, music/entertainment Juan, TMC/ RA Juan, older brother Juan and using all those to make me a more complete man that is being transformed to look more like Jesus. Anyways, If you would want to hear more about some of those lessons please feel free to email me or ask me about my other blog in which I have written about some of those battles and lessons.

Anyways, so here is how this is going to have to work out… I am outlining some of the things that the Lord has allowed me to do and try to add a little description or give you a little background.

Also, I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words so please feel free to visit my photo album.

Here we go:

-Church. I am blessed to be attending a church that was started by some incredible missionaries from Texas. They have been involved in church planting for many years and bring great wisdom, experience and insight into a solid church. They have a “mother” church in my city and have started planting small churches around the area that are being lead by Ecuadorian locals. The Lord is moving and there are plenty of opportunities to serve.

-VBS. We had Vacation Bible School at the “mother” church and had the opportunity to stop by and help on the daughter churches programs as well. The kids are beautiful and hungry to learn! I got to teach the 12-15 year old class, as well as help in various capacities from “crowd control”, games and reinforcing the message for all the kids with questions when we had all the small groups together.

-Outreach. We have been doing outdoor evangelism campaigns that have been targeted for children. As one of my teachers from college said, “love their children well, and the adults will want to hear what you have to say.” This was a great way to promote the different VBS programs.

-Travesia. (This is the ministry in the coast). Took two trips there to reconnect with the community. We did a Bible Study and have been trying to get there more often. Our job is to encourage the new believers as well as to teach them from the word. They do not have a local church. Please pray for my trip there in the next few weeks and for the Lord to continue to work through a church in that area. Also some great friends from California donated money that we will use to buy school supplies. Also pray because recently the RCC has started to send their workers and has threatened people that come to our studies. Please pray.

-Jungle. As soon as I returned to Ecuador, I was offered the opportunity to help in the jungle with a young team from the US. After praying, I felt that I had to turn it down because it would have taken me away from my new local church in which I was trying to build relationships. It was a hard decision, as I LOVE the jungle. However, the Lord is so faithful and good, and a few weeks later my church took a fun and godly team from the US to do evangelistic work. I had the privilege of working for the first time with my church family from Sangolqui (the city where my church is located) here is a video of our time there.

-Construction and encouragement. We also received a visit from a team from Friendship Baptist Church in Oklahoma. They have been really generous in helping our daughter churches have their own building. They brought a numerous team of people with huge hearts and a desire to serve to help with the various work needed in each building. By the end of their time we dedicated 3 churches! It was a blessing to translate as well as to spend time with them and be used to expose some of them to what the Lord is doing overseas.

-Music. The Lord gave me the incredible privilege of playing percussion for church and as of this week (and because my brother left last Saturday to study in the States,) I am now playing drums . EKKK! it has been a while!

-XMusicX. My siblings and some beloved friends have a music band that plays hard rock music in secular venues. Many of you guys know that I was involved on that type of ministry in the past. I love being able to connect and minister to people that would never set a foot in church. People in the underground cultures that have the wrong idea of what Christianity is about. I have been reminded that light only is different on the context of darkness. The Lord already opened some opportunities and great conversations. Please pray for this ministry as we look for a replacement for my brother and more opportunities to minister.

-Family. I could write about this forever. My time with my close family has been rich and beautiful. At the same time it has been hard as the people closer to you know you best and can see clearly when you are sinful. It has been such a growing time to learn to love people and learn about family and the simplicity and beauty of life again. I am so blessed.

My extended family is divided between believers and unbelievers. I have been encouraged and trying to encourage my believing fa

mily. I have enjoyed talking with my Abuelita who is a HUGE testimony of the grace of God. She came to the Lord a few years ago and she is now ON FIRE for the Lord and so in love with the word! Then trying to be purposeful and real about preaching the gospel with my actions with the rest of my family. Please pray for boldness, compassion and opportunities.

-People. At the end of the day it’s all about people and relationships. I am excited and blessed of my new friendships. Having the College group meet at home and giving them rides every week, going to eat, playing soccer, watching a movie, or just spending time with them challenges me to be purposeful with my words and my affections. My prayer is not to be religious and overbearing with facts about God, but to share and encourage in love making all that theology in my head practical and simple to be lived on the day to day.

-Beauty. How to being to explain this one? When I left Ecuador 10 years ago, I had been a b

eliever for a few months and I was on a different stage in life. Returning with somewhat of a better understanding of grace and the love of the Lord has made me see Ecuador and things here with totally new eyes. This country is beautiful and screams, “There has to be a Creator”. I have been able to travel around the country and worship with my eyes and senses by climbing and hiking beautiful mountains, seeing breath taking sunsets, intricate and mysterious animals and snorkeling in those waters, carrying little babies with ponchos, and holding and helping old abuelitas. I have seen beauty as I have cried and laughed with beloved families at the difficulties of life in a third world country. I have also seen the joy of kids that don’t have shoes yet they do not know that the rest of the world would consider them poor. They just know how to be kids and laugh, and hug and love… I am learning a lot about being a beholder of beauty and how to convey and share that beauty that ultimately points out to a creator. A loving Creator God that sent his son to die on a cross.

-Job. Please pray for the Lord to open a job. I was preselected at two places that promised great jobs (for the Ecuadorian job market). I am waiting to hear from one of them and I am pretty sure I did not get the other one (mostly because of my next point on the this list.) Please pray for the Lord to open the perfect opportunity. I want a job that would be fulfilling and not a job that would take my attention from serving at my church and my focus from the eternal. The job market in Ecuador is really difficult and there are talks of extreme political and economical changes that could make things extremely difficult. Please pray for wisdom as I make these decisions being wise yet living by faith.

-California. As of a few weeks ago, a window re-opened for me to return to California and work as an Educational Therapist at Trinity Classical Academy. I find this to be a huge privilege and blessing. I have been getting emails and praying for beloved friends in the US that are having a hard time with their jobs… I thank the Lord that he would open a job that promises to be so fulfilling and with such a great group of people. Moreover, I am blessed that those people are so interested on me returning that they have been working hard on the tedious process for a work permit. Please pray for the Lord’s will on this.

Few other things

Please pray for my brother as he just moved to FL for college. Pray for the family especially for my madre. This is specially hard on her.

Please pray for my sister as she writes her “thesis” to graduate from college and her desire to pursue further education.

BSF. My dad is trying to start a “Bible Study Fellowship” group in the valley were we live. This would provide quality Bible instruction in the area. Please pray for God’s will with this.

Also, Please pray for my dad and his job. Also pray for Ecuador as our president is pushing a socialist agenda in which the new constitution has legalized abortion, same sex marriage and is starting to require missionaries to report what they do. And even forbidding the preaching of other “religious ideas” that go against what natives have believed for centuries.

Please pray for clarity with decisions and options.

Please pray as we are preparing a drama for church.
Also, I was invited to speak at a youth group in the area in the next couple weeks.

Pray for the local church and the work that the Lord is doing here. Our last few weeks we have been talking about sin and the Lord is convicting hearts and preparing the field.

Finally. I am thankful for all of you and your time. I am sorry for such a LONG email. I am praying for you and for the Lord to be put on display in your lives as well as in my life.

Please pray that I would be in love with the person of Christ more than working for God. With so much need around it is easy to be focused on doing and not on being in love with Jesus. I have seen this to be a struggle. I want my prayer to be that people would not be reminded of Juan because of my education, credentials, experience, personality, zeal for missions, connections, etc… but because I was so in love with the person of Christ, that makes Christ look so attractive.

Grace and peace

Juan F Moncayo

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1 comment:

  1. i am praying. and am continuously encouraged by the ligh you show and represent =)