Dear Friends and Family,
Life has changed a lot since our last update email about 5 months ago. We recommend watching the video above (it has some cute pictures of our baby!)
For those of you that can’t watch the video here is a bit of a summary…
Family life- The Lord is so gracious and after 9 months of waiting our baby is now with us! Willow Hope Moncayo was born on June 21st. Baby and mom are doing great. Mom and dad are getting used to this exciting beautiful new season of life. We are praying for Willow’s salvation and enjoying every moment of this special time.
In other news, Jota started last year of Seminary in August. This last year is focused on an Internship at La Fuente (something that he has been doing since day one). By God’s grace we were also able to find a car. We have gotten by without a car for 6 years in Ecuador, but with baby Willow, we really need one. We are also excited for how the car will facilitate ministry in many ways.
Biblical Counseling Videos- We finished translating about 30 hours of Biblical counseling videos. The translation included voice-overs, translation of notes, slides and extra handouts. Please pray that this would be a helpful resource for the churches in Latin America.
La Fuente- Things at La Fuente are really busy and it is an exciting year. We moved to a new locale, launched two new community groups, had baptisms, welcomed new members and are in the process of major transition. Please pray for Jota as he was asked to take the lead pastor role starting in October.
Biblical Counseling Class- The videos are a great resource but videos don’t equip counselors alone. Jota took all the materials translated for the videos and is in the process of creating a 9 month curriculum to train biblical counselors. The class includes watching the videos, doing readings, working through a personal sanctification project, Bible memorization and watching counseling observations. We started with module one last week and about 20 people signed up!
CHF- Please pray as we are receiving a visit of Children’s Hunger Fund later this month. We are praying and hoping to start a Mercy Network in our city that La Fuente will lead.
We are so thankful to the Lord for each and every one of you. Thank you for your continued love, encouragement, support and prayers. Please let us know how we can be praying for you and we encourage you think how the Lord might be leading you to partner to what He is doing in Ecuador or around the world!
Jota & Marissa
UPDATE: As we were finishing this email, our city had another earthquake. Please pray for us. It’s been hard to sleep well and we are learning to trust the Lord in this season.
Dear Friends and Family,
It’s hard to do a 2 minute video that successfully presents what is going on in Ecuador. Here is some behind the scenes information of areas that we talked about in the video.
1. Baby Willow Hope Moncayo- We can’t wait to meet our little baby girl! By God’s grace the pregnancy is going well and we were able to find a English Speaking doctor. We speak to him most of the time in Spanish but every now and then there are some words that we don’t know in Spanish and it’s helpful to switch to English. Having the baby in a foreign country is going to be crazy but we are so grateful for the Lord’s grace and provision.
2. Pastoral training- In the beginning of the year La Fuente hosted a Pastoral/Leadership Training Module that launches a 3 year process for church leaders to receive training. Three brothers from different churches in the U.S. committed to come and teach. Unfortunately, one of the U.S. pastors couldn’t leave the East Coast because of the snow storms. Jota and Steve (another one of the pastors of La Fuente) were able to cover the teachings and we saw how God used that for other purposes. If you have the gift of teaching, we would love to have you come help!
3. Quechua church- In the Lord’s sovereign hand, after the conference, the head pastor of the Quechua church in downtown Quito, asked Jota if he could speak at a small conference that they hosted a few weeks ago. This was really special for me (Jota) as this church was one of the first churches planted in Ecuador. Now the building houses a strong ministry among the indigenous Quechua people of the region.
4. La Fuente- This year also started with a major push to maturity for La Fuente. We started the year with a fruitful member’s meeting in which we had the opportunity to hear many testimonies of how LF has been used by God to bring people to himself and correct theological issues in a country where prosperity and pragmatic “Christianity” trump Biblical Christianity.
5. Building- The last year has been really difficult for La Fuente. God has used our current landlord to sanctify us. Our rent is really high to only use the facilities on Sundays. Moreover, we have experienced persecution by the people we shared the locale with and the owners. By God’s grace we just received news that a church in the area is going to let us share their facilities for half of what we pay currently! This is the first time that La Fuente will have office space, classroom space for training opportunities, parking, etc! Please pray for us as we shepherd the congregation in this move.
6. Discipleship- Please pray for formal and informal opportunities for discipleship. We have had many couples get married in the last few months. This has provided great opportunities to walk with these new couples and do premarital counseling.
7. T4G- For the first time ever, the 3 pastors of LF are going to go to a conference together. Please pray for a sweet time of fellowship, refreshment and rest. We were also able to help a guy that is in the process for leadership join the pastors. Please pray for this opportunity and we thank the people that partnered with us so that we could provide this opportunity to this faithful brother.
8. Biblical Counseling- We continue to move forward with the Biblical Counseling training. We have been communicating with ACBC and other Biblical Counseling ministries in the US and Latin America and there are some exciting opportunities in this area, which we will be sharing in the next few weeks. Pray for a few key meetings that are scheduled to happen during T4G.
9. Car- The church is growing which means that we are in the plans to open new community groups around the city. God has also opened opportunities for Jota to be invited to teach and preach around the area. We are also in the process of hosting a Mercy Network with CHF that will require to haul things (more on this in the next update email). With a baby, it will be impossible for us to do all this using public transportation. Cars in Ecuador are REALLY expensive (A car that is 5-8 years old in Ecuador is the price of a brand new car in the U.S.- In the words of my father in law, when we went to see cars, “Wow, this is ridiculous..I am in shock!”. We are asking you to please pray for the Lord to provide a car. If you would like to join us in partnering to buy a car, you can donate by clicking the “Donate” button in the left column of this update.
We are so thankful to the Lord for each and every one of you. Thank you for your continued love, encouragement, support and prayers.
Jota & Marissa
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from some windy days in Quito-Ecuador. It’s been awhile since sending our last update email and this will be an interesting one to share.
On one hand… God is working and the gospel is transforming lives and opening doors.
Once a month we take a Community Group night to have an Equipping Community Group. These are sweet times to learn about practical issues of how the Word of God speaks to specific areas of life. It’s been great for the church and especially as we are developing leaders.
Jota officially became the preaching pastor of La Fuente and has been preaching through the Gospel of Luke and also has taken a few weeks to preach some messages that have been pastoral in nature to our young church.
We hosted a time of fellowship and encouragement with the Servant Leaders of the church.
We had our first baby dedication of 2015! Our dear friends have gone through so much and it was such a great time of celebration.
We were happy to celebrated the graduation of 3 of our dorm “daughters” (back when we were dorm parents). As well as Jota’s cousin, Juan David.
La Fuente will be hosting our first conference July 6th-7th. We are excited for what the Lord will do as we found out that the Pope will be doing a “historical” visit to Ecuador on the same days. The theme of the conference is the centrality of the word of God and we can’t think of a better topic because of the events going on in the city. PLEASE PRAY for the conference. We just found out last week that the mayor will shut down the city and transportation will be really hard. Pray that people can make it and that the Lord will bring those He wants to be there. A team from The Bible Church of Brownsburg, Indiana will be coming down to work alongside the team from La Fuente for the conference. We are very excited to have them with us!
Here is an interview in Spanish that Jota did with The Gospel Coalition for the event.
Marissa has had the joy of going through “Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety” By Elyse Fitzpatrick with some of the women from La Fuente. We are so excited that during our last trip to the states, we were able to pick up several copies of it in Spanish!
Marissa just finished a long season of taking Spanish classes. The classes have been a huge blessing and Maris has been meeting and counseling ladies both in English and Spanish. Please continue to pray for that important informal ministry.
We have been reading through “Leading with Love” by Alexander Strauch together. We would recommend this book to anyone in leadership. Chapter by chapter, it makes it’s way through the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 and how it should be applied within any form of leadership.
On the other hand…
The Lord has been teaching us a lot about trusting him. Not only on day to day ministry as we are growing as young missionaries, planning a conference in the context of protests and the Pope visiting… but also in the financial area.
As we shared in our last email, we were in the U.S. for 2 months to work on some paper work for immigration and to focus on raising support. Our goal was to raise our monthly support in order to finally meet our monthly goal as well as to accommodate the growth of the ministry. The trip was discouraging in that area as we didn’t meet our goal (we received two new monthly supporters, which we praise God for!) and upon returning to Ecuador we found both that the government had enforced extra taxes (hence the article linked above concerning the protests). We also lost one of our strong supporters that is going through a transition of their own.
Please pray for wisdom as we need to restructure our budget. Today we shared with Maris’ Spanish teacher that we won’t be able to continue classes. Please pray for us to trust the Lord during this time. Also, would you prayerfully consider partnering with us financially or could connecting us with someone that might be looking to get involved in God’s work overseas? If you would like to hear more details or talk to us, we’ll be glad to skype or call you.
Trusting the Lord in the midst of an exciting and interesting season,
J and Marissa