When we met Oscar he was just a young teen that lived in one of the hottest places in Venezuela, Machiques. He was a pastor's kid and the only boy in a family with four sisters. He attended church only because he said his mom would take the belt to him if he didn't. He always found the back to say he was present.
His life changed when Missionaries Craig and Gail Zickefoose brought a group of university students to his little town for a summer. Oscar was impressed with the way the students served the people in his country and started to take note. He had been asked to help drive the truck with tools since he had a drivers license. The reason he had a license was he helped his dad deliver fruit to little stores in the area. He was invited to the devotions in the evenings and someone translated them for him and his friend Jose. God spoke to him and Jose both through this group called CAUSE -College and University Students Enabling. They both thought that if these youth could come and clean, paint parks, and evangelize children so could the youth in his church.
Missionaries Craig and Gail saw potential in both Jose and Oscar and asked them to come and minister with them in Work and Witness. They traveled around Venezuela to the different churches and helped with construction and helped in the development of the Venezuela CAUSE teams called JUNAC. Gail would teach them English in the evenings so they would be able to communicate with the North Americans and also be able to translate. Oscar spent many years of his life living with and being mentored by the Zickefooses'. Jose returned to school to finish his education and would come and work when he could. They made a great ministry team because Oscar was able to put the Venezuelan perspective on the ideas.
Oscar and Jose both made many friends from the teams and loved to play practical jokes on the team members. They used their talents of being able to make friends easily and to be able to include everyone. They were a great asset to any ministry. There are so many stories to tell about them! They were the life of any party.
During this time of ministry Oscar found his wife, Aura, who also lived in his home town. They married and made a great couple in ministry, Aura led children's ministries and Oscar started his studies to be an ordained pastor. He was appointed District Superintendent of one of the districts.
Seven years ago when the Zickfooses' left Venezuela as the last missionaries to leave Oscar put into practice everything he had been taught. He was assigned the Field Assistant for Venezuela and he and Aura moved to San Diego de los Altos closer to Caracas and started raising their family.
Three years ago Oscar received a call to be the Latin pastor of the Spanish church in Bend, Oregon. They prayed about it and decided it was God's will and started the paperwork. This Thursday, Nov. 19, they will be saying their good-bye's to their families and life-time friends and will start a new ministry in Bend, OR. Please pray for them as they leave behind a place of many memories and also as they adjust to their new country. Oscar and Aura have three beautiful children. Oscar Eduardo 13 yrs, Laura Fernanda 9 yrs, and Andrea Sofia turned 6, Nov. 15. This will be a big adjustment even though they have visited their new church. Please keep them in your prayers. God has great and wonderful things He is going to do in them and through them.