photo credits: Juan Soto
pictures by: Esdras Jimenez
Colombia Central North District ordination service in Bogotá.
photo credits: Juan Soto
The Colombia Northeast District Assembly and Ordination service were held at the Los Colorados and the Church of the Nazarene La Gloria Postrera.
The Ecuador Coast District held it's District Assembly at the El Sembrador Church of the Nazarene in Guayaquil, Ecuador. General Superintendent Eugenio Duarte ordained 4 pastors.
pictures by: Esdras Jimenez
The Lago District held it's District Assembly at the La Trinidad Church of the Nazarene in Maracaibo, Venezuela. District Superintendent Carlos Cordero gave his report and Regional Director Dr. Christian Sarmiento presided the assembly and ordained 3 pastors.
The Primero District Assembly in Venezuela was held at the Flor Amarilla Church of the Nazarene in Valencia. We give thanks to the Lord for Rev. Eudo Prado and his wife Mary for serving as District Superintendent for over 10 years.
Former District Superintendent Eudo Prado and Central District Superintendent Julio Rivera are praying with newly appointed DS Jimmy de Gouveia and his wife Lisbeth who are pastors of the Jesús la Esperanza Church of the Nazarene in San Diego de los Altos, Venezuela where they both grew up.
District Superintendent Jimmy also serves as the South America Nazarene Youth International Coordinator Click on the link to learn more about the newly appointed DS. http://engagemagazine.com/content/venezuelan-churches-grow-through-prayer-and-planting
photo credits: Leda Fernanda De Gouveia
William and Genesis Rivero
Meet the Seminary Students from Venezuela!
Praise the Lord some individual donors made it possible through scholarships for 3 Venezuela students to come and study at the Quito, Ecuador Theological Seminary.
William and Genesis Rivero are from a new start church outside of Caracas on Primero District. Genesis's parents started a new start church in Caracas which was recently organized.
Victoria Bramble lives in Calabozo, Venezuela and is also from the Primero District.
These students want to become better leaders so they can return to their own country and share the HOPE of Jesus Christ to their hurting people. Pray for them as they study as it will be hard to be away from family and friends. they Pray for them as they make new friends in Ecuador.
The Andino District in Veneuzela held their assembly at the Michelena Church of the Nazarene. District Superintendent of the Lago District, Carlos Cordero presided over the assembly and gave diplomas to some of the graduates who earned their diplomas from the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Quito Ecuador. Nine graduates from Venezuela were not able to attend the graduation in Quito so three from the Andino District received their diplomas during the district assembly. The graduates are Rev. Alexi Serrano, Petra de Moreno and Agustin Jaimes. Agustin had the highest GPA of all seminary graduates this year. photo: Allan Jose Díaz.
We give praise for the Fergus Falls, MN Work and Witness team that many changes at the campground. They worked hard at making much needed improvements at the Church Campground on the North Coast District. Some of the improvements were replacing two roofs, one on the dinning hall and one on a bathroom. They tiled a bathroom and worked on many other projects. God gave them great health and multiplied their hours of work.
May God bless them as they continue to keep missions alive in their church. The team leader was Tim Baker, Executive Pastor of the Fergus Falls Church of the Nazarene. Tim and his family formerly served as Nazarenes in Volunteer Service with the Fischers in Venezuela and also were NIVS in Ecuador. Luke his son is presently serving as a Global Serve Volunteer in Ecuador.
Now that all the Holidays are done, although I am taking our Christmas tree down today, we are preparing for a wonderful 2017 year. I love lights, especially the ones on the tree and the mantle, at night. I might or I might not have white lights in the house and outside all year round. What can I say I love lights!
This last month has been busy with a team that worked at the campground, the story is above, and then Jon went on a full two day trip.
January has also been full of making 23 doors and 57 windows for New Compassion Center buildings. The third load will be picked up this week some time. The guys in the shop have been busy and getting really dirty. We are thankful for the Global Serve volunteers that have been helping.
March will be a little crazy in that we have three amazing teams coming and also we are welcoming another Global Serve Volunteer.
So if you would join us in prayer - for us and for the teams and volunteers, we would really appreciate it. Some of the dates are overlapped so it looks crazier that it really will be and we have volunteers to help. Enclosed is our schedule so you will know when and how to pray for all of us. Pray for the teams' all around safety and that they will have open hearts for what God wants to do in them while they are here and when they return. Pray that God will give us strength and good health.
The month of Feb will be full of many trips to prepare job sites. Pray for safety for the trips
March 3-14 OH Team working at North Coast Campground in Santo Domingo
March 11-18 TX Team working in Sierra Centro District Center
March 14-22 Mid South District working at Campground
March 20 Global Serve Volunteer Emma arrives
March 23 Global Serve Volunteers Eileen and Ron leave
Dear Family and Friends,
The year 2016 was a busy year as always with teams and preparing and finishing up projects. We were blessed with some super great team/volunteers and all that they added to the ministry.
We had a creative arts team minister through music which made a great impact on the areas we visited.
The year also held unexpected events globally and a lot of heartache in so many areas. One of those events was an earthquake that happened here in Ecuador on the coast in April. Since then there have been 3,070 aftershocks and recently higher "shakes" on the rector scale have been happening. Continue to pray for the ones living in this area.
Praise be to God many years ago HE had a plan to give us HOPE and sent that hope to us as a baby, one night on a still, starry night in the middle of no where in a humble stable. We are so thankful for Christmas, the hope it gives us and the way it changes people to become more loving.
'17 We are excited for year '17 and all that is in the planning. We will start the year off with Global Serve Volunteers coming and then we start all over again all rested and ready to serve.
This year is our HA year, July 15-Oct.15, and we will be coming back to the States to share in churches. Our schedule still has some open spots and we would love to come and share about our work and a new project we are working on. Contact us through email by the return email or by firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking forward to catching up with many of you at General Assembly, you will find us at the South America booth.
We are super excited to spend some good quality family time with our loved ones.
We wish all of you a Merry Christmas as you spend time with family and friends.
May you find more HOPE, LOVE and PEACE in your hearts this year.
For His Glory,
Jon and Shirley Fischer
The heading pictures was taken at one of our newly organized church's Christmas program. One of the little boys, Kevin, wanted his sheep to be in the program. Kevin is in the striped robe.
The Church of the Nazarene ministers in 159 world areas.
9,087 volunteers participated in missions in 2015. In addition to Mission Corps, there were 301 short-term volunteers, and 8,484 Work & Witness team members.
Churches in global mission areas numbered 29,945 churches with 2.44 million members in those areas.
NMI assisted Work & Witness in raising approximately US $2.02 million to deploy 601 teams, an average of 12 teams per week. 8,484 people participated in Work & Witness in 2015, donating 281 years of labor.
NMI partnered with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries to give more than US $9.19 million for disaster response and compassion projects around the world and to support 11,571 children through Child Development Centers and Pastor’s Kid programs. Churches sent 47,430 Crisis Care Kits and 15,000 School Pal-Paks
I was going through my emails today and came across my favorite blog devotional writer, Ann Voskamp reminding me of my daily devotional. I love her devotionals and draw so much from them. Sometimes she has guest on her blog. As she introduces them, she says, "welcome Craig to the farm’s front porch today…" Today Ann had Craig Greenfield who wrote something that confirmed what I struggled with from time to time while serving in Venezuela. I know the whole devotional is not about this but one thing jumped out at me.
He and his wife have two small children and live in a very bad neighborhood for their ministry. They have welcomed homeless friends, local crack addicts, and women from the street corner over for dinner.
He says this-
"As His followers, we are called to reflect His priorities and to respond as if one of our own sons or daughters were in pain."
And we are called to teach those priorities to our children.
"When holding the poor and marginalized at arm’s length no longer feels right, sometimes that means moving closer. Maybe right into the neighborhood."
He goes on to say this one thing that we were often asked.
“Is it a good idea to bring up your kids in some of the world’s worst neighborhoods?” Our question was a little different but basically the same.
The way things are in Venezuela now, the answer to that would be "no!" But things were different then than they are now and God called us there and that was where we wanted to be, where God wanted us. And when the time was right God called us away from there.
Craig and his wife's answer was, "But we want them to grow up in a family where Jesus and his subversive kingdom come first—before comfort, before affluence, and even, if necessary, before safety."
He compares this to when the Israelites faced the same question. Numbers 14:3
"God called them out on their wrong priorities, and because of their disobedience they had to spend forty years in the wrong place. The desert may have been safer, and maybe it had better schools, but it was clearly not where God had called them to go.
The children of the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land, but without their parents.
In making our children into idols, we lose sight of the central place God has for our kids in His upside-down Kingdom purposes."
I am pretty sure if you were to ask our daughters, Michelle and Krista about their childhood in Venezuela they would share with you that at times they were afraid but I am pretty sure they would share stories and experiences that would make those times fade into the background and they would tell you it was worth it all.
As most of you know our little country of Ecuador was shaken into devastation by the 7.8 quake that struck our coastlines and was felt for 40 sec, which seemed like minutes, in Quito which is over 200 miles away. As it approaches a meal time I open up my computer and see more people affected and then the appetite goes away because I know there are people so close to me that don't have, and haven't had food and water for days. We have done ministry in some of these places and I started looking through some of our ministry pictures and my heart was broken as I looked into the faces of the children in the pictures, wondering first of all if they were alive, then if they were hungry, if they had a dry place to sleep in their little makeshift tents of homes, if there parents were still alive, and my mind just kept racing with the questions. There are so many people hurting and traumatized by what is around them and also by the aftershocks that are still happening.
As I am surrounded by the pictures and the news of all the hurting because of the quake I am pulled back in my thoughts to this article that talks about all the pain in the world and how people are choosing to forget their pain. There are always hurting people some are able to cover it up pretty well and others not so much.
So I had to look up the word that is mentioned in the article and also the name of the book Craig wrote, Subversive Jesus, which is #1 best seller in Christian Social Issues.
adjective- tending or intending to subvert or overthrow, destroy, or undermine an established or existing system...
-For Jesus subverts the status quo. He turns things and people upside-down.
I was challenged by this authors words to look around me, I don't have to go to the coast to help people I just need to find the lost and hurt around me. We are coming up to a summer with 8 work teams and it will be a busy time but I hope we will be more challenged in our ministry to be more intent and not just put band-aides on the pain people are feeling but look them in the eyes and tell them they are loved by God and find out how we can fill that whole in their heart as well as fill their spiritual hole with the One that has all the answers.
Please read the rest of the article and find out how his children changed and impacted their neighborhood. The children did more than any armed police could do.
--I challenge you to find these people and "trust the comforter that pushes you out the comfort zone."
credit goes to Craig Greenfield for the quotes and the video
"When everything changes you'll gain more than you'll every lose!"
Today, Thursday, Jon and Dwight Rich, our NAF Director, along with three others went to visit Pedernales one of the areas on the coastline that was hit by the quake. We have a church family here but they worship in a rented building.
We did ministry in the streets in this town with a Kids Town Group from Canada several years ago, with leaders Matt and Kerri Burns and leaders Jefferson and Rosita Estevez from Santo Domino were with us.
These are some picture that Jon took today and sent to me. Pray for them as they are still traveling.
As you can see the first story was destroyed and now the second story is on ground level. The last picture is where we did evangelism with children. We ate at several places in this town spent the night one night. It is a quiet and peaceful town.
We are Jon and Shirley Fischer and we are missionaries serving with the church of the Nazarene in Quito Ecuador.