I thought I'd start with some more recent news and work our way backwards this year!
As most of you know, John has been the senior pastor in Cuenca for the past 7 years. During that time we've planted 6 new congregations and several important extra-local ministries have developed.
After almost 2 years of preparation, Gustavo Cabrera was installed as the senior pastor of the main congregation in Cuenca on November 22. Terry King, from Alliance International Ministries joined us for the celebration.
Gustavo is 37 years old, and has been in full time ministry in the church for 7 years. He is married to a wonderful Norwegian MK (missionary kid), Maria, who was raised in Ecuador, and has a 2 year old daughter, Elisa. We are delighted to be able to work with them and call them our friends.
We are eager to see all that the Lord has planned for our lives and ministry in the years to come!
Most everyone who heard about John 'passing the baton' has asked, "So, what will you be doing now?"
Here is a list of what he's been doing, and will continue to be responsible for --
The 6 churches we have planted are:
2 in Cuenca with ~ 1,900 members
Azogues- about 35 minutes north of Cuenca, and ~ 50 members
El Guabo- about 2 hrs. west and ~ 600 members
Manta- 5 hrs to the NW and ~ 100 members
Gualaquiza- 5 hrs to the SE and ~ 100 members
4 additional churches John supervises:
3 in the province of El Oro- Machala, Pasaje & Las Nieves- 2 hours west and ~ 600 members
Loja- 3 hrs south and ~ 700 members
We also have 3 other church plants in progress:
Santa Isabel- 1 hr west and ~50 members
Vilcabamba- 4 hrs south and ~ 50 members
Santa Rosa- 3 hrs west and ~ 25 members
The extra-local ministries John supervises are:
La Esperanza children's home - 22 children
The Verbo Christian School - 220 students
2 Compassion International after school programs - 350 children
FM Radio station
Medical Outreaches - 5-8 per year
Taylor University's Student Exchange program
Addiction Recovery Ministry
Looks like he'll have plenty to do! Thanks to our Lord Jesus for guiding us, and giving us His strength each day.