“Blessed Beyond Measure!”

By Al Gaines

Gaines Team
The team from left: Teresa Plett, Rose and Mark Pfeifer, Tanner Friesen, Al Gaines, and Rick Fehr
In February 2018, six average people from five churches, two states, and two countries made up a Men for Missions team and headed for Manta, Ecuador, to help a small church rebuild after a damaging earth quake! The two things that we all had in common were fair-skin that sunburned easily, and a love for Jesus!

Our One Mission Society host missionary for the week was Darryl Chambers. He had our week set up and introduced us to Pastor Ivan and his family. They were excited to have us at their church and they poured their love into our hearts.

Gaines Weld
Welding crew is Darryl Chambers (our missionary host), Rick Fehr, Mark Pfeifer and Tanner Friesen
Pastor Ivan showed us our main building task for the week, which was to help build a new brick exterior wall. We were excited to build the wall, but as the week went on, more and more people from the church came to help the fair-skinned missionaries. And soon we were watching them build the wall, which was hard to do! However, we found other tasks to do such as painting, cleaning, welding, removing the old church ceiling, as well as carrying and stacking a lot of bricks.

Gaines Paint
Painting crew is Teresa Plett and Rose Pfeifer
A highlight of the week was when we were invited to share in their Friday night worship service. The team sang How Great is our God in English, and the church was kind enough to clap for us. We also did a short skit and a lesson on evangelism. Teresa shared her testimony, and Mark shared the EvangeCube with the congregation. We invited all those interested to go with us on Saturday morning to do door-to-door evangelism. About 15 church people showed up to help us.

We broke up into three nervous teams with our interpreters Franklin, Andrea, and Darryl. Several church people led the way, and the six fair-skinned servants from the far north knocked on doors.

Wow, what a morning! We only had two hours to evangelize, and 21 people said they wanted to surrender their lives to Jesus. Countless others will be in church for the first time to learn more about Jesus. When we all returned to the church, the excitement was loud and contagious.

A gentleman that we thought was from the church, but wasn’t, helped for a few days. After Mark shared with him, he trusted what Mark said because he said he had watched the team serve during the week. He wanted the kind of love we showed the church. This man will be one of the new attendees at the church.

Our prayer for the week was to be flexible, serve the Lord, and encourage the church with the love of Jesus.  Our prayers were answered. I feel we received more love than we gave the church. We were blessed beyond measure!

Are you ready to join a Men for Missions trip and write your own story? There are a lot of churches in need of work/evangelism teams in Manta, Ecuador! All you have to do is say, “Send me!”