Today’s 10 for 10 video tells the story of Ambato, Ecuador, Extreme Nazarene Missions’ second church plant using the whole-team urban church plant model. (To learn about the first church using the new model, Arequipa, see yesterday’s post.)
We first met the Ambato team when they were in training in Arequipa. Through Spanish school and missionary training, we got to work alongside them and know them, praying and cheering for them from Arequipa as they started the work in Ambato. One night we had a fun impromptu sleepover with most of the team during a flash flood when they couldn’t get home for the night.
We finished up the project in Arequipa and returned to the States at the end of 2013 to raise funds for our new administrative roles in Short Term Missions, based in the Extreme Center Quito. I had been researching and planning and focusing on our home in Quito. We hoped to find a home and set it up while we were in Ecuador in May for a short term team before officially moving the girls later in the summer. Those were our plans.
During the lead up to the May 2014 short term project, there was a transition happening for the Ambato team. Their cluster coordinators moved to Quito and took on a new role in Extreme. At the same time, I felt a strange release from the focus on setting up our Quito home and the funds for me to travel to Ecuador with Chris to set up our home weren’t there. I was, surprisingly, not frustrated about it.
In June, we were officially asked to change our plans and join the Ambato team as cluster coordinators to finish the final eight months of the church planting project. As we looked back over the months leading up to our becoming part of the Ambato team, we saw the guiding hand of the Lord working in our lives. He gave us the opportunity to get to know and love the Ambato church planters while they were in Arequipa. He kept us from investing time and money in a home in Quito when he knew we already had a home in Ambato. And He worked in my heart to release my plans before I knew I would need to give them up.
So, in July 2014, we arrived in Ambato in time to finish preparing for Love Extreme, a large-scale short term project that took place in Ibarra and Ambato during the last two weeks of July. We would host two more short term teams in the fall of 2014.
Most importantly, we had the privilege to walk the amazing group of Ambato church planters through the final phase of their project.
As you will see in the video, our plans and God’s plans sometimes run on a different timetable, but the important thing is to look for how God is working in our lives and churches in ways we didn’t expect or anticipate.
Don’t miss out on the first two videos in the 10 for 10 Campaign as Extreme celebrates 10 years working to expand God’s kingdom.