Our friends and fellow missionaries Jonathan and Beth Todd serve Christ in Brazil. We love them, support them and believe in their ministry.
Here is what our friends wrote on Facebook recently: “We have our visas, we have our plane tickets, and we are returning to Brazil on February 25! As we are getting ready to fly out, we find ourselves in the position that we are in need of more financial partners so that we can continue to serve in Brazil.”
Our churches are wonderful! Each one is unique in the challenges they face and the people that they reach. The Tonsupa Church is located near the town of Tonsupa in the Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador.
Right now the province of Esmeraldas is experiencing much drug related violence. The church courageously ministers in the face of this violence. There is also a large number of brothels in and near Tonsupa. The church faithfully serves Christ in this difficult environment.
The people make their living on the sea, in the tourism industry, or by farming. They work hard, and enjoy newness of life in Christ!
Will you join us in praying for our brothers and sisters here? Please pray for them as they shine the light of Christ in this difficult place. Together we can make a difference!
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Today’s Together Tuesday is a continuation from yesterday’s cultural insight podcast. If you have not heard the podcast, no worries just click on the play button below to hear it.
To put the events in Ibarra into context here is a segment from a local news source:
In Ibarra, an ugly night. Immigrant women and children had to receive police protection when leaving the houses where they lived, after a mob surrounded them on Sunday night. A group of people, who had participated in a march against gender violence, entered a house inhabited by foreign citizens in the center of Ibarra. They took their belongings and burned them in the street. Afterwards, the group went to a municipal shelter, where poor immigrants spend the night, and tried to enter. But the police guarded the place. The protesters roamed the streets. The climate of tension forced several immigrants to leave the city, following the femicide of Diana Carolina Ramirez by a former partner who is a foreigner.
The violent reaction against immigrants came hours after President Moreno announced in a statement that he had arranged the formation of “brigades” to control the legal status of citizens of Venezuela on the streets, in the workplace and at the border. He said the government is analyzing the possibility of creating a special permit to enter the country. Critics say Moreno’s announcement opened the door for xenophobia. Ramiro García, president of the Pichincha Bar Association, called Moreno’s announcement “inadequate.” He added: “The problem is not the victimizer’s nationality, but the machismo that made him act like that. This legitimizes xenophobia.” One of the protesters who wanted Venezuelans out of the city said “It is not xenophobia, this we do to safeguard the safety of our families.”
We spent some time on Monday in Ibarra and spoke with a fellow missionary who works with Venezuelans in that Northern city. He told of the impact the recent riots and anti-Venezuelan violence has had on the people in his ministry. Currently the streets are empty of Venezuelan faces. Most have fled Ibarra due to the violence. Last week there were roaming gangs of people “hunting” Venezuelans. Some have hidden and are afraid even to flee. Our friend has spent much of his time helping the Venezuelans he knows to escape to Peru or Colombia. He is devastated by the violence.
In response to the violence more than 3,000 students, parents and teachers marched through the streets Thursday morning to ask for more security and say “no more xenophobia.” Sebastián Maya, president of the student government, said that after the death of Diana Carolina, students took the initiative to organize. The students traveled 13 blocks through the downtown streets until they reached the city’s train station. There, they gave the new governor of Imbabura, Galo Zamora, a document requesting the government ensure the safety of all residents. The governor made a commitment to show Ibarra is a city of peace.
We saw only three people the we could identify as Venezuelan in our travels. We saw two begging for food and one we met through our friend. We did see police in riot gear and several protests.
We ask that you pray for our missionary friend. (We have chosen not to identify him for the safety of his family.) We ask that you would pray for the Venezuelans who have been caught up in this terrible situation. Finally we ask you to pray that God will lead our church leaders into practical ways that we can help.
We are always amazed by the generosity of our supporters! We know that many of you are actively looking for opportunities to make a positive difference in this world. Many of you have asked about needs in our ministry here in Ecuador. With that in mind we want to introduce Jean to you.
Jean is one of our Children of Promise kids who are currently waiting for a sponsor. He lives in a small costal town and is an active member of the church there.
Jean is in 7th grade and his favorite subjects are Math and Natural Science. He has one brother and one sister and along with them he lives with his Mom and Dad in a three room house made of cement and zinc roofing. There is water, electricity, and a latrine at the house. Assistance is needed for Jean’s school fees and basic necessities.
Jean has a bright future and we invite you, your family, your Sunday school, your small group or your church to become part of his life.
For just $38 dollars a month you can partner with Jean through Children of Promise and our ministry. You can help mentor him through your letters and your monthly donation will help him succeed educationally.