Our mission work in Ecuador is moving forward amid the pandemic.
Last year we were able to buy a fishing boat and nets for a group of fishermen in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, to help them support their families. It has been great to follow their faith, many have been baptized, and now they have asked us if we will come back and start a church on the beach.
As we have been distributing COVID-19 emergency help to churches in Ecuador during the pandemic, we have had no contact with the fishermen on the beach, but last week we finally reconnected through another church that was giving out emergency packages in the area.
We found out that the area had been very affected by the virus, some of the fishermen including our friend Luis had been deadly sick by corona, but through it all they have been strengthened in the faith, helping and supporting one another.
“We don’t need food, we just need a Word from our pastor”, they said and shared testimonies of how God has helped them through the hardship of COVID-19.
New Species Showing Up
One of the things they have experienced through the pandemic is how new species of fish showing up in their nets. They have started to catch fish that they have never seen before, and as they have experienced supernatural blessings, they have had more than enough to share with other families in the community.
“This is God blessing us”, they said, and in this blogpost you can see photos of the fishermen with the new species that has found their way to the nets. It is a crazy catch and a testimony about Gods goodness, that they have food on the table in times of famine.
The fishermen is asking us to come back and build the church within the community. They have already reserved a piece of land for the project, and more people wants to get baptized. They are asking for us to come back, and we are praying for guidance.
Right now we cant travel because of restrictions, but the Word of God is not restricted. You can shot down a country, but you cannot shot down the work of God. The Holy Spirit is still moving, people are coming to Christ and God is working on our behalf.
Imagine to be a fisherman and raise your family on a beach in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, when you only have a small boat, and the fish that you catch is not enough to feed your seven children.
This was the reality for Mr. Luis whom we met on our missiontrip to Ecuador in November 2018. Luis was living on the beach, alone with his seven children, and we had the joy of leading him and other fishermen to the Lord.
Since then it has been on my heart to start a Christian fishing community to help Luis and his friends who had received Christ. I wanted them to know the full gospel, the life in abundance, that restores not only your soul, but also your life. I wanted to help these poor people so bad, and as I shared the vision, I have been able to find investors that were willing to finance the vision of buying a bigger boat so they can catch bigger fish, feed their families and grow their business for the Kingdom of God.
Working together with a lawyer in Ecuador who was saved during the crusade, the vision has come through. We have bought a boat, and in May 2019 as we went back to Ecuador, we were able to legally assign it to Luis and his friends and start the Christian fishing consortium. The deal was sealed and we all gathered to pray for this new vessel.
Imagine what it would be like to walk on the beach in Esmeraldas that day when we found Luis and told him about the blessing. He had no clue, since we had not been in contact with him since November last year. We just assumed that we would find him again, same place, still working hard in his little boat to provide food for his family.
This is a leap of faith, but we strongly believe that we are doing the right thing. We found out that our fisherman Luis with the seven kids was a key person in the local community. People knew him and he was a man of good reputation.
What joy when we met again and told him the good news. That night we had a party, celebrating the goodness of God and the blessing that came as a boat!
Next step will be to provide school for the seven kids and to start a church in Esmeraldas. We are working together with other missionaries and the lawyer who is willing to help with the ministry on the beaches and already has an apartment in the area. We are looking for people who will move to Esmeraldas and do the work of the Lord. So far we have young lady who is willing to be send out to live there for three months.
Thank you for your prayers as we prepare for this, teaching Luis and the other fishermen to follow Jesus and making them fishers of men!
On my recent mission trip in December 2018, we crossed the Andes to go to Esmeraldas which is a coastal city in the northwestern part of Ecuador. We had a day off, so we went to a breakfast restaurant at the beach, and as I saw the water, I thought to myself, “today we should go fishing”. As I look up, a guy walks in, and I ask him if he knows somebody who would take us out on the ocean, and 30 minutes later we were already ready to go fishing in the Pacific Ocean.
I live what you can call a “predestined lifestyle”, I believe that my steps are ordained by God, that “we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good deeds that we should walk in” (Ephesians 2.10).
We went through the waves across the reef and cast out the lines in more calm water, waiting for the fishes to bite. It was an awesome experience. We spend the whole day fishing, and when we came back in the evening, I asked the fishermen if they could prepare a fire so we could BBQ the fishes on the beach. I paid for the party and the fishermen brought their families, and right there, as we were eating, we had the opportunity to share the gospel and lead the fishermen to Christ.
Revival Among the Fishermen
We had revival, right there on the beach. What we experienced there was more authentic than a regular church meeting, it was so beautiful to see these men receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and the same night we prayed with them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”, so that was what we did, right there with the fishermen on the beach.
I will never forget these fishermen and their stories. As we were sitting around the fire, we were connected in a special way. Even after we left, I kept praying for these people. One of the men had seven kids, his wife had left him, and he was the sole provider of his family. They were very poor, they were trying hard to make a living, but they did not have the resources. They needed a bigger boat in order to get a bigger catch out on the deep ocean, they paddled in a canoe so they could not cross the reef and take them to the deep waters where we had been fishing during the day.
Two New Boats Can Change the Lives of Many
I want to start a project in Esmeraldas, right there on the beach. I believe this connection was God-given, and I already have talked to one of my attorney friends in Ecuador to set up a fishing consortium so we can invest in this community and buy bigger boats.
Where I go, I will bring the gospel. Luke 4.18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.
What is good news to the poor? Is it not that they shall not be poor anymore? Let us preach the gospel, not only in Words but also in action. Our little can help a lot. For 6,000 dollars we can buy two boats and two engines for the fishermen in Esmeraldas. Several families can fish on each boat, with fish comes money and school for the kids and even more open hearts for Christ.
Your Kingdom Come!
I want to see the Kingdom of God manifested on that beach in Esmeralda, Equador. I remember many years ago when I first brought the gospel to the Eskimos in North West Greenland, immediately after having received Christ they started to catch more fish and animals and they were so successful in hunting together that more hunters started to ask if they could go out hunting with them. That village is still developing til this day. I believe the same thing can happen on the beaches of Esmeralda. If you want to partner with us in this project, click on this link. May God bless you for your prayers and support! https://evangelistministries.international/contact/donations/
As a traveling preacher, I always take time to go around to see places and enjoy God’s creation. So far I have visited more than 70 nations. I know preachers who go from airport to hotel, to church and back without seeing anything of the country or the state they go to, but that is not my story. Taking time off, meeting new people inside and outside the church and keeping my program for adventure keeps me original and fresh, on fire but not burned out. I have been doing this since I started fulltime ministry in 1996.
This year I have been two times in the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador to preach the gospel. First time I went with a group of pastors, and as I checked into my hotel, I decided to go fishing. It turned out that the owner of the hotel had a brother who was an expert in jungle trips. We spent the afternoon fishing, and his wife cooked the fish for us in the evening. This was before the crusade, and I was overwhelmed with joy when I saw the tour guide at the meeting, standing in front of the platform, giving his life to Christ later at the crusade!
The second time, I went with my youngest son, a Danish pastor and a ministry friend from Texas. We came two days before the meetings so we could have time for adventure. The tour guide picked us up in the airport, and we spend the first day in the jungle with him, visiting remote villages, fishing, eating fresh fish, swimming in waterfalls and river rafting on the Postaza River. While we were doing this, another tour guide ended up giving his life to Christ! This was priceless, such a blessing, both for me and for the team.
The next day, a lawyer whom I had met on my first trip came to see us. He was flying in a little two-seater ultralight plane together with another new missionary friend of mine. They flew us into the deep jungle to visit and to preach to the villagers. I used to fly my own plane years ago, so they allowed me to fly on the way back and land the plane. How cool was that! I felt so rich, knowing that we could not have paid that day with money, this was the blessings of God!
The crusade in Puyo was powerful. We had heavy rain because of the season, but still, 3-500 people showed up during the evening meetings. I was interviewed by radio and television, we ran a Facebook campaign to advertise for the event, and many people got saved, healed, filled with the Holy Spirit and set free. For me this is the ultimate adventure, nothing thrills me more than witnessing God touching peoples lives.
After the meetings I went with my son and the lawyer across the Andes, which are the biggest chain of mountains in South America. We were riding motorcycles, and the lawyer followed in his pickup truck as a backup in case something should happen. At one point I could not see the car in front of me because we were driving so high in the mountains, actually, we were driving through the clouds, through heavy rain showers, for 10 hours till we finally made it to a hotel surrounded by natural hot volcanic baths. We were frozen to the bone so we stayed in those hot baths for a long time!
Next day we started the descend to Esmeraldas on Ecuador’s Pacific Coast, I found out that the lawyers family own an apartment there right next to the beach. It was dark when we arrived, we were so tired, but waking up early the next morning was worth the drive. The ocean with its big waves was speaking to us about Gods greatness. “Let’s go fishing”, I said, and right there at the table in the breakfast restaurant, we found a young guy who knew a fisherman who would take us out on the ocean. Within a few minutes, we were sitting in his boat, miles off the coast with lines and hooks and bait catching lots of fish. God must have been smiling to us because the fish kept biting and biting.
On the way back I asked the fisherman if he knew how to grill the fish. We made a fire on the beach, and I invited him and his whole family to come and join the party. He had seven children and no wife, was poor and sweet and hardworking and that night was again priceless around the fire with the wonderful man and his children and friends. As we were eating, my lawyer friend started telling his testimony of how Jesus had grabbed him when he was at his lowest. We were all touched, and late that night around the fire the fishermen and their children gave their lives to Christ. Some of them got baptized in the Holy Spirit right there on the beach and spoke in new tongues.
That night we walked back to the apartment on the beach with the big waves rolling in, thanking God for his goodness and kindness. Tired and satisfied we returned to the airport the next day, meeting up with the rest of the team who had been preaching in different churches. We boarded the plane at midnight, and landed at 5 o’clock in the morning, picking up a rental car that brought us back home, just in time for my son’s wedding the following day.
Some people think that Christians are boring and that all they do is pray and go to church. I must say that is such a wrong presumption. My life is never boring. Life with Christ is a blast.