An Update from Matthew and Ryan in Ahuano, Ecuador
In a Spirit of joy I write to each of you. These past two weeks have been such a blessing for Matt and I. We have had some awesome experiences.
Last week, we invited 4 families over to the mission house for dinner, song and scripture. With the help of about 7 kids, we cooked dinner for everyone. We had so much fun. We cooked rice, yucca, baked chicken, and made a salad. By the end of cooking, Matt and I realized that the kids know a lot more about cooking than we do. The families that came are all related somehow. They actually all live on the same plot of land. They do not come together as the greater family to pray and sing praise to the Lord, so it was truly a blessing for us to be able to experience their unity and fellowship as a family, and with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ!
This past Saturday, I had the Bible study before Mass. Right now we are slowly reading through Matthew. After reading a small part, I generally give some small teaching, usually information that links the Old Testament with the New Testament, in an attempt to help us to understand and see the coming of the Messiah, who is Jesus, through the eyes of the Jews. Then we reflect in our lives, what this scripture is saying to us. I really enjoy this so much. This past Saturday, only two people came, but the Holy Spirit was truly at work. Each of us were able to share testimonies where God was present and actually healed us. Marcia told two amazing stories of healing and strength in Christ. One of the stories involved Maria Cristina.
When Maria was 6 years old she was hit by a car. She was in a coma for some time, and the doctors told the family she was not going to come out of it. The entire family reacted by saying: “Only God knows if it is someone’s time to die.” They put their complete faith in God. They prayed through the night, saying the rosary, putting their trust in our Holy Mother, the Queen, that she would bring all of their prayers to the feet of her Son, the King. He certainly heard their prayers. The next morning she awoke from the coma, without any lasting injuries. Praise the Lord! I know for me, hearing others’ stories about God increases my faith. Now, being able to share it with you, I hope it increases yours. Blessed John Paul II said: “Faith is strengthened when it is shared with others.”
Also, this past Friday, Matt and I went to a small community called RayaYacu. We took the bus, which ended up taking over 3 hours. Then, we had to walk another 30 minutes to get to the community. We proceeded to go house to house inviting all of the people to join us later that day, in a couple of hours, for an assembly we were having for them. I believe almost 50 people came. We prayed and sang songs in Kichwa. I read from Scripture and we both gave a reflection and teaching about the Eucharist and Confession. At the end we asked each family, if they desired, to come to the front, and we would pray over them for those things the family needed. Most families asked for healing for the sick in their family, for help with food, and that their kids would grow to be honest servants of God. When I look at these people, I am amazed at their faith. I think to myself: “Oh Lord! How much I desire a faith like theirs!”
I pray that each of you may come to know and believe that you were made in the beautiful image of God. You have been set free, liberated from bondage to sin, by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Believe, with all of your heart, that you are no longer bound by the shackles of sin. Desire, to put on Christ, and to see with the light that illumines and exposes all things. Don’t say to yourself: “Well it is okay, Jesus loves me the way I am”. This is true but, now WE MUST do our part. No longer be satisfied with living in the muck of sin, it is not okay. He expects you to “be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect!”(Mt. 5:48) Scripture speaks about how we must do our part to be holy. You are worthy of His love and you are capable of being holy.
Thank you again, all of you, for all of you support and all of your prayers!. I cannot believe we have been here 9 months. It has been an incredible experience. May the everlasting peace of Christ be with each of you!
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