David and Cecilia, along with their sons, Nicolás and Lucas, are still working hard to spread the Gospel message even though restrictions make it difficult. This update came from Cecilia on December 7th:
Every first week of the month we continue to have a week of fasting and prayer for our families, the church, the city of Coria and villages around. We finish Sunday praying for the persecuted church and with Santa Cena, although the latter we can not celebrate due to Covid-19 safety issues. We thank our sisters and brothers from different parts of the world for being part of this through their prayers and offerings. Sending all our love to each one of you and praying for blessings and for your lives.
You can send greetings to the Molina Family with an email to: email@example.com
In November the church in the Philippines was dealing with a second major typhoon to hit that country during the season. The first was a super typhoon. It left many homes and businesses flooded and people in need. The second one was lighter, but brought even more rain and flooding. The Brethren churches were busy working with others to help their communities where ever they could. Even now, they ask that you continue to pray for the recovery from these typhoons.
As the country begins to open back up in the midst of this pandemic, The Brethren Church, led by Gary Castro, is slowly opening up for in-person services. They also continue to broadcast their services online for all who can’t get to church. Recently they held their annual planning meeting, looking ahead to their ministry during 2021.
We continue to hear of amazing things happening in Paraguay. As I reported in July, they had started ministering to the small barrio of Ypani where they were feeding about 185 people daily. That number has grown to over 800 people as the need is so great. Extra funds were sent to them for this ministry. Also, I reported that because of the love of the Brethren from Asunción, the people of Ypani desired to have a church where they could gather to worship together. That is becoming a reality as they have received some land and they have started constructing a basic place for worship in their community.
Additionally, the Brethren Church in Asunción has started similar work in Iuque (AyeUnKay). This is an area near the Asunción Airport. It is certainly an exciting time in the Brethren Church of Paraguay.
Our Good Shepherd Orphanage had a special celebration for family and friends on Christmas. They were glad to be together for a wonderful meal.
Right now Italo needs our special prayers. His cancer treatment has been sporadic because of the pandemic. The results of that are that his extremities were swelling causing much concern. This was a report that came from Rebecca’s sister on December 30th:
“I just spoke to Rebecca. Italo is up and about today for the first time since he had so much swelling after Christmas Eve. They have tickets and appointments for Lima from January 5-13. Pastor Segundo’s wife will stay with Rebecca and help with the children. The two oldest girls will be studying for the next two months to try to recover their year’s losses. David is also continuing, trying to finish his course work. My impression is that things are looking up. Thanks so much for everything.”
On January 5th Italo and David were finally able to travel to Lima. After having some tests, it was determined that his hemoglobin was low and that he was in need of a blood transfusion. Many friends in Lima came through by donating blood and helping to get what was needed. On Sunday, January 10 Italo got the PET SCAN. This message is from David dated January 12th: “Thank you all for your support and prayers, my dad had his blood transfusion yesterday, he’s feeling much better, also gave us positive answers regarding his cancer treatment.” Please continue praying for Italo, Rebecca, David, and the children in their care.
Our partners in Argentina had an amazing baptism recently. One member stated that it was a good start to the week. On a Sunday afternoon in December many took this step of faith, 18 in all. As the congregation of Ministerio del Redentor, they keep seeing the Love of God!
Pastor Luis Angel Morillas and Elena Prado both held special Christmas events for children in Ticlio Chico and Pucasana respectively, and both were overwhelmingly a resounding success. The National Office and Global Partners Team was able to help with some financing for those events.
Pastor Luis Angel reports that he is mentoring a young lady into leadership for Ticlio Chico, so that should be an amazing bit of news and ministry in the coming months.
Sympathies extended to the Miranda Family
We received word that Gladys Miranda passed away on December 30, 2020. Gladys was the wife of former Brethren pastor, Gus Miranda, and the daughter-in-law of retired missionary Juan Carlos Miranda and his wife, Maria. Please continue to prayer for this family.
Colombia has gradually been resuming some in-person ministries but continues to use the internet to reach people. Their technology has allowed them to broadcast worship and sermons by multiple people from different locations at the same time. Pictured are Pastor Marcelo Ferreri, Adriana & Adrian Castillo, and the worship team including Milena and Jana Ferreri:
The 2019-2020 National W.M.S. project was for the renovation project at the Medellin Brethren Church. It is being used to provide space for their children’s ministry. I am hoping to be able to share pictures of the work soon. At the end of the year, we had collected just under $5,400 to be sent to them for this project. Thank you for your generous giving to the Brethren in Colombia.
In the Fall we received news from the Kumars that sadly two of the village pastors had passed away, one was Covid-19 related and the other was not. These faithful servants of the Lord were Rev. Gabriel K.and Pastor George K. They will be greatly missed in their villages. I was also sorry to hear that the sewing teacher passed away due to Covid-19. Most of India is still locked down during this pandemic, and because of that, the government closed churches and orphanages throughout the country in the Fall. Nirmala was forced to send the children with their parents back to their homes. She used sponsorship funds to send to these families to help them during that time. As of today, the children have not been allowed to return to the orphanage because the government has yet to give the go-ahead to anyone. Students, such as Sudhir & Latha’s children (Sherill, Samuel, and Sunisha), are able to are keeping up with their classes online, but most of the orphan children do not have that capability. Nirmala is hopeful that the children will be able to return next month. They have opened the church for limited services in Rajahmundry. We would ask you to be in prayer for Prasanth and Nirmala. Prasanth has had several medical issues over the years which continues to slow his pace of life and personal ministry down. Sudhir says that none of these issues are Covid-19 related. He has diabetic neuropathy which is often slow and progressive in nature. While we pray for a full recovery, we recognize that our bodies are not designed to last forever. On a celebratory note, Prasanth and Nirmala recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary and completed their 51st year of ministry in India.