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Had a great day today here in Birmingham. We had around 80 kids attend our football/cheer camp at Crestway Park. We had about 40 girls that attended the cheer camp and 38 guys that attended the football camp. Tyson Lee presented the gospel to all of the kids during our devotion time and I know that God is working in our leaders and students to come behind him and water those this week. Please pray that the kids hearts will be softened and that Pastor Andy and his congregation will have the opportunity to follow up and reach out to these families. This afternoon we put the first coat of paint on the meeting area that Renovate uses at Crestway Baptist Church. Andy is so pumped and gracious that their Calamine Lotions Pink walls are no more. We will put a second coat on tomorrow and touch up on Thursday afternoon. God bless and I will update y’all tomorrow.
Well, it’s that time to start packing up the air mattresses and throw away those dirty clothes. This week in West Memphis, there were friendships made, comfort zones broadened, and most importantly, a desire sparked in our youth. After spending this week going door to door in between paint strokes, our students have been burdened for the community. Not only where we are right now but where we will be coming back to tomorrow morning. Tonight, they reported 55 salvations through the sharing of Christ. This is a result of obedience.
It has been a blessing, not a burden, to have been able to work on these homes. Countless homeowners poured out their love on the kids providing their time and sweat this week. The main discussion for our last night is the necessity of the Gospel for our own community. There is a necessity for prayer over the lost that are at our back doors. A necessity for harvesters to enter into the field that God has been preparing. This is our calling. Not just a calling for the students this week. It is our purpose. We are to advance the Gospel. It has been a honor to serve alongside these students.
Just to add a small side note, the girls had to suffer after our group discussions due to a playful prank that involved deflating our beds. You can never fully prepare for a youth trip.
The trip to Memphis really went by fast with a stop in Tupelo to visit a friend. Along the way I pondered what the students had been doing during the day. I wondered about the neighborhood, the type of work, the people, the church where they were staying, and their reactions to all of it. I arrived to find shower trailers parked in the church parking lot with students PATIENTLY waiting their turn. Our adults met me in the parking lot shortly thereafter and we headed to supper. Imagine that, I arrived just in time to be fed!
However, what I wasn’t expecting was that I was about to be fed spiritually. There were the strange looks and hugs. One of our students was unusually hyper and couldn’t wait her turn to tell me about her day. She blurted out, “We led seven people to Christ today at my work site!” Her response was one of complete zeal, earnest excitement, and ultimate humility. She wanted none of the glory. She wanted Christ to have every bit of it. All I could do was think about Philippians 2:2-4, which says, “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.”
Our students made my joy complete today. I was blessed and blessed and blessed some more as they shared about their day with me. They fulfilled Matthew 5:16. Praise the Lord for our students.
Air mattresses blown up. Bags across the floor. Snacks at every bedside. We are at world changers! Crews went out today to get a start on their projects. They are doing everything from painting, tearing down sheds, and even repairing fire damaged wood. The kids are motivated and challenged to be selfless this week by putting others before themselves. This has not been a burden to them. Our ‘saw teeth’ crew was hard at work today; accomplishing much more than we expected to.
Isaac Saint wanted to share a little bit of how he feels about World Changers. “This week has been awesome and it is only the first day. If someone hasn’t experienced World Changers, then they should.”
Elizabeth Malone has been assigned to be a crew encourager for this week. But, she found herself being the one encouraged by the students on the work site. She said it was exciting getting to know kids from so many places in the U.S. but also from our own church.
We had beautiful weather today as well as groups being bold about the Gospel. Many crews intentionally went out into the community to evangelize. And this is only day one!
Yesterday was the last day in clinic. It was a day to remember. Saw a patient in his twenties. He lived on the street because his family had kicked him out because of his choices he had made and friends he had. Complained of stomach pain due to drinking a fifth of liquor everyday! Starting sharing the gospel with him and he had never heard about Jesus. Never knew that someone loved him so much they were willing to die for them. He prayed that God would save him and release him from his addictions! I introduced him to the local pastor who committed to disciple this young man into becoming the man God wanted him to be. We talked about being reconciled back to his family and that his “new church family” would help him. This is why I go on mission trips. To God be the glory!
After clinic we had a farewell dinner with the translators and the pastors we worked with this week. It was a time of celebration as we reflected on what God had done through us and to us this week. We laid hands on the pastors and prayed for them. Specifically prayed for the task we are leaving them with….discipling all these new believers. Taking them from newborn Christians and feeding them the pure milk of the Word of God to a mature believer who is a disciple-maker themselves.
It was a good day. Reminds me a poem a 98 year old patient recites to me every time he visits my office. Today “I am drinking from the saucer because my cup has overflowed”
Terry Westmoreland M.D.
Today we worked with Pastor Julio Zambrano in the city of Ibarra to establish a church, evangelize the people in the area, and equip them with materials to aide in the furtherance of the Kingdom as well as equip them with the ability to become better disciples. 100 medical and 41 eye patients came through today with 80 professions. Please continue to keep the pastors and new believers in your prayers as we continue home, because the work has just begun and the battle for souls rages on. The pictures below are of children today and the pastors with their wives of the eight church plants for the week. Dios bendiga. God bless you. Alicia.
We worked in a village high in the Andes today. The view from the clinic was breath-taking. We worked with a pastor who had a vision for this community to start a new church. He has only been a Christian for 3 years. He became a Christian and was baptized one month and surrendered to the ministry 3 months later and baptized his first 6 church members 3 months after that! His small group of believers began praying to The Lord to help them find some property in this community to start a church. They asked God to help them purchase it in a year. Three months later a woman donated the land to the church! Our work in the medical clinic today was the jump start of a new church that will be started there. Many people came to The Lord today and the local believers were eager to start discipling these new believers.
I wanted to give everyone an idea of what a normal day on the mission field is for me and my family with E3 Partners.
We have a team meeting at 7AM with worship and a short devotional and prayer time
8:00 get on buses going to our locations. On this trip we have two teams so we will go to 8 different locations this week. Length of the trip ranges from 30 to 90 minutes.
9:00 arrive at site. Meet the pastor and evaluate what the facilities are where we are going to set up clinic . This year we have met in schools and community building. We move tables and chairs around to make up several stations. We have a registration area where the patients are registered. We usually set a number of patients we will see in the medical and eye clinic based on the number of providers and how long we are staying in an area. This is determined before clinic starts. For example today we planned on seeing 60 patients so we gave out 60 numbered stickers to people. This was their “ticket” to the clinic. Unfortunately, it you didn’t have a sticker, you would not be seen. After registration, the patient would go to triage where they would be assessed by a nurse and find out why they were here. Vital signs or any other test would be done then. Then the patient would see the doctor, be evaluated and then sent to pharmacy. After they received their meds, they would go to spiritual counseling.
If the patient chose the eye team, they would go straight to the clinic, be evaluated for glasses and then sent to spiritual counseling.
At any point during the patients visit, team member are encouraged to pray over the patient and witness to them if the Spirit leads. The goal of the medical clinic is for people to be “touched” multiple times during a visit. All patients seen in clinic go to spiritual counseling. If they are a believer, they are prayed over for any issues in their life as well as physical healing. They are also encouraged and trained on how to share their faith more effectively. If they are an unbeliever, the gospel will be shared with them.
Not on all E3 trips, but on this one we have had a children’s team. While people were seen in clinic, team members would have activities for the kids like crafts and games and the gospel is presented to them via the salvation bracelets or the evangecube.
After clinic, the pastor and the local believers usually schedule a Bible study/discipleship with the new believers and anyone who is interested. Further follow-up sessions are planned then.
We usually get back to the hotel around 6
6:30 we have a debrief session where people share how their day went. Usually very emotional time. We have had several share that this was the first time that they have ever shared the gospel with anyone before. It is life changing for them as well as to the ones they share with.
8:30 free time that is usually when I blog:)
Starts all over the next day!
Terry Westmoreland MD
We had another great day today in Santa Lucia, Ecuador. We were working with Pastor Alvarez to help plant a church in this area. We set up clinic in a community building and our evangelism team was going to set up in the hot sun of Ecuador but one of the Nationals knew a fireman and within minutes, they were setting up a tent for our team to share Christ.(picture below) How awesome is our God! We saw 115 in the medical clinic and 64 in the eye clinic with 73 professions. The wonderful ending of our day in Santa Lucia was when 30 adults and 15 children came back at 5:00 for their first Bible study and several locals volunteered their homes for a location to have church. Amen!! One of the pictures below is of the team Alicia and I are working with and the other is Alicia loving children. The Westmoreland crew is on another team about this same size so we are in two different areas each day. Each morning and evening we have team worship and tonight was a special time with our translators as we reflected on the divine appointments team members had today. Tears were flowing as testimonies were given of hearts and lives being changed in the Ecuadorian people but also within our team of Americans and our translators. Our God is great! We are blessed! Thank you for continuing to pray. Karen
Today we traveled down the mountain to a former African slave village. These people were very poor with lots of needs. Our team saw about 70 medical and 60 in the eye clinic. We were able to try and help these people both spiritually and physically.
As a mom it was overwhelming to see your children adapt to the environment and show love to these people. Carrie literally carried the pastors wife’s baby around all day never complaining. I saw Cason paint little girl fingernails (don’t tell him I told) and Caleb continuing with evangelism.
One highlight of the day was a sweet older man who could not read anything. We were able to fit him with reading glasses and pray with him. The picture below says it all
Highlight of my day was eye patient number 61. We were only going to see 60 and I have to admit I was a bit irritated one more came in! The lady hugged me, thanked me for coming to her country and told me she was a believer that would be praying for me. God always knows when we might need that extra touch that changes our attitude in a split second.
I am blessed. It was a good day in the field.
The pastor’s name of the church we were working with today is David and his wife is Linda. We were working at a school out of a couple of classrooms today. The principal gave us permission to give vitamins to all of the students (approximately 100) and some of our students were able to go into a classroom and share the evangecube along with some health education on germs, washing hands, etc. We were able to see approximately 190 in the medical and eye clinic. Alicia and I have been running the pharmacy along with our translator but Alicia has had the flexibility to minister to children and take pictures. She met a special little boy today named Sebastian and shared the evangecube. He goes to church with his parents but wasn’t quite ready to make a decision. He came back looking for her in the pharmacy and she dictated to a translator so he could write down on a paper bag the story of Jesus in Spanish that the evangecube portrays through pictures so Sebastian can tell the story to others. This act of love, concern and seed planting was incredible to see as a parent. Another great day with 55 professions.