(ECUADOR/UPDATE) A 2020 Disciples Conference was Held from November 21st to 22nd
JESUS, MY ONLY LORD
Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Ecuador UBF had a disciples' conference on the weekend of November 21 and 22, 2020 at the Bible Center. At first, we wanted to hold the Easter conference in April, but due to the pandemic, our plan was canceled. For eight months, we were unable to worship God together and each struggled before the Word. The shepherdesses who had weak faith were in a difficult situation due to many problems and trials. Without concrete direction, we prayed to have a face-to-face conference in November, but I had doubts about how to achieve it in these circumstances. At the end of October, it seemed difficult to fulfill this purpose. I was afraid of the possibility of contracting the coronavirus in the middle of the conference, so I suggested that the conference would be held online.
One of the problems is that the Bible Center does not have Internet service, so it was not possible to have an online conference at the Center. I prayed but I thought negatively: 'If the situation is like this, I can do nothing'. But m. Ana advised me, saying, "So you have presented a prayer topic, do it in any way." I decided to consult God. I would get up and pray to God at 4 in the morning, asking for the help of God for His approval and a positive outcome.
Although we lacked many things, God helped us to prepare the messages that we had prepared for the Easter Conference -- to study His Word, listen to messages, testimonies, special exposition about the work of the Spirit, to have the discipleship ceremony of Sister Luisa Suárez, and to have the Hoy Supper. God gave us great grace through His Words, recognizing that gathering together to worship and to share the fellowship of the Word together is a great blessing and a great privilege.
First day: Saturday the 21st. Shepherdess Ester served breakfast, then we studied the words of John chapter 8 and meditated on the gravity of sin and the love of Jesus, who does not condemn sinners and gives them a new direction in life. At 11 am, Shepherdess Marcela delivered the message with the title: "There is no condemnation." She accepted the forgiving love of Jesus and prayed to forgive her father who committed adultery and also prayed that her father would perceive his sins and receive forgiveness from Jesus.
After lunch, we studied Romans chapter 10 and had time to confess that Jesus is our only Lord and also to give thanks for the grace and assurance of Jesus' salvation. Shepherdess Paula delivered the message with the title: "Jesus, my only Lord." Her testimony was that after the pandemic she worked in a hospital in her hometown of Esmeraldas (8 hours away from Guayaquil), prepared subjects to study in Spain (Specialty) and neglected her first encounter with Jesus, leaving communion with God through prayer and word. However, before and after this Conference, she prayed with missionary Ana online at 5 am, and this time she confessed again that Jesus is her only Lord.
Then a new testimony, with the title "From teacher of language and literature to teacher of the Holy Scriptures", was presented by Mrs. Rocío, who worked as a teacher with eight titles such as Spanish Literature, Ecuadorian Folk Dance and Theater. Currently, she is 65 years old and retired. She couldn't find a job because she was a senior citizen, even though she had so many titles. While reading the Bible, she had a problem with the worship of Catholic saints. She left the church and is teaching the Bible to about 10 friends and acquaintances, but she wasn't sure she was teaching correctly, so she was praying to God to find a Bible teacher. One day she came to the workplace of missionary Ana, then missionary Ana invited her to study the Bible with the confidence that God has guided her. Now she studied Genesis and John with us for more than a year, started Exodus, and is applying what she learned in her life. She is constantly studying the daily bread and the Word. I pray that God uses her preciously as a Bible teacher.
After sharing the testimony, we had a special exposition about the work of the Holy Spirit that Shepherdess Sara learned at the Latin American Leaders´ School, focusing on baptism and the fullness of the Holy Spirit. She was busy with various tasks, such as work in the hospital and in the Leaders´ School, yet she prepared and explained well the work of the Holy Spirit, especially the fullness of the Holy Spirit, based on the Bible. Through this, all participants had the desire to live a life filled with the Holy Spirit.
Second day: Sunday the 22nd. They came to the Bible center and had breakfast together, and we studied the words of Acts chapter 1 at 9:00. As we study the Word, we renew our desire to live as witnesses of Jesus to the ends of the earth, receiving the power of the Holy Spirit and being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. After the study, missionary André Kim delivered the Sunday worship message with the title: "You will receive power." He made the decision to be a missionary with the desire to be a great missionary, but he was suffering from the pandemic, from the economic problem, from the faith problem of his children, and from the problem of raising disciples, and he asked: “God, Is now the time to restore my life?" and he lived a self-centered and indifferent life, getting into his own problems. He repented of these before the word and made the decision to witness to Jesus until the end, leaving everything in the hand of God.
Discipleship Ceremony: After the worship service, we had the discipleship ceremony of Sister Luisa Suárez. She accepted God as her Father, while reading the Bible to her grandmother and struggling to live up to the word. She received discipleship training more than 2 years that others finish for 6 months, because, although she wanted to live according to God's word, she was not trained. We pray that God will use her preciously as a Bible teacher and shepherdess of the college students through the disciplines.
Next, we had the Holy Supper. We share the grace of participating in the flesh and blood of Jesus, reminding us of the meaning of the torn flesh and shed blood of Jesus on the cross, eating bread and drinking wine.
After this, Mrs. Rocío who shared her testimony said that she wanted to receive discipleship training. We pray that she can accept the mission of raising college students as disciples and serving the Lord's work together if it is God's will.
Personally, serving this Conference, I was able to experience the word of Ephesians 3:20 which says: "And to Him who is able to do all things much more than what we ask and understand, according to the power that works in us." Before the conference, we studied the book of Ephesians, and through the conference, we came to experience that God actually blesses us much more than we ask and pray. In addition, we learned that it is a great grace and a great privilege to come together to praise and share communion with the Word.
We pray that we continue to trust in the Holy Spirit, share communion with the Word, grow and be prepared as shepherds and missionaries that God can use as witnesses of Jesus Christ, to the ends of the earth; Jerusalem, North Korea and the Muslim countries in God's time. We praise and thank God who will make Ecuador a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
- Unworthy servant and debtor of the grace of the Lord Jesus, André Kim.
*Spanish and Korean translations are attached below.