News

The need is big, but we are dreaming even bigger

A few years ago I interviewed Marcela Gómez, an anthropologist from Colombia, that was doing some work in a few communities in the northwest of Guayaquil. She was hired by Hogar de Cristo to developed a program that could help the women from these areas to revalue themselves as human beings. Before she went to these poor areas of the city, she went online and Googled the phrase: “northwest of Guayaquil”. What she found surprised her. All the news related to these areas of the city were terrible: “People being killed, robbed, assaulted, harassed”.
 
Marcela worked with these women for eight months with workshops on self-esteem and related issues, female leadership, personal growth and women empowerment. The first day of the workshop she asked the women What they were good at. Nobody said anything, deep inside them and because of their exposure to News that said how terrible their neighborhoods are, they thought they were worth nothing.
 
When the program ended these women believed they were good at something: cooking, sewing, baking, that no matter what the media or society says, they are people with rights and thoughts. At the very end they made a photo shoot of the things they were good at and made an exhibition in a local museum in Guayaquil where the pictures were presented for people to see, the exhibition was called: “Nosotras las mujeres del noreste de Guayaquil” (We, the women from the northwest of Guayaquil).
 
Faro de Esperanza works in communities just like the ones where Marcela worked. Some of the places like Monte Sinaí, Valerio Estacio, Ciudad de Dios are communities close to Bastión Popular, also located at the northwest of Guayaquil, where our partner churches and ministries like Hope of Bastión School are. In areas like this, with day-to-day problems about drugs, gangs and extreme poverty, people live, some survive and all of them see themselves as part of their surrounding. As I shared before, people end up believing they deserve what they have; our youth end up believing life is about having sex, using drugs, having babies at such a young age. Women believe they are not good at anything because that is what they see, that is the only thing newspapers talk about.
 
At Faro de Esperanza we are challenging ourselves to work more integrally in the lives of the kids, youth and adults that attend our camp programs. Also, we are thinking in new ways to approach the communities with programs that could help, not only their hearts, their lives as christians, but also their lives as families, communities.
 
The need is big, but we are dreaming even bigger. We want to run workshops for kids, youth and adults that could help them in their life as individuals and as part of a community. We want to work with other organizations. We want to work with you through partnership and through short term mission trips. We want to help communities like Bastión, Sauces, Tiwinza, San Vicente, Arenal and other places in need in Ecuador, we want to bring hope and knowledge, develop permanent ministries like kids or youth clubs, in places like Tiwinza or San Vicente, or build a library or a computer lab. We have big ideas and a heart full of passion.
 
For now I invite you to support us. Forward this story to a friend. Donate. Write to us, tell us how you want to help or Pray for us. In any case we will be blessed.
 
Thank you for reading.
 
God is good!
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Stand firm and immovable

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

It is so satisfying to see how our God works every day in different ways in our lives and to know that he uses us for his perfect work.

We are grateful for the first event we had prior the 2017 camp season: “Youth Conference and concert”, which was about “Being mature and to serve”. It was a great time of two days in which we could see many young people who are involved in one way or another with the ministry in their churches and, at the same time, we could felt how our youth are joining the great work of our God.

As we said on one of those nights, God has one purposes for the life of every youth that was in that conference and our goal as the Ministries Committe was that they can grow in their Spiritual life and in that way they can serve in their churches, in their homes, neighborhoods, or wherever the Lord gives them the opportunity to serve.

We want to thank our brother Ricardo Freire, preacher, since he shared his knowledge on the subject, from his experience as a believer and knowing he does a great job sharing the Word of God in many places where the Lord opens him doors.

This is only the beginning and as Ministries Committee we want our brothers and sister who want to collaborate in the 2017 camp season can be challenged not only to serve within the camp season but in their commnities, and that they can make wise decisions in and for their lives.

We stand firm in His work and we let Him use our lives in order to make His word known and show His unconditional Love.

God is good.

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We are looking forward to the beginning of the Bible Camps 2018

By Ivan Montiel, Ministries Director

We are only a few days away from the beginning of our first week of camp, our team is eager and motivated to welcome our first campers!

We believe, as we do every year, that God will guide us and provide, in order to carry out this ministry according to His Will. At this moment we are praying, planning and organizing and  also counting on the help of our brothers and sisters from our partner churches in Canada and United States. We trust  that they will be praying, and also, for those who are coming as part of a team, that they will be inspired and motivated to come and share God's love with children and youth.

This February 19th  our first week of camp begins for children who come from our churches and communities in Guayaquil. Maria Jose Mera and Jennifer Coronel, from the Christian Church Bastion Popular Block 6, will lead these first two weeks of camp. They are intelligent and capable girls, seeking to honor God in their lives. The most interesting thing is that their love for Jesus has led them to be involved with the children’s ministries in their church, and therefore, we have not found more capable people like them to lead the children's weeks. We ask for prayer for their lives, their families and their time dedicated to the camp ministry this season.

We also ask for prayers for the administration, for the ministry committee overseeing the camp program, for the staff team, for the partner churches of Canada and United States that, in some way or another, are involved in this ministry, for the children that are about to come, for the youth. For each person that is directly or indirectly part of our Bible Camp Ministry.

We have seen over and over again, how your prayers and contributions, partnering with us in this ministry have had an invaluable impact on God's eternal plan and purposes in the lives of those involved.

We thank you in advance, and may you be blessed by the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Season 2018

  Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
 Dates February 19 - 24 February 26 - 3 March 12 - 17 March 19 -24 April 6, 7 y 8 July 27, 28, 29
 Groups Chlidren Guayaquil Children Playas Junior youth Guayaquil Junior youth Playas Senior youth Family camp
  Bastión Popular bloque 10, bloque 6 and Sauces Las Jaguitas, Communities from Playas Bastión Popular bloque 10, bloque 6 and Sauces Onzole, Las Jaguitas, communities from Playas Líderes de FE members Bastión Popular bloque 10, bloque 6, Sauces + Playas
  Fall River Chapel   Woodside Bible Fellowship      

 

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Bible Camp…deep, spiritual and eternal effect

[The Bible Camp Ministry is an opportunity to me to observe and get excited to see each child and youth walking while carrying their bible with them, memorizing bible passages, to earn points for their teams, yes, but it is surprising to know how God uses a game to turn it into an activity of deep, spiritual and eternal effect. I do not know how or when the Word of God will be used or will bear fruit in the lives of these children and youths, but one of the bible principles that I can remember is that the Word of God never returns void.

Something I have learned throughout my Christian life, is that the Word of God is a powerful weapon that can be used in any circumstance of our life. The experience of these children and youths with her will have an effect, in the short or long term, that will depend on the circumstances that each of them is going through. Keeping it in our mind and heart guarantees that we will have truths and principles to be used in relevant moments of our lives. I ask that we pray that the Word of God itself will confront the consciences of every child or youth that memorized it.

There is so much to be thankful for this 2018 Bible Camp season. We are thankful for our staff, for what God did for them and what they did for God during this time.

For many members of our staff, the Bible Camp Ministry meant challenge, gratitude, reconciliation, learning, motivation and, for some others, it meant returning back home. Some of them thought they were not capable enough and the devil made them believed that they were not useful, that stopped them from serving and using their gifts and talents. This Ministry is not there to take their gifts and talents away, but so that they can take them and put them into practice. I still can not forget the faces of the people who were going to be part of the staff for the first time: Conny, Samuel, Raquel, Emily, Gabriela, Selen, and there are many others. Their faces of concern made me identify with them, since their experience caused me the same questions.

How do I do it? What do I say?

And I am sure it was a challenge for many of them and for me, not only to serve, but to learn.

Others were able to reconcile with God. I do not know much about the reasons, the causes, or the circumstances for the distancing that some of them have had from God, I only know that God used this Ministry to resolve and restore lives.

Please, pray for the staff, for each child and youth who made the decision for Christ, and for the future financing of the 2019 Bible Camp season.

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Six months full of blessings

[:en]Doing a retrospective in this month that marks half of the year, we can not do anything but thank God for all those blessings we have received at Faro de Esperanza. These blessings come in various forms, but above all in the forms of people and of wills.

In January 2018, a group of people from some Christian communities in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, arrived to Ecuador to do some maintenance work at Campamento Faro de Esperanza. We deeply thank Dale Freeman, Claude Martin. Nathan Whatley, Harry Bauman, Gary & Tara Bott and Ken Bott (Canada) and Alex Pizarro, Jamil Delgado, Adrian Ortega, Quinde Garcia Family, Ruth Robles, Iván Montiel, Carlos & Rebeca Ortega and Johanna Zambrano (Ecuador). Thank you for your love and commitment to this ministry and care for the Camp.

Later on, since February, we received the team from Canada that joined our 2018 Bible Camp Ministry, the communities of Fall River in Halifax and Woodside in Waterloo. Thank you for coming and joining our team in the camp season here in Ecuador. Thanks also to the churches of Wallenstein Bible Chapel, ForestView Church Without Walls, Valley Bible Chapel and Terrill Road Bible Chapel, and all the individual people who, although they did not come, supported our Bible Camp Ministry and support us monthly at Faro de Esperanza.

During my visit to Canada in 2016, I had the opportunity to visit, along with Jeremy Horne, Camp Crossroads where we met and talked to its Director, Andrew Hiebert. In the month of March 2018 this event was repeated, but backwards, we received the visit of Andrew who shared with us a few days of the last week of the junior youth camp week at our Bible Camp Ministry and also had a workshop on leadership with the people that are members of the Board of Faro de Esperanza. From this visit, we continue having a conversation with Andrew and we are praying and dreaming about the possibilities of collaboration, exchange and cooperation between Camp Crossroads and Faro de Esperanza.

I could fill entire pages with names of people who are part of our organization, from Ecuador, the United States, Canada, and from other latitudes, who pray, get involved or support us in one way or another, to all of you, thank you very much.

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Our finances and needs

We are very grateful for your constant prayers, this May 2018 God has provided us to continue covering the monthly expenses we have every month. Just last weekend we had a church renting our Camp, with that we covered the expenses of the Ministries and the Camp of May. Let us continue praying so that other churches can come and rent our facilities and so we have recourses to cover all the expeses we have each month.

I would like to share with you that one of the priority needs we have at Camp is to be able to renew all the mattresses in the cabins. The previous year, in the month of October 2017, we managed to buy 25 new mattresses, this year we want, Gods Will, to buy 25 new ones, since the ones we have are worn out by years of use. The cost for 25 mattresses is around USD 2 thousand dollars.

We continue to improve our finance area, this year we implemented an accounting system which allows us to see in a clearly and easily way how we are investing the resources we receive -both from offerings from abroad and resources generated by rentals and local offerings-, thanks to God Betsy, our new accountant, is working with us in this area.

Since last year and as a way to be more transparent with the recourses we received and manage, we have uploaded our annual income and expenses report to our website so that all the people interested can verify that the resources we receive and those generated by self-management are being used correctly. Remember that, our fiscal year runs from August to July of each year, that is, the income and expenses report from August 2017 to July 2018 will be available this coming August 2018.

Let us continue praying for God's care for the Camp and the Ministries at Faro de Esperanza, may God give us wisdom in our work.

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All these things will be given to you as well

This June we started our Ministry of Children and Youth in General Villamil Playas, the city where our Camp facilities are located, and without doubt our God is kind, in addition He listens and knows our needs. A few months ago, for example, we prayed for people that could collaborate in the Ministries of Faro de Esperanza and, thank the Lord, that need was provided.

A week before we start our Children's Ministry, Dennise Dillon and the team of collaborators visited the homes of the children in Playas to invite them to the inauguration event. That day two young guys from the community of Tiwinza, who had come to our Bible Camp Ministry years before, approached us and asked us to pray for the health of their parents. They also asked us to pray for God's protection for them, because they had to spend long hours alone at home, since their mothers had to be in the hospital taking care of their husbands.

This situation left me thinking, how God has strengthened the bonds between the communities and us as a ministry over the years, personally I feel fortunate to be a witness of these children's faith, and of course, as part of FE it is a priority to be praying for them and their families.

Another news, this July is the Family Camp that is arrange for the people of our partner churches in Ecuador, many of our brothers and sisters are excited for this coming time and, at the same time, we trust in God so that it can be done, acording to His Will.

As I said before, God knows our needs and He is greater than any situation we might face, we fully trust that He is aware of our needs and does all things according to his holy Will.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”, Matthew 6:33

We ask you to pray for the children and youth of the communities in San Vicente, Tiwinza, Bellavista, La Planta and El Arenal, in Playas.

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Trust, wait and learn

I have heard many times this sentence: "this is God´s Will". Many of us find it hard to live and experience that truth. I am sure that if we lived more often the "Will of God", we would know which is the right direction in any situation.

This year we could not host the Family Bible Camp for our Churches and Associated Communities of Ecuador, without doubt we are very sorry we were not able to have this time with our brothers and sister, but we trust and depend on God and His will.

One Sunday morning I had to visit the Iglesia Sauces 5, to announce that the Family Bible Camp was not going to happen this year, a brother of that congregation told me: "Brother, the will of God is perfect, we do not need to go against it". When this man told me these words, I understood that God is guiding and has control of all situations, we can only trust, wait and learn from His purposes.

Youth´s Ministry

On Saturday, July 14th, we visited our Faro de Esperanza Camp and God, once again, showed us his will and faithfulness. That day, 17 young people attended the Youth Ministry of Playas, we are happy with these guys because many of them show faithfulnes and have a desire to participate and learn from the Bible and God. They have begun their path into faith, we believe that this is what they need, we hope that as time goes by and with the help of God, they can understand and know that our faith in Jesus Christ is a principle of action that motivates our daily life.

Children's Ministry

In the same way, on July 28th, we returned to our Faro de Esperanza Camp to carry out the Children's Ministry, we had about 15 children and we remain grateful to God for their faithfuness and for providing resources for the Ministries FE.

It's funny, but we love to see the children from the communities near our Camp make a fuss, run from one place to another each time our ministry staff go to look for them at their homes. Over the time they have learned to identify us from a distance, these actions make us happy and captivate us, we hope to continue producing that kind of reaction on the kids for a long time, we also hope that God can do his will through the spiritual work we do with these children, youth and the families from these communities.[:]

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Introducing FE´s new President and Vice President

A new beginning starts for a ministry that many of us carry in our hearts. From August 2018, David Dillon and Diana Lucas will take the challenge of leading the paths of Faro de Esperanza for the next four years. Both were elected by the Asamblea General as responsible for the organization and will work together with Ivan Montiel, Ministries Director, and Johanna Zambrano, Administrator, in the decision making and guidance of the organization. In addition, Ibis Espinoza will be collaborating in the Treasury and Edy Gómez in the General Secretariat at FE.

In the last year and a half, the work within Faro de Esperanza has been intense but full of satisfactions. This internal restructure, which often is not seen, was focused on making our organization more efficient, more transparent and responsible with the people who support us, those who work and pray for and with us, and those for whom we work, the children, youth and adults that are part of our ministries.

In this process, we built our Internal Regulations for Faro de Esperanza, a legal instrument that defines our processes, mechanisms and the actions of the members of Faro de Esperanza and the Board of Directors when making decisions that affect the organization. We updated roles, with their rights and responsibilities for all FE collaborators, including the President and Vice President.

In an effort to position our brand and the services we provide through Faro de Esperanza Camp to churches and ministries in Ecuador, we made the decision to redefine our visual image and brand. Thus, we went from Campamento el Faro, to recover our original name and become Faro de Esperanza, a brand that covers both our Camp located in General Villamil Playas, as well as the different ministries that we carry out from the organization.

Since January 2018, we decided it was time to make our ministries somewhat more stable and with a long term vision. That is why we appointed a Ministries Director, a responsible, capable and heartfelt person to guide the paths of what constitutes the heart of our organization, that is, the work with children, youth and adults.

From that idea, we asked Ivan Montiel to join the team under this position. We have noticed that now our ministries have a deeper reason to exist and have diversified. For example, we no longer only have the Bible Camp Ministry every year, but also the Children's Ministry, the Youth Ministry, the Christmas Program of FE and, soon, the Ministry of Leaders.

This is a summary of everything that has been achieved as a team in recent years.

David and Diana have been part of this restructure, contributing from their experiences and knowledge ideas, programs and projects to make FE a better ministry, up to the trust that we have received from God that allows us to serve here.

May these changes, needed in life, mean the growth of trust, love, commitment that you have towards this organization.

On behalf of the Asamblea General of Faro de Esperanza, Ibis Espinoza, Edy Gómez, Ivan Montiel, Johnna Zambrano, Felipe Chilan, Carlos Ortega, Janna Wilks, Dale Horst and Daniel Lucas, we wish you blessings in your management.

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The Light of Jesus in our lives

“You are the light of the world”, Matthew 5:14-16.

Faro de Esperanza wants to be a light in the communities of Playas. In the recent months, while the FE Ministries with Children and Youth are being held in our Camp, I have been thinking about how we are lights thanks to the Lord.
I am glad to know that God has given us the ability to reflect His light, in a world where very few people know him. At some point we were also in darkness, but when the Lord came to our lives, we became a reflection of His light. How do we reflect the light of God?: through our life and testimony, that is the answer.
Some time ago I heard an illustration that I loved and it makes me meditate on the work that is being done through the FE Ministries:

"How long does the light of a candle last? Of course, until the candle goes out. But if we light another candle with it, the light will double its strength. Will the light on the first candle decrease because the second candle was lighted? No. What happens if we use the second candle to light a third candle? Will the light of the second diminish? It will not. The light of each candle will last until the candle has been consumed. But when the first candle goes out, the second candle will still be lighted, and when it is consumed, the third candle will continue to shine. "
How many lights do we have lighted in our Children, Youth Ministries or in our communities, how many lights are still waiting to be lighted? We want to remain in the conviction of having lights shining and helping others that are about to go out to keep going. That is why we trust God for strengths to continue speaking about Jesus as the Light of the world.

Speaking lights, this month of August we as FE Ministries had the opportunity to serve and be testimonies in another community here in Ecuador. We were invited by the D.C.B. Ministry (Challenging the Battlefield Ministry), led by our brother Geovanny Arévalo, to a Camp Ministry that was held in Canoa, Manabí. It was strange at first, because it was very different from what we are used to doing in our Bible Camps Ministry. Different people, place and atmosphere of service, but in the end it has the same purpose, to be lights and witness for young campers and for a community, Canoa, who knows very little about Jesus. I thank God for this time and for the challenges that we have to face in the different ministries.

This month I had to learn and experience that service, in spite of a place, people, and conditions, is the result of the testimony of the light of Jesus in our lives.

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