(Ecuador CNSAM). The Church of the Nazarene celebrated its first 40 years of ministry in Ecuador, an accomplishment which could not be overlooked by the Nazarenes in this Andean country. It is not every day that one celebrates their Ruby Anniversary. For this great occasion, the church organized a three-day event on March 23 – 25 in Guayaquil, the city where the Church of the Nazarene was begun in 1972.
Among the 12 speakers were Dr. Graves, the General Superintendent in jurisdiction; Dr. Louie Bustle, ex-director of Global Mission; Dr. Christian Sarmiento, Regional Director; Rev. Dwight Rich, Strategic Coordinator of the North Andean Field; and Rev. Adalberto Herrera, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Cali, Colombia. Other speakers included some of the more well-known men of the country such as Jean David Larochelle; Hernán Puga, District Superintendent; and Pastor Pedro Campusano, one of the first Ecuadorian pastors of the denomination.
One person we could not overlook was Pastor Alfredo Swain and his wife, Arlene, the missionaries who began the work in Ecuador. “I still remember the first service on the streets of Guayaquil…and still today, I see God’s hand moving in this beautiful country,” said Swain in his emotion-filled sermon. However, his sermon was much more than a simple remembrance. It moved the Ecuadorian church to see the great love that a foreigner has for Ecuador.
Taking advantage of the occasion, Dr. Graves ordained eight new elders.
The Costa District and the North Andean field office were in charge of the organization of the event. More than 1,500 attended the event held in the Convention Center of the Guayaquil Sports Commission. The last day was held in an enclosed stadium.
Other key moments included the challenge to the church. The District Superintendents of the six districts set a goal to reach 25,000 members by 2015, in other words, 11,000 new members in four years. The final question of the event was, “What are you going to do?”
Reported by Leo Longo, Communication Coordinator of the North Andean Field.
Translation: Cheryl Cox.