Tagged: ecuador

Columbia&Ecuador

Ecuador Trip Report

March 8 –  21, 2008

Dear friends, brothers, and sisters in our Lord, Jesus Christ;

By the Grace of our Lord, it happened again that we journeyed into a mission trip to Colombia & another to Ecuador.  During the first time we were there in 2007, our host, missionary Timothy Anderson, told us the necessity of two rooms for schools to be built in the Amazon Jungle.  Personally, I didn’t know how that would happen because there was a sum of $6,000 for materials, material transportation, and tools needed for the project.  In addition to that, there were framers needed to complete the construction.  I presented this plan to my home church, Golgotha Pentecostal Romanian Church, after the first mission there.  Sorin Puha, a deacon Golgotha Church, was very interested in the jungle project (being a very good framer too).  The other members of the committee didn’t show as much interest at the time but when the Lord’s will is to accomplish a purpose, He will prepare all the things necessary.
Shortly after I presented this project pastor Cornel Ianchici, from Philadelphia Romania Pentecostal Church, visited our church one Sunday morning and preached a message about missionary work.  During the message, he said “…maybe God needs a framer somewhere…”  It was enough to understand that this is another man that God wants involved in the framing in the Amazon Jungle.  Towards the end of the service, I approached him and I told him “You are the answer for the jungle project to be complete because God really needs framers in Ecuador.”  After he spoke with his wife, he agreed to embark on the mission trip to complete the framing project and not only that.  Another three men that voluntarily were willing to join us were George Ieremciuc & Stefan Piuian from Bethany Romanian Pentecostal Church and Dorel Sav from Golgotha Church (who was very anxious to come).  God not only prepared the team but also the funds that were needed for the two schools.  Adrian Oros, a friend of mine, had in his heart to help one school with $3,000 and Emanuel Romanian Church participated with an offer of $3000 for the second school.  When things happen in the spiritual realm, they are fulfilled in the natural realm in a wonderful way that only God can prepare in harmony.  I learned this through the course of years that the will of the Lord is the most important factor that we have to follow in our life and mission.
In order to reach Colombia, the country that I had in my heart for many years, I contacted brother Hames Munoz a resident of Colombia living in the United States.  He prepared the arrangements for the mission to Bogota, Colombia.  Even in a time of turmoil and rumors of wars, we had decided to go to Colombia in very bad circumstances when they were in the midst of being threatened with war from Venezuela and Ecuador.
Our team departed from Chicago on March 8, 2008 and arrived at night in Bogota, Colombia.  Hames Munoz and his family waited for us at the airport and drove us to one of his apartment buildings in Bogota.
On Sunday, March 9, we began our mission as we arrived at Iglesia Cruzada Cristiana El Vergel at their 8am service.  Pastor Fabio Alonzo P. welcomed us along with the entire congregation.  He presented our team to the church and pastor Cornel Ianchici preached a message of peace.  For the second service (which began at 10am with another group of members) I preached an evangelistic message ‘The obstacles to come to Christ’ (Luke 19:1-10).  Everyone from our team had an opportunity to greet the church.  After the service was over, the pastor took us for a tour and showed us the building and his vision and asked us to pray on the top of the roof for the city of Bogota.  He urged us to ask God to unlock many hearts to receive Christ from this country where there is a lot of oppression and danger.
Around noon on the same day, we left and headed to another church, Iglesia Cristiana Cuadrangular which was located in a very poor and dangerous area.  A lot of people were expecting us and welcomed us with joy and happiness.  Pastor Cupertino Hernandez, the leader of this church and a man of prayer, asked us to greet the church.  George Ieremciuc brought a message of hope.  Many members rededicated their life to Jesus and an atmosphere of peace settled in their hearts which were troubled and in turmoil by the threat of war.  Pastor Cornel Ianchici had a word from God during the prayer time that there won’t be a war in Colombia from Venezuela or Ecuador.  God confirmed that message to me from Matthew 24:6-7 – “6.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.”  I received this insight passage through the Holy Spirit which reminded me during the prayer time to tell them not to panic and alarmed.  In the afternoon, the same day, we visited the city of Bogota.
On Monday, March 10, we went to La Modelo Prison in Bogota to begin our prison mission but we were not granted access because of the country’s possible war status.  I insisted and persisted but the sub director did not want us to grant us access without an approval from the Director of General Prisons of Colombia.  And so we all decided, along with our hosts, to attempt in getting that approval.  I arrived there and the secretary of Director of GPC was very interested in getting us the approval, after I presented a brochure with our previous mission trips in prisons to Brazil, Venezuela, Honduras, Kenya, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Guatemala to her.  She understood our goal was to bring the gospel of Peace in the midst of turmoil and rumors of war and that we were not spies or other purposes.  Having had a denial to access the prison at first discouraged our team but I did not want to give up so easily.
On Tuesday, March 11, I went back boldly by faith to the General Director and requested that his secretary, who already had the information, pass it to the Director.  The Director didn’t rush to sign the approval and questioned her why she wanted to help us so eagerly.  She told him that we brought 248 bibles that we wished to pass to the inmates of the prison.  Getting back to the team members without the signed approval discouraged them even more.  In the afternoon, the whole team went and purchased goods for poor people and brought them to the church Christiana Cuadrangular for those members to benefit.  On that night, I held a training seminar for ‘Equipping volunteers for prison ministry.’  We had an attendance of about 35 church members and they received a certificate of completion from Chaplain for Christ International.  Besides that, the other members of the team brought goods to the poor families of the church and visited them.  Stefan Piuian was so touched by a family condition that he broke into tears and decided to support his family with $100 monthly for at least a year.  The pastor and the members were greatly moved by the awesome presence of the Lord that night.  The pastor testified that he had a dream in December of 2007.  The Lord showed him that a team would come from far away and will be a blessing for the church.  So the fulfillment of that dream encouraged him and the church.
On Wednesday, March 12, I prayed fervently and asked the Lord to help us to fulfill our mission goal in Colombia prisons.  The Lord showed me that he will grant access to the prison.  I saw myself entering in with the bible in my raised hand, but because the gift of the Spirit does not operate so often in my ministry, I did not understand the vision’s certainty.  I told one of our team members and he replied that maybe it’s from my zeal or fervor but it was from God because every communication that is from God is fulfilled before our eyes in the natural realm.  I went back to the General Director and the secretary told me to wait for her call.  We waited all day impatiently until some members got so stressed that some of them wanted to return to Chicago and some wanted to continue the mission in Ecuador.  There was a lot of tension but at night we went to another church with the same name (Iglesia Cristiana Cuadrangular) to minister.  This church was also in a very poor and dangerous area.  Pastor DeAlfonso Lopez welcomed us and pastor Cornel Ianchici preached a message.  We prayed for the sick at the end of the service.  Sorin Puha was able to communicate with the taxi driver in Italian and that driver became very friendly to our team.
On Thursday, March 13, we were finally granted access to La Modelo Prison, one of the biggest prisons in Colombia.  We were able to minister in two courtyards to many inmates.  The response was great.  Many lives receive the message of peace and hope from the Word of God.  Prayers of repentance and rededication to Jesus Christ were the response to the Gospel message, preached by our team members.  About 200 bibles were distributed to the inmates.  Even though we didn’t completely believe about having access granted to the prison, God demonstrated that the vision was from Him.
On Friday, March 14, our team departed early in the morning from Colombia to Ecuador and arrived at about noon in Quito, Ecuador.  Our host, Timothy Anderson, with one of his friends from Teen Challenge waited for us and welcomed us.  He drove us to the hotel where we lodged.  In the afternoon, we ministered to Teen Challenge Chapel from Quito.  I had the privilege to meet Emil Dobrin, a Romanian who came to Quito many years ago for work purposes.  He was very kind and even helped us with $140 for the jungle.  We also met Radu Mihail, a Romanian businessman in Ecuador, who also represents Romania in Ecuador.
On Saturday, March 15, we ministered to Quito Prison, Jail #3 and CDP Jail.  At these prisons we met Romanian inmates that were caught smuggling drugs.  Some of them are sentenced for many years. (Florin Daneasa, Cristian Bodea, Gutu Nicolae, Sorin Curca, Mircea Romocea, Octavian Chis, Ileana Horodam and Camelia from Carcel de Muheres – Inca, Avram Potrea and Adrian Petrache from Preliberty).  We brought them a message of hope and showed them the way to fulfill their purpose for life by the gospel of Jesus Christ; the way, the truth, and the life.  At night, we preached and prayed at Jesus Never Fails Church, from 8pm – midnight.
On Sunday, March 16, Emil Dobrin and I went to a Baptist Church in Quito.  The pastor gave me the opportunity to greet the church and informed the church that we have to continue Jesus’ agenda “…to preach good news to the poor… to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19).  Here I met a missionary from Indiana who is working as a nurse in a Christian hospital and is doing prison ministry also.  The other part of our team ministered to the church Jesus Never Fails.  In the afternoon, we left and headed towards the jungle and arrived around 8pm that evening and the city Puyo, Ecuador.
On Monday, March 17, we flew to the jungle village called Kuakash, Ecuador where our plan to build those two school buildings began.  As evidence of “…all that Jesus began to do and to teach” (Acts 1:1) and “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26), we began fulfilling God’s will with the construction project.  Since our main purpose was not only to build temporary homes but save and rebuild lives for eternity.  At night we had an evangelistic service in the jungle and six people from the Indian community received Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord.  On the first night in the jungle was very interesting.
On Tuesday, March 18, we continued with the project of buildings and in the afternoon we finished because everything was made by wood with walls of boards.  It was easy to put together with six hard working men from Chicago and two (father and son) from New York.  At night we have an evangelism service, and to make sure that everyone would come, I walked into the jungle and visited every hut and invited all of them.  God moved that night and many were touched by God’s sweet presence.  In the jungle there was joyful noise of praises, worship, and fervent prayer for the Holy Spirit to fill their lives.  Despite their hard lifestyle we encouraged them to seek God’s presence everyday and He will fulfill their needs according to His riches.  On that night, eight people decided to be baptized in the water.  I saw a testimony of a man that I met among the Indians, whose face appeared to have a very furious expression, but when the Gospel was preached and he received it, I witnessed the Holy Spirit’s power transforming his life which manifested on his face through a joyful, gleaming, shining, and radiating light.  “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  (2 Corinthians 3:18).
On Wednesday, March 19, I had the opportunity together with Timothy Anderson and George Ieremciuc to baptize a man which experienced the power of transformation together with his wife in a river of the jungle.  Eight people received the baptism in water altogether.  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20).  After the baptism ceremony, we flew about 120 miles back to Puyo, Ecuador and drove 500 miles to Quito, Ecuador.
On Thursday, March 20, we had a free day to visit Quito and the earth’s equator.
On Friday, March 21, we departed from Quito to arrive in Chicago at night the same day (before Easter).
Greetings from brothers and friends from Ecuador with (2 Corinthians 14-17) –
“14. But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.  15. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16. to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life And who is adequate for these things?  17. For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.” All the Glory and all the Praise be to God only who led us and helped us to fulfill His purpose.  Please keep in your prayers the men and women who are sentenced for many years in the Quito Prison, CDP Jail, and Colombia Prisons.  Pray also for the jungle Indians that God will keep them strong in faith.

Rev. Constantin Lupancu

Blessed Hope International Mission


Ecuador

Ecuador Trip Report

November 7 – December 27, 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters and Friends,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We’ve been granted the opportunity of having a short-term, ten day mission trip to Ecuador.  Missionary Tim Anderson from the Assemblies of God assisted by Pastor Luis Montana, hosted and arranged this mission.  The team was composed of six men:  Constantin Lupancu, William Ripple, George Ieremciuc, Viorel Gromic, Edgar Garza and Adrian Greab.  We arrived in the city of Quito, Ecuador on Tuesday, November 27.  The team distributed 240 complete Spanish Bibles in the prisons and also at the Teen Challenge Center.

Wednesday morning the team went to Quito Number 1 prison (with maximum security) where they preached the Gospel on one of the wings in a courtyard. The prisoners have an active church of their own and when we arrived inside the inmates were already singing. Because many men exercise in the courtyard, the Gospel was heard by those who were not even a part of the church service.  There were about 15 people who repented and prayed to give their lives to Jesus Christ.  The guards are very strict with the foreigners and other visitors alike.  We weren’t allowed to have belts, hats, and cameras.  That afternoon we drove 5 hours from Quito to Puyo, which is the last city before you drive down towards the Amazon jungle.  Also on the way we saw a couple of small eruptions from one of the active volcanoes in Ecuador.  This road is lined with volcanoes.
Thursday morning we drove to the city of Shell where there is a small airport from which all the planes leave from the Amazon jungle.  This famous road has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.  In the city of Shell just across from the airport is the house that Nathanael Saint built (Through Gates of Splendor).  He was one of missionaries killed in 1956 by the Auca Indians in the Amazon. The Aucas had killed strangers for centuries.  Other Indians fear them but the missionaries were determined to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The only way to find them was by flying over their territory with a small plane.  Five missionaries that came to reach them in 1956, were speared to death by the Aucas.

For us, it took 25 minutes to fly from Shell to the Shuar Indian village of Kuakash (an Indian tribe that were also once headhunters) where we ministered.  It would’ve taken about a month to walk there.  We preached the gospel to the villagers and one teenager prayed to receive Jesus Christ.  When I asked them of their main needs, their response was “medicine”.  We were not equipped with medicine, but we know the source of healing and well-being; which is Jesus Christ.  After I presented the gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of salvation and well-being, I exhorted them to turn their eyes to the Cross; where Jesus suffered the punishment for our sins.  “..He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes that wounded Him we are healed and made whole.” (Isaiah, 53:5).  This exact verse had such great impact on them, that they paid very close attention.  They prayed to receive healing for their sick bodies.
One purpose of the trip was to see the possibility of sending future missions team to build schoolrooms and other projects.  The people in the Amazon Jungle are very poor and many of the children need medicine as well.  The church floor was full of biting ants when we got there and we had to pour gasoline to kill them (although some survived).  Also we prayed for all the sick people who lined up in front of the church.  Please keep all the people living in Kuakash in your prayers.
Friday morning they went to Teen Challenge, also run by Tim Anderson, in Quito.  We testified and preached to the many residents there.  Friday night we went to a prayer meeting at Tim’s church “Jesus Never Fails” where there was a great move of God’s Spirit during the 5-hour service. Our translator Edgar Garza testified that when he entered the Chapel the presence of the Holly Spirit touched his heart, in such a way that he never experienced in his life before. He broke into tears and couldn’t explain what was happing, but what he felt that night he will never forget. The touch of Jesus Christ on his heart made him realize the mighty power of the Holy Spirit of God. A miracle happens when you open the door of your heart and let him lead you.  Edgar is thankful for going on this trip and for every person he met and the transformation of his life forever. Many members were touched by God’s spirit and they broke down with tears of repentance.  The gospel presented to them from [2 Chronicles 7:14] “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  This verse impacted and motivated them to a deep thirst to search for God.
Saturday afternoon we went together with the Teen Challenge Evangelism team to the Santo Domingo Plaza in downtown Quito.  We passed out 750 Gospel Tracks and four people came forward to proclaim Christ as Savior.  There are many drug addicts, alcoholics and prostitutes that frequent this plaza.  We reached them with the gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of restoring their lives because Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
Sunday morning we went again to the jail to another wing where we conducted a church service in a very small room.  It was so packed with people that some of the inmates had to stand up.  The gospel we presented was about the disobedience and rebellion of Jonah.  The illustration was presented in such a way that they felt the same way Jonah felt in the belly of the fish.  Along with the fact that they were also in a very tight room was an irony.  The application recommended from this message to them was to turn to God in repentance and make him Lord of their life.  From amongst our team, four members are Romanian and we were surprised to find two Romanian inmates in this jail; far away from Romanian soil.  One of the Romanian inmates broke up into tears and ran to the altar, where he repented and re-dedicated his life to Jesus.  Many other inmates ran to the altar to receive restoration and spiritual freedom in the Name of Jesus Christ.  “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” [John 8:36]  Even though they were still imprisoned, they received deliverance from the bondage of sin.  “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.  But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.” [Jonah 2:6-7].  Everyone on the team had a chance to share the word of God for three and a half hours.  We prayed for them and all the inmates present so that God will work in their lives.  Sunday night we went to Tim’s house for prayer and fellowship.
Monday and Tuesday morning I presented the Chaplains for Christ International Training Seminar at the Teen Challenge Center to twenty-seven pastors, leaders and students.  God worked in such a great way and ignited a great spiritual fire that several students were baptized with the Holy Spirit and some of them dedicated themselves to evangelism and prison ministry.  This was a wonderful time spent together in God’s presence.  God moved in such a special way in those days; yet within the city outside the Teen Challenge Center everyone else was drinking and celebrating a holiday similar to America’s July 4th, yet much wilder.  But God brought true joy and direction to the very same souls that had a heart towards the worldly holiday outside.  With the Holy Spirit’s power, they were connected the real source of joy and happiness.  God met their expectation and more and above what we thought or asked for.  ”Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”  [Ephesians 3:20-21].  Monday afternoon we went to Rucu Pichincha Mountain on a trolley 13,000 feet above sea level where we had a splendid view of Quito.  We also said a prayer to thank God that He will bless all the work that was done on this mission trip.
Wednesday we went again to the maximum-security jail to yet a different wing where we had fellowship with the inmates in song and prayer and gospel.  We preached the gospel to all the people present there including some families and visitors to the inmates.  At the end of the service about forty people came for the final prayer invitation to change their lives through Jesus Christ.
Thursday was our free day and together with Tim and his family we went to the centerline of the earth, the Equator.  It was a very wonderful experience for all of us.  Thursday night Tim’s family, Joe’s family and our team went to a restaurant for one last night of fellowship.  We appreciate very much what Tim and Joe did for us and we pray to God they will be blessed.  And also let’s keep in prayer the whole country of Ecuador that the light of Jesus Christ will penetrate and God would work miracles in this spiritual dark country.  We thank God for everything He has done on this trip through weak and unimportant vessels that went onto this mission in obedience of God.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Constantin Lupancu