I just returned from a seven day trip to Quito, Ecuador. My oldest daughter, Sarah, accompanied me on this trip. Sarah was born in Ecuador and lived there until she was ten years old. Now as a sixteen year old she loves the familiar sounds, friends, and sites of Ecuador.
I spoke at the La Luz Church, a model CMA cell church in Quito. David Jaramillo, senior pastor of La Luz, sat in on our pastoral meetings at the Republic Church for one entire year (I was the co-founder at the Republic Church). He not only caught our cell church vision but perfected it. Now, when I go back to Ecuador, I go back to the La Luz church instead of the Republic Chruch. Jaramillo is a testimony to the senior pastor’s key role in guiding the cell church vision.
The conference was great. 211 people registered. The overall theme was the Holy Spirit in cell ministry. Two CMA cell church pastors from Guayaquil, a coastal city in Ecuador also spoke. I was exhausted after speaking seven times in Spanish! I preached three times Sunday morning and was thrilled to witness about fifteen people commit their lives to Jesus Christ.
David Jaramillo is a shining example of clarity in vision and singlemindedness. Other pastors in Quito–who started on the cell church journey–have since lost their way, becoming muddled with programs and lack of clarity. Not David Jaramillo. He understands the principles behind cell ministry and is in it for the long haul. The 530 people that attend the 59 cells at La Luz are growing in Christ and reaching out to their neighbors. La Luz has also planted various churches and has a long-term vision for the country.
Sarah and I spent a lot of time before and after the conference visiting Ecuadorian friends and North American missionaries. We were refreshed by God’s special work in Quito, Ecuador.