Bondad de Dios Church
May 2014 Update
In the small coastal community of San Vicente, the Bondad de Dios Church has been making a great impact since it opened its doors and its Compassion Child Sponsorship and Child Survival Programs one year ago. The church and its programs have not only brought physical and economic changes to the people but also emotional and spiritual development.
Stadia and Compassion have partnered with Pastor Alejandro Mora and his church, the Centro Evangelístico Peninsular de las Asambleas de Dios (CEPAD), to plant seven new churches in the province of Santa Elena since 2012. Pastor Mora selected Pastor Fernando Clavijo and his wife Norma to lead the Bondad de Dios Church in San Vicente, and they have been working to transform the community since the project began in early 2013.
Pastor Fernando says that since arriving in San Vicente, his part of the work has been mainly in spiritual guidance and development of the people. He explains that many people from the community have called on him to pray with and for them and have invited him into their homes for counsel and for prayer. He says that from the beginning, there has been much understanding. He states, “As God is the one who does everything, everything has worked out well.” He is also currently working with three men from the community who have given their lives to Christ, serving as a spiritual mentor and training them so that they will, God willing, become the next leaders in the Bondad de Dios Church.
Pastor Fernando and Norma also singlehandedly lead the youth ministry in the church, with Norma serving as a minister to the young women and Fernando serving as a minister to the young men. They currently have a total of 25 youth who are committed, and they are working to form them spiritually as they know that these youth are the next generation and have a dream to see them become the future leaders in the church. Of these 25 young men and women, twelve are currently also attending a music program where they are learning to play various instruments, and these youth will eventually form the praise and worship team for the new church.
One major outreach project that Pastor Fernando and the Bondad de Dios Church have undertaken was the construction and donation of three homes for three families that attend the church and Compassion programs in San Vicente. The project was completed in conjunction with a donor church in Quito and CEPAD and two of the other Santa Elena projects, EC531 and EC533. In total, nine houses were constructed, one for each of three families in each of the three projects involved. The houses were dedicated and keys and paperwork turned over to the families in a ceremony held on Saturday, April 5, 2014 (see photos). This project, while obviously generating interest in the church within the communities where the houses were built, has also brought positive attention to the work that God is doing in Santa Elena on a much greater scale, with the involvement of the church in Quito and also a class of engineering students from a local university.
Though the Bondad de Dios Church has only been working in the community for a relatively short period of time, they have already begun to see big changes in the way the people think and act. Pastor Fernando tells the story of one mother who has a child in the project: “This mother and her family received a sizeable gift from the child’s sponsor, and she came to me afterward, very grateful, and told me that one night, she had a dream that a large gift arrived for someone in the project, but it was for another mother, not for her. So she decided to spend the next day in prayer for that woman, that if God really did have a blessing in store for her, that He would prepare her to receive it. But she never thought that she would be the recipient of such a blessing. That same afternoon, the project staff called her to tell her that a gift had arrived for her and her family. Previously, before coming to the church and developing a relationship with God, she would have reacted with jealousy or incredulousness at the idea of someone else receiving a gift like that, but she decided to pray for blessing over that woman. That is a big shift in mentality.” He says that they have also seen miracles of healing and other works of God that serve as a testimony to others in the community but that also serve as spiritual alimentation to the church leadership that motivates them to keep going and to persevere, knowing that God can use their leadership to bring people that didn’t previously know Christ into an active relationship with Him.
While the work in the community began in early 2013, the new facilities were not constructed until the end of the year, and the official inauguration ceremony for the new church and project buildings was held on November 1, 2013. The church and project staff as well as the children and congregation are very grateful and happy to be in the new building. They are also currently working on an addition that will eventually be the home of the man who takes care of and guards the facility.
- Pray for the husbands of the women that are attending the church, that God would touch their hearts and bring them to the church as well
- Pray for the women that attend the church, that God would give them the strength to continue going and growing even when they face opposition from their husbands
- There is much addiction to drugs and alcohol here. Pray for the people who are bound by these addictions, whose hearts are hardened, that they will be liberated from these things which cause them and their families harm
- Pray for the children that come from broken families where alcohol and drugs are a problem, that they would not follow the example of their parents but instead would find the path the God has for them
- Pray that the children would not lose the dreams that they currently have to the obstacles that they will face in life
- Pray that God will raise up families and homes that will serve as an example to the rest