Earlier this year Julie and spent an enjoyable day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando. During a walk through one section of the park we came to the area containing gorillas. The one pictured above caught my attention and I spent a few minutes observing him enjoying an afternoon snack while watching the people who were watching him. Disney is quick to inform park guests as to how well the animals are cared for. This guy gets regular checks by the vet, they are supervised by primatologists, and their diet is strictly controlled for quality and nutritional value. They are protected by various means from any threat. In short for the most part they have it made. No poachers to contend with, no food shortages or lack of shelter. Just eat, sleep, repeat! Just do what you do and let folks who want to see you up close take a look without having to go to the Congo.

Sometimes we long for that kind of stress-free life — but is that really living? No obstacles to overcome, problems to solve, no risk, no win or lose just maintain. Seems like all of that discomfort and chaos that I often complain about is part of God’s plan to help me grow and become more like His Son. The struggle is necessary it is not optional in God’s plan. So the next time life gets a little scary think about my hairy friend back at the zoo, is that really living?

Zoos are for animals – I prefer to live in the wild.

Blessings,
Jesse

Last Sunday I had the joy of worshipping with the folks at the Chaupimolio, Church in Ecuador. I have posted a short video clip so you can take a look. It has been a long time since I have been with a group who worshipped so joyously and loved each other and the Lord so dearly. Being here was truely the highlight of my trip. By US standards the folks do not have alot, the church is on a dirt street, all of them walked to church.

I am reminded of this verse: 2 Corinthians 4:18 “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Video Clip of Worship Service

Blessings,
Jesse

I want to give you all a quick update from South America. I have had a wonderful time of ministry in this beautiful country and with these beautiful people. I have enjoyed interacting with national pastors and visited two churches. I spent three days sharing the Word with a great team of missionaries in the delightful city of Banos. It sits at the foot of Tungurahua which is an active volcano. The beauty there is astounding. The work that these servants of the Lord are doing is likewise astounding. I think they have taught me more than I have taught them. I spoke on the subject of faith and I really feel that this time in God’s Word was an encouragement to us all. I then traveled to Pifo where I am staying on a missionary compound.

Today I was privileged to worship with the congregation of the Chaupimolino church. This church has seen great growth in the last months and has expanded their outreach and building. Hopefully this church will be fully led by nationals in the not too distant future as the missionaries phase out and begin a work in another city. The worship was energetic and from the heart. It was evident that these brothers and sisters love each other and the Lord. After service we traveled north of Quito to visit the monument at “The Center of the World” which sits on the Ecuador. Thank you all for your support and prayers . I will try to write more later, until then if you want to see a few pictures use the link below.

Ecuador Photo Album

Blessings,
Jesse

A quick update on my missions trip: A week from today I will be in Ecuador, I will be sharing the Word with a group of dedicated missionaries at their annual field conference in Banos. I received my renewal passport in eight days(A big praise)and I am busy preparing messages. Thanks to so many of you who have offered words of encouagment and given to make this trip possible. Thanks too to those of you who offered to help me with Spanish – I appreaciate the attempt but I think I will stick with English for now. Please pray that I will accomplish all that the Lord intends for this trip. I will try to update you while there, and give a full report on this blog when I return.

Blessings,
Jesse