“Come over into Macedonia and help us”
Greetings and God’s blessings from the mission outpost at Pra del Tor, Ecuador! We are still waiting on the rainy season that should be starting any day now in order to get the crops planted. The Lord blessed us abundantly with the last harvest of soybeans and rice that we have been able to share freely with family and our brethren, and still have some left. We are praying that this year will be an even better harvest. Food prices are getting higher every day, and there is becoming a shortage in the cities and towns of the basic staples: rice, beans, plantain, yucca (cassava), etc. We know it is only going to get worse; we see prophecy being fulfilled in politics and government around us. We recently had a visit from a group of young people and an Adventist brother from Colombia that reminded us of the purpose that brought our family to Ecuador to begin with, and that is to start a school of the prophets that will provide an opportunity for many youth that are searching for a place to receive a true education.
The Spirit of Prophecy counsels us as to what true education consists of:
“True education is missionary training. Every son and daughter of God is called to be a missionary; we are called to the service of God and our fellow men; and to fit us for this service should be the object of our education.” Christian Service, 64.
“True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” Education, 13.
This was our dream when we founded Pra del Tor back in 2008, and over the years, the discouragement of trials and difficulties, added to the fact that we were all alone in this battle has distracted us from the real dream that we had for this place. Right now we only count with our family of four, a Colombian student, Laurie’s father, and an elderly lady that is here as a patient.
As we visited with this group of youth this last weekend, the flame relighted in our hearts and is burning strong to provide a place for youth and adults to get out of the cities, a place where they can develop their spiritual, mental and physical faculties, where they can receive a missionary training so that their lives can be a testimony to their families and communities. So many youth are awakening to the dangers that surround them and trying to live by faith and put in practice what they have learned, but Satan discourages them with unbelieving family, friends and worldly distractions stagnating them, because there is nowhere for them to go and get training. This is the case especially here in Ecuador, and in many other countries, I’m sure.
Right now, in our church group, we have five young people from our community, who are studying and learning how to cure God’s way. They understand that the key to reaching the surrounding community is through Medical Missionary work. One young man, Edisson, is a school teacher in a rural school about an hour from here. He has started classes after school to teach the parents how to prevent sickness in their children by using good hygiene and nutrition. Carmita, a young lady that works in a pharmacy in town, has started putting in practice what she has learned and is hungrily studying to understand more of the natural treatments and remedies. When customers come to the drug store, she prescribes them a change in diet, easy remedies that they can perform at home, and always squeezes in a Bible verse of encouragement for them. The problem is that soon she is going to lose her job, because the pharmacy is starting to lose customers. The others are working with their families and neighbors and trying to stand strong for the principles that they have learned, although they are assailed with ridicule and persecuted “for righteousness sake”. Please keep these youth in your prayers. They want to learn all they can and have so much potential, yet we can barely keep up with the maintenance of the farm, gardens, homeschooling our children, Bible studies and visits to the communities, health talks and the rest that goes begging, because we can’t spread ourselves any thinner.
As the Lord has provided over the years, we have built three houses, two of them are not completely finished inside yet. We need funds to finish one of them, as a dorm to start receiving students; and the other house needs a few final touches to leave it ready for a staff family to move in. The building site on the upper part of the property has been bulldozed for a school building. Water and electricity are ready to hook up. We are in need of finances to make this school a reality, but we place before you now, not only the financial need, but especially our need for co-laborers, consecrated families that want to put their shoulders under this load, that feel the Lord’s leading to answer the call to “come over into Macedonia and help us.” (Acts 16:9)
In Christian Service, Barac & Laurie Orellana, Pra del Tor, Ecuador. E-mail: orellanafamily@gmail. Support for this work can earmarked “Ecuador” and sent through Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.