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Jim, Suzy, & Kaia

M in is t r y P a r t n ers

! I cant believe its already Fall! The summer flew by and here we are, thinking about Halloween and Thanksgiving... which means Christmas is just around the corner! Still being in our first year here in Ecuador, each season seems to have its own flavor and pace, to which were still adjusting. The summers rhythm was generally a bit more fast-fast paced for us between our normal responsibilities and hosting teams from the US. One of the great benefits of hosting these groups was traveling to the different ministry sites that we as an El Refugio team partner with locally and in the jungle. It gave us a chance to meet some of them for the first time and weve begun to cultivate relationships with key leaders in each location. ! Throughout the year our family will personally be traveling to each of these ministry sites to maintain connection and build deeper relationships when teams arent on the ground. We plan to make our first visit by the end of this month and are excited to give you a deeper picture in future newsletters of what is happening at each ministry site. God is at work here in Ecuador and we are continually amazed and blessed to be a part of what He is doing. Please continue to pray for fruit in the lives of those we have relationships with here as well as those with whom we work in the jungle.

Olsen

O R October 2013

H o s t i n g G r o u p s at E l R e f u g i o
! Just over a week ago I had the pleasure of hosting a group of 7 men from a church here in Quito called the English Fellowship Church. Two of the men who attended the retreat are pastors at the church, and the other ve are elders. Here at El Refugio we host a wide range of groups in terms of age, stage in life, relationship with the Lord, and their purpose for coming. Though it is incredibly worthwhile to invest in all the groups that come, this group was very encouraging for me and it was a breath of fresh air to be a part of their two day experience. ! As a group, one of their main intentions during their time at El Refugio was to ask themselves the following questions, "What are we building on?" and "What are we building?" They took time in meetings to discuss where they are as a church and from where they've come. They continued to be intentional in their conversations over meals-- ranging from a conversation concerning care for a member of their congregation to each sharing personally how they would like to see growth in their own lives, in the lives of their families, and in their church. ! We designed the retreat so that they spent individual time in nature connecting with God in order to ask some of these questions and to give each of them a chance to simply listen for the voice of God. I was given the opportunity to lead their group through some team-building activities and low-ropes course challenges. It was a joy to see the unity in these men. They worked well as a team. They listened to one another. They respected one another. And at their core they all had the desire to grow personally, as a leadership team, and as a church. They want to see fruit and lives impacted deeply in the name of Christ. It was a great weekend to see the Lord moving and to have yet another example of why this space that we provide at El Refugio matters. - jim.

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Discovery

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Back in January and February of 2012 we went through training at the International Teams Center in Elgin, IL. While there we heard about a bible study model that has been very effective in church planting movements throughout the world. The model is called Discovery Bible Study and after living in Calacal for a few months I began asking around within the Youth World team to see if anyone was familiar with or had any resources on this type of study. As a result of this inquiry we were put in touch with a missionary couple who is using the model with great success in the southern region of Ecuador. " The Discovery Bible Study model is really designed to be a discipleship tool. Its approach is very seeker friendly, so that individuals who are interested in learning about the God of the Bible can discover together the Truth of who God says He is and who we are in relation to Him. " After a few conversations with the missionaries in southern Ecuador, we decided to host a training for the Youth World team in order to equip our ministries with it. I was put in charge of planning and coordinating the two-day event and in mid-September 20 Youth World staff members engaged in the training. We received really good feedback from the team and already we are seeing how God is using the tool to impact His kingdom. " The model itself is very basic and requires a leader to facilitate and guide the process of discovery rather than take a teaching approach. While we believe teaching is very important, in this model the approach to discovery is for the facilitator to rely on God to reveal His Truth to the individuals reading the passage; and it is fascinating to watch the Truth unfold from the lips of these non-believers. From there, the group is encouraged to consider what the passage means for them in their daily lives, how they can implement it, and also with whom they can share it. The following week we focus on a new passage, but also review the previous one and encourage one another in how the week went with implementation and sharing. From the beginning discipleship and action are integrated with faith. " A few weeks after the training I began to use this model with a neighbor here in Calacal who has also become a good friend. She owns a restaurant that we go to every Sunday after church, and she had been asking me if we could start reading the Bible together. She grew up in a family that believed in local religious customs and traditions and never read the Bible. After getting divorced she decided there was no God. Now, through the grace and movement of the Holy Spirit in her life, she is open and ready to hear about the God of the Bible. -suzy.

P r a y e r R e q u e s t s
Pray for our family as we make trips to the jungle to connect with our ministry partners there: for safety and deep connection. Please pray for Suzy and Marguerita as they discover together the Truth of God's Word. Pray for the Ecuadorian groups that we host throughout the year. Pray for continued opportunities to build relationships with individuals here in Calacal. Pray for growth in the church we attend in Calacal and that it would be a key in reaching people in our town. Pray for Suzys health and for the baby we are expecting in April of 2014!

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jimandsuzyolsen@hotmail.com .

Call us for FREE in Ecuador at 607.256.6894