Open Door Church of the Nazarene in Ibarra, Ecuador, celebrated its one-year anniversary March 8 by honoring its local leadership and hosting community events.
The service was standing room only with more than 120 people in attendance. The anniversary, which fell on International Woman's Day, included balloons, cake, and flowers. Each ministry team presented its purpose, goals, and leaders. The ministries are in the process of training local leaders to take over the roles currently filled by missionaries in the church. Pastor Yoan Camacaro spoke about the church's progress and his goals and vision for the future of Ibarra.
During the week preceding the anniversary, the Extreme Nazarene Mission team planned and facilitated several events in the city. One such event was a children's festival held the day before the anniversary in a neighborhood within walking distance of the church. Thirty neighborhood children and church families joined together to sing, play, and learn.
Toward the end of the program, the missionary team performed a short skit depicting a child who was ignored because his parents were fighting. When the child was left alone, Jesus came to comfort, console, and encourage. Heyner Rufasto, one of the missionary team members, asked the children to describe how the child felt at various points in the skit and led them in a discussion about their own needs for encouragement and forgiveness.
To finish the morning, the missionary team prayed over the children, led them in a few more of their favorite songs, served a snack, and gave each child a flyer with the Open Door church's information.
--Church of the Nazarene South America Region