Team Ibarra was set to deploy to the field on August 15th of this year to begin training for the next Extreme church plant project. On that date, we received only five out of the ten 4040’s that are meant to form the team, not knowing who the last 5 might be and little prospect.
We had five confirmed teammates in early June and by mid June our only North American male needed to drop out, leaving us at four – one North American female, one South American female and two South American males We gained Rebecca Fahrni through the 40 Days Experience late June and Catherine Lourash through mobilization at General Assembly to join Michaela Rimmer, Priscila Inca and Diego Gallegos. By that time, one of our South American males also ended up dropping out.
We kept thinking about Gideon and his army of thousands that God dwindled down to a mere 300 to fight the Midianites who were “impossible to count” (Judges 6-8). Trusting in God’s call on our lives to the people of Ibarra, and trusting in the call each of our 4040’s that remained, we were certain that if God wanted to use a small team to change Ibarra, He could certainly do that and we just needed to continue walking in that direction following after the Lord. We met weekly with the new pastors assigned to the Ibarra church plant throughout this time praying for each person on our team and the possible others that God was calling.
In July, Abigail Crespin was added to our team, relocated from the Manta team roster. From that time until just about three weeks ago, we neither added nor lost any additional team members.
We began to pray for more Godly men to stand up and answer the call to Ecuador. We prayed for Extreme’s mobilization team and for whoever specifically God was calling to our team.
So, August 15 rolled around. One of our 4040’s was struggling to reach full funding and ended up being delayed two weeks to the field. We received five 4040’s…four gals and one guy. That week, Extreme set out on a mission…to fully fill Team Ibarra. All of Extreme began a period of prayer, fasting and reaching out to those whom God placed on our hearts as potential 4040’s. Amazingly enough, God provided not only our 4040’s to complete Team Ibarra, but Extreme has also been able to add to the Manta team. By September we added David Pilco, an Ecuadorian who was called to missions through the ministry of the Ambato team. And officially in the tail end of September, our last two North American males, Wilson Huber and C.H. (initials used because he hasn’t given noticed yet to his current employer) were confirmed! We also received word on the confirmation of Maria Rios rounding out our team to an even ten.
I LOVE that God keeps us hanging sometimes! I am a total planner and like to be as prepared as I possibly can be, taking into account all possible outcomes of any situation I find myself in and so I do totally hang on the edge of my seat watching God at work. I am pretty sure that one of God’s favorite trademarks is the doing of things that seem impossible. I believe that just like Gideon’s army, he likes to scale the human factor back and increase the divine.
Often times we view obstacles as signs that God is redirecting us and perhaps we ought not proceed. If Paul had viewed his troubles in this way, he would have completely missed God’s divine plans through multiple shipwrecks, jailing, and persecution. Sometimes the obstacles are there to refine us, to show the world that it is God alone who claims the honor and the credit for the miraculous plans he has for those who love him.
We are certain that God is interested in Ibarra, Ecuador. God has ordained this time, these people, His plan. We are thrilled to continue this work that God has already begun and trust in His guidance and provision in His time.
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:5
Keep Ibarra in your prayers! Prayer also for our team and the continued preparations as we near the start of ministry in Ibarra at the end of this year.
Grace and Peace,
Rebecca Fahrni, Priscila Inca, Abigail Crespin, Diego Gallegos, Catherine Lourash, Michaela Rimmer*
*Our last 4 teammates join us on the field oh so soon in November!!