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ISSUE 15 - 2022

Divine "Coincidence"
How the First Lady and "Threads" Came Together

Have you ever experienced a moment that when it is over you think, "Wait. Did that just happen?" That is how Inge Lise, our CMI Ecuador Coordinator, felt when a series of unplanned "coincidences" all happened at the perfect time during the most recent medical mission trip to Quito, Ecuador, this past March.

The first threads of this divine coincidence began in February when officials from the Office of the First Lady of Ecuador learned of a request for medicine to come into the country as part of the annual medical missions trip led by Fairhaven Church (Dayton, Ohio) and coordinated by CMI.

Curious, the First Lady's office reached out to Inge Lise.

In Ecuador, the First Lady is equivalent to the First Lady of the United States with this addition – she serves as the president of Ecuador's charities. Her prominence imparts dignity and importance to the challenges these organizations tackle within the country.

Seeing their interest, Inge Lise invited them to come see the medical team in action at the Puembo Church – a CMI partner ministering in the fastest-growing community in all of Ecuador.

An entourage from the First Lady's office showed up on the third day of the medical clinic.

Carolina, the First Lady's Chief of Staff, led the way. She was joined by two others including the head of Ecuador's Director of the National Council on Disability. Inge Lise was waiting to show them around.

A second thread also began weeks earlier. CMI Executive Director Craig Murray had set up a meeting at the same time with the president of Ecuador's national church denomination to which the Puembo Church belongs, Fairhaven's Senior Pastor, and CMI board member John Turnidge.

Inge Lise recognized a golden opportunity to connect all the partnership dots together for the First Lady's team…threads one and two.

Then, as if on cue, the third "coincidence" occurred. A group of 30 handicapped Ecuadorians began making their way inside Puembo Church Clinic for care.

The First Lady's representatives couldn't believe what they were seeing. Doctors from Puembo, along with medical professionals from Fairhaven, dispensed kindness and care for these strangers.

Questions bubbled up from Carolina and her team: What was this? How did it come together? Did this facility belong to the church? How was the church able to secure such a great place in this prominent location?

Inge Lise shared CMI's vision to plant and equip churches like Puembo in influential cities like Quito and unite those churches together to serve the city.

She shared how CMI helps fund the facilities like Puembo Church and cultivates church partnerships like the one they were witnessing between Fairhaven and Puembo.

Surprise and gratitude buzzed through the group.

Then Inge Lise added, "In fact, we are currently applying to create a local nonprofit here in Ecuador to help accelerate the development of more churches like this."

Carolina's ears perked up even more as she saw a concrete way they could help. "Send me the information about that application!" she said. "We can help make sure that nonprofit gets approved." She was so emphatic that she said this three more times before she left.

"We never planned on these people and events coming together in such perfect timing," Inge Lise recalls with a knowing smile. "We couldn't if we tried," she adds. "This was the Lord doing more than we could ask or imagine for Quito, for Ecuador."

“This was the Lord doing more than we could ask or imagine for Quito, for Ecuador."
Inge Lise Valencia
CMI's Ecuador Local Coordinator

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Building Strong Partnerships - Caring for Quito - Sharing Jesus!
These numbers and photos capture a small part of the immeasurable impact from the medical mission partnership between Fairhaven Church (Ohio) and The Puembo and Chillos Churches (Quito).

4 days
75 team members
22 interpreters
23 host families
23 home visits
1,400 glasses distributed
1 First Lady of Ecuador team visit
2,033 patients
2,033 opportunities to share Jesus

Craig Murray
We've received lots of gifts and expressions of thanks through the years from the churches we serve. But a recent gift completely astounded us.

In March, we celebrated the grand opening of a new $1 million Christian Education facility for the Norte Church in Quito, Ecuador. CMI's Seed Fund provided critical resources to make this center for discipleship a reality.

In thanks for CMI's help, our friends at Norte presented us with a key. This was not some symbolic key. It was an actual key to an entire office made available to CMI – an office to serve as hub for collaboration in planting churches throughout Quito!

They picked this particular space because it was my favorite part of the new building. From one window you can look out and see the Norte sanctuary. Out the other window is a fabulous view of the entire city of Quito - the church and the city it exists to serve.

And while this gift was remarkable – the greatest gifts are the churches like Norte that share our passion for seeing the millions of people in strategic cities like Quito experience a true encounter with God.

Craig Murray
Executive Director
Church Ministries International

Coming Events

June - October 2002
June 9
CMI Encounter Seed Fund Summit
Quito, Ecuador
June 13-15
Quito Lead Pastors Annual Retreat
Quito, Ecuador
Jun. 16-18 / Aug. 18-20 / Oct. 20-22
Ecuador Seminary - Biblical Peacemaking
Quito, Ecuador
September 11
Christ Community Chapel Global Sunday
Hudson, Ohio
September 16-26
Quito Leaders Exchange to Coalition Churches
Hudson and Dayton, Ohio
October 12-13
CMI Fall Board Meetings
Dallas, Texas
October 24-28
International Pastor's Circle
Houston, Texas
More than a donation
Change lives, plant churches, and reach Latin America's largest cities with the hope of Christ.