Visit our site in Spanish.
Issue 20 - 2024

Third Time's The Charm

Nathan playing with Ecuadorian children in the 2024 Medical Brigade
That summer of 2014 Nathan was heading to Quito, Ecuador with the student mission trip from Fairhaven Church in Dayton, Ohio.

Nathan had watched his older brother and grandfather—a pastor—go to Ecuador on a mission trip years before. His grandfather spoke often of his passion for missions and long-term friendships forged over the years.

Once in Quito, they'd partner with other youth from the Puembo Church. A table was lined with sign-up sheets to do construction, evangelistic outreach, crafts, or Vacation Bible School (VBS).

Nathan and his buddy Michael sauntered up to the table like any other cool 16-year-old and signed up for the construction team. He and Michael thought that sounded easy enough—except they signed up for VBS by mistake.

Nathan was alarmed to learn he would be upfront teaching and leading at VBS, not hammering and cutting at a construction site. Despite his trepidation, he pressed forward and found unexpected enjoyment in connecting kids to the Bible.

Following the trip, through conversations with his grandfather, Nathan felt a call to ministry. He served in various volunteer roles at his home church, Fairhaven, until 2 years later, when the opportunity to return to Quito, Ecuador came around again.

Nathan's second trip landed the summer between high school and college. This time, he led students from Fairhaven Church to see themselves as missionaries, first in Quito, and then back home in Ohio when they returned.

"I enjoyed mobilizing people towards a deeper way of living out their relationship with Christ," he thought.

As he left home for college, Nathan struggled to find the same joy in his relationship with Jesus. His doubts weren't with God but with himself. He began to see all the darkness inside of himself and the ways he fell short of who he wanted to be.

Finally, he asked, "Lord, do you really love me?"

Angry at himself, feeling numb, he distanced himself from God and His call on his life. "Like Jacob, I was wrestling with the goodness of God."

Then Jesus met him anew through the words of Paul in Acts 20:24 that leaped off the page in the middle of a class. 'However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of ttestifying to the good news of God's grace.'

"My life is meaningless if I'm not doing the work God called me to do" he confirmed.

Last summer, in 2023, Nathan joined Fairhaven on his third trip to Quito, Ecuador. This time, Nathan was a co-leader of the trip. It was a surreal, full-circle moment as he led students just like him a decade earlier.

Since that trip, Nathan has been taking steps to fulfill the call that Christ has given and confirmed to him on that trip - a call to become a missionary in Quito, Ecuador, and continue the work Jesus has put in his heart.

This year, Nathan joined the medical brigade from Fairhaven— marking his fourth trip to Quito.

From a grandfather to a grandson, from one generation of students to the next at Fairhaven, from Dayton, Ohio to Quito, Ecuador—the Lord of the harvest is faithfully extending his matchless love and grace through young and old.


Gift's to CMI's VISION50 campaign will help fuel the next 50 years of planting churches and making disciples in Latin America's most influential cities.

«y partnering together, you've changed the forever future of over one million individuals who now belong to Christ.

Imagine the impact you can make in the next half century. Invest in VISION50 and make your impact.
In 2004, a team from Fairhaven Church (Ohio) arrived in Quito, Ecuador, brimming with hope and excitement to partner with local churches in blessing those in need through life-enriching medical clinics.

Now, two decades later, this partnership has blossomed far beyond its initial scope, fostering robust relationships between churches and fellow believers.

In his book, Dominion, historian Tom Holland describes the Christian revolution that remade the world. One way was through the Early Church's charity.
"There was," he writes, "no human existence so wretched, none so despised or vulnerable, that it did not bear witness to the image of God. Divine love for the outcast and derelict demanded that mortals love them, too."

Holland describes how Christians rescued babies from abandonment, cared for the poor, built hospitals, and set up systems of social and economic security for whole communities.

The Church is truly at its best when it is proclaiming the gospel in both word AND deed. The Good News of Jesus is meant to be seen, felt, and heard.

It is one of the reasons I believe so much in the work we do in raising transformational churches in the strategic cities of Latin America.

Each church we plant becomes a hub for proclaiming the gospel in word and action. They are not just gatherings for worship, instruction, and fellowship. The churches become agents of spiritual, emotional, and material impact - communities that reach within and
beyond their walls.

Dozens of ministries multiply out of each new church – ministries that touch and transform thousands of people. Ministries contextualized to their communities' needs and
the gifts of the church.

Virtually without fail, I discover a new one every time I make a visit. In my most recent trip, I saw a ministry at Quito's Norte Church that cares for children and adults with autism every weekday morning. They show them the love of Christ, teach them life skills, and give respite to their family care givers.

And as beautiful as this is, it is one of dozens started and supported by this one church alone. Imagine what would happen if an entire city could be saturated with such churches. Churches continuing the revolution that began 2,000 years ago – a revolution not of force and arms, but of love, grace, and mercy! A revolution that God is advancing through your prayers and support!

In Christ,

Craig Murray
Executive Director
Church Ministries International

Coming Events

February 2024 - July 2024
February 29 - March 4
Global Impact Weekend
Fairhaven Church
Dayton, Ohio
March 18-21
International Pastors' Circle
Houston, Texas
April 24-25
CMI Spring Board Meetings
Plano, Texas
June 6-15
Shepherd's Heart Ministries Workshop
Quito, Ecuador
July 14
30th Anniversary República Church
Quito, Ecuador
July 22-30
Student Mission Trip
Fairhaven Church & Puembo Church
October 16-17
CMI Fall Board Meetings
Plano, Texas
More than a donation
Change lives, plant churches, and reach Latin America's largest cities with the hope of Christ.