From left to right: Pastor Cory Herthel, Pastor Darryl Bentley, & Dr. Zach Paul.
In response to God’s commission to “go into all the world,” they ventured on a mission trip to South America.
From Nov. 9-19, 2022, the team of 17 missionaries visited Huaquillas, a city of 80,000 in southwest Ecuador, where they preached, conducted a VBS-style children's program, ran general health clinics, and tackled moderate construction projects. They served five of the 10 churches in the area.
At the end of the 11-day evangelistic series, 42 were baptized and an additional 24 candidates are preparing to give their lives to Christ.
On the team was a family of four, Ryan and Salina Burtnett, along with their two children Selma and Hurley, who regularly attend Green Bay's sister church, Sturgeon Bay. Ryan was raised in the Adventist church but had drifted away some years ago. His wife Salina grew up in the Catholic Church. Because of this family's recent journey with Jesus, they stepped out in faith and joined the team as missionaries. On the final Sabbath, they all renewed their commitment to Jesus. Salina and Hurley were baptized together along with all the local people who had made their decisions!
Another family of four on the team was Pastor Mateo Ramírez, his wife Marla and their two daughters Elena and Hadassah. Mateo is originally from the Dominican Republic and has lived in the United States for many years. He currently serves as a hospital chaplain in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Before the mission trip, he learned that his older brother whom he had not seen nor spoken to in about 30 years was living in northern Ecuador. Through family connections, Mateo was able to reach his brother and invite him to join them.
Mateo’s brother, Vicente, joined the team and fit right in serving as a missionary. He was one of our hardest workers on the construction team. But the biggest blessing came as Vicente attended his brother's evangelistic meetings night after night. By the end of the week, he too had rediscovered his faith in Jesus and was baptized on the final Sabbath!
If you are interested in learning how to organize a mission trip for your local church, feel free to contact Pastor Cory Herthel via email at GrBSDAChurch@gmail.com.
Cory Herthel pastors the Green Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church.