Kella and Angie

Seven months ago Kella and Angie Balcazar were sitting next to their uncle in his truck when an vehicle veered into oncoming traffic and collided with them head on. Their uncle, Diogenes, was killed instantly. Onlookers were sure that no one in the small truck could have survived. 

The three of them were en route to training in the Didache Institute in Shushufindi, Ecuador. It was mid-morning before the news reached us. That evening we attended Diogenes' funeral.


Angie and Kella survived the crash, but no one was sure if they would hold on. They did. Seven months later they were sitting once again in the classroom of the Didache Institute. 

They continue to undergo physical rehabilitation, but they are thankful to be alive and hopeful about the plans the Lord has for them. After all, it was a miracle they survived. God has a purpose for their lives, and we are already seeing glimpses of it.

Thank you for praying for these two young women. Continue to pray that they will remain firm in the gospel and that they will accomplish all the faith-prompted plans the Lord has for them. 

For more information about our training cycles called Didache Institute, go here

Update on Kella

Kella Balcazar is one of the nieces of Diogenes. She was very badly injured in the wreck on Thursday morning, and remains in extremely critical condition. She was scheduled to be disconnected from life support yesterday (Friday), but the doctor changed his mind and decided to try something else first. He's giving her another 72 hours. Monday will be decision day.  

Above is a screenshot of Kella's facebook post 10 hours before the wreck. It's the key verse from the class I (Ryan) am teaching this week. We know where Kella's hope rests.  

Please continue to pray for her. 

Angie, her twin sister, is stable and will be undergoing major surgery on Monday to begin repairing the shattered bones in her legs. 

Thank you for your prayers. 

Tragedy and Hope

We began the Didache Institute training in Shushufindi on Monday morning. The pastor from a nearby town called Sacha along with a group of members were in attendance. Diogenes, one of the church leaders in this church, sat in the second row. He was completely engaged, clearly serious about learning all he could. 

On Wedensday afternoon Diogenes shared with the class his desire and plan to help his family and friends understand the gospel. 

At 8:30 on Thursday morning Diogenes and his two nieces (19 year old twins) left their home to come to the training. A few miles outside of Sacha, his home, as he topped the hill a heavy-duty truck moved into the opposite lane and hit Diogenes and his nieces head on.  

Diogenes was killed instantly. His nieces were both badly injured. They were rushed to the nearest hospital (an hour away). One has been stabilized (Angie). The other is extremely critical (Kella). She remains unconscious and is intubated.

Last night part of our team attended the wake at the home of the father of Diogenes. We heard some rumors that the ICP team was being blamed for the death because he was on his way to our training. 

At least 300 people were in attendance. I was asked to address the crowd. I used the opportunity to share about Diogenes' life and his desire to share the gospel with his friends and family. It was significant to us that only the day before Diogenes expressed his desire to share the gospel with his friends and family, and now all of his friends and family were gathered together. I explained the gospel to them.  

Diogenes' church, Fuente de Vida, is grieving and trusting. The grace of the Lord is evident in them now. Pray for them as they seek to be salt and light. 

We hope to visit Kella and Angie in the hospital in Lago Agrio. They were students in Patricia's class this week. 

Today we will complete the training here in Shushufindi. Lord willing, we will return in June and again in July to continue with the training modules. 

Didache Institute Commences

The Didache Institute has officially commenced on the ground in Kenya.

Sixteen pastors have committed to a deep discipleship and training process that will last 18 months. Last week the group of pastors completed their first 35 hours of in-class instruction, and they are now working on projects associated with the courses.

The two courses taught were: 

What is the Gospel?

The Work of the Pastor

We will be on the ground with them again in February for the second module.

In addition to the training in Murang'a, I (Ryan) spent time in Kitale and Mombasa to train pastors and explore future partnerships. 

What does the future hold? 

  • Continued training in Murang'a (4 trainings in 2017).
  • Initiation of Didache Institutes in El Tambo and Shushfindi Ecuador (12 weeks on the ground in 2017).
  • Exploratory engagement in Vietnam (Feb 2017). 
  • Work with partners in South Africa (Feb 2017).
  • Continuation of Didache Institute Online (13 students from 5 countries). 

What are praying for? 

  • We need more full-time workers to join our team. Text me (Ryan) if you have any questions: 901-468-8676. 
  • We need more financial partners. As the opportunities increase so does the financial burden. Join us here: 
  • We need more trained and focused trainers who will develop courses, teach on the ground, and oversee student projects. See course openings here.

One more thing . . .

If you believe in what we do, please consider giving us a push . . . 

  1. Like us on Facebook and share our page. This helps us get the word out about our work. 
  2. Consider going with us, especially if you are a teacher. Opportunities abound
  3. Put us on the ground through financial gifts. Every flight, hostal stay, study Bible takes currency. Consider investing in this work. The ROI is incalculable. Go here. 

Discipling the Harvest Field to Reach the Sowing Field

David Platt touches on something here that often remains beyond our purview, but is critical to our task. For fascination with ourselves, we can miss the bigger picture of the growth of the gospel across the globe. As the Germans would say, "We have tomatoes on our eyes." 

By 2025 the most Christian continent on the face of this earth will be Africa. Latin America will be second. These areas are currently undergoing astounding growth in Christianity, and are major players in getting the gospel to heard to reach places (including within our own borders).  

That's why we are investing heavily in deeply, biblically training called workers. With every person who complete the Didache Institute, that's one more theologically sound, well-equipped laborer for the field. 

Want to learn more? Go here or here. Want to go? Look at upcoming engagements.

ICP Strategy

On August 6th at the annual ICP Missions Conference Ryan Bush, president of ICP, explained the nuts and bolts of how ICP trains pastors. The previous talk, which explains the biblical basis for ICP's work, can be found here

Download the strategy documents referred to in the video here