We were delighted to share not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. -1 Thessalonians 2:8
Name(s): Dave and Lolly Erdel
Host Country: Ecuador
We are missionaries because of some basic convictions and simple considerations. God loves us and wants to share His life with us. The good that God wants for us, He wants for others. Thus, He calls every Christian to participate seriously in the task of reconciliation. In our case, the call to service is implicit in the ability God has given us to teach and train Christians. Moreover, we grew up between two cultures, so the education we received in English can easily be shared in Spanish. Therefore, we have returned to the needy nation in which we were raised.
Ecuador is still among the least evangelized nations in the Western Hemisphere, but it is showing unprecedented responsiveness to the gospel as church leaders are trained and mobilized.
Our basic goal is to work with national believers and help get the church to the point that it is presenting the gospel to everyone in an understandable way. Our main focus lies in two main areas. The first area is the planting of indigenous churches. The second area is the training of church leaders.
Dave is helping to reactivate the denomination's training program for pastors and church leaders. Recently, Dave has taught courses on the Holy Spirit, the Book of Judges, and Christian and Ministerial Ethics.
Another fruitful ministry is home Bible studies. Dave prepares a one-hour lesson guide which he teaches on Tuesdays to approximately twenty believers. Then, they and the Erdels lead Bible studies in homes all over the city.
A third ministry the Erdels are involved in is the church's three-year discipleship program which covers the fundamentals of Christian life and ministry and encourages and equips converts as they share the gospel and make new disciles.
David Erdel was born and raised in a Christian home in Ecuador where his parents, Paul and Chloetta, were serving as missionaries. He attended the Alliance Academy in Quito during elementary school days. Dave was in Fort Wayne, IN for junior and senior high school while his father was Overseas Director of the Missionary Church. He accepted Christ as his Savior when he was a young boy. As he read the Bible and reflected on God's providence in his life, missionary service seemed to him an appropriate response to the missionary mandate.
Preparation for service continued at Fort Wayne Bible College, Fort Wayne, IN (now Taylor University) and at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL. Dave continues to study at Trinity when in the United States on furloughs. His theological training was balanced by pastoral experience and a variety of secular jobs.
Laura (Lolly) Drown, also a child of missionaries, was born and raised in Ecuador. She graduated from the missions program at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL and was studying nursing with a view to overseas service when Dave looked up his former classmate. Lolly and Dave were married in 1978.
Dave and Lolly have had a varied ministry since going to Ecuador in 1981. They have worked in churches without pastors and helped plant a new congregation. Lolly has worked with children, youth and women, coordinated an extensive DVBS program, served as mission bookkeeper, and provided hospitality for many guests. Dave has kept a regular schedule of preaching and Bible studies, helped manage the mission bookstore and campground, and been involved in field administration. He has coordinated the leadership training program co-sponsored by the mission and national church. He has developed a seminary curriculum and format suited to the needs of northwest Ecuador and taught Bible and theology in six of the seminary's extension centers.
The Erdels are currently working in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Ecuador.
Our lives will evidence spiritual vitality, cultural sensitivity, loving compassion, and balanced values as we go about our main ministries of serving, teaching, encouraging, giving leadership, sharing with God’s people in need, and practicing hospitality.
God will keep our children safe from evil.
Our aged parents, Paul and Ruth Erdel and Frank and Marie Drown, will be able to continue to be active in ministry and missions and be a great encouragement to us.
God will provide for and protect our team of gifted and committed colleagues in the mission.