In a month’s time [June 20-July 10], I will be heading to Ecuador to lead a short term mission trip with Global Encounters Ministries. The team will consist of high school and college age young people. I am excited at the opportunity not only to disciple the already existing churches in Ecuador and to spread the Gospel to those who don’t know Christ, but also to work with this team of young people; many of whom have never been on a missions trip. This will be my 9th mission trip in the last six years and my 8th one to lead. Going this many times brings with it a since of normalcy and many times you tend to lose that excitement you had on the very first one you traveled. However, those who are going for the first time renew my passion and heart for spreading the Gospel to both the saved and unsaved alike. Their enthusiasm gives me a fresh perspective on what I am really about and reminds me that we should always be excited to share the good news of Christ. Don’t get me wrong: I love what I do. I just love the freshness that comes with a new comer. It’s so awesome to share in that adventure with them and to disciple them along the way.
I am also excited to have the opportunity to practice my Spanish that I have been trying to learn. This will be my first trip since attending Language school in Mexico last winter. My prayer is that the Lord will give recall and the ability to pick up even more when it comes to actual speaking.
While in Ecuador, we will be working with two different local churches in Quito and Esmeraldas [we also have one other opportunity that has not been confirmed as of yet]. The pastors are not only setting up bible clubs for their church kids but also opportunities to work in schools in the area. In the morning, we will be working in the schools and evening with the church kids. This will also include separate sessions during the evening with the high school age group and up, addressing issues they face every day. We will also be training them to work with the kids by incorporating them as leader assistants into the kid’s program after their sessions. We want to be able not to just have a one-time impact but rather leave a lasting impact that will continue from generation to generation – the only way to do this is to teach and train leaders who live there all the time.
Also pray for the financial side of things. For both Global Encounters and myself, the finances are tight for this trip. I know that God will provide. Many times on trips we have found this to be true. You leave thinking, “Man, finances are tight for this one”, and once you arrive someone pays for your meal here or there is a donation from a church in that country that was unexpected. It is so amazing how God works. So we go: trusting Him all the way.
We will be there a total of three weeks and would covet your prayers. Discipleship/Gospel work is never easy. But by the grace of God and the prayer support of His people back home, I know we can be “successful”. And what is success: the simple obedience to God’s word to “go ye unto all the world…” and to let Him do the work through us by His holy Spirit. As His word says, “obedience is better than sacrifice”. Obedience is the work we are called to; salvation “belongs to God”.
Serving with you,