Posted by: calloftheandes | October 29, 2010

Missions Coalition in Ecuador Encounters Triumphs, Trials in First Year

With an intravenous drip attached to her arm, María* lay beneath a mosquito net in an unfamiliar situation. As a physician, she’s more accustomed to the caregiver role, but now she was on the receiving end of another’s care. Recuperating from malaria, she rejoiced, nonetheless, in what God was doing amid difficulties, oppression and illness.

She and her husband, Gerardo*, serve in a country of Sub-Saharan Africa just one year after their involvement with Corrientes (Spanish for “currents”), an initiative launched last year by HCJB Global in Ecuador.

Other agencies are involved too, some of them already well established before the October 2009 launch of Corrientes. The endeavor by Christian agencies and Ecuadorian churches seeks to equip Latin Americans for work in cross-cultural settings. María and Gerardo, for example, exchanged insights with various mentors before embarking on their African adventure.

This Latino couple is glad for the call upon their lives to serve God and share Christ’s love in a cross-cultural setting. “In June we held our first children’s club in the community,” they wrote. “And the numbers surprised us. We had invited 50, hoped for 80 or maybe 100. But 115 arrived, and next time there will be more!”

“Some mothers crowded in to hear the [Bible] story,” María continued. “This is an oral society. They love hearing stories. It’s a great opportunity to share the gospel in that 75 percent of the Scriptures are stories or narratives.”

Partnership is key to Corrientes’ formula for placing Latin American, bi-vocational Christian workers in different parts of the world to share Jesus’ love in practical ways.

Even as María uses her healthcare skills, Gerardo administrates projects. Meanwhile, another couple trained through Corrientes is seeking to do community development (including microenterprise opportunities) in southern Europe. Serving in a mountainous area, they told of their own unique challenges.

“The city is surrounded by high mountains,” they wrote. “We see signs of destruction (from war) in some of the streets, but they are also filled with people who are happy and hopeful … a new restless generation.”

The vision for Latin Americans crossing cultures in Christian outreach is being told, moment by moment, in their updates to those back home. Their methods are adjusted to each local context, but the aim is constant: to see the lives of individuals and entire communities transformed as they absorb and reflect God’s grace.

*Fictitious names used due to security concerns.

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