Posted by: calloftheandes | August 25, 2017

Pastor says, ‘With Greater Darkness, the Light of Jesus Is Blazing’

Interviewed by Reach Beyond in San Lorenzo, Ecuador, Pastor Germán Campos spoke of his ministry that began 16 years ago, when he met with missionary engineer César Cortez, visiting Esmeraldas province to train church leaders and build water projects. This interview followed a talk by Campos who arrived for a weekly gathering of a network of churches, Comunidad Cristiana Roca de Eternidad (Eternal Rock Christian Community). After the meeting, the pastors traveled by boat to their remote villages on the Verde, Borbón and Onzole rivers and other communities in the province of Esmeraldas.

Your church is really a group of churches—a family of churches—is that right, pastor?

Yes. Today there are 14 churches from the different communities where God has allowed us as Comunidad Cristiana Roca de Eternidad to serve Him. We meet once a week to fellowship together, but also to share with each other the concerns we have. The idea is to encourage them, hear of their needs and see how we can help them. It all began as one small church of eight people. But God helped—and continues helping us—so we’re thankful to the Lord for the life of brother César Cortez who helped us with the basic library and training. From that, I wanted to start planting a small church in each community. And thank God, they have grown. Now we have 14 churches with 14 pastors who have been trained, received [thelogical] libraries and attended different seminaries here in the country.

German Campos

So that is to say, you offered the pastors a workshop and invited them to it here in the city?

Of course, we did it here so that we could have more coverage. Because of the distances, we needed to, and so by having them come here to a central point, it works. So everyone came and received the training, and that was very motivating.

We also to listen to their needs. We have some capabilities to help [and] there are plenty of needs.

Why is it called a “community” of churches?

It’s called “community” for this reason: community is a union of two words. First, it refers to people who have something in common [which could be physical proximity or being from the same province or state]. But the second part [of the word community] is that these people are living together in unity.

Could you talk about the needs that you and your fellow pastors see?

In greater darkness, with denser darkness, what we have seen is that the light of Jesus Christ is blazing. San Lorenzo was formerly a city that nobody wanted to come to. For example, when we first arrived there were only eight policemen who went into hiding every evening due to the city’s proximity to Colombia where there are guerrillas and paramilitaries. The delinquency rate was tremendous. However, we have seen how, little by little, the churches have been growing. After only four [evangelical] churches in the beginning, we are already 17 churches alone here in the county seat [including Comunidad Cristiana Roca de Eternidad and others.]

Additionally, around all the cantones, there are already about 250 churches that have been established. So we’re seeing things develop in comparison with 16 years ago when the northern area [of Esmeraldas province] was abandoned and neglected. Today we see highways, bridges, hospitals—and that is no accident. It is due to light shining into darkness when the gospel reaches a community. That is because the gospel transforms the ideology, the thought and the life of the whole community. That’s what happened in the whole northern area [of Esmeraldas province].

What else would you like to add?

Just ask for more folks to help us. We want to continue preparing leaders and helping with the children here in the north [of Esmeraldas province]. The need remains large just as the Lord Jesus Christ said, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” So we are very focused on preparing workers, and that means investing in their lives. We have to move them to the cities because we do not have a seminary here. So they need to move to Esmeraldas [the city] or Quito. At times this is a big issue [helping develop people into Christian leaders] for us because the need—poverty among children—is growing every day. These days through Compassion International we have 4,700 children who are receiving help. One might say enough is being done. But realize this: thousands and thousands more are still in need. So we want to seize the opportunity before us, and we’d like people to join in, to help. We’d like for people to join us in this plan of God … because it is of God.

Reach Beyond pastor’s training takes place through the mission’s APOYO department. (Apoyo is a Spanish language word for ‘support’.) At this four-day workshop, 24 pastors and leaders representing 13 different churches learned how to better lead their congregations. Each church was given a basic library including a Bible commentary, Bible dictionary, Thompson chain reference Bible, Quichua language Bible, Billy Graham Association counseling reference guide and a book on God’s covenants. (Reach Beyond archive photo)

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Responses

  1. […] Of the Caizas’ work in Haiti, Cortez said at the time, “I’m amazed at how Edison and Francisco pray and give testimony of God’s help to the people.” Amazed perhaps, but satisfied to see his investments of time and teaching result in physical as well as spiritual benefits. Arriving at Yalare for the water system’s inauguration, Cortez had already met with a San Lorenzo pastor, German Campos, who himself disciples and mentors other pastors. (Also see Pastor says, ‘With Greater Darkness, the Light of Jesus is Blazing’.) […]


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