NEEDED: Ten eXtreme Walkers in Ecuador
The Plan: Two eXtreme walkers residing in each of five communities.
“No, we don’t know of any evangelical church here in our town.”
That was the reply we heard over and over again as we made our survey trip to western Loja province. Many small towns are scattered across this mountainous area that gradually dips down to the coastal plains. It is the most southern province in Ecuador and boarders with Peru. This is the land of agriculture with coffee as one of its classic crops. The people are friendly but reserved, the area deeply steeped in tradition and religions characteristic of most Latin American countries.
Tom and Susan Stiles, B.J. and Andrea Williamson, and Jennifer Riggs were surveying this area as a team to discover the needs for future One Mission Society outreach. The need appears to be great in this rural setting of approximately 50,000 people. The distance from the province capital and the isolation of some of the towns has been a hindrance to the spread of the gospel. The Lord spoke to each of our hearts about future ministry. Our team prayed and asked God for direction on how to proceed. Then `Loja Challenge 2015’ was initiated. As local pastors heard about our experience, they too became excited about the possibility of ministering to this area. A target date for the summer of 2015 was agreed upon to send the first team members.
As plans and prayers developed, we felt there was a need for someone to live in each county seat and build relationships with the local people. In Luke 10:6 Jesus tells the 72 to go out and seek a person of peace who will welcome and receive you in their home. A person of peace will open doors to a new community. That person will have natural contacts with family and friends, be open for Bible studies in order to have a chance to better understand the Gospel. Eventually, a house church may be started in that location and missionaries, pastors, and national workers can begin to train a local person to lead this emerging house church.
Loja Challenge 2015 is an initiative by One Mission Society where young adults can spend a year ministering through the eXtreme Walk program. The plan is to have two eXtreme walkers residing in five communities to build relationships with the purpose of finding persons of peace. They will learn Spanish by formal studies and by making contacts in the community. Missionary mentors will help with cross cultural training and ministry plans. Eventually they will be able to share the Gospel and even lead Bible studies. An intensive course on Spanish, Loja culture, and how to reach people will be given during the first three months upon arrival in Ecuador.
You can be part of the team. Your council or church may want to `adopt’ one of the teams and pray for their location. Short term teams will be important to work alongside and encourage these eXtreme walk missionaries. MFM teams will be involved in medical care, children and youth ministries, English camps, and evangelism events that will help these young workers. (Article by Tom and Susan Stiles)
Please help us find young people ready to join the team. For more information on eXtreme Walk, visit http://www.onemissionsociety.org.uk/loja-challenge.aspx or contact Stephen Mairs at email@example.com