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ecuador / south america
Ecuador has rarely experienced political stability and is very familiar with widespread poverty and child labor. The younger generation makes up the majority of the population with 35% under the age of 15 years-old and remains some of the less-evangelized. Because many rural areas strongly resist religious change, relationship building and culturally relevant ministry is vital.
*In the mountains* Many churches are small in Ecuador. The challenges are great because the Catholic church has strongly opposed the work of the Protestant church. It is a great time to send workers to help build the churches.— Jim & Corinne Thorp
Guayaquil has the highest incidence of abuse nationwide. One home estimates as many as 7 out of 10 girls who reside there have been victims of exploitation.— Titus & Stephanie
Guayaquil is a large city. However, with the many people there is also a huge need.— Jim & Corinne Thorp
Evangelical numbers are large enough to significantly impact society. The
potential is great, but many in-house issues need resolution. Many churches exist independently, with no accountability or authority structure.—Operation World
Political stability has been rare; presidents rarely last even 18 months in the job.
Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas.
WorldVenture first entered Ecuador in early 2000. The focus of WorldVenture’s team in Ecuador is evangelism, church planting, restoration and justice ministries..
WorldVenture workers in Loja are hopeful that the future will bring significant breakthroughs in the areas of women's ministry and evangelism. In Guayaquil the hope is to create a movement of believers taking action in issues of justice regarding children victims of abuse and exploitation..
FOOD & HOUSING
I ate a guinea pig there, once. It is a delicacy, but it doesn't taste like chicken. It wasn't bad, just not that great. In some places it is a traditional wedding meal.— Jim Thorp
Over 60% of the latter’s population are extremely poor, and many live in slums built on a polluted marsh.— Operation World
WEATHER & ENVIRONMENT
Guayaquil is a large city and not an easy place to live. It is hot and crowded. Loja is a beautiful city nestled in the mountains. Since it is so high, the climate is very mild.— Jim & Corinne Thorp
LANGUAGE & CULTURE
The country’s greatest need may be stable government.— Operation World
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We have many opportunities requested by our teams, but we're open to new ideas. God has moved us into over 60 countries by bringing us people with vision, passion and calling. If you don't find an opportunity that fits, or doesn't fully fit ... let's talk. Our first priority is relationship (i.e. "Are we a good fit for each other? You and WorldVenture"). Once that is clear, we will walk with you into almost anything.
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Preparing to serve in Ecuador
Ministering in church planting and leadership development in Ecuador
Serving through evangelism, discipleship and restoration with children-at-risk and in marginalized communities
With respect for people and their cultures, we communicate, by word and deed, the full scope of biblical truth and, especially, the gospel. We make disciples of Jesus Christ among all peoples through different kinds of evangelism..
We seek to build and nurture authentic relationships with people who have no knowledge of Jesus Christ with whom we can share our faith. Paul asks, 'How are they to believe in the one they have not heard of?' Romans 10:14. The answer is that they can't. It is our desire for those who have never heard the gospel or never understood it to have the chance know God. Many times a true opportunity to hear the gospel requires an environment of trust and friendship first.
Scriptures: Matt 28:18-20, Rom 10:14, 1 John 4:19.
We recognize both the internal conversion of the heart and external profession of faith as milestones in the journey of obedience to Jesus Christ. We encourage new believers to identify themselves as Christ-followers in ways that are recognized as authentic in the local context.
Scriptures: Romans 10:10, Matthew 5:14-16, Eph. 4:20-24, Mark 16:15 .
Baptism is another external milestone in the journey of obedience for a new believer. We encourage new Christ-followers to further identified themselves with Jesus Christ and the local community of faith through baptism by immersion.
Scriptures: Romans 6:3-6, Galatians 3:27, Matthew 28:19-20.
We nurture reasonable steps taken to pursue spiritual growth and evangelism from Christians and non-Christians. This often looks like greater depth in comprehending biblical truths and expressing their growing faith in ways meaningfully in their own culture.
Scriptures: Hebrews 10: 24-25, Eph. 4:11-17, Matthew 28: 18-20.
We actively invest time and talent into Bible translation and creation of Christian media knowing that these investments will expand and deepen the influence of the gospel in a culture.
Scriptures: Acts 2:8-11, Philippians 2:9-11, Acts 13:47-49, Acts 8:26-39.
Following the example of Jesus, we address human suffering and practical needs everywhere we share the gospel, whether it be through individual acts of mercy or community-wide programs.
Lasting community development is only achieved by insiders. Meaning, we assisted people in their own development efforts in the areas of acquiring sustainable food, water, shelter, literacy, vocational training, education, and employment. Our explicit goal is empowerment, dignity, and community ownership.
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 10:18, 1 Samuel 2:8, Psalm 145:15-16, Luke 12:33.
The grace and blessing of medical care where there is no other access to medical help is one of the longest standing outreaches of WorldVenture. Our hospitals and rural clinics dot some of the most difficult locations in the world.
Scriptures: Jeremiah 33:6, Isaiah 40:29, Matt 19:2.
We seek out those who have become vulnerable and fallen to the advantage of other people. We advocate for them within available legal systems, or we build exits and avenues for them to leave their circumstances.
Scriptures: Isaiah 43:2, Psalm 72:4, Isaiah 51:4-5, Ezekiel 34:15-16, Psalm 82:3-4.
In large scale disasters which are within locations we have workers and churches, we bring help directly to the people effected by the disaster. Our networks are often the most established in the communities to the point that larger relief organizations will defer to us on the ground. Yet our strategies always extend past the immediate response to include some form of rebuilding and restoration.
Scriptures: 1 Cor 16:1-4, Psalm 145:15-16, Philippians 4:19.
Building his church is central to Jesus’ purposes. We strive to establish healthy local churches that will establish other churches, resulting in church planting movements.
Recognizing that church planting is typically more of a process rather than a one-time event, we speak of a church as being "established" when the local church and its local sister churches recognize it as such. We value real growth of the church, and use milestones like this to give us benchmarks to celebrate.
Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 15:20-21, Matthew 18:20, 1 Timothy 4:13, Acts 16:4-5.
Another milestone we encourage as a mark of a maturing church is the multiplication of daughter churches. More than anything this is a sign of the outward growth and maturity of the faith community.
Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 16:4-5, Romans 15:20-21, Ephesians 2:19-22.
We develop leaders who are able to lead others in contextualizing and maximizing their Kingdom impact – locally, regionally, and around the world.
Our workers staff numberous formal seminaries and bible schools as teachers or administrators. We know that people being equipped in and for ministry through formal degree/diploma granting institutions is an investment in the future health and vitality of the church.
Scriptures: Proverbs 2:10-11, Luke 2:45-47, Proverbs 1:1-7.
In addition to formal academic training, we encourage leadership development through non-formal ministry training seminars, courses, and programs. These programs are equally as powerful for deepening and establishing churches through informed and mature lay leaders.
Scriptures: Psalm 32:8, Psalm 119:105, John 10:3-4.
Experience has taught us that some of the most natural and effective future missionaries come from the children of our current missionaries. Not only does the investment in these children make it possible for their parents to work in remote locations, most of the international schools in which we partner encourage the personal ministry and impact these children can have while on the field.
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 4:9, Matthew 18:2-5, 1 Timothy 4:12.
Our 360° vision for impacting societies recognizes that there are a handful of key roads to impacting in any given city or provence or people group. For example, business and media are key influencers in a society, but often fall outside designated leadership tracks like pastors and teachers. We encourage the development of Christian leaders who will influence society through business, politics, medicine, media, social justice, and family and community development.
Scriptures: John 17:15-19, Colossians 3:23-24, 1 Corinthians 14:12, Romans 12:6-8, Matthew 25:23.
We will encourage individuals, churches, and church movements everywhere to connect with each other and other organizations, creating international relationships for networking, collaborating, and partnering to do missions “from everywhere to everywhere.”
We encourage the natural progression of a maturing national church by advocating for the training and development of national Christians to become missionaries. Crossing-cultures is always difficult, even for those who are born and raised in multi-lingual, multi-cultural environments, and preparation can be a key element in the succeess of a national missionary.
Scriptures: Psalm 144:1, Galations 3:28, Psalm 32:8, Isaiah 61:1.
In addition to individuals going out as missionaries, we encourage national churches to engage in missions.
Scriptures: Romans 10:15, John 15:1-27, Matthew 9:35-38.
From the individual to the church and then finally to the multi-church association, we encourage many national church groups and church associations to engaged in missions. We seek a culture of outward movement and self-sacrifice as a healthy part of a national church.
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, 2 Corinthians 9:10-12, Romans 10:15.
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