Missions Wednesday: Ecuador

Our church has had the opportunity to be involved in sending a family on multiple short-term trips to Ecuador in the past year. Through their faithful effort, we have learned more about the work of Gospel and about the continued need for the Gospel. Ecuador has been in the news in recent days following what seems to have been an attempted coup last week. Instability in the government has been ongoing, with the average government only lasting two years. There is freedom of religion, but the population is heavily Catholic, like much of South America. The strong influence of Catholicism makes advancement of the Gospel difficult, especially in rural areas.

The Gospel has made the most impact among the Quichua people. They are a large Indian tribe who dwell in the jungle. While in 1960 Ecuador had the lowest number of evangelicals in Latin America, this number has grown from .04% to 6.1% in 2000. This is largely due to the advance of the Gospel among the Quichua people. Because of the work of missionaries in the 1950’s, and beyond, nearly all of the small jungle tribes have churches and Bible’s in their language. This was once thought impossible.

Ways to pray:
  1. Pray for the continued work among the jungle tribes. Missionaries face opposition from anthropologists and others who want to hinder their work.
  2. Pray for increased pastoral training. We know of a team that is there now working with Ecuadorian pastors, training them to go back to minister to their congregations.
  3. Pray for the least evangelized. The upper and middle classes have been pretty unresponsive to missionary efforts. The University and school students are the next generation and need continued evangelizing and discipleship. Few Christian workers have invested their lives in the slum-dwellers of Quito and Guayaquil. Pray that they would be awakened to the call to care for the least of these.