Ecuador Evangelism

Loja, Ecuador

By Janet Ostroot

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 NIV).

Sharing the gospel with an immigrant from Venezuela
Sharing the gospel with an immigrant from Venezuela.

Looking back, it is exciting to see how the Spirit of God was working to set His plan in place for a missionary team to go to Loja, Ecuador. It started more than a year ago when Al Gaines, MFM Regional Representative, presented missionary opportunities to the First Baptist Church in Cokato, MN. As Al was sharing about the ministry and possible mission opportunities, I noticed that my heart was being stirred to participate in an evangelism trip to Colombia. There seemed to be several obstacles, but the Spirit’s prompting continued to urge me on. Then a phone call from Al Gaines stopped me in my tracks when I heard that the trip was off, but would I consider a trip to Ecuador over the same dates? Absolutely! The Spirit was moving and wasn’t yet done assembling the team. Though my husband, Bob, hadn’t planned on participating, God changed his heart and helped him get past his anxiety of sharing his faith story, and he joined the team.

Missionaries Mark and Nube Vogan of Loja, Ecuador, welcomed the team into their home during the week of November 4-10, 2018. They arranged daily opportunities for the team to share their personal faith stories and the Gospel by using a tool called an EvangeCube that tells the story of salvation and helps people by using their sense of hearing and sight to grasp the wonderful message of Jesus’ love and forgiveness.

Children’s outreach using the EvangeCube
Children’s outreach using the EvangeCube.

The team had opportunities to share Jesus’ salvation message through interpreters, not only during the Sunday church service, but out in the community, in neighbors’ homes, at a sports center, a national park, in two city squares, at the market, at a Bible study, and two kids clubs. It was so gratifying and humbling to watch the Lord work in the lives of many people, opening their eyes to recognize their need for a Savior.

One special memory was of a young lady who had heard the plan of salvation during the church service. The family had remained after the people had gone home, and she and her sister were sitting in the living room. They reached for the EvangeCubes and were looking through the pictures. The young lady began to cry, and we finally understood that she was wanting to ask Jesus into her heart. However, she was deeply afraid of how her father would react. Through hugs and encouragement, we helped her come to the point where she was willing to make that commitment. Nube stepped in and prayed with her in her own language and helped walk her into the presence of the Lord. What a tearful and joyful moment.

As the week drew to an end, the team all reflected that though the week looked different than what we had imagined. We were all convinced that God’s spirit had been at work accomplishing His plan rather than ours. Oh, how thrilling it was to recognize that God allowed us to be His hands and feet in that beautiful mountainous town of Loja, Ecuador.