Last weekend was our first time to hold a children’s ministry event on the coast of Ecuador. It is amazing how different Ecuador is from one region to another. Where we live, high in the Andes mountains (10,000 feet), it’s always a nice, mild temperature. We don’t even have air conditioning or heat in our home. But once you come down from the mountains, you quickly remember that we are right on the equator because it is H-O-T!
Our trip, was met with problems before we even got started. The bus we planned to rent was in a wreck so we had to scurry and find an alternate. Then, the day before leaving, half of our teen helpers became sick and couldn’t go (we feared we might get the bug also). We considered canceling, but knew that God had a plan and we refused to let the enemy stop us.
Our event, which consisted of teacher training and a kidsfest service, was first held in the city of Guayaquil. Boasting the largest population of any city in Ecuador, this city has a reputation for being fairly dangerous as there is great poverty and desperation. During the first night of our teacher training, there was a huge gang fight one block down the street that caused us to worry a bit; but, thankfully, the police broke up the crowd quickly and we remained safe behind the iron gates of the church yard. The teachers here truly embraced their calling as ministers and committed to doing more in their churches as we foc
used on the importance of children’s ministry. The kidsfest service was powerful as many children crammed in to hear the Message.
After 1 1/2 days in Guayaquil, we traveled outside a remote city called Daule to repeat the same teacher training and kidsfest service. Here, we were met by people so hungry for training that they actually arrived ON TIME, which if you have any experience with the Latin culture, you know that is a rare occurrence! We weren’t really sure we had the strength for another high-energy day in the heat with half of our team out sick, but in our weakness HIS strength is made perfect! After 4 hours of teacher training, we held a kidsfest service in the street. The kids and parents kept pouring in as our sweat kept pouring out. Approximately 500 kids clustered around our little tent, that wasn’t nearly big enough to block the sun, and listened attentively and responsively to the message of salvation. Many of them received Christ for the first time on that hot and steamy road.
Over 2 1/2 days, we held teacher training for 140 children’s ministry workers, and shared the Gospel with around 800 children. The lesson to be learned here is that it is NOT by our strength, but only through total dependance on HIM that these things can be accomplished.