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Spread Christmas Joy to Ecuadorian Families in Need

12.14.20
by Crossworld
in Blog, Church, Current events, Evangelism, Ecuador
Give to help struggling pastors buy Christmas gifts for their families.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit Ecuador hard. But the suffering of the people has given way for God to show His provision for the Ecuadorian church in dire need. 

Crossworld worker Dave Meyer works with a network of churches in Ecuador. He shared what’s been happening there since March. (Keep reading to see a special way you can make a difference and share the love of Christ this Christmas.)

Dave, how did COVID-19 affect churches in Ecuador?

Dave MeyerLike many countries, the first response was to shut down all public gatherings. That measure severely affected the churches.

Most churches here are new, with many believers just beginning their walk with Christ. They couldn’t meet together, and there’s little access to technology so prevalent in the USA like live streaming and online giving. Many believers were cut off from personal fellowship, pastoral counseling, and biblical teaching from mid-March through the end of September.

How has it impacted pastors in particular?

Pastors have been the hardest hit of all. Most of them barely make enough to provide for their families in good times. Without regular church gatherings or online giving options (and Ecuadorians being out of work), there has been little to no church offerings for months. And no offerings means no salary for the pastor. As bills grew and no end to the lockdown was in sight, many pastors faced the hard choice of leaving their pastoral ministry to provide for their family.

How have you sought to meet these acute financial needs?

Within two weeks of the lockdown, I started getting calls from pastor friends in need. We could help in a very limited way, but it was clear something radical needed to be done. We set up a fund to raise money for these desperate pastors. The response from believers all across America was amazing. It has been a lifeline for the pastors and their churches. To date, we’ve provided more than $60,000 in aid for the pastors’ families and their congregations.

What gospel opportunities did you see through this?

The impact has been incredible. The aid made it possible for local pastors to continue their ministry, preaching the gospel through recorded videos and Zoom meetings, and caring for their church members. They organized food baskets for hundreds of the neediest families in their communities. Some of these communities are steeped in traditional religion and have been opposed to evangelicals. But that attitude dissolved through acts of love. These tangible gifts allowed the church to be a shining light amid the darkness of quarantine. 

What have you learned about the Ecuadorian church through this?

They’ve shown their resilience and tenacity for the work of the gospel during the darkest economic time in living history. Countless lives have been changed through the faithfulness of believers showing love — often sacrificing their own scarce resources to do so. Now, post-lockdown, we’re seeing many new faces at our Bible studies and Sunday services.

Is there still time to make a difference?

Absolutely. We want to provide pastors with aid through the end of the year. In addition, we would like to double the gifts in December so pastors can give Christmas gifts to their families. Your donation of any amount reminds the churches here that God cares for them and will carry them through.

If you would like to bless Ecuadorian pastors and churches this Christmas, you can make a gift to the Ecuador Benevolence Fund. Thank you!

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What do you think? Your comments and questions on the topic of this blog are welcome. (See our brief policy.)

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