Last night I had the privilege of preaching at Faith Baptist Church of La Concordia, Ecuador. Almost a year ago we were here with a group of young people from my church, Bible Baptist of Fort Mill, SC, knocking on doors and inviting people to visit this new mission work. As you can see in the picture to the right, they recently celebrated their first year of ministry. Today, it is a fully independent, autonomous church with its own pastor; still in it’s infancy but growing strong.
They meet in rented facilities; two small rooms that they pack with seats every Sunday and every Wednesday night. Adults in one room. Children in the other. They are praying that the Lord will allow them to buy a piece of property where they can construct their own building and continue to grow. Average attendance is around 70. I was excited to be there and to see what God is doing in this city.
The most surprising news of the night was when the pastor gave a report on the new mission work they are beginning in a nearby town. I actually asked someone if what I was hearing was right. This new work, comprised mainly of new believers, has already taken the steps to begin to plant another church.
It is convicting to think of the numbers of churches with tremendous resources who, perhaps, have never been involved in the establishment of another work. Yet how many of us know of communities within close reach of our own homes that do not have a sound, Bible-preaching church. I was reminded again last night that missions is not always about sending people to far away places where they speak another language, eat other kinds of food and dress differently than we do.
Reaching Judea and Samaria is just as important as reaching the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8). At least that’s how they see it in Ecuador.