Monday, September 12, 2016

Ecuador Mission Discovery

It's been over 2.5 years since I came back from living in Ecuador. The 18 months I spent there transformed my understanding of my faith and a life called to social justice. I learned what it meant to truly be part of a community, to live and worship together, to share small moments in the every day. After completing my domestic missionary assignment in Alabama and finishing the Generation Transformation program, I knew I wanted to stay in touch with the global church, especially my friends and neighbors in Ecuador. 

At the beginning of last year, while completing my Master's degree in Social Work, a friend from Indiana Annual Conference contacted me because she had recently traveled to Ecuador and met Sara Flores, the missionary I worked closely with there. After some conversations with the conference, we decided a journey to Ecuador would further the global connection and mission of the church. The Ecuador Mission Discovery would be an opportunity for young people from the U.S. to meet young adults from Ecuador and build relationships while learning about the Methodist Church in a new context.

I was asked to co-lead this mission journey, which will take place in just a few months. We have been planning for the past year and have 8 young adults on the team. Our journey will begin in late December (after Christmas) and end the second week of January. While in Ecuador, we hope to invite several young Ecuadorians from local Methodist churches to join us in order to establish a connection between the two faith communities. The team will be working in various churches in the Sierra, or mountain region, doing some construction work, children's ministry, and exploration of the local culture with faith leaders.

The main focus of this trip is to foster intercultural dialogue and develop relationships between American and Ecuadorian Methodists. We believe that both nations and churches have much to learn from one another, and we hope to see God at work through the sharing of stories, experiences, and faith. Please pray for our team as we prepare for this incredible journey in la tierra de fuego