Nine team members and volunteers from OM Ecuador recently headed from coastal Guayaquil to the south of the country for a follow-up visit after a Vacation Bible School held a few months ago. The team travelled to Saraguro and Lagunas, indigenous communities nestled in the southern highlands of Ecuador steeped in Incan tradition.“We experienced unusual clarity of direction and felt challenged to let go of self reliance,” says an OM Ecuador team member. “We also let go of the schedule we had drawn up and gave the control to God. And of course, when we get out of the way and give Him space to move, things happen more His way than ours!”
On the first morning, the team members went off individually to seek the Lord’s direction as to how to proceed. It was astounding how, when they compared notes, the Lord had put the same thoughts and Scripture into each of their minds. This became their strategy for prayer for the city of Saraguro. This clear direction continued as they pled, wept over, and finally rejoiced in what they believed God was going to do. The team then continued to a community bordering Saraguro called Lagunas and came to a school named Inti Raymi, which also is the name of a festival to worship the sun. In this school, only ancient Incan religion is taught. Thirty children were waiting for the team, and they witnessed a miracle happen in these children’s hearts. Nearly all of them prayed to receive Christ and were eager to get the tracts the team had for them.
Although the team came to this village to serve the community and lead them to a saving knowledge of Christ, they met with a lot of resistance from the adult inhabitants. “A woman walked by me and heard me praying out loud,” says volunteer Guillermo Suco. “She went to her house and let out her two huge dogs to attack me. They came towards me; however, when they got to me, they sat on their haunches and let me pat their heads.” Another participant remembers that a witchdoctor also started shouting at a team member, saying, “You’re dividing us, you’re dividing us.” Though the woman tried to dissuade him with threats, God had given the team a sense of calm, says the team member. God even intervened in the health of team member Riana van der Berg who, at one time during the trip, had a massive headache. When a team member prayed for her, it went away instantly. The team recognises that God indeed had His way in these communities and opened hearts closed to the gospel. He moved and protected them from harm and touched their lives. They know that when we get out of the way and give God space to move, great things can happen.
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