|Duval Rueda emcees a luncheon sponsored by Radio Station HCJB to bring together several of Ecuador’s pastors, denominational leaders and missionaries to promote collaboration in equipping cross-cultural missionaries.|
(Feb. 15, 2013 - by Ralph Kurtenbach) Discussion turned to discoveries among several church leaders who gathered in Ecuador and soon realized they share a mutual interest in a country thousands of miles away.
Brought together by Radio Station HCJB in Quito, one by one each luncheon invitee presented their congregations’ cross-cultural mission work both within Ecuador and beyond.
They surprised themselves at how often the West African country of Senegal kept popping up. It turned out that three Ecuadorian families are doing mission work there, according to Duval Rueda, who coordinated and emceed the event on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
“But those families in Senegal weren’t aware of each other,” explained Rueda, continuing that the attendees’ reaction was characterized by, “Wow! We have missionaries in Senegal too!” Senegal’s population is characterized by Operation World as more than 91 percent Islam.
|Sarah Collins chats with a young Ecuadorian who anticipates mission work in Asia. In the last few months he has honed his English-speaking skills and was mentored by missionaries in other areas, including spiritual formation.|
“It was a good time to learn of the work of each church or denomination,” summarized Rueda. HCJB Global’s Anabella Cabezas said the discovery “made them commit to work together for the best interest of the missionaries and their work.”
Under Cabeza’s leadership of media for the mission’s Latin America Region, Radio Station HCJB—begun decades ago by expatriate missionaries from North America—demonstrates a passion for missions by giving, as well as receiving.
“About four years ago,” explained Rueda, “HCJB decided to share a tithe—10 percent—of our Misión Compartida (Sharing the Mission) donations with Ecuadorian missionaries working cross-culturally either with Ecuador’s indigenous people or outside of the country.”
More recently, the stations added to their on-air programming Corrientes Misioneras (Currents in Missions), a micro-program showcasing accounts of missionaries as well as those en route to serve God in this way. “Many churches and denominations are sending out missionaries who are 100-percent supported by Ecuadorian funds,” said Rueda, who serves as production director for programming for HCJB-FM and AM.
The radio program’s thrust is mobilization of missionaries, paralleling a coalition effort (also Corrientes) launched by HCJB Global and other agencies in 2009. Sarah Collins, a luncheon attendee on behalf of Corrientes, said that “in just the last two weeks I’ve been in communication with past participants who are now serving in the Middle East, Europe, Haiti and South America.” She has helped Ecuadorians to improve their English-language skills and more recently began overseeing the program on an interim basis.
During the same week, Collins and other Corrientes volunteers had breakfast together, and then prayed for a young Ecuadorian who has been preparing to share the gospel with people in Asia.
The noontime luncheon reflected the mission’s desire formation of colleagues with whom the expatriate missionaries have served as well as others from like-minded Ecuadorian churches.
“History tells us that in the late 1980s, there were four Ecuadorians serving cross-culturally as missionaries in other countries,” recounted Rueda. “At the close of the year 2010, there were almost 90 such missionaries outside of the country, and they are supported by Ecuador’s churches.”
“So as a missions organization, we determined to get into this missions wave because we felt that God was pushing the Ecuadorian church into this missions work, both here in our country as well as backing those Ecuadorians who are serving elsewhere, especially in the 10/40 window.”
It was the first such luncheon sponsored by the station to bring together those who have sent or plan to send cross-cultural missionaries, but Rueda anticipates sponsoring more such events.
Source: HCJB Global