Week 2 in Ecuador we spent in the city of Pelileo. We were encouraged by the response to the call of the Holy Spirit we saw in El Triunfo, and our faith strengthened in the power of prayer because of the difficulties that God had provided a way through. We thought that we had overcome the most intense opposition, but there was much more to come.
We were still staying in the city of Baños, but now we drove 30 minutes to the city of Pelileo to spend the next week ministering there. Something we don’t experience often here in the United States is witchcraft. It can seem like something from a time long ago, but in many parts of the world it is still common. This is the case in Pelileo. Some of our team tells us about how they felt the spiritual heaviness when they entered the city.
One team member said about Pelileo, “No matter where you go, every place is very different…Pelileo was a very hard place, just the atmosphere, the spiritual atmosphere, was challenging. We had a lot of opposition there…It was just a very hard place to be.”
Our evangelist and director, Josiah, said, “This is where we encountered a lot more opposition…There was definitely like a spirit over the city. I talked to one of the local pastors and he said that Pelileo was one of the worst cities to evangelize in the entire nation of Ecuador…There actually is a lot of witchcraft throughout Ecuador.”
Dr. Reyes said about it, “It’s no easy thing saying, ‘Hey, I want to go on a mission.’ We are literally going to the battlefield…I had nightmares my first week (remember Dr. Reyes did not arrive until the second week of the trip) so getting rest was difficult…You could just sense the opposition in the air.”
Despite this, the fruit from our labors in the city were great! John 16 says that even though we will bear tribulation and trials, Jesus has overcome the world! He has already won the battle and that is certainly evidenced during our time in Pelileo.
Josiah shared that even though it was difficult God did a wondrous thing. “The first night [of the tent meetings] was really really hard. We had only like a couple people come forward. It was probably the worst sermon of my life. I was just confused while I was preaching, I was stuttering, I was losing my train of thought, it was really bad. It was just spiritual opposition. I think it was a battle the whole time. The second day we had 20 new converts, that doesn’t include rededications. So I think it was the prayers. We really ramped up our prayer between day 1 and day 2 because of the opposition, and it was a whole different world. It was incredible.”
So for our support team back home that are lifting us up in prayer we say, “Thank you!” Never doubt that you have an important role to play even if you are not physically with us. Your prayers are invaluable and they do make a real difference!
Our team began the week just as they had in El Triunfo, with two days of spreading flyers and tracts throughout the city. The next two days were spent with medical clinics in the morning and revival meetings at night. These days were exhausting for our team.
They were up early to set up the clinic which began at 10am. And while they were supposed to end at 4pm leaving 3 hours before the revival meetings began, people continued to come and our team unwilling to turn them away, often left them finishing up at 6 with only an hour till the tent meeting began.
It was beyond worth it though as Dr. Reyes and Dr. Sarita were able to see 181 people the first day and 271 the second day! The ailments seen were mostly mother’s bringing their children in for check ups, pregnant women wondering if everything was going well with their unborn child, diabetes, strep throat, and rheumatoid arthritis. Imagine living in a world where you were unable to check on your baby during pregnancy, have your children examined by a doctor, or receive regular checkups for your diabetes? By God’s grace, we were able to provide these services to hundreds of people.
During the revival meetings our team again encountered opposition including but limited to people shouting that God didn’t exist, talking and laughing at Josiah during the sermons and children wandering about and making noise; but God’s power and glory overcame and 20 souls were saved because of it.
We hope you’ll check back in with us next week to see what God did during our last week in Ecuador! As always, thank you for your support. God is changing lives through your prayers!