Ecuador, US Nazarenes unite to aid indigenous community
In January, a missions team comprised of churches from the United States and a missions team from Iglesia del Nazareno Monte Sinai in Quito, Ecuador, collaborated to complete a workday in a village in Imbabuela, Ecuador, 75 kilometers outside of Quito.
To uplift and demonstrate God's love to the locals in the neighborhood, the teams joined together to celebrate a workday. For the event, attendees raised money on their own. They put together baskets of food and toys that were distributed to community members using donations from the local church members and a congregation in the U.S.
Pastor Hernan Puga and the Monte Sinaí NMI president, Bianca García, challenged the congregation to go on this missions trip. The missions team adopted the name Matt 25 based on Matthew 25, where Jesus speaks about doing good "to the least of these."
"What drives us is God's love for children, youth, and the elderly," Puga said. "We wish we had more resources, but we know God can do much with the little we have."
Monte Sinaí supports both national and international missions. The church takes up a missionary offering once a month to help in missionary efforts. The church realized another opportunity had arisen when they heard that a missions team from the U.S. was considering traveling with them to that community.
“We consider ourselves a missionary church,” Puga said. “Perhaps we can’t send a missionary overseas, but we can do missions in our own country and support missions by giving.”
García is inspired by the participants’ enthusiasm to go on this missions trip. She believed that both the congregation members and those in the neighborhood would benefit from this outreach trip.
"Our motivation is to share with people about the gospel," García said. "We want people to know that they are not alone. We hope that through this mission, more leaders will be raised and God's kingdom continues to grow into more indigenous places, our whole nation, and the world."
On Sunday, members of the community, team members from the U.S., and members of Monte Sinaí worshiped together. The message was brought by Pastor Puga, who challenged the audience to be the church in our world and to love people.
"When we love Jesus, love flows [to others]," Puga said. "Jesus wants us to be like Him. He would hug the children and the elderly, and people would come to Him. You have Jesus in your heart, so we are called to love others."