As many of you know, my wife and I are going to Ecuador as missionaries. We are currently in Peru in language school, learning Spanish, and preparing to start a church in Ecuador. I want to share a few reasons why we are going to Ecuador and why you should consider joining us to reach Ecuador with the Gospel.
One, the amount of false religion
Ecuador is 74% Catholic, according to the CIA Factbook. This means a majority of the people in Ecuador are Catholic. This number has shrunk over the last 50 years, and more people are leaving the Catholic Church, but most people you meet in Ecuador will be Catholic, at least in name.
Sadly, the Catholic religion teaches a salvation that is based on works. They teach you to confess your sins and do good works to make up for the wrong things you have done. They teach that you must be baptized for salvation. They have religion, but religion does not give you salvation. They need to hear the true Gospel. The Bible says in Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. The people in Ecuador do have religion, but they are trying to establish their righteousness and not accept God’s righteousness. They need to hear what the Bible has to say and trust in Christ for salvation.
The second-largest religion in Ecuador is Evangelicalism. They make up 11% of the population, and I would like to take a look at who they are and what they believe.
The term evangelical is an inclusive term that encompasses most Protestant denominations. However, in South America, a majority of the time, if you say that you are evangelical, you are Pentecostal.
Although I am glad that Pentecostals are closer to the Gospel than Catholics, there are still many things that they believe are not Biblical. For example, many Pentecostals place a higher value on their feelings and experiences than the Bible. They are more likely to trust a dream or some feeling than the Word of God. They need to hear the truth from the Bible because that is the only thing that will change their lives.
Atheists make up 7.9% of the population of Ecuador. Catholicism was brought over to the people of Ecuador from Spain when they took over the country. They forced the people to convert, and until the early 1900s, it was the only religion. However, in recent years Evangelicals have made inroads with more and more people falling away from the Catholic church. We also see that along with people turning to Pentecostalism and Evangelical groups; some people turned to atheism. They became disillusioned with Catholicism and began to deny the existence of God. They started looking to science for their answers and not to God.
So, not only are there people that need to hear the truth about the Bible and God, some people need to accept that there is a God and that the Bible is true.
The last religion that we are going to look at in Ecuador are the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They make up 1.2 % of the population in Ecuador.
This is a false religion that is making grounds in Ecuador. They are making converts, and sadly people do not know what the Bible says, so they accept this false religion. They need to hear the true Gospel!
Two, the lack of churches and missionaries in the country
There is a great need for churches and missionaries in the country of Ecuador. Recently I did a study of the 24 provinces in Ecuador. It was sad to see that from what I could find that many provinces only have one or two Baptist churches for the entire province. A few provinces didn’t have any churches, according to my knowledge. There is a need for more churches to be started in the country of Ecuador, and our goal is to start more churches there so that people will have the opportunity to hear the Gospel in their town or village.
Also, from research that I have done, there are only about 15 Baptist missionaries in Ecuador. Only 4 or 5 of them are doing church planting work in the country. So there is a great need for others to go and start churches in the country of Ecuador.
Three, opportunities to reach the world from Ecuador
I am also excited about the opportunity in Ecuador because it is one of the world’s younger countries. The average age of someone in Ecuador is 28 years old. In comparison, the average age of someone in the USA is 38 years old. There is a young generation of people in Ecuador that we can reach with the Gospel. We are praying that God will allow us to raise up workers to start churches and reach others with the Gospel.
One interesting fact about Ecuador is that they use the American dollar as their currency. This makes it a little bit more expensive for the Americas living there because they don’t benefit from the currency exchange that you usually get in other countries. Still, it also means that if an Ecuadorian were to leave their country as a missionary, they would be able to live more easily in another country because of the exchange rate. We are praying that one day we will be able to send Ecuadorians around the world to preach the Gospel in other countries.
Over the last fifty years, there has been a significant change in religion in the country of Ecuador. Just fifty years ago, over 95% of people in Ecuador were Catholic, but now that number has dropped to 75%. People are searching for the truth and need to hear the Gospel. They realize that their religion is dead and need a change in their life. We are praying that we can show them that the Gospel is what they need.
Would you consider giving your life to come and work with us to reach Ecuador with the Gospel?
Click here to see why you should consider giving your life to be a missionary.