Being here in Ecuador is an amazing experience, and I am so blessed by the presence, promises, and faithfulness of God in each moment that I am here! While back in my home country of the United States we find ourselves to be very time oriented… often needing to be punctual or early to maintain good relationships and demonstrate respect… many places in Latin America are much more event oriented… needing to maintain relationships and connections without worrying about time at all. It has not been uncommon in my past week for people to show up more than an hour late for meetings or different planned events. While in the United States this would appear very rude, and maybe even disrespectful at times, here in Ecuador there is a tremendous value on maintaining closely-knit relationships and it is not noticed what time you show up, but rather whether or not you show up! Being present is more important than what time you arrive.
While observing some Christian ministries here, the directors and leaders here have given me their full attention and have not been at all preoccupied by the amount of time my visit takes. Honestly, one ministry has given more than 6 hours of time just looking at their programs, history, finances, and focus! Ecuador time is not valued by minutes but by intentional time spent together.
My purpose for being here is to assess and evaluate the extent of the need for orphaned children, street children, and youth at risk here. I have had quite an opportunity so far to see several Christian ministries that really are trying to empower these children to have opportunity-filled futures with Jesus Christ at the center. God is pressing on my heart to be intentional in observation; gleaning wisdom and insight into what makes each organization most effective, as well as considering what weaknesses may exist. This is a preparation stage for the new homes and work that AbogarIM will be creating in Latin America.
If you are a prayerful person, and the plight of the millions of orphaned, street, and at risk children in Latin America (and around the world) pulls at your heart, please consider joining me in prayer for God to give clear discernment about how, where, and when Abogar International Ministries can be most effective in the lives of these youth, all for the glory of God! Discernment and wisdom are such precious jewels, and I am crying out to God on behalf of AbogarIM and these dear children, that God will accomplish His good pleasure and will for these children, Ecuador, Latin America, and Abogar International Ministries! Thank you to each of you who seriously send up a prayer! Blessings to you from Ecuador!