360 degrees of God’s Grace or The Rest of the Story
Jesus says that we can worship God anywhere when we worship Him in spirit and in truth. The city of Azogues rests high in the Andes Mountains in southern Ecuador. Outside of the city, high on a mountaintop, a statue of the Virgin of the Mist was recently erected. Pilgrims visiting this statue are promised blessings from God when they petition the Virgin to mediate for them. Located on another mountaintop near the city are Inca ruins, where the sun and moon were worshiped many years ago.
One morning Pastor Sergio and Every Community for Christ workers Pablo and Jacob took us up another mountaintop north of the city to tell us how God is answering prayers to reach every household in this area with the message of Christ’s salvation. As we drove up the mountain, we followed many switchbacks; each one seemed to reach the top, only to turn a corner and find another one. Finally, we came to a stop and got out of the car. There before us was a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Although the sun was shining, the breeze was brisk and cool at roughly 9,000 ft. above sea level.
Sergio began showing and sharing God’s story. “See that village half way up that mountain?” he would ask. “There is a Bible study group meeting in a home there.” Then after a slight turn, “See that group of homes down in the valley? God has raised up a person of peace who is being discipled.” Looking back toward the other side, “A house church meets in that town, and up there on that mountainside lives a family who has recently asked for more information about what the Bible says.” We were overwhelmed as he continued to share with us how the ECC team has been working to reach rural areas with the Good News and how God is responding. We had a prayer time together praising God and asking Him for wisdom for these young men. It was a mountaintop experience that will remain in our memory for a long time.