United in Christ Across Cultural Differences

0 1,326

PENSACOLA–The seven-man mission team from Hillcrest Baptist Church faced some challenges in Quito, Ecuador. Without the conveniences of a modern hardware store, they needed strong hands and strong backs to dig holes, roll one-and-a-half ton of rocks down the side of a steep mountain, cut and tie rebar by hand, cut down trees to make poles, and mix and transport cement to lay a foundation in the side of a mountain that is subject to earthquakes and landslides.

They worked alongside fellow believers from Palabra de Vida (Word of Life) who showed them how to lay a sturdy foundation for a home for missionaries who will lead the first evangelical Christian Bible-based addiction recovery program in the country.

“We bonded closely with our Ecuadorian brothers in Christ and joyfully worked side-by-side in a united effort,” said Jack Rowell. “We were amazed at how much work we could accomplish in such a short amount of time without the modern construction equipment we are accustomed to in the U.S.”

The missionary home is part of the Las Palmas Camp project, a ten-year campus improvement plan to add multiple adult cabins, student cabins and general service buildings, enabling the facilities to be used year-round for camps, retreats and Bible conferences.

My eyes were opened to the responsibility we all have as Christians to let others see Christ through us and to share His word.

Robert Hill mission team member, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Pensacola

An additional challenge was the language barrier. No one on the mission team spoke Spanish, and most of the WOL workers knew little to no English.

“It was amazing to see how quickly we all adapted to having conversations using the translator app. Others sitting around the dinner table or nearby would join in as well, which led to mutual encouragement and helped our groups grow closer,” said Robert Hill.

Mission team member, Jason Dewsnap, shared, “I was inspired by one of the WOL workers who talked about traveling by bus for several hours just to reach people and spread the gospel throughout Ecuador. It enlightened me to how much more I could do with my time.”

Hill added, “Through the conversations and sharing of faith experiences, I could see that our presence gave them reassurance and peace that God is real, in control and loves us no matter where we are, and my eyes were opened to the responsibility we all have as Christians to let others see Christ through us and to share His word. I want to be as free in sharing my testimony and love of Christ as they were. I want to feel the sense of contentment, peace and reliance on God as they do.”

As part of Hillcrest’s strategic missions partnership with WOL, another team including 13 high school students served in Ecuador over the summer, leading a student Bible camp. It was an opportunity to learn each other’s language and culture while finding common ground in Christ.

The Hillcrest team assisted WOL in leading small groups, recreation, large group teaching and worship. During the Bible camp, 506 students attended, with 202 professions of faith and 267 youth rededicating their lives to Christ.

“The greatest blessing was worshipping in two languages. It showed how the body of Christ comes together, separated by language, but united in Christ,” said Jeremy Weidlich, Hillcrest student pastor

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.