More than 950 people participated in the 10-kilometer race planned by a youth group to raise funds for a health fair.
Our initial attempt to share Jesus in our community in Quito, Ecuador, didn’t go well. We knocked on people’s doors and asked whether they wanted to study the Bible with us. It was a bad idea. They said, “We don’t even know you.” “Who are you?” “What do you want?”
We met again to pray about how best to connect with people. We decided to do a survey to determine their needs, and we discovered that many of them were experiencing health problems.
We chose to host a health fair with free medical consultations and lab work. The problem was that it was going to cost approximately $3,000, and we didn’t have the money.
Every Wednesday our group went jogging together. One week my mother suggested that we use our weekly activity to raise funds. “You could have a race,” she said, “and charge a small registration fee.” We loved the idea and got busy planning.
More than 950 people participated in the race, providing enough money to conduct the health fair and rent a building to start a new group of believers. The health fair and other outreach programs resulted in friendships, Bible studies, and people attending our church plant on Sabbath mornings.
Next to the church is a bakery owned by a couple named Noemi and Miguel. Sometimes during the week several members of our church plant bought things from their store. One day Noemi asked them about the church. They invited her to study the Bible with them. As her faith grew, she prayed that Miguel would go to church with her. He showed no interest initially, but after a few months, as a birthday gift, he agreed to join Noemi at church—for one Sabbath only.
“My first impression was that I didn’t know anybody, but every- body knew me,” Miguel says. “I felt immense love.”
Miguel wanted to learn more, so he and Noemi asked for Bible studies. Eventually, they gave their hearts to Jesus and were baptized.
“It’s a radical change,” Miguel says. “We used to have a lot of problems, but now it’s different. We study together, go to church, sing, and pray to God.”
Miguel and Noemi’s family is just one example of those who have come to know the love of Jesus, and they’re excited to share what they’ve learned.
About 10 people have been baptized as a result of our church plant. We pray that our efforts will continue to spread God’s love throughout the community.