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Scroll Down to Check Out Our Blog from 2013! Interested in Going? Contact Us Today!
Jesus Christ gave his life so that all people of the world could be saved from sin and death and receive eternal life with Him. He calls his followers to join him in reaching the lost with the good news of his salvation. A particular assignment the Lord has given to Cary Church of God in fulfilling this great commission is the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. A major thrust of that assignment has been their annual summer mission trip. Their vision is for the churches of Guayaquil to be healthy, growing, and multiplying and reaching the harvest of their city.
In late 2010, while studying Francis Chan's book "Crazy Love", a Sunday PM small group at College Park began feeling the burden to have an impact for the kingdom beyond the walls our our church. Several thrusts within and external to our local community followed, including the thrust of short term international missions. Through Pastor Lanier's past experience and contacts at Cary, we began planning to participate in their summer mission trip to Ecuador starting in July of 2011. This year will mark the third time 15 or so folks from CP have traveled as part of the 200 or so missionaries from over 40 churches that minister with Cary in and around Guayaquil.
Jesus instructs his disciples to not just tell people about the love of God, but to show them His love. That is done by conducting medical clinics, providing health and hygiene education, going into prisons, and connecting with children and young people through kid's crusades and campus ministry. We also help to build and support new churches through leadership training, and street and crusade evangelism. By these ways of outreach, our missions teams have been able to minister to the citizens of Guayaquil and its barrios where the poorest of the poor live.
The Kingdom of God is advanced by the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, our first and foremost ministry assignment is to pray. We are asking our Heavenly Father to prepare the hearts of the people to repent and receive Jesus as Savior, for destructive strongholds in their lives to be broken, for ongoing effective ministry as God raises up churches and pastors, and for healing and help for the impoverished.
Prayer for our missionaries is also essential. God has a special encounter in store for each person who will step out of their comfort zone to obey Jesus' command to go and make disciples. Experience has clearly shown that people, whether adults or teens, come home changed from a mission trip. God is more exalted in their lives and their compassion heightened. Opportunities to minister in their own communities become apparent and compelling.
Taking the gospel to a developing country is an experience in which opportunities to minister are different than what might be effective in the US. Missionaries are assigned to, in general, construction, evangelism, or medical teams. A street crusade will be conducted that will draw approximately 2000 people. Medical and dental mission teams will see between two and three thousand patients and lead hundreds to Christ. Evangelism teams are allowed to go into public schools where the students are eager to gather to watch the dramas and listen to the testimonies and presentations of the gospel by our missionaries. The leaders of the evangelism teams are committed to preparing team members for effective ministry during the spring before the trip. Prison and medical ministry teams address issues in people's lives where there is desperate need. Our intent is two-fold: we want to minister so that people are blessed in practical ways and we want to bring a message of hope that can turn their hearts toward God and his saving power. When our missionaries address those in need with loving kindness, they experience a facet of the abundant life God intends for each of his followers.
Check out the photos and videos on our blog from last year's trip (2013) to see how much fun and useful you could be to so many in need this year.