Ecuador and Ghana: Cross-cultural friendship produces a great harvest
By Maria Lola Moreno | Ecuador in South America
From birth, Thomas* grew up in a Muslim environment. Not only had the culture of Ghana taught him this religion, but his family was also very dedicated to living according to Muslim teachings – especially since his father was an Imam (a Muslim leader in a mosque). But even as a child, Thomas felt hopeless. He didn't know for sure if he would be good enough to be with Allah in the afterlife, a concern which held him captive. But God - the one true God - was at work in Thomas already, opening his heart little by little. The truth of God as Savior reached Thomas through a church's children's ministry, which was open to all children regardless of their religion. There Thomas learned the true way to God - not through the Muslim teachings he had learned growing up, but that God's Son Jesus had died for his sins to save him for all eternity. Thomas decided to follow Christ. Although at first he experienced opposition to his newfound faith, his family began to see Jesus working in Thomas. Through his life testimony and all that God did in him, after a few years Thomas' entire family decided to follow Christ, too.
When Thomas was in school, he met a team of Ecuadorian missionaries who came to his village in Ghana to work with students. That team had been prepared by "Impacto Mundial," an Ecuadorian mission agency with SIM Ecuador. Impacto Mundial shared the good news of the gospel and hope found only in Christ in Ghana through something called "Creative Art Ministries," a ministry known for sharing messages about God's purpose through drama.
With great excitement, the Ecuadorians immersed themselves in the Africa that they had previously only known through movies. They visited different towns, sharing the gospel through drama and other activities. Thomas was deeply impacted by a powerful drama they presented at his school. The artistic presentation showed the value each person has, and how all people were designed by God for the same purpose: to serve Him and adore his name. Thomas also noticed that the Ecuadorians had come from a country very far away in order to share the love of Christ with the people in Ghana. After the drama Thomas invited them to his church and home, which began a very special friendship between Thomas and the team.
Thomas remained in contact with the Impacto Mundial team after they returned home to Ecuador, and the team continued praying for Thomas' life. Then the Lord put it in Thomas’ heart to go to Bible school to deepen his knowledge. Although Thomas thought there was no one to help him complete this step, God spoke to members of Impacto Mundial to support him. In 2016, Thomas completed his studies at the Bible school and left greatly encouraged to serve God in his home area.
"Impacto Mundial has impacted my life," says Thomas. "It moves me that many people in Ecuador are praying for me and have supported me throughout so many steps to serve the Lord."
Now Thomas pastors a church in his village and loves evangelizing and discipling the people surrounding him. Recently the Impacto Mundial team invited him to accompany them on a mission trip to Kenya, and while visiting the different cities, he learned even more about his faith in Africa.
As a result of his trip to Kenya, Thomas is excited about learning the languages of neighbouring villages to reach them for Christ as well.
Praise God for how He used Impacto Mundial's short mission journey to Ghana to move the heart of this young man, awakening within him a vision to expand the Kingdom of God across the globe.
• Ecuadorian church to get a clear vision for missions, and for God to awaken within local pastors a global vision of the Kingdom, resulting in many more Ecuadorian missionaries being sent to the nations.
• Ecuadorian missionaries serving in other countries, that their testimonies will energize many lives for God's glory – just like they did for Thomas.
• the legalization of the organization "Impacto Mundial" as it has been in the process for more than six years.
*Names have been changed, Representative image used.