Equipped and edified
Daniel started this course for young leaders with little expectations. But, on top of the ministry focused training, it turned out to be a life-changing personal experience.
By David Ludeña,
"At the beginning I thought it was just another course, but it's amazing how I've changed in these two years!" Daniel's eyes are filled with joy as he remembers what God has done in his life. "I did not expect it, but it had a great impact on my spiritual life and my faith in Christ; each task and each chapter of Romans helped me to understand the Word of God in an integral way and to change my way of thinking."
For three years, this young man from Loja met weekly with other young people in the ESI* group, led by two missionaries, to equip and edify themselves together. The Bible study meetings along with the group itself fortified the basics of Daniel's faith and strengthened his heart. He learned how to make an exegesis of a biblical passage to better understand the Word of God. In addition, reading Christian literature and putting it to debate and discussion with his classmates enriched his biblical knowledge in a great way and gave him an opportunity to learn to have tolerance, patience and understanding in the face of principles and positions that disagreed with his own way of thinking. "I thank God that with all the knowledge I acquired in the study group, I was able to grow in my own study of the Bible and I was able to serve in my church by preaching some Sundays," shares Daniel excitedly. "My attitude and my way of reading the Word of God today has been radically deepened and I desire to be able to put all this knowledge into service for God, and for the glory of Christ."
Another important part of ESI was the transparency time. Daniel admits that at the beginning he felt quite uncomfortable with the idea of opening his life to someone else and sharing things that he always kept to himself. But ever since this young man first experienced this time of transparency, he could understand the why: "When listening to my partner, his afflictions and struggles, I could see that things do not only happen to me and that I am not the only one with challenges. Then I too, could open my heart and share about my struggles, without fear of receiving a rebuke or condemnation. On the contrary, I received support from another young man listening to me without judging, and supporting me in prayer”, says Daniel, grateful for that experience. “I firmly believe that this time of transparency has made me more humble in times when I’m being held accountable for my life by another young man, more tolerant to listen without judgment and more compassionate when supporting another person in prayer."
God used ESI for his work in Daniel: to continue to understand the Gospel in a deeper way, to apply it in his personal life and to live it out among others. Glory to God for what He is doing in people like Daniel through ESI!
* ESI = Equipping Servants International. ESI is a ministry of mutual discipleship among pastors and leaders of different churches and denominations. We equip ESI participants in the systematic study of God's Word, providing them with quality resources and training them in the use of these materials over the course of the three year ESI process. For more information: www.esiinternational.org
- For more young people in Loja who can be trained as leaders or pastors for young people.
- For more facilitators of the "Equipping Youth Servants" program.
- For financial support, to continue with programs to equip youth leaders.