September Ecuador mission news Gonzalo and Jenny

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Dear Ones, 

 First a heartfelt thanks to all who pray for us and help us with donations which encourages us to keep going in the mission of reaching Ecuador. The photos attached and titled will explain our outreach up to the date from the beginning of September , our distributing the gospel tracts in different sectors of the Capital and one of Anita, a 38 year old whom many years before was donated a wheelchair, now not functioning and very old. So we are soliciting one from a local foundation. Please pray she will be given one which fits her perfectly for her needs. Her parents run a small Empanada shop.. they need prayers for their business and for the care of Anita who they take with them to the shop daily. We continue also with our online bible classes as seen in the photos.

Now to the difficult news which needs lots of intercession expressed in the following headlines. More recently there have been assassinations of 2 politicians..one a candidate for the elections for an interim government as Lasso is stepping down. The stronghold of narco trafficking is taking hold in the country at every level, in politics, lawyers, etc etc.. It has become more dangerous to walk the streets and travel on buses..something which we have to do in order to step out and evangelize..even one has to be careful with taxis.  The police force academy nearby is stepping up its weapon practice and every afternoon it sounds like a warzone!

Security in Ecuador has come undone as drug cartels exploit the banana industry to ship cocaine.
( Edited paragraphs from English news online).

(AP) Men walk through a lush plantation between Ecuador ‘s balmy Pacific coast and its majestic Andes, lopping hundreds of bunches of green bananas from groaning plants twice their height. Workers haul the bunches to an assembly line, where the bananas are washed, weighed and plastered with stickers for European buyers. Owner Franklin Torres is monitoring all activity on a recent morning to make sure the fruit meets international beauty standards—and ever more important, is packed for shipment free of cocaine. Torres is hypervigilant because Ecuador is increasingly at the confluence of two global trades: bananas and cocaine. The South American country is the world’s largest exporter of bananas, shipping about 6.5 million metric tons (7.2 tons) a year by sea. It is also wedged between the world’s largest cocaine producers, Peru and Colombia, and drug traffickers find containers filled with bananas the perfect vehicle to smuggle their product. Drug traffickers’ infiltration of the industry that is responsible for about 30% of the world’s bananas has contributed to unprecedented violence across this once-peaceful nation.

 What are the security risks in Ecuador?

Violent crime and theft are common. You should remain extremely vigilant and cautious about your surroundings whilst travelling around Ecuador. Armed robbery is a risk throughout Ecuador, but especially in Quito, Guayaquil and in remote areas.

A string of bloody clashes has claimed at least 420 lives in Ecuadorian prisons since 2021 — many of the victims beheaded or burnt alive, others shot as widespread corruption among guards allows inmates to obtain guns and explosives.26 jul 2023

The `problem of unemployment, especially promoted during the pandemic, together with a large population of youth from marginal sectors who are unable to read, from poor and dysfunctional families and who have taken to the streets are game to be recruited by gangs.  These gangs are then controlled by the narcotraffickers. Ecuador is strategically placed with 5 coastal ports with fishing fleets and international trade, between Peru and Colombia , countries which produce the drugs..The ports are used for the international transportation of drugs. Corruption is widespread amongst the port authorities , police as well as prison guards….

Much of the prison violence is between the differing drug cartel members. Via corruption,weapons have been allowed in..Also with cell phones ( why are they allowed??)  communication is made from inside the prison to outside and vice versa, ensuring the continuation of this narco trade, and to work with their hitmen to sadly, kidnap and murder various targets…and a lot is indiscriminate kidnapping, extortion,shooting and robbing and looting..We are praying for revival in the prisons   and despite the bad news..the good news is that it is happening in various latin american prisons. 

We pray that many new businesses will begin here in Ecuador and that there will be more employment opportunities.,ensured subsidised education for the poor illiterate, subsidised agricultural plans, That there be a reform and spiritual revival in the prisons. That we reach the young ones on the streets who are targets for being recruited..That the next government will not be narco connected..We pray that the result of the reelections on October 15 will not cause violent uprisings…

Here are a couple of links to what is happening in some prisons in Latin America and one in the USA as the Spirit touches these prisoners.. Usually it takes a converted inmate to start a revival..The book THE LORD OF BELLAVISTA is about just that…a converted inmate, former preteen street kid and  hitman, who transformed one of the most bloody prisons in the world, in Colombia..
https://youtube.com/shorts/lfRsDqbNjJA?si=TM4B_-XFVE76PU7B

https://youtube.com/shorts/H2Fa-BNerYE?si=wE6FaQNI1GHzADew

Despite all this bad news about our mission field, we are inspired by such missionaries as Gladys Aylward, who in face of invasion by Japanese, who slaughtered 1000´s she did not wish to abandon her post for a safer zone as she felt responsible for the 100 orphaned children whom she led for many weeks over mountain ranges to reach an orphanage  in a safer zone..here is the shortened version..about 30 minutes..

Especially of interest is her authority in the Spirit over the violent spirit in a prison. Attached is someone reading the 14th chapter from THE LITTLE WOMAN IN CHINA,  Gladys´s own account which describes this event in the prison. She was of course backed by much prayer power throughout her ministry with the prisoners, which at first, seemed hopeless:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbpuXWmQtgA&t=7s    about 12 minutes in length 

and the following is a testimony from the 90´s of a missionary home in Indonesia:

 Path of Destruction

The path left by the mob was unmistakable-a cindered, litter-strewn, shattered mess of mangled steel and splintered glass.

Dramatized account from a missionary community in Indonesia

 May 13, 1998: A day that none of us will ever forget. Caught in the heart of the Jakarta riots, we had only one defense. But we knew that He would be strong enough. What could have been a day of trauma and tragedy for us became instead a thrilling testimony to the power and might of God.

For the past few days, we-eight adults and 20 children-had pretty much confined ourselves to our third-story apartment. The streets were too dangerous to risk going out for anything but emergencies.

“Have you heard the latest?” someone whispered nervously. We kept our voices low when talking about these types of things. We didn’t want to upset the children. “The crowds are rioting all throughout the city!”

“I just picked up a radio broadcast in English,” Suzanne spoke hesitantly. “Another embassy is telling all their nationals to get out. They’ve arranged an airlift out tomorrow at noon.”

“And it’s no wonder,” Paul replied. “The planes are pitifully over booked and the airports are jammed with people trying to get out…”

“If they can even get to the airport,” Jo said quietly. We all knew that the main roads leading to the airport had been closed off. After days of rioting, most main streets were littered with the wrecks of vehicles that had been looted and burned by angry mobs.

Suzanne peered out of the window, staying partly out of sight behind the curtain. “It’s all quiet around here,” she said. Then she shuddered. Almost too quiet, she thought to herself.

“We’re safe here for the time being,” Jo said,  “And we’ve prayed for our situation, so we know we’re in the Lord’s will.”

Everyone nodded. We had been praying about contingency plans. Somehow, deep in our hearts, we had each felt the conviction of the Lord’s Spirit calling us to stay on by faith. We knew that the faith that had been planted in our hearts would not be disappointed.

 “It seems like now would be a good time to venture out,” John suggested. “I’ve been wanting to go and talk to our neighbors.”

 Suzanne looked out the window again. From where she stood she could just see the handful of men who were standing guard at the outer gate of our housing complex. What they could possibly hope to do if they were set upon by an angry mob nobody knew, but they were ready to give their all trying.

After a desperate prayer for protection, John and Sam set off down the stairs and out of the building. They passed the empty shops, all with display windows ominously boarded up, and walked quickly over to the front gate of our complex.

 Sam and John had just neared the small cluster of self-appointed guards when a loud, crashing sound shook the neighborhood. At the same time, a couple of frightened teenagers came hurtling around the corner.

 “Quick!” one of the young men called. “Quick, get out of here! The mob is on the way! The mob is on the way!”

 “What’s going on?” one of our neighbors called out. “Where are they?”

 There were more people behind the two teenagers-dozens of them, running as fast as their frightened legs could carry them.

 The young man was panting for breath, and he stopped now, leaned over and rested his hands on his knees for a moment to catch his breath. Our neighbors seized the chance to pump him for information. “What’s going on?” they asked again.

 “Breaking shop windows and setting fire to the houses,” the boy said hoarsely, shaking his head. Then he looked up at our housing complex. “Just like this one-that’s what they’re going to do here. They’re on their way. They’re right around the corner! You’ve got to run! Get out of here! Get your families out!”

 Fear burst up in his eyes again and he was off, running like the wind. He obviously was not going to stop anywhere for a long while.

 Paul and Sam locked eyes. Neither said a word. Then they both turned and ran back towards our apartment as fast as their legs could carry them. They cleared the three flights in record time. We saw them coming and didn’t wait for their knock. We could tell that something terrible was going on, and there was only one thing that we could do: pray desperately for the Lord to keep us. Somehow, in the midst of all the frenzied fear, we knew that the secret weapon that we held would be strong enough. In some way-whatever mysterious way God would choose-we would be kept from all harm.

While one of the girls stayed with the young children in a back room, the rest of us threw ourselves on the floor, praying and weeping and pouring out our hearts to Heaven as we never had before. Time passed, and we prayed on. Loud shouting and screaming tried to draw us back to the danger at hand, but we resisted the temptation strongly. We stopped our ears to the shouting, and claimed God’s protection over and over. We prayed until we felt that strange, still peace come over us like a tangible blanket.

Slowly, one by one, we raised our faces from the floor and looked across the room at each other. We all felt it. Every one of us. The danger had passed-and we were safe. Gingerly, we stood up and went to the window. All was still and quiet. There was not a soul out of doors.

Suzanne and Jo ran quickly up to the roof, and there, etched vividly into the landscape of the city, they could see just how we had been saved. The path left by the mob was unmistakable-a cindered, litter-strewn, shattered mess of mangled steel and splintered glass. We could see the path making its way straight up our street-then, inexplicably, the destruction turned 180 degrees and splintered off towards a nearby supermarket. The mob had stopped right before our apartment complex, and had veered off in the opposite direction!

We could hear the sound of breaking glass in the distance, and the raucous shouting as the crowd of looters emptied the supermarket of anything they could carry. We trembled from our vantage point until we saw the mob finally moving further away. Late into the night we could see 200-foot columns of flame illuminating the horizon as two nearby department stores were looted and burned.

We appointed prayer vigil teams to keep our protective forcefield in place throughout the night, but our moment of trial was over. The angel of the Lord had come down and diverted the rampaging mob from our path. We were safe in the hands of our Almighty Fortress.

In the days following, the civil unrest died down and we were able to get out and visit many of our friends in the city. Over and over we heard from them, without exception, their own personal tales of protection and the Lord’s safekeeping. All of them had been in some sort of danger, seeing the mobs looting and burning shops as near as just a few meters from their homes, but they were all miraculously spared from any direct effects of the rioting. We told our local converts that we had been praying for them, and they nodded their heads in understanding-they were no longer simply believers by faith. They had seen with their own eyes the jaws of the lions opened to devour them, and had experienced God’s power as He kept the lions at bay.

Claiming psalm 91, 23, 27, 46..

with much gratefulness to you all, 

Gonzalo and Jenny

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