Ambato Leaders Continue to Shock Us
On November 15-16, 2014 the Ambato team hosted their 8th Encounter weekend. Every Encounter is special, but what set this Encounter apart was the handoff of leadership in the workshops. Only three workshops were directed by 40/40 missionaries. The rest of the responsibilities, including logistics were handled by local leaders, and they did a stellar job. The local leaders who held responsibilities were: Marcos Manobanda, Yesenia Balderramo, Luz Valencia, Elizabeth Manobanda, and Alejandro Ramirez. As a 40/40 on the Ambato team who has walked with these leaders through the preparation process, I cannot express the joy I felt as I listened to them teach the 10 attendees about different aspects of the faith. They each shared what their lives were like before they knew Christ, and were able to speak in a personal way into the specific situations and topics they were given to present. Watching the passion that burns brightly in each of these leaders showed me that our pastors will be surrounded by humble and Spirit-filled warriors of Christ to lead and disciple others into the Kingdom.
One of the most impactful moments for me was listening to Yesenia talk about the Master’s Plan and the necessity and urgency of bringing others into a relationship with Christ. She said that if the missionaries would not have been obedient to the call of God to come, she would not know Christ now and the same could be said of many others in the church. However, the baton has been passed and they are the ones called to go forth and reach a world that does not know Him. I remember Yesenia’s first Encounter. I remember physically watching God shatter her hard heart, and sitting in wonder as she stated in front of our whole church that she would not give a testimony of words, but would show the change that God made in her life by her actions. She has stayed true to that statement, and in a year God has radically transformed her. Many lives have been changed because of the light that shines brightly through her. And there she stood at the Encounter, fiery passion and all, inspiring others to do the same. This is what it’s all about.
I am proud of our local leaders and all the ways they have allowed God to not only transform their own lives, but also use them to transform the lives of many other people. They are leading by example as well as through their teaching. God is going to use them greatly for His Kingdom.
Chelsea is an American 40/40 Church Planter in the service city of Ambato, Ecuador. She’s known even as a child that God was calling her to missions, and now she is actively obeying that call on her life. Chelsea is a gifted writer, taking readers on a journey through soul probing thought. You can read more about Chelsea and her experiences on her blog All In. You can also read this post in Spanish at Equipo Ambato.