It’s hard to believe that this year we will celebrate the third anniversary of our base here in Ecuador. It seems like just yesterday we were selectively packing two bags each; trying to determine which of our things would make the final cut and join us in our new adventure. We knew when we arrived that God would begin to open doors and show us exactly what we were to do in Ecuador, and we have seen many opportunities and changed lives in our time here.
Last week we began our fourth session of the Submerge Internship program. As a ministry, we do approximately seven outreaches a week in some of the roughest parts of the city. We’ve found that often the people that we encounter don’t feel like they “fit in” within traditional churches. This is why after much thought and prayer we have decided to launch a church, ONE UIO, in partnership with a local ministry and leader here in Quito.
ONE UIO will not look or feel like a typical church from the outside but will still proudly proclaim the transformative message of Christ. The name ONE UIO has meaning; “ONE” signifies that we are part of a global body of believers, and that we should always look to what unites us rather than that which divides us. “UIO” is the standard abbreviation and airport code of Quito which is often referenced locally when referring to the city.
As missionaries who have spent over a decade sharing the gospel in dark places it is our belief that it is the dark places that need the light of Christ the most. The entire story of the Bible is about a God who is meeting people right where they are. Many times people get this twisted and somehow think that one must get cleaned up before they approach God, when in fact He calls all of us to come as we are. Many of the things that Jesus was criticized for by the religious leaders of his day had to do with the fact that he was entering the world of sinners. Whether it was hanging with tax collectors, or befriending a prostitute, Jesus didn’t play by the rules of the religious.
We believe that this same Jesus is at work in the world today and that He still desires to meet people where they are. Many of the people who we speak and pray with on a regular basis have never entered the door of a church. We want to create a place where people do not feel like outsiders but rather that they belong. A place where they can gather with their peers and learn what it means to become a follower of Jesus. We want to create a church on the home turf of the people whom we want to reach. This is why we have decided to launch the church in a concert venue called, House of Rock, where many gather each week to hear local rock bands. We want to give people a new reason to come to the House of Rock, to have an encounter with the living God.
On March 3rd we will have our launch service, and continue weekly services each Tuesday night at 7pm. As many of you know, there are many extra costs incurred with launching a church. We are fortunate in that the owners of the venue have given us a great rental deal which includes; seating, audio/visual, instruments, and full license to custom brand the venue for the church each week. While there are extra costs in launching, we have been able to keep costs extremely low in comparison with average church launches. It will cost approximately $250 per service for the first year.
Today we kick off our Campaign 52 which seeks to obtain sponsors for each of the 52 services this year. Some may choose to sponsor one service, others may want to pay for a month of services. This is a great opportunity to be part of the expansion of God’s Kingdom here in Quito. Some people may not be in a place where they can give a one time donation of $250 but could easily swing $25 per month.
All donations are greatly appreciated and will no doubt help bring light to a dark part of the city.
To sponsor a service CLICK HERE.
To visit the ONE UIO website CLICK HERE.