Ecuador (MNN) ― Some say when a door closes, a window opens. But for a kids program in Ecuador, it seems that as one door is closing, a larger door will be opening.
The Datwylers are missionaries with The Mission Society in Ecuador. Since they moved from Mexico to begin their work in Ecuador in 2005, one of the Datwylers' focuses has been reaching out to kids in their community.
Over the last few years, many challenges have arisen. Funding has only allowed their after-school program to take place once a week, and an increasingly Facebook-crazed nation has made it more difficult for teens to connect with one another. Those sorts of challenges make the time the Datwylers do have with kids and teens crucial to helping them grasp the Gospel in a fresh way.
With the challenges, however, have come opportunities. One opportunity in particular has come up which would allow the Datwylers and their Ecuadorian ministry partners reach even more kids for Christ.
"We're about to start a program working with Compassion International," explains Tim Datwyler. "They have a Compassion program in a community not too far from here that's closing. That was going to affect 40 of the children that we minister to right now."
Those 40 kids are part of Compassion's sponsorship program, but they also attend the Datwylers' after-school program once a week. The Datwylers have a vested interest in them and want to be sure they don't fall through the cracks. As a result, "We contacted [Compassion], and we're in the process of working out an agreement for them to allow us to receive these children."
"If everything goes right, they're going to open this program as a new program so we'll be able to receive more children than the 40," Datwyler explains. "By September of next year, we'll have about 130 children in this program here in this community."
The kids will continue to be sponsored through Compassion. With that sort of financial help, the Datwylers will be able to expand their program to more days and more kids.
The children who come to their program will participate in many of the things they're already doing. "The children come after school. We do a Bible message, play some games with them, they get a lunch. One of the biggest needs for the children is that they need help with their homework."
As the Datwylers and their team provide some of this practical assistance to kids, these children are being exposed to the story of Christ, as well as His love through others. This new program with Compassion would open a larger door for the Datwylers to climb through so more kids will be able to hear and experience the Good News of Christ.
Prayer is a big need as the Datwylers move forward. Find ways to pray for them or even help them financially here.