Nationals are the key to the Bible League’s strategy

By May 27, 2005

Ecuador (MNN) — Recent uprisings and a change in Ecuador’s government have affected ministry work. The Bible League’s John Wagenveld says, “Half a block down from our Bible League office they were burning tires, and people were marching and asking for the president to leave. Well, a couple weeks ago he finally did leave, and now we need to pray for stability in the country as they reposition the whole political apparatus so that democracy can come back.”

While riots and unrest have been an issue, they’ve not been a major problem for the Bible League. That’s because they are working closely with national believers to distribute Scripture and discipleship materials. The important thing about doing ministry with nationals is that when there’s trouble, expatriates have to lay low or be evacuated, but nationals can help keep the work going.

Wagenveld says, “It’s very hard for expatriates, sometimes, to give continuity to the ministry, whereas when your whole strategy revolves around nationals who know their culture, their language and their people-their context-much better, they’re going to obviously weather the storms, the ups and downs of political instability, and be able to continue with the Scripture placement program that the Bible League works with.”

God’s Word is the needed stability and people are responding to the Gospel, says Wagenveld, “There is an incredible spiritual hunger. We are seeing lots of results. And people are reading the Bible, forming small groups, and even new churches are being started. So we pray that this movement of the Spirit will continue in spite of the political instability.”

An incredible story happened during the uprisings. A container of Bibles and discipleship materials were on their way into the capital city of Quito on the same day the president was overthrown. It was stopped at a barricade and held for most of the day, but somehow the container got to the Bible League office in downtown Quito, and was delivered intact.

The Bible League’s goal for this year is to see 10,000 people reading Scripture on a daily basis, and Wagenveld says, “So we hope that in the next months ahead all that container full of scriptures and discipleship materials will be distributed in a strategic way and get into the right hands.”

Wagenveld asks prayer for a peaceful government transition and that people will continue to be hungry for God’s Word. Pray that the national and expatriate Bible League workers will continue doing effective work and the Holy Spirit will move existing churches to have a missions vision and not be complacent.

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