Ecuador (MNN) — For eight years, Operation Mobilization in Ecuador and a local church have ministered to the people living on Santay, an island across the Guayas River from the port city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. Throughout that time, the believers ministering there have seen little fruit.
Over the years, OM Ecuador has gotten somewhat discouraged at the lack of response. They are some of the only people who have even paid attention to this small island, which is frequently overlooked by the government and society.
Recentl,y however, the team has been given reason to believe that the Lord has not given up on this community, and they have not given up on Him.
Three weeks ago, OMer Riana van der Berg and co-worker Steve Cabezas from the church visited an elderly man on the island. He constantly had pain in his legs and had not been able to walk for 13 years.The OM workers prayed with the man that God would take his pain away.
A week later, they visited him again. When they arrived, they discovered that the pain had left him and for the first time in 13 years, the man was able to stand. The prayed again that God would heal him completely and that he would open his heart and accept Christ.
The next time the duo visited, the man prayed to accept Christ.
In the meantime, another woman on the island was experiencing God in a life-changing way. The woman was going from one side of the island to the other in a small canoe with a mother and her baby. When a large wave hit the canoe and overturned it over, the woman, mother and baby were thrown overboard. The woman didn't know how to swim, and the baby was in danger.
As the woman cried for help, struggling to stay above water, the baby was hidden under the canoe. But a wave pushed the canoe just enough and the baby surfaced. The mother grabbed her and swam to shore, and even more miraculously, the woman began swimming as well. She was able to pull herself to safety.
An OM worker says, "She told me she knew at that very moment that God had a plan for her." The woman began praying in her house and in the community.
On a separate occasion, the Lord spoke to a struggling couple through a showing of the film "Fireproof." OM workers had already been talking to the wife about Christ, and when the husband saw the movie, they got counseling and decided not to divorce. More than that, the man began to read his Bible every day and, according to his wife, is a completely different person.
OM Ecuador is rejoicing over the new life on Santay Island. Pray that more lives would be changed on this island and that OM workers would not give up sharing the hope of Christ.