Last week I went on my first mission trip. Four people from my church joined a team of Christians from all across the United States to go to Loja, Ecuador. We never met before this trip but came home as if we had known each other for a long time. This statement is also true of the translators that we worked with. My family of brothers and sisters in Christ has grown.
My assignment on this trip was to go with my team member, Pastor Jase, and our translators Christopher and Cyndi, to a town called Catamayo. There we worked with Pastor Fausto.
Upon meeting Pastor Fausto he took us to his church office and asked us a few questions. He asked a little about us personally and some about our theology. Then he spoke some about himself then introduced us to his lovely family. Then he said “Haku” which means “let’s go!”
So we left the office and followed him. He seemed to know where he was going as if he had walked this path several times. He took us to a man who was sitting in a chair on the sidewalk cutting coconuts. He spoke to him for a minute then turned to us and gestured basically saying “You’re up. Do what you came here to do and share the gospel.” So Pastor Jase shared the his story then God’s story and the coconut cutting man said he wanted to trust in Christ. Praise God!
We prayed with the man, got his info for follow up, then Pastor Fausto said “Haku.” And he was off to the next person. And we followed him.
This was the pattern for 5 days of ministry in Catamayo. We followed Pastor Fausto from house to house. From business to business. From person to person. This man has laid ground work with so many people in Catamayo. He is building relationships. He is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When Pastor Jase and I shared the gospel with people we could tell Pastor Fausto had already spoke the words of life to them. Some just needed us to come water the seeds that were already planted. We even visited people who he has already planted and is watering. His church members know their bible. God is bringing growth.
The thing that sticks out most as I reflect on following Fausto is how he loves. He can just decide to be content in his church office and pray people come to Christ. But that’s not what he does. Pastor Fausto goes to the people. He talks to them. He cares about them. I don’t think he goes just once either. He keeps going. He brings others with him. He prays over them. He not only tells them about Jesus Christ, he shows them Jesus Christ. This is how I want to be. I want to live the great commission as I saw Pastor Fausto live the great commission.
This is the text that came to my head after 5 days of following Fausto. Paul writes,
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1
Pastor Fausto, thank you for showing me Christ as we followed you around your lovely city of Catamayo. I pray to come back and see all the fruit God grows through your obedience.
Soli Deo Gloria