Two streets over from our hotel in Quito, Ecuador was the “Red Light District.” Armed with hot chocolate and crackers, we split into two teams and walked a couple of blocks to a whole new world.
Once a week for the last twelve years, our Ecuador friends have walked these streets with a very simple goal in mind: Love the people who are there. They simply keep showing up, week after week, with hot chocolate and crackers. They continuously ask them one question: “Can I pray for you?” That question is usually answered with a very quick, “Yes.”
Every prayer request involved their families. Some asked for prayer for their health. Another, a prayer for a job so she could get off the streets. We talked to her for a while and she said she loved to cook. We heard story after story until we were out of cups and crackers. I stood in the background mostly, pouring hot chocolate and observing, while prayer warriors prayed over women, and men who were dressed as women. They were all very kind. They all received us with joy.
They all simply needed us to walk down the street.
As we walked back to the hotel, I realized how close we were to all of the people we just prayed for. It dawned on me that I’d been there for three days and didn’t even realize it. I was safe, warm, and comfortable in my hotel room, and there was so much need just around the corner.
God has not called us to meet EVERY single need of EVERY single person. But, He has called us to do work that He’s already prepared in advance for us to do.
What streets do you need to walk down?
What people are you bypassing who need prayer? It doesn't have to be in the streets of Quito; it could be at your workplace, in your neighborhood, or at the ball field. The Church is not just a building… it’s you. If you can’t get them to come to your church, take it to them. Hot chocolate and crackers have been opening doors to minister the gospel in Quito for quite a while. But, they had to get out of their normal routine and take a bit of a risk.
They are fearless.
They are consistent.
They keep it simple.
As a result, they’ve been shining an amazing light in a very dark place for many years.
As God leads, will you take the risk, refuse to be “normal,” and walk down the street?
Global Advance Ambassador to Ecuador
Our Esther Initiative team was recently in Quito, Ecuador to train frontline church, community, and government leaders, many of whom are involved in the restoration, education, and empowerment of women who have been exposed to sexual exploitation. Ongoing partnerships with frontline women leaders reveal how they are creatively gifted to address the needs of their communities. The Esther Initiative provides practical and spiritual support to these standout leaders, empowering them to build relationships, identify local assets, and own the dreams God has given them in order to advance the gospel and transform their communities for Christ.