My life as a missionary consists of taking care of fifteen little wiggle worms, dealing with bathroom accidents, putting on band aids, sharpening pencils, and most importantly teaching.(I am a kindergarten teacher in Quito, Ecuador at the Alliance Academy International). I teach my students everyday about Christ’s love for them. I share with them that they have a need for God because of their sin in their hearts. I share with them that God is a forgiving God who wants them to be His children. Every morning I start off my day by praying with my kids. They open up their hearts and put everything on the line. I have heard prayer request ranging from, “Pray for my mom she is scared because we have a rat in our house,” all the way to, “Pray for my mom who lives in one house and my dad who lives in another house. Pray that my family will be happy again.” Through the course of this year I have watched my students hearts long to bring God their needs and ask Him to provide.
At the beginning of the year I claimed this verse over my classroom and students, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)” I know that God has been faithful to fulfill this promise in my classroom. One morning during our morning prayer time one of my students asked to pray and ask God to clean her heart and become her savior. This six year old was asking to accept the greatest gift she would ever receive, the gift of a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Then all my students started to ask me about praying to accept Christ and before I knew it a revival was happening in my classroom. My students were getting it, were accepting the truth I had been teaching from the beginning of the year and the Holy Spirit was encompassing their hearts.
This year I have a student in my classroom who struggles with accepting responsibility for his actions and who is not willing to admit his faults. Sure enough the morning after he
prayed to accept Christ, he raised him hand during prayer time, “Miss Howlett I want to ask God to clean my heart again!” Wow! What an amazing thing to see the Holy Spirit convicting his little heart, and to see this little guy willing to listen to Him. God is alive and active in the hearts of my students. Another day two of my students got in trouble for not
playground rules. During the next recess time they ran into my classroom, both a little embarrassed but they apologized for not doing the right thing. God is here in room C105 in Quito, Ecuador in the hearts of even the smallest of people. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “A persons a person no matter how small.” God is doing
and I know will continue to do big things with the small people in my room. Please join me in celebration of how God has been moving and please join me in prayer that God would continue to move in the hearts of not only the children but their families as well.
– Written by Mandi Howlett
He showed up at the gate with his suitcase in hand. He had just gotten off the bus after an 8-hour ride. From the bus station he walked 45 minutes to where we practice. He came with the hope of making the team. He was desperate for a chance to play soccer. Desperate for a tiny paycheck he can take back home to his mom.
The connections we have made through Casa Deportiva Cumbre Alta (CDCA) have opened up the door for me to coach a third division side called Club America. The scene above is repeated nearly every day. Somebody shows up with nothing but hope and a plastic bag containing all his possessions.
The world of soccer has opened up my world to lives full of desperation. Kids clinging to the dream that soccer is their ticket out. Through CDCA, I get the chance to share with our players that there is a much better ticket “out” than soccer.
CDCA exists to compete at the highest level of Ecuadorian sports in order to have the widest possible audience to share Christ. Our goal is to be successful on the field so people will take the time to hear how much Christ loves them. Currently we have a men’s and women’s team, and will shortly be opening a soccer school for the younger players.
Included in the coaching we offer our players is time to talk about the bible, to pray with them, to mentor them, and to share life with them
. All this in the hopes that they see our desperation. Our desperation to follow Christ, to be close to Him, to daily give our lives to Him. We pray that the very desperation they showed up with at the door would transform into a desperation to follow Christ as well.
– Written by Nate Taube