Our programming in Ecuador is effective through the power of relationship! We work in close partnership with our trusted in-country missionary, Dr. Manuel Avila Zeas. Through Dr. Manuel's critical work, SPARK empowers individuals, families, and communities by nurturing spiritual, physical, and economic health through Jesus Christ. While Dr. Manuel lives and works in Ecuador year-round, SPARK sends at least one short term mission team each year (with the exception of 2020 and 2021 due to COVID related restrictions) to support the on-going work and provide concentrated effort to fulfill the goals of our Programs. In July of 2022, our mission team worked alongside Christian leaders in the coastal town of La Iberia. The mission team will return to work in La Iberia this July!
Spiritual health and wholeness is nurtured through our Discipleship Program that offers Christian education and encourages vibrant discipleship that restores people through Christ Jesus to a right relationship with God. There are several facets to our Discipleship Program. In our Children's Bible School, Bible truths are shared through crafts, theatrical story-telling, song, and Gospel bracelets. Near Christmas children hear of Jesus' holy and humble birth and receive special treats. Men and Women have separate opportunities through Bible Study groups to read and discuss passages of the Bible. Participants are encouraged to be confident in reading the Bible for themselves and growing in their faith. They are then encouraged to share the Good News with others and encourage faith and discipleship.
* Implemented near the end of 2020, the Discipleship Network is connecting a mountain village to Dr. Manuel via computer video screen! The goal of this exciting project is growing disciples of Jesus and consistently connecting them to reliable resources - God’s Word, trained leaders, and other believers. With the support of our donors this Network's reach and impact is expanding!
Physical health is cultivated through our Wellness Program that offers indigenous peoples in remote mountain villages direct access to medical care and basic pharmaceuticals. Our Wellness Program also provides vision evaluations and needed eyeglasses and protective sunglasses. During Women's Health groups, women discuss basic family hygiene and health topics specific to them. Through Children's Sports Camps, physical activity, cooperation and fun are encouraged.
Economic vitality is initiated through our Growth Program that offers education funding, asset based community development, and support for training in improved farming practices. Dr. Manuel and local leaders work diligently to come alongside communities in identifying and nurturing sustainable development projects. SPARK works with them to match resources and funding to these projects.
In all of our Program work, we strive to encourage self-sustainability so that individuals, families, and communities thrive far beyond our involvement. Your investment through SPARK will nurture wholeness, health, and vitality in individuals, families, and communities for decades—and generations—to come!