Having only been in her service city of Manta, Ecuador for a few short weeks, Jordyn Baker (40/40 Church Planter), and her team, hosted their very first short-term missions team. This is the Kickoff Team, as we call it in Extreme. “It was almost like an introduction to our church because we had only had one church service before this time. And to have it boom into the community and have people realize that, ‘Oh, there’s a church here now.’ … It was incredible to start [the church] like that.”
From July 13th-27th, a short-term team of 23 people assisted the Manta church plant team in bringing momentum to expand the Kingdom to the city. “It was pretty spectacular to see,” said Jordyn, “[The short-termers’] main job was to help us in ways that we couldn’t have done on our own.” Extreme’s strategy for short-term missions is to bring a great amount of influence to a city to create contacts for the missionaries to work with after the short-termers leave. It’s like fishing with nets as opposed to fishing poles!
The short-termers helped the Manta missionaries do several kinds of events. They hosted an event they called Family Day. They invited families out to play games, win some prizes and generally have fun in a family friendly atmosphere.
The team also participated in cleaning up an old building that the city wants to turn into a Community Center. They cleaned it out, cleared out weeds, and by the time they were done it looked pretty nice!
They also did a project the missionaries called “Desayuno Con Dios”, or “Breakfast with God”. The earthquake along the coast in Ecuador in April has left many families homeless. The government created refugee-like camps in the city where these people can be supplied with their basic needs (mainly water). Jordyn explained, “[These people] have been kind of displaced by the earthquake so we brought them breakfast and food and cleaning kits. We did that event three times. Later on we did a “Supper with God” and then even after that we did another breakfast with God in another refugee camp.
But, one of Jordyn’s favorite parts of hosting the short-termers was toward the end of the project. There was a day that things were a little slow, and Krista, the project coordinator, gathered the 40/40s to tell them it’d be a perfect day to take some of the short-termers out to visit some contacts.
“Mariana and I got some short-termers together and went to visit some of our contacts down the street. It was really cool to see how open South Americans are and seeing the situations that our contacts are in and how touched the short-termers were by that. God really moved and spoke in those visits. There were tears and stories of the earthquake and more affirmation from God to the contacts. And it was amazing to be there translating for the short-termers. Like, [I had to translate,] “She was horribly terrified by the earthquakes and Mariana right now is telling her that God doesn’t want them to have fear and that’s why she’s crying her eyes out right now.” Just to be there but also in the back looking at it. I don’t know. It was just the coolest time that I’ve had with my contacts so far.”
The Manta team has been incredibly blessed by all of the extra help from this short-term team. The church plant team now has tons more contacts to work with, and we are excited to see these contacts grow who, in two years time, will become the leaders of this church. The Lord is doing a new thing! Praise the Lord!
Jordyn Baker is a 40/40 Church Planter for the team working in Manta, Ecuador. This is one of the cities that was most recently affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the Ecuadorian coastline in April. Jordyn is a pastor’s kid from North Dakota and received her call into missions at the age of 12. If you’d like to learn more about Jordyn, check out her bio page!