Perched on the northwest corner of the South American continent and once an integral part of the mighty Inca Empire, the land we now call Ecuador is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that does not share a border with Brazil. The country also includes the Galápagos Islands located in the Pacific Ocean some 620 miles west of the mainland. One of Ecuador's most noted geographic features is the Cotopaxi Volcano. Part of the chain of volcanoes that forms what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, at a height of approximately 17 miles, Cotopaxi is one of the world's tallest active volcanoes.
The equator passes through the southern one-third of Ecuador producing a generally hot climate with near equal hours of daylight year-round. However, because of the diverse topography which includes the coastal plains along the Pacific, the majestic Andes Mountains that dominate the central part of the country, and the Amazon lowland in the western sector, Ecuador's 15.9 million residents experience a variety of climates. Quito, the capital city, is situated less than 20 miles south of the equator; however, because of its altitude, 9,350 feet above sea level, when the sun shines it can be very warm, but when the clouds roll in, one had better look for a sweater or a coat!
The names Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming and Roger Youderian will forever be synonymous with missionary work in Ecuador. These were the five missionaries who were martyred on a sandy beach along the Curaray River in Ecuador at the hands of the Huaorani Indians on January 8, 1956, after months of fleeting contact with the Indian tribesmen. Their sacrifice has paved the way for a notable spiritual awakening among the Ecuadorian people, who, today are generally open and receptive to the Gospel.
BIMI has only been involved in the country of Ecuador within the last two decades. The ministries there are progressing well. Working in Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city, BIMI missionaries have planted three churches. In addition, a flourishing deaf ministry has been established providing a wonderful Christian day school for deaf boys and girls. Other ministries, including Bible training for national laborers, are part of our mission strategy.
His journal entry for October 28, 1949, Jim Elliot wrote, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." Do you have something to "give"? Ecuador is waiting. Who will answer God's call to go to her people with the saving message of the Gospel? Will you please pray with us for more missionaries in Ecuador?