Dentistry... and Starting a Church?
Jul 20, 2016
Guayaquil, Equador; by new CA project leaders, Ismael and Amy
Six years ago, Becsy set out to become a dentist...
She applied for a spot in our University Project program where she could receive a scholarship to help pay for the cost of a university education. In a country where a minimum wage job requires 10-12 hours a day, six days a week, and pays only roughly $360 per month, it is nearly impossible for parents to provide for a higher education for their children. Through the University Project, a sponsor was found for Becsy and she enrolled in the school of dentistry at the University of Guayaquil. After six years of dedication, long hours, hard work, and sacrifice, Becsy is a college graduate and a dentist.
She's a dentist! She did it!! She worked so hard and achieved a dream that will change the course of her whole life. Becsy is not chained to the circumstances into which she was born. She will thrive; she will rise above the poverty line; she will give hope to her family and her community because of this dream she had the courage to pursue.
And it was HARD! It cost her. Becsy got on a crowded bus every morning for the half-hour ride into the city. She'd walk the last mile and a half through downtown Guayaquil to get from the bus stop to the university, often carrying a backpack loaded with books and the precious tools she had scraped to buy second-hand. Five days a week, she put in 8 to 10 hour days of classroom learning with a few short breaks for small meals before making her way back to the bus stop to catch the bus home. By year four, her days got longer as she was required to practice her skills in the university clinic. In year five, Becsy worked roughly 450 clinic hours on top of her classroom schedule. She practically lived at school!
How we wanted to be there for her! Right there; physically near--to offer her a place to rest between classes and clinic duty, or a place with free wifi so she could get some homework done. Or to serve her a hot meal, and offer her a room and a bed to spend the night in after those really long days when she'd just have to get up and head back to class early the next morning. To help her catch her breath, and get her second wind. To love her; to welcome her in to a place where she knew she would be accepted and cared for--a place she could invite her friends and know they would receive the same care and hospitality. Friends, this is the love of Christ. And this is what the church could look like in Guayaquil. We're convinced it's the church we are called to start there.
We're grateful for Jesus' plan to see His church planted in this city as we watched Becsy's struggle. Because she is not the only one to face such a struggle, and WE CAN be Jesus' hands and feet for those who will come after her! There are over 20 students in our University Project right now who are working hard to earn their degrees and feeling overcome by the challenges they face. We believe the church we start will be made up of these students. We hope it will grow wider and deeper as we help them reach out to their friends and classmates who face the same challenges. We hope that our home will provide them with not only a place of physical rest and rejuvenation, but of spiritual renewal and awakening as well.
CA starts churches who follow Jesus in transforming their world. Our churches are not started to all look the same. Our churches are started to meet the needs of that community--to meet needs as the Holy Spirit makes them clear. Will you pray with us for Becsy, and for Amy and Ismael as they launch this new church planting project?
Eric serves as Chief Operating Officer and CFO for Christian Associates. He holds an MBA, with emphasis in International Business, from Colorado State University-Pueblo and the CCNL credential from Christian Leadership Alliance. Eric is an entrepreneur, having started and run more than ten businesses, and he loves leading efficient and effective support systems for front-line missional movements. His favorite roles are husband of Nicole and father of Joshua and Grace, and during the winter months might find him skiing the mountains of Colorado.