EDITOR’S NOTE: This year’s Week of Prayer for International Missions, Nov. 30-Dec. 7, focuses on missionaries who serve in South America as well as churches partnering with them, exemplifying the global outreach supported by Southern Baptists’ gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This year’s theme is “GO TELL the story of Jesus”; the national offering goal is $170 million.
CHIRIHUASI, Ecuador (BP)–Five days a week starting at 3 a.m., the shadows of two Quichua men could be seen walking down the steep mountain trails. They traveled seven miles to reach the nearby provincial capital of Ibarra. Their goal: to broadcast one hour of the Gospel to 300,000 Quichua in their own language.
For months Quichua villages heard the story of Jesus as men dressed for another day in the fields and wives prepared breakfast over a fire. Now they can hear it six days a week, five hours a day.
The increased capacity would not be possible without the faithful gifts of Southern Baptists, such as one member of First Baptist Church in Boise, Okla., a church that has partnered with the work of missionaries Darrell and Rogene Musick in Ecuador. When the man died, he left money to fund the radio ministry — providing half the funds needed to buy equipment for the station.
The donation enabled a Baptist church in the Chirihuasi community to create its own radio studio on the church grounds. In a small room behind the church, egg crate-type foam covers the walls and state-of-the-art equipment fits neatly into wood casings. There, Quichua believers broadcast Bible studies, music and practical lessons in their language.
With the expanded time slots, the Musicks and Quichua believers are adding family advice and tips on health and agricultural practices.
A neighboring church follows up on inquiries made to the radio station, resulting in new Quichua churches.
“[The church] has dedicated this whole community for praying all week, all day and all night for this radio,” Chirihuasi pastor Leoncio Montaluisa says. “God honors that.”
Sharing the Gospel in people’s heart language is pivotal for the Musicks’ ministry as is verbal storytelling that melds with Quichua oral culture.
The Musicks, working with Montaluisa, have translated and dubbed 16 Bible lessons for the Quichua to be played as part of group Bible study or for individual presentations of the Gospel. The Musicks also purchased tape recorders for church planters, who carry the tapes with them as they visit villages.
“They cannot afford to go to school,” Rogene says. “So how do you get the stories of Jesus if they don’t read?
“Chronological [oral] Bible storying is a way to do that,” she says, noting that it has led to the distribution of 500 Bibles in the Quichua language.
Dea Davidson is a writer for the International Mission Board. To learn more about how volunteers can help South America’s Quichua reach fellow Quichua for Christ, visit samregion.org. See going.imb.org for general volunteer opportunities. Gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering can be made at www.imb.org/offering to support the International Mission Board’s more than 5,300 missionaries worldwide, including Darrell and Rogene Musick in Ecuador.