Few countries in the world take their name from their unique place on the globe. Ecuador means “Republic of the Equator.” People from 25 languages come to Quito, the capital city with two million people. Like many other South American countries, the Gini Index, which measures income disparity, indicates that socio-economic levels in Ecuador enrich a wealthy minority.
Following decades of conflict, Ecuador adopted the USA dollar as its legal currency in 2000.
Current social issues center around Indigenous demands for land reform, employment, social services and the historical exploitation of the land by a wealthy, highly trained elite.
Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas, followed by oil, flowers, and shrimp! For decades after achieving independence in 1809, presidents have a short “Life-in-government” expectancy, averaging only 18 months. More recently, after the financial collapse of 1999, democracy has become more stable.
Culturally and historically, the country has been solidly Roman Catholic. In 1960, there were only 120 Quichua believers, but the power of the Gospel has come to the Ecuadorian highlands. Today, there are over 1.2 million believers among these descendants of the ancient Inca Empire, an almost miraculous growth.
HCJB shortwave radio, launched in 1931, has its base in Quito and programs “beamed from the equator” reach around the globe. The story of this radio station is one of another miracle in the history of modern-day missions. Over 1,200 hours of radio in 12 languages reach around the world. Supplemental ministries involve follow-up, education, pastoral training, two teaching hospitals and several clinics.
How to pray for Ecuador:
1 Pray for a stable and durable government. Instability has long been the norm.
2 Pray for the integration of Quichua and Amazon area Indian groups into the larger groups of evangelical believers. That includes radio, TV, church planting, musical groups, Bible translation, and outreach into elementary, middle, and high schools.
3 Amerindian tribal groups have had great difficulty in preserving their lands. Pray for peaceful solutions to brig peace where hostility has taken people backward socially and spiritually.
4 The maturing of jungle tribal churches is difficult in face of their contact with modern society.
5 False teaching and syncretism easily creep into church life through untrained pastors and leaders.
6 Growing expertise in TV brings the Gospel to thousands each week. The Jesus Film and the CrossRoads curriculum “Life at the CrossRoads” have had a great impact on youth.