CMI News

If Jonah Was From Quito, Ecuador

Changed Lives

Agustin’s Story:A Modern Missionary Tale

Like a prophet of old, Agustin’s life turned upside down before he could fulfill a call to be a full-time missionary.

If you were to chart a course for becoming a foreign missionary, his would NOT be the model. His story reads more like Jonah than John the Baptist.

Before ever getting married, Agustin felt called to mission. And early into their marriage, Agustin and Carolina did local mission work together in Quito, Ecuador. But soon Agustin’s dream would turn into a nightmare.

While doing mission work together in public, their own marriage was falling apart in private. So, they decided to do something about it. They connected with Norte Church in Quito, Ecuador. They hopped into a marriage class thinking, “Start with the basics.” But their plan backfired. The threads holding their marriage together unraveled.

And then it happened…
One Sunday Agustin was offered a chance to preach at the local mission outpost where he and Carolina served. Two days later, he and Carolina had a huge fight. Agustin screamed, “I’ll never come back here,” as he slammed the door, got in his car, and raced away.

On Wednesday, he lost his job. His boss said he was emotionally volatile. By Thursday— barely three days removed from ‘preaching as a missionary’—Agustin had to sleep in his car.

Homeless. Hopeless. He’d lost his job, his home, his family, and his missionary dream.

Agustin and Carolina remained separated for eight months. Carolina picked up the pieces and tried to move on with their two boys. She continued at Norte Church and enrolled in Bible classes.

Carolina’s Bible class mentors had a story similar to her own. Separated for two years, Christ saved them and restored their marriage. But this news only pushed Carolina further away. ‘That’s not me…I’m done with my marriage. I’m moving on,’ she resigned.

But obstacles and obstinance are no match for God’s mercy. During their eight months of separation, His grace began to soften Agustin and Carolina’s pride.

After losing everything, Agustin was broken. Eventually, Carolina also cried out to the Lord in surrender, “If you really, really, really want me to be with Agustin, show me!”

On Christmas Day, 2017, Agustin moved back home. He’s never left since. Agustin and Carolina, with humbled hearts, threw themselves into rebuilding their marriage with the help of the Norte Church.

And this past January, God answered Agustin’s lifelong prayer. The church that helped heal his marriage laid hands on him and his family while Pastor Javier Silva commissioned them as the first foreign missionary family of the Norte Church. Days later they departed for Southeast Asia to begin their service.

From homeless in the “belly of a car,” to fulfilling his calling across the globe, God’s work in Agustin’s life is a miracle. It is a testimony to God not just changing lives in Ecuador, but around the world. And one more of many miracles that God is accomplishing through churches like Norte.
Agustin & Family at Norte Church, Quito Ecuador