From CMI’s Executive Director
Seven years ago, I sat in a dusty living room in Quito, Ecuador.
The Norte Church was a few days from their first Sunday service. The team was hard at work converting a home into a functional church building.
They knew God was calling them to start a new church. They were filled with excitement and anticipation. But still, no one can avoid the flood of what if’s. What if this doesn’t work? What if it does? What do we do next?
On that night, we sat down with the leadership team and shared a story in which they were the newest chapter.
We retold the history of Jesus’ faithfulness to build his Church in neighboring Lima and, eventually, in cities throughout the country. The Encounter with God Movement began there with one church of 180 people in a city the size of New York. Jesus grew that church to more than 7,000 people. Even more, they planted dozens of daughter churches throughout Lima and eventually churches in cities throughout the country. To date, the gospel has transformed hundreds of thousands of lives in Lima and beyond.
We recounted Jesus’ faithfulness in their own city through the Encounter Movement. The legacy of gospel-driven churches of which they were heirs. We celebrated how they would be the first “granddaughter” Church in Quito and led them to dream about their future impact in Quito and throughout Ecuador.z
As we shared that night, I remember watching a light come on in their eyes. Beyond a living room. Beyond a neighborhood. Even beyond the capital city of Quito. They caught a God-size vision to reach Ecuador and Latin America for Christ as part of the Encounter with God Movement.
They weren’t trying to talk Jesus into writing a new story. Instead, he was inviting them into an exciting chapter in the story he began in Acts!
Seven years have come and gone since that night. In fact, in January I visited Norte just days after their 7th anniversary.
Leaders and volunteers now ready and tidy up a new 900-seat sanctuary each week. More than 1,500 people gather in this new ‘home’ every Sunday. Hundreds come to faith each year through their ministries. Nearly 400 are actively engaged in their five-year intensive Bible Academy. Seven church members are enrolled in seminary preparing for pastoral ministry. And Norte has 40+ ministries serving the church and the city.
Through your prayerful generosity, you help CMI ignite vision, unite leaders, and equip churches like Norte. Next time you dust your home, thank Jesus for the saving work he is doing in Quito.