Name(s): Ana Cristina Bastidas - UKEY27
Host Country: Ecuador
God unleashed a calling for missionaries to go to Ecuador over 100 years ago. That was the way the Gospel entered the country and started making a big change in society. The Lord moved in those ministries significantly and many lives were saved as well as churches started. However, the model from that time is still being kept in our current society and is causing the younger generation to walk away from Christianity all together.
My parents came to know Jesus through those missionaries. I grew up as part of a traditional Christian church in the heart of the city of Quito that was trying its best to reach their generation. However, I knew God had called me to disciple those who were unreached, building relationships with them and staying involved in their lives as Jesus did. Unfortunately, my efforts were not well received and I ended up walking away from church all together. In my previous job, I had the opportunity to travel around Ecuador, to learn how to work with our multi-ethnic society, to look into what was happening with my own generation around the entire country. I saw that it was disengaged and tired of feeling judged and ruled by legalism. That is the experience I saw with my friends from high school and college who are not followers of Jesus.
While living for four years in Indiana, God allowed me to experience what true discipleship looks like. By being part of Epic Church, I learned how to make disciples who make disciples in a God-honoring, grace-filled, truth-inspired discipleship model. By obtaining my Masters in Ministry at Bethel University, I received the Biblical foundation and pastoral training to help others in their journey with Christ. Through my time as Pastor of Outreach and Connections, I learned how to make people feel welcomed and open to talking about their spiritual journey, how to challenge in a loving way, and how to point them towards a true relationship with Jesus.
My objective as a missionary is to start a movement in Quito that is focused on building active communities of disciples (micro churches) that generate life transformation by following the leading of the Holy Spirit in relational discipleship with a clear mindset of multiplication.