Wednesday, October 06th, 2010 | Author:

As always, Christian bloggers are invited to participate in the Word for Wednesday. See the WFW tab above for details.

I was following links this morning, and came across a story that the media largely ignored. Here’s part of a wire story from FoxBusiness posted in the Markets section:

Members of Ecuador’s national police and members of the air force on Thursday started protests and went on strike against the government of President Rafael Correa.

The heated protests started after the Correa administration went ahead with reforms that will cut benefits and affect decorations that increase remuneration for the police and military.

Police officials burned tires in the streets and protested against the government, while air force officials shut down the airport in Quito. The army has said it supports Correa.

Here are more details from a missionary in the area:

In a matter of hours Sept. 30, a nation of 14 million people found itself at the mercy of gangs and hoodlums, ransacking and looting at will.

Ecuador, the South American nation I have served as a Southern Baptist missionary for 24 years, isn’t known for being politically stable. With eight presidents in the last 10 years, Ecuadorians have seen many uprisings, strikes, demonstrations and unrest. Trouble struck again Sept. 30.

That day, as we were going out to celebrate my wife’s birthday, we noticed people running down the streets. Traffic backed up along the side streets of our neighborhood. Within minutes, word spread: “The national police are striking. Go home immediately, lock your doors and stay there!”

Even as I rushed to get back to our house, businesses were locking up and people were jumping into their cars. When I stopped someone to ask what was going on, he shouted, “They’ve robbed the bank down the street! There is looting all along the shopping district a block away!”

With the threat of more than 40,000 national police walking off the job, chaos and terror soon reigned across the country.

Patriotic Christian Americans know, of course, that nothing like this could ever happen here. But just for a minute, I ask you to imagine that it could.  Just for a minute, think about a scenario that would leave our country at the mercy of looters and criminals.  Think about how our military would react.  Just think.

As you imagine this situation, try to figure out how you would react.  As this missionary did, I suspect that most of us would try to find safe haven for ourselves and our loved ones, but what would your next step be?  Would you dig out your ammo and clean your guns?  Would you set up barricades to harden your safe haven?  Would you venture out to get food and supplies to last through the storm … even if you had to turn into one of the looters to do it?

If you thought to pray, what would you pray?  Would you pray for safety for you and yours?  Would you pray for God to restore our country, to eliminate the fear and chaos?

A couple years ago I took a walk through the New Testament prayers.  Almost all of them are prayers for people’s souls.  They are prayers for Christians to walk as Christians, to know God, to share God.  Prayers for personal safety and earthly comforts are rare.  Here’s part of one of my favorites:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19)

Here’s what that missionary and other Christians are doing in response to the chaotic events in Ecuador.  Would we do as well, or would we just want our creature comforts restored?

While this latest round of political unrest is tragic, we ask Christians around the world to pray that it will become the catalyst for a long-awaited harvest of souls here in Ecuador. On Oct. 10, all evangelical Christians in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, will unite in a citywide evangelistic effort. We will blanket the city’s schools, parks, media, homes, government offices and sports arenas in an attempt to reach the entire city of 3 million people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pray that the tragic events of Sept. 30 will prepare people’s hearts to respond to the Gospel.

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One Response
  1. Jim Wetzel says:

    You ask an arresting — and inconvenient! — question. My honest answer is: not having been there, I don’t know. Sitting here in peace and security, I know the right answer; but under duress, would I have the awareness … and the strength to act accordingly? I do indeed have to wonder.