Ministering in church planting and leadership development in Loja. Loja is a place with less than one percent of believers. In the province, they are working in at least 30 towns with 2,000 people in each community that do not have any evangelical church of any kind. People are very tolerant of materialism, sensualism, migration and drug addictions.
Leonardo (Leo) and Lourdes Calva serve as church planters in southern Ecuador in a region called Loja. Where there is great need for the word of God, Loja has less than one percent of believers “called the lost territory” due to this. During the last fifteen years, the Calvas have planted a central church Mustard Seed (Semilla de Mostaza), which now has 350 people attending weekly. It is a multiethnic church with 10 different nationalities. From this church, they have established other churches in the rural areas. The Calvas are also working in fifteen other places. The work in the provinces is difficult; however, gradually the presence of Mustard Seed work continues to impact those areas that have been closed to the gospel.
A large percentage of the Mustard Seed congregation are professional, middle class Ecuadorians. Many of the new believers are young people and young couples. As part of their ministry, the Calvas are serving the community through medical services, community work projects, counseling and crisis relief. The Calvas envision establishing a church planting gospel-centered movement that also emphasizes serving the more vulnerable people of Ecuador. They are seeing Ecuadorians become a missionary force throughout the world. From Mustard Seed, a couple is doing national outreach, another couple is serving in South America with her husband and a single lady is getting ready and raising financial support to be a missionary to Asia. So, God is at work moving to Mustard Seed to become that gospel-centered church planting movement in the south of Ecuador, at the same time a fruitful mission field, with its first fruits of being a missionary force.
Leo and Lourdes met while on a short-term mission’s trip to Spain. After that trip, Leo returned to Rio Grande Institute in Texas to finish his studies, while Lourdes continued her studies and serving in her local church and helping a mission agency with a ministry on the border with Mexico. They later married and moved to the Northwest to minister in a pastoral role at a church in McMinnville, Oregon, for seven years. During this time, they went on a short-term mission’s trip to Ecuador, where God spoke to their hearts to begin a church planting movement in Loja, Ecuador.
Pray that we can make a difference through the gospel-centered church planting movement.
That those church plants who are being established will multiply themselves. Those church plants that are in that process will to continue to affirm themselves rooted in the word of God.
That through the teams we are working and serving; WorldVenture Field and the church-planters team together we may bring Glory and be fruitful for the kingdom.
That the Lord will help and encourage our family as we serve the Lord together.
The People. Lojano’s are a people group who are very relational, friendly, family and community oriented, they feel very proud of their culture, food, art and music. Great percentage are well educated due to three major universities. They are eager to know the Gospel.
Blogs and Articles on WorldVenture.com:
* Missionary Plants Seeds of Faith in His Home Country of Ecuador