In Quito, Ecuador
May 28, 2020
Monitoring the global impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we join you in concern for the loss of life, prayer for those hardest hit, and a passion to discover how the ways of Jesus will transform lives in the days ahead.
All our lives have changed dramatically, and you can imagine how difficult this has been for the most vulnerable. Isolation, food scarcity, and fear are even worse for the oppressed and invisible in the communities around the world where One Collective works today. When disasters happen, people working together can accomplish incredible things, and today your generosity is empowering people in communities around the world with support and hope. Here’s a story showing exactly that from a Catalyst named Aaron in Quito, Ecuador.
“A lot of the work happening in Quito focuses on people who might be called ‘invisible’. They are people pushed to the margins of society - without support and without hope. It’s those people who face the most desperate needs when isolation and disaster spread across the city like is happening now.
When a person like that is seen and loved, something really powerful happens. The door is opened for change to happen in their lives. They have a chance for their needs to be met in a holistic way — a sustainable way. For Kimberly, that is exactly what happened.
Kimberly grew up in a small home with very few resources. At 9 years old, she was helping her mom sell drugs on the streets, and at 12, after her mom was arrested, she became involved in prostitution because that meant the difference between her sisters having food or going hungry. She remembers that for so long she felt completely unseen — to the people around her she was invisible.
It was 9 years later that Kimberly found support for the first time. She had heard about a place in Quito that cared about women in her situation from a friend. She remembers thinking ‘I just didn’t know if I would be safe in this place, and I wondered if I could trust these people who were supposed to help me.’
But for Kimberly, the door to healing was opened. When she met Debbie, the leader of one of several One Collective ministries in Quito, she remembers what it felt like — ‘I felt their unconditional love for me, their deep respect for me, and most importantly I felt seen for the first time.’ During that time she also realized the power Jesus could have in her life.
Three years from that moment, Kimberly finds herself helping other women in Quito through a program called “Amadas.” Every week, they go to the center of the city and find women caught in prostitution. They talk and support them, helping them to feel seen and loved — maybe for the first time. Stories like Kimberly’s show just how powerful being seen and supported can be. Unfortunately, there are still so many people across the city just like Kimberly, caught in desperate situations.
That’s why across the city right now, a network of One Collective leaders are working together to continue serving the community. Just last week the team here reached out to women from the “Amadas” program and found out that many have been left without basic necessities — food and water — throughout the lockdowns, so hundreds of packages were delivered to these women across the city, literally right to their doorsteps. For the people we met, this meant everything. The same phrase was repeated again and again; ‘You didn’t forget about us.’
This is the impact that your generosity is making for the people in Quito. In the middle of a situation that threatens every person who is on the margins - you make all the difference. It has never been more important or more difficult than during this time, and it is your support and generosity that allows people to be seen and loved for the first time. Thank you.”