As we desire to truly support and raise up local leadership here in Ecuador we are learning that sometimes empowerment looks like not going, or not preaching, or not filling the gap. This is a challenging reality for us at times as not being there, or not sharing, or not filling that gosh-darn gap can be hard!!
Let us tell you a story --
We were invited into a tribal village to serve alongside some of our tribal and foreign friends at an annual Christian conference put on BY the Waorani people FOR the Waorani people.
We were excited about the experience and the opportunity to serve. We were excited to watch tribal people lead a tribal Christian conference for their own people. We were excited to have our girls serve alongside some of their friends who have more experience in this area. The list went on. We were excited.
Then the day came when we were told that there were too many non-tribal people planning to come into the camp and that the presence of too many foreigners would off-set the balance and cause our tribal friends to struggle to balance caring for us and running the conference for their own people. Our presence was going to be more of a hinderance than a help. Naturally, we bowed out and committed to pray.
After processing and praying, we decided that the funds we would have used to fly into the village we would donate to the conference fund to purchase food to feed all the tribal people coming for the conference. Although we were bummed not to be in the mix serving we were pleased that our presence wasn't a hinderance for the tribal to tribal ministry. Sometimes not being seen is the best way we can truly make an impact.