We keep forgetting to let you know that it has been pretty neat for us to learn what they call us “missionaries” down here in Ecuador. Instead of calling us Missionaries from the U.S. or Sweden or wherever, the Nationals here call us “Colaboradores,” which means colaborators or colleagues or associates. We really, really appreciate this title as it emphasizes the fact that we are here to work together with the National Church. Too often in the past, there has been a paternalistic relationship with missions, which isn’t too surprising as the gospel has spread to many places on the earth because of the work of missionaries. But seeing as in Ecuador, they have an established National Church with almost 80 churches which are self-reliant, there is no need for a paternalistic type structure to exist.
That’s why it is neat for us to see the National Church embracing us as co-laborers in the work that lays ahead for us all. We serve Christ hand in hand with equal submission to one another (Ephesians 5:21). Now, not everything is perfect all the time, but do you know any church that is perfect all the time or for that matter, any Christian who is perfect all the time.