As we’ve been traveling and meeting new people, some of the most common questions we get are, “How did you end up serving in Latin America? How did you two meet?” I, Katie, usually begin by saying, “Well, it all started in 2000 in Ecuador.” It was the summer of 2000 when I moved to Ecuador to serve as the Dean of Women at Covenant Bible College Ecuador. It was the first country I had ever visited in South America and from very early on it quickly felt like home. It was in 2003 that I left Ecuador to later move to Colombia where Julio and I would marry and serve in ministry together.
So it was quite a thrill to be able to return to Ecuador together this month to participate in a South American missionary retreat. We were together in Ecuador for five days with fellow missionaries and colleagues. We were reunited with the Sanders who we serve with in Colombia and had the wonderful opportunity to interact with our fellow missionaries serving in Ecuador, as well as our incredible leaders and regional coordinators who are based in Chicago.
It was a sweet time of sharing a bit more of who we are, how we are serving, and the joys and challenges we experience. We appreciated the time we had to encourage and pray for one another, to speak truth into each others lives. The dialogue was rich as the Executive Minister of Covenant World Mission, Al Tizon, facilitated discussion around healthy missional partnerships. We were able to honor, Curt Peterson, the former Executive Minister, who has been on this journey with us since 2003. We laughed together and cried together. We learned together and came together over meals, through prayer, and in our common call to serve globally. It was an important reminder that we are not called to participate in God’s mission as isolated individuals, but as a unified body of believers.