We are excited to announce our first official Hearts & Hope trip to Ecuador. Six months ago, Dare for More launched Hearts & Hope Global Solutions. This arm of our ministry was created to bring structure and a clearly defined purpose to our international ministry to women. For the past three years God has been leading us to various places around the globe and connecting us with different ministry partners. We have seen him do great things through these endeavors and we knew he was leading us to be intentional as we reach the women and children in crisis around the world. You can read more about Hearts & Hope by visiting our website.
With two firmly established partners in the Dominican Republic, we have been looking ahead to what God would have us do next. At first, there were so many options on the table that we were unsure which way to go, but after much prayer, God cleared the path for us and began to direct us toward South America. We are currently in discussions with missionaries and church planters in Brazil and Columbia and we are making plans for future trips to these areas, but our first trip is to Ecuador.
On May 10th a small team of women will leave for Ecuador. Our team is made up of Allison Hale, Ana Ricardo, Paula Hodges, Lisa Potter and Reba Bowman. Allison is a missionary in the Dominican Republic. She started a rescue operation for women and their children with the women of her church and now that ministry has grown to include a short-term restoration and counseling center, several business opportunities for the women to learn a skill and support their families, and much more. Ana is a Dominican young woman who is making a difference for the cause of Christ and the women of the DR. She feels called to minister to women on a larger scale and we are excited to be a part of her first trip. Paula is a veteran missionary of over 30 years who was just in Ecuador for 8 months with her husband Doug. God used them to come alongside a church and help prepare a new pastor to lead that ministry.
There are many women and children in crisis throughout South America. In a recent letter from the Coalition Against Trafficking to the Brazilian President, it was stated that Brazil is on the verge of becoming “the country with the highest rate of children in situations of sexual exploitation in the world.” Over 500,000 children are reportedly sold for sex in Brazil. “During the last World Cup, it was documented that sexual services were sold outside stadiums with girls no older than 10 years old for only 6 reais.” http://www.catwlac.org/es/2015/12/17/manifesto-say-no-to-sex-tourism-buying-sex-is-not-a-sport/
This summer the 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Brazil. Over 6 million tourists are expected to attend these games. How many little girls will be sold as a commodity at these games? How many will be treated as a souvenir from the Olympics?
Brazil is not the only country profiting from the sale of women and children. Columbia and Venezuela are increasing their involvement in the business of trafficking humans. Interestingly, Ecuador sits in a pivotal position as many women and children are moved through this country during the trafficking process. Could God use the people of Ecuador to be a city of refuge for the many who are in crisis?
Please pray with us as we travel and as we discuss the needs and opportunities with the amazing people that God has raised up to serve Him in Ecuador. We hope to post pictures and maybe even a video or two as we travel so make sure you visit our page or follow us on Instagram at “daringformore” to see what we are up to.