Spreading Christmas cheer worldwide
This time of year, many find that they have the desire to focus on giving to others and serving those in need. This past week, three local women took that desire and went the extra mile to serve the Lord in a foreign country.
Over the years, Faithwalk Ministries in Luverne has partnered with the Lynch Family Missions, founded by two Alabama missionaries, to help share the word of Christ to those in Ecuador. After hearing about the work that the Lynch family was able to do overseas, Stephanie Sowell, a member of Faithwalk Ministries, began to feel the call to travel to Ecuador. Sowell along with Desiree Phillips and Ashley Green from Faithwalk Ministries felt the call to pursue this journey to Ecuador and arranged to meet up with a team that consisted of members from Alabama, Georgia, Indiana and Texas.
“Being in children’s ministry most of my life, that was just such an honor for me to be apart of it, and it really changes your perspective on what’s important when you go there and see what they live on,” said Sowell. “It’s so little but they are so happy. You realize you don’t need everything you think you need to have a quality life and to be happy.”
Sowell’s husband and son recently returned from Ecuador in October. While there, the group was able to help plant a church in the jungle through a partnership with the Andalusia Church of God, and were also able to install three clean water systems.
After seeing the experiences her family members had on their trip, Sowell knew it was time that she ventured out as well.
This group was given the chance to participate in a project called Project M:25, which goes to villages and communities in Ecuador to throw Christmas parties for the local children. This project was founded by the Lynch Family Missions and offers care and ministry to at-risk children within Ecuador. It provides nutrition, education and enrichment programs to the children and families and also trains and equips people who work with at-risk children throughout Latin America. “We went and had Christmas with about 1,000 kids over there. We had a big celebration on Saturday where they actually brought their parents,” said Sowell. “When the families came, we were able to supply food boxes for the families as well as gifts for the children.”
The group was not only able to give out food, but were also able to provided clothing and toys for the children.
“When we got there to see the first group of kids I couldn’t speak their language. I felt like a huge wall was between us and the kids, but when I started hugging them, all of a sudden it didn’t matter if I could speak their language or if they could speak mine,” said Sowell. “They felt our love and we felt theirs and I realized that love knows no language. That’s what’s so wonderful about the love of God. True love knows no language because it’s God’s language. It was very life changing for all of us that went and we are just honored. We can’t wait to go back.”