Partner Highlight | Incalink in Ecuador
Incalink is a 501c3 ministry with the vision of reaching the 300+ youth in Latin America with Christ's love through evangelism, discipleship, and compassion. They serve children and families in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador in a variety of different ways and have seen God do amazing things simply by being obedient to the call on their lives.
Interview with Rich, Co-founder of Incalink:
Describe the first moment you were certain the Lord was calling you to start this ministry. What was the cry in your heart and what was your first step of faith in starting Incalink?
When we first got married we said, "one thing we don´t want to do is work with young people." Our parents were missionaries, so we knew missionaries well, but didn´t know too many youth pastor missionaries. Interestingly enough, our first ministry in preparation for the mission field was to be youth pastors in Raleigh, NC. We fell in love with Yth Ministries, but we left that to go to Peru. We went to the local church in Peru and asked how we could help. They said, "please be our youth pastors". The group grew from 7 to 70 in one year. We trained a couple to take our place, gave up youth ministries and went 9 hours north to Trujillo, Peru. There again, we asked in the local church how we could help and they said "please take the youth ministries." That also grew. After 14 years of youth ministries in 3 cities - we had over 1,000 youth and 5 youth groups that we had helped raise up with God's help.
Even though we never planned on working with Youth - God began burdening us with reaching the 300 million youth in Latin America. When God made that clear to us we knew we could not rest until we obeyed the calling God had given. We have not looked back since that day over 10 years ago. God's plans are not always our plans... but they are always best.
Incalink has existed for 10 years and has always had short term missions play a key role. Share your heart in regards to short term missions for your organization.
We knew that Short Term missions was a wave that was never going away and, to be honest, at times we've seen it cause more harm than good in some ways. We wanted to change that- and we knew there could be a way where both the local nationals and the people coming to serve could be impacted in a positive way. We started by making sure that each team that came to serve here worked alongside and in direct relationship with the nationals. By working in partnership... in relationship... our short term missions efforts have definitely helped us in our goal to reach 300 million youth in Latin America with the love of Christ.
Can you share some of the positive impact you’ve been able to see in your community as a result of partnering with mission teams?
Many ministries have been built and birthed by short term teams, including churches, youth buildings, Sunday school rooms, orphanages, teen pregnancy centers, garbage dump day care centers, and missionary institutes. We have had hundreds of sponsorship kids taken out of the garbage dumps by teams who come down and sponsor kids. The results from short term missions are incalculable. Many team members have also come back to be longer term interns with us. Many have returned home and produced fruit in their own communities back in North America.
What are some advice you would share with teams as they prepare to come and serve?
Attitude is everything. If you have a great attitude things will go well. That means a willingness to eat new and different foods, sleep in different accommodations, open your minds to different ways of doing things etc. Come to serve and you will be blessed. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
When teams leave Ecuador, what do you hope they take away from the experience of serving with your ministry?
That God is at work all around the world. It is always a privilege to be able to participate in what He is doing. The short term trip will be a part of seeing His hand moving and working. We are all called to missions - some of us will be on the mission field, Some will be life long supporters of missions. Our dream and prayer is that each person will become a life-long supporter of missions. Drink one less cup of coffee a week, or one less Coke a week to support a missionary somewhere.
About the founders:
Rich and Elisa Brown are the founders of Incalink, our partner organization in Ecuador. They met in high school in Ecuador and are both children of missionaries. After serving in ministry for 10 years (first in North Carolina and then Peru), they returned to Ecuador and started Incalink in 2006 with the goal of reaching 300 million youth in Latin America with Christ's love. Rich and Elisa have four children: Olivia, Michaela, Josiah, and Alexa.
We are so excited about the work the Lord is doing in and through this ministry and that Faith Journeys gets to be a part of that. Want to join us? We are accepting applications to the September team up until June 1.8 Find out more.