49% of all the births in Ecuador this year were of mothers under 18. Births among girls ages 10-14 years old increased 78% in the last 10 years. In the same period, divorce has increased by 84% while marriages have fallen by 22%. That means almost twice as many divorces, while at the same time new couples are opting for cohabitation rather than the covenant of marriage. Add to that the reality that 75% of the men and 58% of the women in Ecuador have confessed to being unfaithful to their spouse and it’s clear that Ecuador is living in an epidemic of immorality.
It would be nice to think that these statistics didn’t affect the churches, but that hasn’t been the case. There have been 10 unplanned pregnancies among teens that have attended our youth group in the past 10 years. We are dealing with 4 unplanned pregnancies just this year. Pregnancy is only the visible consequence of a private sin. This year at camp, 85% of the campers ages 18-25 admitted to having participated in sexual activity.
What can be done? The solutions offered by the world (condoms, abortion, education) are only designed to prevent the consequences of immorality. They offer nothing to help the root of the problem: mankind’s depravity. That’s why we decided it was time to confront the problem with the solutions God offers in his Word in the form of a “Purity Project”. The project involves every age group in the church studying Biblical purity for 4 weeks. Dave wrote material for our small group meetings, for everyone’s personal devotional time at home, and for the Sunday morning messages. We are halfway through and the response has been dramatic. Many have already come to us with the response of Isaiah 6:5, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” Will you pray for a revival of purity in our congregation as we conclude this study? On October 28, we will be having a special banquet for the purpose of making a “Purity Pact” between our youth and their parents before God.
Back to School
One of the greatest joys we have in the ministry is working with young people long enough to see them mature into adulthood. This year, we have 5 young people going to university in three different cities. For many of them, we are like surrogate parents. This involves opening our home for them to use as a place of study, helping them move and get settled in their city of study, and spending a lot of time counseling them through life’s transitions.
It’s baseball season once again! We consider it a special grace from God that our boys have the opportunity to play little league baseball here in Ecuador. The US Embassy sponsors the league every year. The only thing the boys complain about is having to play for the “Giants” and the “Mets” rather than their beloved St. Louis Cardinals. 🙂