The bishop of the Evangelical United Methodist Church of Ecuador has written a letter to South Carolina Resident Bishop Jonathan Holston thanking him and others from the South Carolina Conference for their mission efforts in Ecuador, both in 2016 and in years past.
According to United Methodist Global Ministries missionary Sara Flores, the UMCSC has a strong relationship with the Evangelical United Methodist Church of Ecuador. From 2012-2016, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission teams from South Carolina have served there.
In 2016, Flores said seven UMVIM teams served there from Charleston, one from Columbia and one from Hilton Head working in mission with the Methodist Church in Ecuador. In 2015, Holston visited with a conference team that included Dr. Robin Dease, the Rev. Sara White, the Rev. Elizabeth Murray and other pastors and laity from the Charleston District to work on a construction project, preach and teach pastors in Ecuador.
“We thank God for the life and work of South Carolina pastors and members that are in connection with Ecuador,” reads the letter, sent Oct. 25 to the South Carolina Conference from Ecuador Bishop Silvio Cevallos, treasurer Freddy Balseca and GBGM-UMC missionaries Flores and Dakin Cook. “We give special thanks for your partnership in this year, which has been very difficult for us due to the earthquake of April 16. Our Ecuadorian congregations have shown a strong commitment to helping the country recover and with the help of churches and persons like you, we have been able to share love and solidarity with affected communities and families left homeless.”
Flores said Ecuador’s bishop is hoping to visit South Carolina in 2017.