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A3's First Exploration into South America

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“We need this urgently.”
— veteran pastor

“I have been praying for a program to help me understand how to apply my Christian faith in my working world.”
— lawyer

“Loneliness is a big issue for ministry leaders.”
— NGO leader

“How soon can you start the program?”
— recurring question from many leaders

ECU orthographic wikipediaExploring Macedonian Calls

In 2017, A3 President Joe Handley asked God for discernment on the future as he prepared to address A3 leaders celebrating 50 years of ministry. Joe sensed that God was calling A3 to be open to serving wherever we might receive the “Macedonian Call”. Seven years after that prompting from God, I had the privilege of visiting one of the first Latin American countries considering the A3 ministry and business leader programs—Ecuador, in South America.

Exploring Ecuador

pazos marcelopineiros oswaldoOur visit was inspired and organized by two men: Marcelo Pazos (pictured left), an Ecuadorian who participated in the first A3.business cohort in South Korea, and his close friend Oswaldo Pineiros (pictured right), co-founder of With You International (https://withyouinternational.org), a Christian nonprofit committed to improving the quality of the lives of orphans, at-risk children, and the communities within which they live. Significant additional help was provided by Pastor David Ortega (pictured below), Director of Fundacion Camino de Vida. Ps. David is connected to and respected by a wide network of pastors, ministry leaders, and business leaders in Ecuador. His invitations drew many key leaders to the introductory gatherings.

David Ortega (left) and Oswaldo Pineiros
Pastor David Ortega (left) and Oswaldo Pineiros (right)

Ecuador, a country of 18 million people, has a rich history of Christian ministry and leadership. A historically Catholic country since its conquest by the Spanish centuries ago, evangelical Christians are a growing presence in the country. Estimates are that evangelical Christians currently comprise 8 – 10% of the population, with their numbers continuing to rise. Unfortunately, with that rich history and development of trained and experienced Christian leaders has also come pressures, challenges, and obstacles similar to those that confront pastors, ministry leaders, and Christian marketplace leaders in Asia.

I was in Ecuador to meet and hear from Christians in the pastorate, ministry, and business worlds—to gain insight on their lives, their struggles, their perspectives from the Ecuadorian context, and their opinions on the potential benefit of the A3 program for themselves and their colleagues.

It was quite the week, beginning with a 15-hour day. From Quito, the national capital, we drove 220km south to Riobamba, a provincial capital and a hub of influence for Christian ministry throughout the country. 30 leaders from a variety of churches, denominations, and businesses came together for lunch, a presentation on A3, and a lively Q&A session. (The initial quote you read at the beginning of this piece was voiced at the end of our time by a veteran pastor considered to be the key regional leader in the Riobamba area.)

Leaders mtg in Riobamba

From there, it was on to Ambato, another provincial capital of 200,000+ residents. 20+ leaders were in attendance, including the former Alcalde (mayor) of the city. Elected at 32 years old, he led Ambato through the COVID crisis, which included extremely strict safety protocols imposed by the Ecuadorian government. Now a pastor and businessman, he and his wife wanted to know how soon we could begin the A3 program.

Leaders mtg in Ambato

The rest of our time was spent in Quito. It included meetings with pastors, parachurch leaders, NGO leaders, and marketplace leaders.

First mtg in QuitoSecond leaders mtg in Quito

Third leaders mtg in Quito (A3.business)

HCJB Radio studio interviewPersonal Flashback

I also experienced a flashback to my first (brief) career in radio when I was interviewed about A3 for HCJB Radio. Founded in 1931, HCJB is one of the pioneering radio ministries and a pioneer in radio broadcasting itself. HCJB has just opened new state-of-the-art radio and video studios, and it was a real treat to see how the technology has evolved since I was stapling egg-carton flats to the walls of our studios for soundproofing back in 1975 at the college station where I worked.

Robert Bravo, Campassion Int'l / EcuadorExtra Blessing

An extra blessing was a meeting with Roberto Bravo, the National Director for Compassion Ecuador. Compassion ministers to at-risk children and families worldwide, with major work in Ecuador. Roberto shared that Compassion Ecuador currently has partner relationships with 270 churches in Ecuador.

Roberto shared:

“We see firsthand the pressures and challenges that pastors face in our country. There is a pressing need for programs like yours.”

What is Next?

So where do things go from here? A3 relies on the judgment and perspectives of local leaders to help us discern the best next steps. Marcelo and Oswaldo both sense that interest is strong enough for us to move ahead.

The next step will be to set up what we call orientation sessions—samples of the A3 programs—for groups of key pastors and business leaders, possibly in September 2024. We then look to these leaders to let us know if they sense a prompting from God to move ahead with a full launch of one or both of the programs. If that is indeed the consensus, we would look toward program launches in early 2025.

We are excited to see how God may be leading A3 into the country of Ecuador. Wherever we are called, we will strive to provide the same ministry—strengthening and empowering leaders to not only survive, not only to sustain, but to thrivechanging the few who change the many.

Grateful for You

THANK YOU for your friendship, prayers, and financial support! You make it possible for A3 to pursue the vision and mission we believe that God has given us. Please join us in praying for God’s guidance in Ecuador, and in the other parts of the world to where God may call A3 in the future.


Noel Becchetti

Noel Becchetti has been serving as A3's VP for Leader Development since 2012. Noel and his wife Kyle currently reside in El Cajon, California. You can see his staff profile here...



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