Danny and Brenda Clowers serve as missionaries to all of Latin America. Danny is the Continental Director and Brenda is the Teams Coordinator, they’re quite the dynamic duo. In our interview, Brenda was extremely passionate about the Latin Americans which was made apparent by her competency of culture, statistics, challenges, and “best ways to share the Gospel.” Ecuador, more specifically, seemed to make up the bulk of our conversation. Ecuador is located on the northwestern side of Latin America and holds a population of about 14 million.
With solid churches in the cities of Ecuador the challenge remains in the interior. The Ashuar and Shuar tribes of the Amazon are the primary targets in the interior of Ecuador for our churches. In the last decade there has been a huge advancement of the gospel in Latin America. As the churches in the cities progress, the members are gradually learning that in their response to the Gospel is to in turn be missionaries also; to the interior. “People rarely reach their own,” said Brenda Clowers. It was only when American missionaries pursued the unreachable people of the interior that the churches in the city realized their responsibility as Christians. With warring tribes and very primitive living, the interior is an intimidating and dangerous place for most. “They get it!” Brenda says. The Argentinean’s are missionaries to Ecuador, and the Ecuadorian’s are missionaries to the Indians- the Gospel’s prevailing! The economy serves as a barrier in the churches attempt to be missionaries to the interior. Walking would take 3-4 days through the jungle and is very dangerous. To fly into the interior would cost from 200 to 400 dollars, the planes are small seating 4-6 people, and the interior locals aren’t exceptionally receptive of visitors. In 2011, an unknown tribe of people that had never been recognized randomly appeared in Peru. They killed two people because they wanted a “metal pot” that they had seen; the interior of Latin America is extremely primordial. With over 4,000 dialects in the Amazon Basin alone, Latin America stands with a huge need for the Gospel and missionaries.
Missionaries Roberto and Clemencia Suamar recently moved to Macas to start a church almost a year ago. Sadly, Clemencia was bitten by a viper and given the wrong anti-venom. Days after the bite she passed away. With much grief and devastation, the church found themselves under attack. The work was slowing down and the people were distraught. Hearing of the situation of the church, and moved by another Argentinean couple, Daniel and Judith Castoldi, decided to move to Macas to be sure the works started prevailed. With two young children, the separation from family, and being immersed into a completely different culture; it’s very admirable of the couple to go and serve the church.
As we ended our time I asked Brenda to tell me their favorite “moments of joy;” primarily something that always makes them happy and spurs them on for the gospel. She shared how they loved seeing young disciples become pastors. Serving the field for 27 years is a long time, and seeing the “fruit of your labor” has to be enormously affirming. “To get beyond the Ashuar and Shuar tribes we have a lot of work to do!” Brenda said. Discipling young Christians and leaders is a great place to start to see more tribes experience transformation through the Gospel. “I’m just grateful to be a part of it.”