One of our passions around here is missions - Tracy's had a heart for missions and missionaries since she was a young girl, and she's always considered most opportunities as a mission field. She's honored to work with so many authors who have similar hearts, and when she heard the latest news about Write Integrity author Betty Thomason Owens, she was ecstatic and had to share!
Betty, thanks for joining us today. We’re so excited about your upcoming trip to Ecuador! When do you leave?
How did it come about?
In a most unexpected way! Our good friends, Bill & Connie McDonald, have been stationed in Cuenca, Ecuador since 1989. A couple of months ago, my youngest son, Todd, became interested in spending his vacation helping the mission efforts in some way. He asked me to go with him. Well, I had always wanted to make that trip, but had relegated it to my “bucket list.” I told him I’d pray about it, but in the back of my mind, I was already making excuses. I could think of at least a dozen good reasons why I couldn’t go.
Todd contacted Bill McDonald, who was stateside at the time, and due to speak at our church a few days later. They agreed to meet after the service and discuss the details.
We went up to speak with Bill, and he spent a few minutes talking to Todd, then turned to me. “And I’d like you to speak at a three-day conference with maybe a hundred and fifty women, possibly as many as five hundred…”
You know that moment in your life when you arrive at a pivotal point and you’re aware that your next words could mean the difference between … well, maybe not life and death, maybe not even success and failure, but something really important. I was there at that moment—and actually felt myself nodding in agreement—when normally, I’d be shaking my head and making excuses.
In advance of this big moment, I’d been actively praying that God would use me, especially in the area of ministry—something I had been called to do at an early age—speaking. I don’t want to arrive at the end of my life with regrets, knowing I’d let myself, God, and others down.
As Bill went on talking about the deepest needs of these women, I became aware that God had been preparing me for some time. How could I say no? In that moment, I knew that if God was truly calling me to do this, He would provide whatever I needed.
What will you be doing?
My main function will be ministering to the women at the gathering. Outside of that, whatever they need me to do. The plans are still in progress at this moment. We’re also looking into translating my books into Spanish for distribution in Latin America. Bill and Connie McDonald founded the Unsion Foundation and Unsion Television. According to Unsion’s website, “Unsión Ministries continues to move toward its goal of reaching 500 million in the Hispanic world, and their church planting movement is growing in momentum.” So, looks like I’ll have plenty to do …
Tell us more about the conditions and why your visit is so important.
What Bill shared with me that day pierced my heart. These women suffer from abuse—sexual, verbal, and physical. What’s more, they live in a country that up until recently, didn’t actually condone such behavior, but didn’t really disagree with it either. It was so widespread, and since they’re “only women” – subject to the men in their lives…you know how that goes.
Bill did say that recent inroads have been made, with the help of the government, and they hope to continue making improvements. I’ve also connected with a young lady who serves at the Hope House in Sucua. The Hope House is a home for young girls from the jungles of Ecuador. How interesting is that? I’m featuring her on my blog soon, and hope to connect with her while I’m there.
I desire to be an encouragement to these hurting women. To deliver a message of forgiveness and hope. I have personal experience with the pain of abuse, and the feelings of inadequacy that dog your life for years afterward. God delivered me, helped me find freedom through forgiveness, gave me hope.
How can we help?
What we need more than any other thing, is the gift of your prayers for me and for our team. In addition, prayers that our specific needs, as well as funds for travel and lodging, will be met as needed. If you’d like to help with those, we’ve set up a GoFundMe page, or you if you prefer, you can contact me through my website contact page or on Facebook.
We’re working on a Spanish version of Annabelle’s Ruth, in preparation for this mission trip. Funds from the sale of the first printing will be for the women’s ministry in Ecuador. To make this possible, we need to raise the funds. The estimated cost of printing five hundred copies is $2,500 - $3,000. If you’d like to contribute to this first printing of the Spanish version Annabelle’s Ruth, you can visit our Giving fundraiser page, and please reference “Annabelle’s Ruth” in the comments.
Owens to Ecuador Go Fund Me link
Betty Thomason Owens websiteBetty Thomason Owens Author Facebook page
Please join us in prayer for Betty and the team as they prepare, travel, and minister. We'll post some updates as we get them and get a full recap from her when she returns. May God use them mightily!