Inca Link Brings Hope to the Hurting

By Rich and Lisa Brown, Alliance missionaries to Ecuador 
 
With all the countries we represent as Alliance missionaries, we have seen so many injustices that we could no longer turn a blind eye. We wanted to do justice and love mercy. Thanks to the vision of Alliance churches in Trujillo, Inca Link Peru was started to help answer the needs of families living in a local garbage dump. Inca Link members are celebrating one year of government recognition and an all-Peruvian board. We have a day-care center that cares for the kids while their parents work in the dump, and we are feeding and teaching 60 children with the help of a sponsorship program. Every time we go to visit the day care, we are amazed at what God is doing!  
 
In the same way, Inca Link Ecuador was started and is now officially recognized by the Ecuadorian government. Recently, Inca Link Ecuador bought a property with five finished structures (three of them homes) for the incredible price $300,000. The seller listened to our vision and was convinced that this property should be ours. He took a risk and handed us the keys.  
 
We took such a huge step of faith because we want to defend the vulnerable. As Mother Teresa said, “a person who feels unloved or rejected by society experiences a kind of poverty that is much more painful and deeper” than mere physical hunger. 
 
Ecuador has the highest teen pregnancy rate in all of South America. Two out of three uneducated girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are pregnant, and this doesn’t even count the pregnant girls who are 12 and 13 and alone. Inca Link Ecuador is committed to reaching out to these girls who have been rejected by their boyfriends, families, and, most heartbreaking, their churches.  
 
Not very long ago, a 15-year-old we know became pregnant with her boyfriend. Because of the shame the teens felt, they came up with a plan where he would beat her up so that she would lose the baby. She ended up miscarrying and almost losing her own life! We also met a girl with Downs Syndrome, whose parents had abandoned her at a bus station. She was raped and became pregnant. Inca Link Ecuador has pledged to give these girls a safe place to live while receiving parenting classes, counseling, medical care, and support. The largest house on the property will be used for this purpose. 
 
At a women’s prison where we help out, we’ve been getting to know the inmates, many of whom cannot find work when they are released. One of the buildings on the new property will be used to start a sewing factory that will provide a source of income while these women are in the halfway house.  
 
We don’t want to see a repeat of Julia’s story. Julia was in prison, attended our Bible study, and was so happy when she was released. She wanted to get a job to support her family again, but no one would hire an ex-prisoner. It wasn’t long before her desperation led her back to the same circle of friends and circumstances that put her in prison in the first place. Of course, she was caught and imprisoned again. Julia recently died in prison. Doctors are saying it was literally from a broken heart. Inca Link Ecuador is committed to giving women like Julia a second chance. 
 
Since Inca Link bought the property, our family has committed to raising money to help pay for it. We decided to go for $1,000, but our kids are so excited, we might make it more! We have halved our grocery bill. We no longer buy junk food, and we eat vegetarian meals four of the seven days a week. We don’t go out to eat, nor do we spend any money on entertainment.  
 
The other night, the kids lit candles all over the house and turned off all the lights to save on electricity. We are all on this mission together, and it has united us.  
 
Paying off this property will mean that Inca Link Ecuador can  
 
. . . hold the hand of a young girl while she is in labor and comfort her as she cries out for the mother who abandoned her. 
 
. . . walk a girl through the tough decision of giving her baby up for adoption and hug her as she grieves. 
 
. . . help a woman just out of prison get a job so she does not have to trade “sexual favors” for a roof over her head for her daughter and herself. 
 
. . . rehabilitate women who have lost their identity, dignity, and hope in prison. 
 
This is the gospel of Christ!  
 
 
To find out more about Inca Link, visit www.incalink.net.  
 
To give to this ministry, send your gifts to The Alliance and earmark them Inca Link Ecuador Property or check out the online giving options at www.cmalliance.org.  
 
To read more about Rich and Lisa’s ministry, go to www.alliancelife.org.

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