Amanda King has been serving in Ecuador since February 2006. After learning Spanish, she focused on children’s ministry for eleven years in and around Gonzanamá. She spent the next 3 years in Catamayo evangelizing and discipling adults both within and outside of the local church. In 2021, God led Amanda to move again in order to continue her missionary service in the unreached town of Vilcabamba.
Vilcabamba (which means Sacred Valley) is one of five “townships or precincts” in the area south of Loja City. There is only 1 church with sound doctrine in this entire valley; it is located 20 minutes south of the town of Vilcabamba.
In the past, other churches of sound doctrine were started but they have since lost their way and no longer believe what the Bible teaches. Besides these groups, there is also a large influence of New Age and Hindu beliefs as well as the always present Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses. Amanda is working to support the efforts of the First Baptist Church of Loja which is working to establish a church in Vilcabamba. Her main ministries are a Bible study for women and a kids’ class with songs, crafts, and Bible lessons.
Since October 2014, Amanda has also been using her God-given gifts and passions to serve as the personnel coordinator for SIM Ecuador. In this position, she performs a variety of tasks in overseeing the care of her team members and for communicating with the global SIM offices regarding the team's ministry personnel needs and the specific details involved with serving in Ecuador.
A few facts:
- Amanda went on her first mission trip when she was 15-years-old to Trinidad with NCBC.
- Amanda often finds herself thinking in Spanish, which has led her to speak/type in Spanish when she is meant to be using English.
- Amanda enjoys serving on an international team; at one point, the team consisted of people from nine different countries. For Amanda, it is a small sample of what heaven will be like.
- A large number of expatriates live in Vilcabamba; many have come from either the United States or a country in South America. Thus, being able to speak both Spanish and English means that Amanda can speak to the majority of the town residents in their native heart language.
- Vilcabamba is famous for having a high population of people who live to be over 100 years old. Various reasons have been given for this, including the mineral content of the local water, the climate’s stable temperature, as well as the good diet and level of physical labor of the local people.
Describe an average day for you:
I have never found global partnership life to be average or routine. In fact, I have been known to say that part of what I enjoy most about being in ministry is that you never know what opportunities each day holds, making every day an adventure! Of course, there are scheduled ministries that are always at the same time on the same day of the week and there is the need to plan for these ministry events. However, there is a lot of unplanned ministry that takes place as I engage in daily tasks that are required
to live here and as I converse with those God puts in my path throughout the day. The key is to be actively living in dependence on God and staying alert for all the ministry opportunities He gives me.
Since coming to Vilcabamba, I have developed a weekly routine of spending an average of 2 days doing tasks related to my role as Personnel Coordinator, 2 days planning Bible lessons and taking care of household chores, 2 days hosting ministry events and intentionally visiting people, and 1 day resting and attending church service.
What do you love most about your ministry:
First off, the thing I love most about being in ministry is seeing people come to know Jesus as their Savior. I love seeing God work in people's hearts and seeing the transforming power of Scripture change their lives. I also enjoy watching people grow in their understanding of the Word and of God's faithfulness as they begin to live for Him. My heart swells when I hear them stand up for their faith and defend/explain it to others. I also LOVE working with kids, especially in teaching them Biblical truth and helping them memorize God’s Word. It is a privilege to be an instrument in God's hands for the purpose of strengthening and extending His kingdom. The joy that this privilege brings me makes the difficulties I face along the way absolutely worth it!