The people of God in Paramos go on pilgrimage in the Paramos of Chimborazo Ecuador "Apunchik Ñukanchikwan"
Chimborazo Ecuador is a small community in the south, where 15 million people live in America, 3 million of which are indigenous from 12 ethnic groups, each with its own language, traditions, customs, spirituality, and culture. We have our common values such as respect for the family, community, and love for the earth, solidarity and experience of the God of Life. However, like other people of the earth we have adverse situations that come before the culture of life such as the rupture of the organization, the tendency to certain acculturation, loss of confidence in ourselves, the loss of credibility of the leaders, a certain attitude of dependency, poverty and racism.
INDIGENOUS ANDEAN SPIRITUALITY
The indigenous people of Ecuador and Latin America have deep faith in God. This love is shown in the love for the land, community life, and our struggles for recognition. We pray, we are grateful, we see God’s face of love in our daily life.
God defines the whole historical process of indigenous peoples; there is no separation between the sacred and profane. Everything is God's presence. Hence the constant exhortation of the greatest to their children and grandchildren is "DIUSTA YUYARISHPA Causana", that is to live in God's presence, this implies to contemplate God in contact with nature, the love of ayllu (family), during struggles. In the indigenous, philosophy transcends family kinship. In the community, no one is a stranger: the elderly become daddy and mama; adults are uncles and aunts. But the conception of the family is not only reduced to the human level, but also to the mountains, rocks, rivers, trees, animals, wind, rain, and streams, which are also part of the family (sacred places).
Living in the presence of God means loving the organization and respecting the Word.
Another theological place of the indigenous people is the dreams,.God speaks to us overnight, indicating the steps to follow in order to achieve happiness and the horizon of life. When making a comparison between the experience of the People of God of Israel and the early Christians with our people there is similarity of experiences: Israel feels the nearness of God's promise of the Earth, which makes Yavhé descendants of Abraham (Gen. 12:12-14), the liberation from Egypt slavery (Ex. 3:15), and the formation of the People (Jos. 5:20). In turn, the early Christian community felt and expressed the presence of the risen living in fraternal coexistence (He. 2: 42-47). Indigenous people in turn, despite their lack of knowledge about the Bible, have deeply experienced God Father and Mother.
Arguably indigenous spirituality is integral; there are bound to be three dimensions: the Supreme Being, the nature, and the community. As a result, the trilogy of life is born: yuyaylla shuk (a thought), makilla shuk (single PUNU or force), and shunkulla shuk (one heart). Also, Andean people have their codes: do not steal, do not lie, and do not be lazy. These principles make us live life in harmony.
Experiencing God gives us inner strength to leave the suffering, to resist and withstand harsh burdens, injustice, poverty, racism, and relegation. At the same time it makes us to continue walking firm and makes love stronger and allows us to keep having hope. (Rm. 8 24-25)
THE WALKING OF THE INDIGENOUS MINISTRY IN ECUADOR
The actions and lives of indigenous ministry in Ecuador are within the Five Marks of Mission of our beloved Episcopal Church. The Five Marks are the five pillars for our ministry.
One of the encouraging aspects of the Indigenous Pastoral Ecuador Chimborazo, the Episcopal Church, is the empowerment of God's Word and the life of the church, the rise of spiritual leaders called by God, men and women, young and old, who serve with love and dedication from their realities, lives, language, philosophy, and are able to share the experience of God revealed in Jesus Christ.
The starting point is our reality of our indigenous communities and the point of arrival is the Kingdom, because "we, according to God's promise are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth to reign in righteousness" (2 Peter 3 13). On the way we experience love, mercy and blessings of the Lord, for we walk by faith, hope, joy and perseverance as servants and communities. We have surrendered to God and we are in the hands of the Lord.
As an indigenous pastoral team, we Mysians accompany, encourage, and train communities and are servers: catechists, leaders, entertainers, groups of women, children and young people through workshops,.we visit families and many communities; have meetings, celebration of sacraments, missions and support organizations. In each community (congregation) there is an organized team of lay servants to encourage the Christian community.
For training evaluation and planning, about 100 servers, leaders, catechists and directors of the communities (congregations) meet the first Saturday of each month in downtown Guamote. Participants have to walk hours to get to this place. This is an area of study, support and we solve the problems of each community. Biblical, Theological, liturgical issues and the social, economic, political and organizational problems are also treated. The meetings are in a rented house.
As for education in the faith, "we have the knowledge of the Bible, we handle the Bible into chapters and verses and we use it to resolve conflicts in the family, community and organization in the light of the Word of God. The catechism includes: initial faith education for children from 6-8 years and confirmation for teenagers and young people 13 years and older. Also, faith education was emphasized in the preparation of the sacraments for parents and godparents of children and the couples. In every community members are trained for five days before receiving the sacraments.
In a blessing from the Lord we celebrate the sacraments and our Kichwa language. Before the creation of our ministry, we participated in the Mass in Spanish, but failing to understand the message and meaning of the celebration; today we sing the wonders of God in our own language (Acts 2:11).
Ministry has formed a team of youth leaders, who encourage other young people in the Christian life, and they offer training, meetings and retreats, and music courses are also performed.
The embodiment of coexistence
Coexistence is the spiritual and religious gathering of our church. It is held twice a year, for 3 days and over 5000 brothers and sisters get together to bless, praise and glorify the Lord, we also have the Christian music festival. For this event we rent a big tent and amplification equipment, and food is shared.
The Pastoral women
The women who make up the chorus in all communities have the ministry of sacred song, so in all celebrations indigenous Quichua women raise their voice to God. Courses are also conducted to learn new songs, learn about life, the vocation of women, gender, and chauvinism. There is a team of women responsible for this mission.
Pastoral charity or solidarity
Jesus in the figure of the Good Samaritan priest leaves his horse to heal wounds with the oil of consolation and the wine of joy and allows us to overcome suffering and to incorporate love into our everyday life. From the beginning of Christianity, the life of the Church, together with the announcement there was the Koinonia. The apostles and early Christians would conform announcing the death and resurrection of Jesus; they materialize the full scope of this mystery, in the service, in the fraternal sharing, and especially with the needy.
The richness of Anglicanism is to be the way, so that the prayer of Christ is fulfilled, "that all may be one" (Jn 17:21) . We don’t believe that Christians are the only ones or the best ones. This concept has allowed us to be close to both evangelical and Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. In the celebrations and Christian music festivals we have participated together with Catholics, Anglicans and Evangelicals. In communities we live perfectly ecumenism, with cooperation and respect.
As Indigenous pastoral Chimborazo the Ecuador Episcopal Church wants to be light and support the wider church, to be faithful evangelizing, solidarity with the poor and afflicted, not rough the peculiar features of culture but being inspired by the Word of God (Holy Scriptures). We actually need a prophetic challenge, of purification, of returning to the source, (tradition) and to give a reason for our hope (reason).
Our ministry guided by the Holy Spirit, is growing as the plant grows in Chuquirahua, although the field is dry, there is life, it remains alive and has flowers. Thus the life of the indigenous people of Ecuador, in particular Andean communities, despite harsh reality has hope, dignity, and there is joy in a Word of life, because God gives us life.
Rev. Eulogio Quito Luis Paguay
Episcopal Priest of Ecuador Chimborazo Indigenous Kichwa.