Biblical Counseling in ECUADOR by Alex Krall

Now that I’m back home in the states, I keep hearing myself saying, “I want to find a church like La Fuente!” And it’s not just because there are awesome people involved…like Jota and Maris. More specifically, one of the things I most value about La Fuente is the core group wants biblical counseling to be part of La Fuente’s foundation as a church. Biblical counseling is pretty much unheard of in Ecuador. Even in the states, it’s rare to find a church committed to God’s Word as sufficient to counsel the deepest issues of the human psyche. With a B.A. in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s College, I was thrilled when I saw these believers’ enthusiasm for bringing God’s Word to bear on the lives of people at La Fuente in a culturally relevant way.

So, What is Biblical Counseling?

Simply put, biblical counseling is doing the “one another’s” in the body of Christ. It’s a hybrid of discipleship and biblical friendship. It’s also fulfilling the Great Commission by teaching “disciples” that is, followers of Christ, to observe all that Christ has commanded (Matthew 28:20). Biblical counseling (also known as nouthetic counseling) is committed to the truth of God’s Word as sufficient for everything a believer needs to know for how to live and how to do it successfully in the eyes of God (2 Peter 1:3). Refusing to turn to man-centered, atheistic, humanistic counseling methods, biblical counselors believe God’s Word is the only source of authority to point out error and to lead in the way of righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

“Nothing can compare with the counsel and instruction that come from our infinitely wise Creator. God knows us better than anyone, and therefore He knows just what we need to ‘live to be productive for His Glory, He has placed in Scripture every principle we need for godly living.’”

A biblical counselor is someone who knows God’s Word well, knows the “counselee” well and then with skill and love speaks truth in a way that provides real hope and godly direction.  Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ,” which is to love our neighbor (Galatians 5:14). This is the heart of biblical counseling. Walking alongside another brother or sister in love and bearing the burden of broken relationships, entangling sins, and the reality of living in a fallen, sin-cursed world. You don’t need a special degree or certification to be a biblical counselor – all Christians are called to biblically counsel just as all Christians are called to evangelize or pray. I think Jota and Marissa value biblical counseling because these principles are built into the fabric of Christian community.

In Ecuador…

While we were in Ecuador myself and two of my team members Jake and Sarah along with Marissa Moncayo were privileged to put on several biblical counseling seminars for the core group of church planters and elders at La Fuente. As you know, Marissa also has her B.A. in Biblical Counseling, but with the move to Ecuador, she was unable to bring her books and notes from the states. With our combined resources and help from the professors at Master’s, we were able to provide power points, packets, pamphlets, and other biblical counseling resources to the leaders. The core group nodded their heads and offered their experiences and questions as we discussed topics such as Introduction to Biblical Counseling, the Sufficiency of Scripture, Methods of Biblical Change, Getting to the Heart of Conflict, Peacemaking, and Biblical Counseling in Community. It is in the heart of the core members to train the leaders in biblical counseling materials so that it can filter down to the lay-people. That way, each member will be equipped in providing godly counsel to issues that most people say you need to see a “professional” for.
It was so cool to see Jota and Marissa and the other church planter’s passion for their church and for the city of Quito. Some of the issues they are faced with in their church, which are paramount to the culture in Ecuador, are the repercussions of neglect, abuse, and absence by fathers in the family and men in society. The leaders of La Fuente are coming alongside their flock and being fathers and brothers and providing spiritual leadership where they can. In these situations and many others, they are providing biblical counseling and “bearing the burdens” of those in need. What most encourages me about these people is they aren’t just saying they love Jesus – they actually live out the kind of love the gospel should inspire within their church community.
Join me in praying for Jota and Marissa and their ministry at La Fuente and AAI specifically in counseling and training the leaders and lay people as they seek to bring the truth of God’s Word to people’s lives in relevant ways and to lead them to the only Source of real joy and satisfaction.

“God, Christ is the ultimate source of joy, of everything and that anything in this world that is away from Christ will never bring total satisfaction”
– Juan Fernando (“Jota”) Moncayo

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