Into the Pit

Darkness fills Norma’s mind—until Jesus comes seeking her in her deep dark pit.

Today is my first missionary visit, and I feel a little nervous. Mrs. Rosa has just had both of her legs amputated, and I have been asked to go and encourage her. How I long to help lift her heart to God! I think the best place to start is to tell what Jesus has done for me.

Although I am only 22 years old, I have experienced plenty of heartache apart from Christ. Just a year ago, I was on the verge of despair. I never thought I would have the happiness and peace that I have today!

When I was a child, my parents took my siblings and me to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the town of Limonal, Ecuador. I still remember it. Our Sabbath School teachers taught us the stories of the Bible, and I loved all the songs we sang. During my teens, however, we jumped over the fence and left the church. 

It took a few years for me to realize that the world’s enticements were all a farce. Our lives were a mess. Our family life crumbled, my brother nearly died in a car accident and my mother suffered from schizophrenia.

I wanted to seek happiness in the world: pleasure, dances, music, parties, liquor, drugs and false friends. Yet the more I looked for happiness in these things, the worse I felt. Nothing in the world satisfied me. I felt like I was at the bottom of a deep dark hole with no way out. My life was out of control and it seemed like I could not do anything to stop my downward fall. Darkness and sadness filled my mind. The only temporary relief I had was in drugs and alcohol, which numbed my mind long enough to give my burdened heart a little bit of rest. 

Here, in the bottom of my deep dark pit, Jesus came seeking me. I do not even remember how I met them, but in His providence God put Brother Samuel Vásquez and his son Jhosue in my path. I did not know it then, but Samuel and Jhosue are part of a ministry called Shalóm Farm. Samuel and Jhosue earned my friendship and trust. They were different. They had something special that I could not identify, but when they invited me to study the Bible with them, I agreed. They prayed for me. The Bible texts they shared quenched the thirst of my soul. For the first time since leaving church, I realized that I needed God and heavenly beings in my life. 

Contacting my family, I invited them to join me in returning to the Lord. After finishing Bible studies together, we all made the big decision to be baptized at Shalom Farm with Pastor Fernando Vinuesa of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

My friends tell me that I look different now. I certainly feel different. I never found peace in the world, because, as I have learned, heavenly peace comes only from God. Now I too have joined the ministry at Shalóm Farm, and I get to help people be restored to joy through Christ Jesus. May God help me to be His hands and to obey His voice no matter where He sends me!


Norma Benavides is training to be a Bible worker to help reach more souls for Christ.

How You Can Help
Pray for Norma as she tries to rescue her old friends from their lives of sin and vice. 

Pray for the Bible workers in Ecuador as they reach out into the communities around them.  

Give. To help reach other souls like Norma, mark your donations “Ecuador Evangelism” and send to: 

Mission Projects International 
PO Box 151 
Inchelium, WA 99138

To give securely online, visit:

Thank you. Your donations support a married couple as Bible workers. Thank you for your generosity!