Josue Chinlle is 22 years old and has been volunteering with Pan de Vida for the past 4years. Josue grew up in a Christian home attending church regularly, but he did not truly make his faith his own until he was a teenager. At this point in his life he encountered Jesus personally and began to read his Bible more intentionally and persistently which helped him to mature in his walk with Christ. Once Josue realized the true depth of God’s love for him, he simply could not be content to just receive it passively. He wanted to share and exemplify this great love to others, but he did not yet know how or where to do this. During a youth group meeting at church, he shared these feelings with a friend who volunteered at Pan de Vida regularly, and she insisted that he join her on her next visit.
During his first visits, Josue spent most of his time assembling tents for outdoor meals, welcoming beneficiaries at the door and washing their hands as they entered. Later he was moved to the kitchen where he helped to prepare the food that would be served to the beneficiaries. Once Josue had demonstrated a genuine desire to serve others, he was given the responsibility of leading teams of other volunteers which allowed him to learn and practice selfless and Christ-like leadership skills.
During the pandemic, Josue continued volunteering despite the risks and pressures of this tempestuous time. He was heartbroken by the immense increase in need and poverty caused by the pandemic, so Josue sought to bring encouragement and aid by delivering bags of food to those who so desperately needed it. The spark of hope that Josue saw in their faces as they received food and interacted with Pan de Vida’s staff and volunteers made this work abundantly worth the effort. Through volunteering at Pan de Vida, Josue believes that he has learned to better share the love of God. By treating each beneficiary with dignity and respect, he hopes to communicate the universal and unconditional nature of the love of God.
Each person who comes to Pan de Vida has a unique story, and Josue enjoys the process of listening and making beneficiaries feel truly heard and appreciated. He would welcome the participating of more volunteers as there is always work to be done at Pan de Vida. Josue’s time at Pan de Vida has helped him to grow in his faith, and he hopes that others could experience the same transformative process. Josue also prays for God to provide more resources to reach more people with physical and spiritual aid. The hardest part of his job at Pan de Vida is saying “no” to people in need simply because of a lack of available resources. We at Pan de Vida are deeply grateful for Josue’s faithful service to his community, and we join in his prayer for God’s provision to further His kingdom here in Ecuador.