There are more than 16,600 people groups living in the world.
Of that number about 6,400 of them have not heard about Jesus Christ. That is the message Alex and Lynette Weir offer as they speak about their role as missionaries, past, present and future.
The Weirs were in Echo at the Alliance church recently as part of a missions conference weekend to talk about their work in Ecuador, as well as the efforts Alex has been able to make in other parts of the world as they share the message of their faith with people they believe need to hear it.
Alex, who was born in New Zealand, and Lynette, who is originally from Minnesota, met while they were both serving in Ecuador.
After marriage they continued their work in the South American nation.
“What I have learned is that God uses ordinary people to impact the world,” said Alex.
He said coming from a rural background he did not feel adequate to be one who shared his faith with others.
“There is nothing special about me,” said Alex, adding, however, God has been able to use him and his wife, as well as so many others, to help build the Kingdom of God.
Alex said he had a life plan all laid out, but God had other ideas, and as a result he ended up serving in Ecuador starting in 1983 doing various tasks from helping renovate and expand a hospital in Quito to repairing medical equipment.
Alex admitted there were times he knew he was not up to the task, having no knowledge whatsoever about what he was getting into, but it was God who guided him through the tasks to the end. Seeing God’s hand at work in so many ways, whether it was providing land for a new hospital building or changing the hearts of people, has been a blessing for the Weirs.
For Alex, his role in Ecuador has been in community development, while Lynette has served in medical technology.
The Weirs have two sons, Craig and Matthew, and both were raised in the culture of Ecuador.
So, when the time came for them to leave for the United States, the Weir knew their children were in for a culture shock.
The Weirs have decided at this point to put family first and have moved to Minnesota where they are working with their sons to help them acclimate to the American way of life.
That does not mean their work has been stopped, as Alex has been on a number of short-term missions teams traveling to various parts of the world.
He has traveled to Ghana where he helped put in clean drinking water systems in villages, and he has made return trips to Ecuador to help serve in various capacities.
Alex said he has visited places like Turkey and has seen the impact the Islamic faith has had there and other parts of the world.
Now living in Buffalo, the Weirs have seen Muslims now coming to the United States, and they consider that an opportunity – believing God has brought those people here for a reason – to hear the Gospel and to have it change their lives.
“People want to talk about spiritual things,” said Alex. “They are listening. God is working. We just need to listen to hear what he is asking us to do.”
The Weirs work through an organization known as Reach Beyond and are finding ways to reach out in Minnesota to share their faith with those who they believe truly need to hear it.
For the Weirs, it is about being willing and ready to serve God in whatever way he asks and wherever that takes them.
To learn more about helping the Weirs, visit www.reachbeyond.org/weir.