Lisbeth Pino, an international student in London, ON, was named among the 2019 Women Who Build Ecuador, a designation her country reserves for pioneers who “leave their stories in time, which cause breezes that will become new winds of hope and equality”.
I was born in the Andean foothills about six hours from Quito, my two younger sisters and I were raised by a single mother. Despite the hardships, my mother always taught us to give thanks to the Lord, for He who promised is faithful. I am very grateful how God has faithfully provided again and again in order for me to pursue higher education.
My journey to Canada started with a master’s program scholarship, awarded by the Ecuadorian government. After praying to learn what pleases the Lord, I chose to study public health at Western University in London, ON.
Shortly after I had settled in London, I learned about the FOCUS Club from my landlady. I was excited to get involved in this ministry that connects Canadian families with international students for weekly dinner gatherings. As an international student, I totally understand the desire and need to learn about the Canadian culture, to build meaningful friendships; and to be part of a loving community.
God calls me to show His light through love and compassion. I particularly felt a burden to care for isolated seniors, to let them know they are not alone. Thank God for giving me the courage and faith to start visiting neighborhood seniors. What a joy to share my testimony and faith in Christ as I bring hope and try to brighten their day. I credit God for their comments: “the international student who brings happiness to North America”, and “how unusual to have a positive young woman among us”. These words I will never forget and I will continue to visit them as a mission from God.
Now in Western’s Ph.D. health and rehabilitation sciences program, I study the social profile of Ecuadorian women, in particular, a single mother’s struggle to raise children in the rural highlands. As part of my research, I will do field work and start a Christian ministry in Ecuador. Please pray that God will equip me to be a catalyst for change and to bring Ecuador to Christ.