|Our first meal in Ecuador - hot dogs & eggs, bread, hot chocolate & some kind of juice|
|My first glimpse of Ecuador in daylight|
Days have now passed since returning to my homeland and my precious girls. The experience of stepping foot in the country claiming the center most point of the earth will forever leave an imprint on my life. Ecuador... My first recollection of this country involves the true story of Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, and the other missionaries who gave their lives many years ago to the Indians of Ecuador who later gave their lives to Christ through the missionaries sacrifice.
As I've tried to process the past week, being away from my girls, struggling with the language barrier, and breathing through the high altitude, the words have come as waves, some crashing down with fury and force, while others leave no impact at all... just bubbles popping on the shore.
I cannot lie by saying this was the most amazing week of my life. I can say that I regret nothing, I believe that God was in control, and that He was and will continue to be glorified through our trip to Ecuador. He did some amazing things in the lives of our group!
|The youth group at our church in Calderon|
|One of my favorite moments - same verses, different languages|
|The writing of His Word in different languages|
|What I thought was a hairbow at first - centipede in the girls room|
|Ant infestation - removed all belongings to clean the girls room|
|Mr. Scorpion - alive!|
|Popcorn soup! My favorite meal!|
|Katie & I on our way to our site|
|VBS - Coloring/craft time|
|VBS - singing Jesus Loves Me!|
|Watching this dear woman become my sister in Christ!|
|This sweet girl reading a spanish tract before accepting Christ|
|Katie and another new sister in Christ|
Some of the highlights of my week included:
- traveling alongside my husband to another country
- assisting him in leadership of our group (a privilege, but way out of my comfort zone)
- being in the presence of American and Ecuadorian youth reading God's word side by side in their own languages
- the privilege of sharing the greatest story ever told to many in the market place
- being a part of leading five individuals to the Lord!
- Giving away a bilingual copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible to a young boy who made a life-changing decision, right outside of a bakery in Quito.
- Sharing my family photo album as a conversation starter (Thanks to Ansley for translating!)
- Hearing the stories of our team and how God used them throughout the week. Our nightly meetings often gave me the strength of continuing the next day.
- Getting up early to watch the sunrise lay its colors along one of the Ecuador mountains with my honey
- Meeting some amazing translators who without, we would have accomplished very little...
- such precious, tear-jerker notes from my girls
|Face painting three year old, Jada|
|Me & Rute (Ruth)|
|Sunrise with my honey|
|Marketplace within walking distance of our church|
|Two of our translators - Salome & Josue|
|Our last day - at a volcano|
|Groups from around the US with one common purpose|
Some of the "interesting" points of the week:
- Ecuadorian time...
- traffic in Ecuador (pedestrians do not have the right of way)
- encounters with a giant centipede, ant infestation, and a scorpion
- children of all ages riding in the front seats of cars, hanging out the windows, not wearing seat belts (a mother's nightmare)
- popcorn soup (oh yeah!), chocolate bread (30 cents each), and cooked guinea pig (yes, I know it's meat.)
- expecting 30 to 80 children for our VBS and only having 10 to 20 depending on the day
- the inability to flush toilet paper
- a broken alarm clock and the changing of sheets
- the fear of drinking the water even while brushing teeth
|Guinea Pig - tastes like chicken|
Once again, I claim no regrets (even the guinea pig). I am filled with such gratitude in being allowed to travel to Ecuador and for my parents for caring for our girls. There is still much to process concerning all that the Lord did and is still doing in my life through this experience, but I'm not in a hurry.
"Living radical isn't about where you live - it's about how you love. It's about realizing - Love doesn't happen when you arrive in a certain place. It happens when your heart arrives in a certain place - wherever you are, right where you are, dirt road Africa (or Ecuador) or side street America." - Ann Voskamp