Monthly Archives: June 2015
Yesterday started like all the rest of them, dragging ourselves out of bed. But this day wasn’t going to be like the rest; it was our first day of vacation bible school with the kids! We ate breakfast and talked about how excited we were to see the children this year and experiences we had last year. This year was going to have a totally different feel. The children were going to be students from Antioch, which meant that we needed much more structure to our activities. When the kids arrived, they immediately ran over to us and into our arms, wrapping themselves around us and begging us to play with them. Next ensued a chaotic frenzy of spinning kids around, flying them around, chasing them and being chased, as well as piggyback rides.
After everyone arrived and we got them all settled down, we sang a few songs and did a skit about the creation of the Earth before breaking into groups. Being part of the rec team, we did four thirty minute sections of “rojo verde” (red light green light), freeze tag, and other attempted group games, although with the younger kids it broke down into rolling around on the ground.
We returned to the hostel, worn down and exhausted from the morning, taking naps and eating lunch before preparing to go back out to the work site. The crew I’m in is working on the continuous project of digging meter-deep holes through rocks and rooty dirt for what we assume will be posts for a large fence.
On top of the morning’s romp with the kids, we were exhausted by the end of the day but still held true to our nightly ritual of playing soccer with the locals. We payed $10 to rent a soccer pitch for an hour that was a couple minutes down the road. Fenced in, lit, turf field, very nice. We sacrificed our only soccer ball to the jungle accidentally, but we hope to play again tonight.
Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope everyone is having a grand time back home! Yesterday, we started off the day with some amazing french toast made by Eunice to get ready for the first day of Vacation Bible School. When the children arrived at the venue for VBS they were so excited to hang out with the team. All of the kids were so loving even though there was a language barrier.
I was working with crafts and we were making the earth out of a paper plate and tissue paper. The lesson that went with the craft was the creation story. It was truly amazing how talented and creative these kids were at making designs with the green and blue tissue paper.
After we finished VBS we went and worked at the school in the jungle. I was sanding a wall at the school which I started out standing on the ground. About halfway in we were standing on a scaffolding which was super high up.
I can definitely say that i conquered some fears this trip. After working for hours we came back to the hostel and had another amazing meal of chicken and veggies.After dinner we had an amazing worship led by Madison and Emily Ruff. Madison led with some amazing songs including “Good, Good Father” and many more. Emily talked about what God wants us to do on the trip and it was very moving. Everyone is having a great time here and we cant wait to see what god has in store for the rest of this trip.
I have been extremely blessed to be on this adventure we have had the past few days. I can probably say that these past few days have been some of the best days i have ever had. I thought that it was really special that the day we get to the jungle is the first sunny day they have had in months.
That and the fact that we actually made it to the jungle is truly a miracle from God. I have never seen some of the things i have seen on this trip. I went on a river boat ride to a zoo where i saw spider monkeys climbing around everywhere.
Then, today I witnessed the love of those kids from the school which was just the coolest experience.
I sanded a wall with some friends and then I decided that I should help with the harder job of digging a trench.
Everybody has worked so hard and I have so much love and respect for everybody here. I am excited to see what else God has in store for our team this week.
Greetings from Ecuador! WOW. That is one word that I’ve said a lot this week- whether it be about how goofy all of these people are or about God’s all encompassing love. So far this trip has been filled with SO many cool experiences, new friends, and one awesome God. On Sunday, we started out the day with some worship and a church service given to us by the Memphis team.
Meeting them was so incredible for me; We are all from around the same area of the States and have felt called to serve the people of a tiny town in Ecuador. There might be some major differences but we ALL have the same end goal- to share the love we have received from Jesus. And I don’t know about YOU, but I think that is really super neat. Yeehaw! After that, we headed to the river and went to AmaZOOnica (an animal refugee center)
Ate some DELICIOUS food yet again (thank you Ms. Eunice)
and headed to the cultural center and got some sick face painting done. Thank you to the people of Chiripuna!
One of my favorite experiences so far has been working with the kids from VBS.
Hands down. Several other ladies and I have been given the opportunity to (sorta kinda) head up VBS and plan out themes, crafts, games, and memory verses etc. these past few months. We have all worked really hard to make sure everything was in place and ready to go, but we truthfully had no clue how everything was going to go down. It was SO awesome seeing the kids and just spending time pouring love into them. Whether they did the craft right or not, or played the games when they were told to….Stuff like that honestly didn’t even matter. What was important was seeing them HAPPILY learn about our INCREDIBLE Savior. That was a wake up call for me because I’m a “check-the-job-off-the-to-do-list” kind of gal and I like to see things get done. At first I was worried that not everything was going the way I had planned, but I realized that I have a really cool God, that knows WAYYYYY (and I mean WAY) more than I do. His plan is greater. And it always will be. Not just for things like this, but for any and every tribulation ad situation we might go through it life. Seeing those lovely smiles on their faces was a moment I’ll forever cling to. They are all PRECIOUS children of the King. Goodness, so much love. I am so incredibly excited for the rest of the week y’all! Our creator is already workin up an incredible plan not only for these kiddos, but also for us too. YWOOP WOOP!
While the rest of the group travels through the jungle, building and teaching Vacation Bible School, my mom Robin and I are still in Quito getting ready for our first day of jewelry teaching! We’ve bought our supplies, thought of a plan, and put our game faces on. But before we go to teach at Dunamis tomorrow, we fit in one last day of touring. Today, after service at a local English speaking church, we visited Mitad del Mundo (the middle of the world)! Our wonderful host family, Monica and Fernando, were our tour guides.
Mitad del Mundo marks the equatorial line and is surrounded by a replica of a traditional Ecuadorian city. In the city we saw indigenous dancers in their costumes, shopped around, and visited a church smack dab on the line.
Sitting in the left pews puts you in one hemisphere and sitting on the right puts you in the other. After our touring was over, we stopped at a restaurant to eat typical Ecuadorian food. The dish we ordered, called Chugchucara, came with fritadas, empanadas (my personal favorite), four kinds of corn (yes, one of them was popcorn!), fried plantains, and Ecuadorian pork rinds!
We finally got back to the house late in the afternoon (Ecuadorians eat a big lunch at one or two and just tea, coffee, and snacks for dinner at seven or eight), and Boris came to visit with his wife Fernanda (Monica and Fernando’s daughter) and their two children. We played with the kids and talked with Boris, Monica, and Fernanda about our lessons for tomorrow. The girls don’t come to Dunamis until Tuesday so on Monday we’re teaching the volunteers and workers so that they can continue the lessons with the girls after we’re gone. This led to an impromptu Spanish lesson for mom and with her cheat sheet in hand, we’re ready for tomorrow!
Adios from Quito!
This trip has been different because we had to schedule the sightseeing at the beginning of the trip rather than the end. Normally I like the tourist stuff at the end -kind of like a celebration of our hard work. So this one has been a little different for me mentally.
Luckily we did work at Dunmas in Quito on the the first day but I am still anxiously awaiting a chance to get to the school and get to work! And that’s the thing with us Americans – we want to go a mission trip and have a neat project we can work on and take a picture of the day before we leave and show all our American friends what “we” accomplished! But God works in everything – in the touring moments and the waiting moments. Today we were lucky to share a worship service led by a group from Memphis that was finishing their week here with Jungle Kids.
It was neat to see how their week had impacted them in so many ways. It was great for our youth to see how the other group was impacted as we prepare to get started! And it has been so neat to hear our youth share how they have been blown away by God’s creation as we have made our journey here and today on the river. Many times I worry that the youth aren’t fully realizing what we are seeing and soaking up what is right in front of them but tonight during devotion time they really blew my mind on how much they are aware of God’s beautiful creation and how blessed they are to be here for His purpose! And how different people can look but that we are all God’s creation! These kids are the best and I’m so excited to see more God has in store for us this week! Praise him for all that he has already done in the hearts of these kids!