Welcome to the final post on our Ecuador blog for 2018.
I only have two quick things for you.
First, I just want to say thank you to everyone who donated and prayed for this trip. You were part of our team every step of the way and your time, energy, and resources were mixed into the seeds that were planted and the fruit that God will produce. Our team is eternally grateful for you all!
Second, if you wish to find the pictures for our trip, then you can find them here: PICTURES!
That is all folks. If you have any feedback, questions, or want more information about this trip, then you can reach out to Rene Watson or myself. You can find our contact information at our website: Alpharetta Methodist.
Just like that, we are back. After one of the most transformational experiences in the lives of our team members, we now are settling back into our daily realities and excited to see God continue to move through us as he has this week. I just wanted to say thank you to all that followed us throughout the week and more importantly, for all those that joined our team as a financial supporter and prayer partner. You guys are amazing.
At the beginning of the week, I will post all of the pictures from the trip. If you want anymore information about the trip or would like to hear some stories, please let me know. We are all excited to share and welcome any opportunity to do just that.
God bless you all!
Exhaustion has set in for our team! Today was a full day of work for all of us. We were at the school this morning pouring concrete and then at the Farm this afternoon clearing brush around the river and helping to build a new drive way. It was quite the work day. I have to brag on these students though. We talked with them this morning about finishing well and they exceeded all expectation. The energy level was through the roof! After work at the farm, we were able to go for a refreshing afternoon swim in the river behind the farm. That refreshed us all.
After our work day, we were able to have an outstanding final night together in community. Our worship time was special as we shared communion and Suzanne encouraged us with a challenge to always remember God’s faithfulness to us. We then headed into town for our last ice cream run and played some ultimate frisbee in the downtown area. Our team has grown unified together this week and it was a great final night together.
Friday is our travel day back to Quito for our red-eye flight home. There will be many more adventures along the way and I will share all those with you when we are back in the states! (More pictures as well!)
Good Morning Everyone!
Our student spotlight and daily recap is provided by Julia Powell. Enjoy!
My experience during this trip has been life changing. Two people in particular have impacted me in ways that I could never put into words (but I will obviously try!); furthermore; my heart has never felt so much love and comfort in such a new and unknown place. I worked with the oldest kids this week (8th graders) and I am so blessed and grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to build a very special bond and relationship with Karla Andy. She has pure compassion, humility, selflessness, LOVE, joy, and peace. She showed me that she has instilled just as much hope in my life for the future as I have in her. We have matching bracelets, MANY pictures together, and she gave me a way to contact her after I leave Ecuador! Goodbye with her was one of the hardest I have experienced. We were both sobbing on the last day although we both KNOW that I will be back next year. She is incredible. The 2nd person who has completely changed my perspective on life is Juan Carlos. The “girlies” (Deanna, Abby, Charlotte and myself) and I worked with Juan Carlos everyday after school, and he was the BIGGEST BLESSING in the most unexpected place. He always made sure we had water, asked if we needed a break, helped us with our jobs, and talked to us about his life and his family. I have never seen a man LIGHT UP so much about his children. The first night, we happened to see him and his daughter, GENESIS, in the park. The second night we met his wife in their shop. And the third day two missionaries came to talk about sponsorships and specifically asked about Juan Carlos and his son Fabian who needed a sponsor. Immediately, we knew we HAD to help and couldn’t imagine seeing two parents with two AMAZING children, who go to church 3 days a week, struggle financially to keep Fabian in the best place he could be. For that, the “girlies” have begun to personally sponsor Fabian this year and every year that follows, and we have found a way to make sure we have contact and a relationship with the most pure and humble family we have ever met. When we told them, their whole family started crying out of gratitude. The Lord put specific people in my life this year to show me that there is such pure joy here with an abundance of God’s grace. Many other students from the team had a relationship with the kids, and the last day with them was very hard and sad. But we know we will be back, in some form, and we will never forget the very special moments we shared here.
For our Tuesday recap, we have Max Farnham sharing with us. I’m going to turn it over to him now. You can see pictures from the day below! (Please note also that there will be an album with all pictures and non-posted pictures available next week.)
Hey All, Max Farnham here. I’m going to take a moment to describe my Ecuador experience so far, particularly our Tuesday experience. Ecuador is a wonderful place with lots of exotic and wonderful sites and filled with wonderful people. Furthermore, I have been blown away by the hospitality and kindness of everyone here. The kids at the school are extremely nice and hilarious. I enjoy how they can play hard but work even harder. Miguel and Gustavo are two students in the class I’m working with this week. They are intelligent, but love to play and have fun at the same time. In the afternoon, we worked at the school. The labor is hard and tiring but you have feeling of great satisfaction when you are finished. You walk away knowing that you have been part of something special. To wind down the day, we made an ice cream run into town and spent some time hanging in the town square, this was very fun. There was monkeys all throughout town and one monkey stole Mr. Shannon’s bag of fruit. That was amazing. That’s all for me folks.
What a day of experiences for our team today! We enjoyed many adventures and further getting use to our new surroundings for the next week. First, we had the chance to take a river boat trip on the Napo river to a local chocolate factory. It was so unique to learn how chocolate is made and to see the process.
After returning from the river boat trip, we took to exploring downtown Misahualli. Sunday afternoons are a day that the market area is in full swing and the town is alive. We had the chance to spend some time with the locals and play with some monkeys!
Mid-afternoon, we traveled to the farm. The farm is owned by the company (Jungle Kids for Christ) that runs the school and is used to help provide work opportunity for student parents and further financial stability for the organization. We toured the farm and then had the beautiful honor to lead a worship service for the missionaries.
To close out the day, we had an amazing dinner and spent some time in town playing frisbee and soccer. It was a beautiful day and we can’t wait to get to school in the morning and begin working with the students. More to come! Enjoy some pictures below!
Today was a day full of travel and adventure! We headed from Quito toward our home for the week in Misahualli. It was a long journey that included some pretty awesome stops. We stopped in Baños for a wonderful lunch and then had the chance to take an open air cable car ride across a gorge that stops over a waterfall. It was a breath taking view!
We then had the privilege to stop at the former home of Nate Saint. Nate was a missionary through an organization called MAF and was martyred by the Auca tribe in 1955. (You can learn more HERE). This was an insightful and encouraging stop on our journey.
Then we arrived at our hostile for the week and had an amazing dinner and first worship time together. During worship, we had the chance to center our hearts and be prepared for the amazing things God is going to do this week. We all left encouraged and slept well from the long day.
Please see the pictures below and we will be back in touch after the adventures of today! God bless you all!
Good afternoon everyone!
We are 10 minutes from boarding our flight and being on our way. We are thankful for everyone that was able to join us for our sending off time at the MYC. It was a beautiful time of preparation and communion. Please enjoy some pictures below!
Also, we ask that you continue to be praying for the Father to go before us and prepare our hearts to be eager to learn and eager to be helpful as we spend the next days with our neighbors in Ecuador.
We love you all. Talk to you when we are in Ecuador!
We are so excited to be heading to Ecuador in 4 days! We are expectant in that this trip will be another amazing faith experience for our team and the people of Ecuador. I would love to take a moment to introduce you to our team. Please see all names below:
Katy Dickenson / Brock Donnelly / Max Farnham / Abby Fribush / Ben Fribush
Jackson Frizzell / Brittany Grigorian / Erin Grissom / Doug Hale / Olivia Holcombe
Suzanne Kebanli / Gavril Lim / Deanna Mathis / Bri Macfadyan / Brendan Payne
Ryan Payne / Shannon Payne / Reed Perreiah / Julia Powell / Michael Pratt
Lucas Pruett / Ryan Symons / Annie Von Hillebrandt / Karl Von Hillebrandt
Spencer Watry / Rene Watson / Charlotte Williams
This is us! We have been training together monthly and bonding together through meals and fundraising since last October. It is finally almost time and we could not be more excited. We ask a couple of things from you all:
- Please pray for each of our team members. We would love for you to pray that this experience would be one that helps define and shape our faith and help us to answer the call of “Go” that Christ gives us in Matthew 28:19.
- Please pray for the people of Ecuador. We are not heroes flying in to save the day. We are just one set of neighbors coming to love and spend time with our other neighbors. We ask that you would pray for favor and the ability to serve however they wish and need.
- The last thing we ask is that you would check in often throughout the next days. We will update our blog daily and we want you to be a part of this adventure with us!
That is all for now folks!
Lucas Pruett (Director of Student Ministry, AM)