Thoughts from the Team!

We have had a great first few days! We would love for you to be able to hear from a few of our team members! Enjoy!

Joy Greene:

Hey guys! It’s Joy Greene, and this is my first trip to Ecuador. It’s definitely been a long few days but I’m grateful for every second of it. Our trip started off with a detour to a hostel where we were taken care of by some wonderful people. The following day, we made our trip to Dunamis and were taken on a tour of the property and introduced to the girls staying there. To see the progress made on the campus has been absolutely amazing, even though I’ve only seen pictures before. During the full day we were at Dunamis, we painted the top floor of what will be a home for 14 girls and their children, writing blessings on the wall to ask that God watches over the beautiful children there. To our surprise, the girls made their way into the top floor and began entering various rooms as we painted. Two girls entered the room I was painting in and introduced theirselves. Although we didn’t share the same language, the girls were speaking in their best English and I made an attempt at my best Spanish, and over the next two hours I got to know the precious girls in front of me. We learned about each others’ favorite colors, animals, foods, and what they like to do. Although these girls come from trauma I could never imagine, they painted to the point where it got all over their hair and clothes and proceeded to giggle as hard as they could with me. It was amazing to see these two girls so care-free and happy as we painted the walls of a building that will change lives, including their own, forever.

Brittany Grigorian:

Hey everyone! This is Brittany Grigorian and this is my 3rd trip to Ecuador! The past few days have been a whirlwind but I’m more grateful than ever to be back in the jungle! Working with Dunamis was extra special because we finally got to meet the girls that we have heard so much about. Hearing about their stories and seeing their faces made everything so touching, and it was eye-opening to hear about the challenges that girls younger than me have been through. While Charlotte and I were painting a room with primer, Charlotte asked the Dunamis girls if they knew the song “Waymaker.” The girls all broke out singing it in English and it was truly a moment I won’t forget. Then the next morning during our worship service with them, we sang “Waymaker” in English and then also in Spanish and it was a beautiful moment revealing just how much the Lord has touched their lives. Yesterday, before our departure for the jungle, I experienced a bit of altitude sickness, but thanks to all the moms, I was good to go by the time we left the hostel to go to the jungle. It was so exciting to finally be back in Misahualli after all these years of not going. During construction yesterday, I was put on photo duty since I was still recovering and rehydrating, so all the beautiful photos you saw from work yesterday were by me ;). Last night for dinner we had some missionaries from the Antioch school over, and it was very inspiring to hear their stories and how they have truly trusted God with their life, even when they don’t know what that would look like. I also got to hang out with their little kids, and they were adorable! This morning I was able to participate with the actual work in construction, and it was exhausting but fulfilling! Please keep us in your prayers this week and pray for us to maintain positive attitudes (even in the heat) and continue to build each other up! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings!

Avery Symons:

This trip continues to amaze me. While there have been many challenges along the way, God has been at work the entire time. The first day in Dunamis we were painting with the girls, and they all started singing the worship song Waymaker. A girl that I had been painting with, knew little English and we struggled communicating; however, we both knew the words to Waymaker. God showed me that even though we both don’t speak the same language God bonds us in an amazing way.  I had a similar experience the next morning. We had an opportunity to worship with the girls and I shared my favorite bible verse Jeramiah 29:11. A girl in the front row got so excited because it was her favorite too. I read the verse in English, and she read the verse in Spanish. Again, God was showing me that even though we don’t speak the same language he is the same for both of us. Another amazing opportunity God provided me with today was seeing the student at Antioch I have sponsored the past 3 years. I met Jorge the last time I came to Ecuador, and I’ve sponsored him since. Today while we were working, he came onto campus and Grayson brought him over to where I was working. I screamed out of excitement. I was so excited, and I might have scared him a bit, but I was able to talk to him and see all God has done in his life. He didn’t 100% remember me right away but after showing him pictures of us he got so excited and remembered. When we weren’t sure if we would make it into the jungle this moment was all I wanted and would’ve been heartbroken if it didn’t happen. Luckily it was not just in my plan, but it was also in God’s plan. I can’t wait to see what God has instore for the rest of the trip, and while things have not entirely gone to plan God is still working and something Lucas shared with us Sunday night was if it not good, God is not finished.

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