Hey all! We have worked hard this week and now it was time for some adventures. We had the chance to enjoy a few different adventures today. We visited a BIG tree (fun unique spot in the community), the school for the final time to shop in the school store, a local chocolate farm (where we also had the opportunity to pan for gold!) and the JKC farm for an afternoon swim in the river. After our outings, we enjoyed some shopping in town, dinner and our final worship time. It has been a truly beautiful day! Please enjoy some snapshots and student highlights below!
This week’s mission trip has taught me so much. I am so thankful that I have had this opportunity to help young children in their education. I’ve learned so much about purity this week. When we were interacting with the students, I realized that the children are so innocent and blissful, and it made me s happy that these kids were children of God just like me. I think that this week has given me the chance to escape from all the madness at home and step away to focus on what is important, God. When I go home, I will do my best to implement all aspects of Christ into my life. I know that I’m not always going to be able to be perfect and walk along God, but I can certainly give it 110%. Even when we make mistakes, God is always there, arms wide open. That is my favorite thing about God, his unrelenting love and grace and mercy. I thankful for everything that God has given me this week and in my life and I will continue to serve his will.
It’s been such a great week in Ecuador, its hard to count how many great encounters and sights I have seen. One that is special to me was when we went to Pusuno. It’s a one room schoolhouse that teaches grades 1st through 7th. At first, I was scared to go because I don’t speak Spanish and the kids don’t speak English, so it was going to be hard to communicate, but that was where I was wrong. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, a smile and a laugh with the kids made all the difference. I ended up having a great time and connecting with the kids especially a girl named Mery. I learned that God always has a plan for us and even a language barrier cannot stop us from sharing God’s love. I am super grateful that I got to go on this trip and can’t wait to come back next year!
The thing I took most out of this trip was just how God could create a place so different from our home but a place that could be so beautiful. I can still picture our first full day in Ecuador riding the bus to Dunamis, looking out the window, and seeing an entire mountainside covered in homes. All the houses were different colors tightly packed next to one another. I remember saying to myself “Wow” as far as I could see where houses covering the rolling hills in Quito. Later that day, we played soccer against some of the girls living at Dunamis, and during one of the games, a cloud moved toward us and covered the entire field. That is something that not everyone gets to experience often. Even with the nationwide strike, the people we have met may live different lives compared to us, but they are all friendly and openly greeted us. The trip was overall a great experience and hopefully I can come back and see how places such as Antioquia school have grown since we were last there.
Jo Lynn McCrossan:
Hello everyone! This is Jo Lynn McCrossan. I have had the blessing of sharing this incredible experience with my daughter Marin. It has been quite an adventure, one that she and I will treasure for a lifetime. This trip has given me the opportunity to grow in my love and faith to Jesus. God’s amazing works have shown through in so many of the things that we have done and seen. I have marveled at God’s beautiful creation in a volcano peeking through the clouds reminding us that He is with us. My spirits have been lifted by others opening their doors and serving our group when we needed a helping hand. God’s love has shown through in the warm and smiling faces that have been through such unimaginable things in their young lives. One moment that I will never forget and will always be a lesson to me was when a young boy of 11 years old named Anderson had one potato chip and broke it apart and shared it with four others. It was a reminder to me that it takes so little to share God’s love that we should be doing it each and every day. I am so thankful for this experience and am truly amazed at how God is at work in Ecuador and in my life.
When I first found out that I was going to Ecuador I was both nervous and extremely anxious. The realization that I was actually in Ecuador didn’t hit me for a while and everything felt like it was flying by. Before the trip I had asked few people who had been on the trip before to tell me what would happen, and it all turned out completely different. The trip had gone in completely different directions than we had expected but I wouldn’t ask for it any other way. This mission trip has made me come to the realization that not everything has to go as planned and work out the way I want it to. God has a path that he wants to lead us down and although it may not be exactly what we want, it’s what is best for us. It is really hard to let something else guide you and not be in complete control, but having God be the one soul focus in your life is just amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. The plan was altered but I have still met and grown close to some truly amazing people and can’t wait to do it all again next year.