Greetings All! We are safely back and settled in! As we reflect on the trip, I would love to share our final student testimonies from the week.
Hey guys, I have had an amazing week here in Ecuador. I have learned so much about myself through facing the challenges of this trip, whether its sitting on a hot bus for hours going nowhere due to protests, or working through back pains while doing construction, this trip showed me how resilient I am. Another challenge that I enjoyed was learning how to show gods love through a language barrier. On Thursday we went to a school in Pusuno where the people there didn’t speak much English, so I had to figure out a way to communicate. My Spanish is ok but getting laughed at earlier in the week by the girls at Dunamis didn’t give me much confidence in my speaking ability, but I continued to try anyway. I was paired with this little girl named Jessi and she was so cute. She was super shy, so I gave her a big smile and she started to feel at ease. It was a bit difficult to communicate at the beginning, but by the end she was talking to me and smiling, and it was such an amazing moment that I’ll never forget. I’ve had an amazing time here in Ecuador and I can’t wait to go back if I’m given the opportunity to.
I don’t have to tell you how amazing your children are because you already know it. These kids have been an absolute joy to be around (pun intended) and you should feel incredibly proud of the job you’ve done as parents. Each day brought a new set of challenges, and the team made the most out of every moment. They each demonstrated incredible patience and flexibility during a time of uncertainty in a foreign country. I could list out a dozen impressive characteristics but the two that stand out the most are their relentless devotion to the Lord and their incredible work ethic. Their strong faith kept them focused on the mission while their work ethic delivered incredible results for the school. I’ve been so honored to serve with such a wonderful group of kids.
Hey guys it’s Charlotte! I am so grateful I got to come on this trip for the fourth time this year! This trip has been a crazy adventure, but I have learned a lot about God’s faithfulness. There were a lot of moments where it felt difficult, and it felt like many things were against us. I knew from these tough situations, that God had something truly special in store for us. We were able to see and teach kids, we were able to still develop relationships with them and with each other, and most importantly I learned to lean into God alone. He is a faithful God and his way is better than any other. I felt we were able to be very intentional while we were working with the kids because we didn’t know how long we would be able to be with them. It made me wonder how our relationships would grow if we were that intentional with other people back home in our everyday lives. God wants us to be connected with each other, whether that is all around the world or in our hometowns! That is something I will take away from this trip.
Hello from Ecuador. As I write, we have begun our journey home. We successfully averted the roadblocks by taking a flight from Ahuano to Quito instead of the normal bus ride. This is trip #5 for me – and three years in the making due to COVID. Special for multiple reasons. Heather and both girls came this time. Now the entire family has been at least one time. At Dunamis, this is the first time girls have been present during a visit. Seeing these young girls, and in some cases their babies, in person is a real gut check. How? Why? In the jungle at Antioch, the students were in virtual school due to the strikes, so we didn’t get to teach as originally scheduled. With some creativity, we were able to spend time with subset of students on campus after normal school hours. Staying flexible was definitely a major theme this trip. Perhaps the biggest highlight of our time in Misahualli, was that I got to meet Jeydan, the Antioch student we sponsor, and his parents. So many other moments and memories. I could ramble on. If you’d like to hear more, reach out and I’ll gladly talk your ear off. Many thanks to everyone who supports this mission trip in Atlanta – and to our incredible partners in Ecuador. I can’t wait to see you all again next year.
Hello, everyone. This is Tim Newton on our final day here in Ecuador. It is hard to summarize the experiences of this week. The people we have encountered (especially the children) have been kind, generous, and dedicated to God, their families, communities, and schools. The guiding them of our trip is to share the love of Christ through our labors and through the relationships we develop. However, I feel the people I have encountered this week have shared the love of Christ with me in so many ways and have done more for me than I have for them. It has been a wonderful week.