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Prayers for our trip!

It would be greatly appreciated if you took the time to pray for our trip and the members of our team.

Things you can pray for:

  1. Prayers for health- Please pray that everyone remains healthy and well throughout the trip, allowing them to serve our Lord and spread His love.
  2. Prayers for individual team members- Please pray for each of our team members’ spiritual growth throughout the trip, as well as their God-given abilities to be of service to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
  3. Prayers for safety- Please pray for safe travels to, from, and in Ecuador, along with each of our team members remaining safe throughout the week.

Countdown is ON for our trip, 5 DAYS UNTIL WE LEAVE! We are all so excited to experience this incredible opportunity and cannot wait to share it with you all.

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AFUMC 2022 Ecuador Team!

MEET YOUR ECUADOR 2022 MISSION TEAM!! Please see names below:

Marin McCrossan / Kaylee Cowan / Lily Moore / Charlotte Symmons / Tim Newton / Joy Greene / Avery Symmons / Jo Lynn McCrossan / Cami Malone / Kellen Fain / Charlotte Williams / Alec Plummer / Cameron Adkins / James Einarson / Catie Weatherford / Jason Fain / Brian Justiss / Rachel Bell / Heather Hale / Nancy Malone / Doug Hale / Brittany Grigorian / Hannah Newton / Benji Watry / Lucas Pruett

We are all so excited to embark on this incredible journey, serving the Lord and the Ecuadorian community! You’ll be able to follow along on our trip using this blog to see updates, pictures, and details on our projects. There are 12 days left until we leave to spread God’s love and use His word to grow our relationships with Him. We are looking forward to sharing our journey with all of you.

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Ecuador 2022 (16 Days Away!)

Greetings Everyone! We are heading to Ecuador in 16 DAYS! This is our first opportunity to take a team to Ecuador since 2019 and we are so excited to be returning. Our hearts are full of anticipation for how God is going to use our 2022 team. We pray that God will be glorified every step of the way and that His kingdom would be advanced in Ecuador and beyond!

Since forming our team in mid-March, we have been training together monthly (in person and on Zoom), bonding together through meals and fundraising individually and as a team. It’s hard to believe that it is finally turned over to the calendar month that we will be leaving for our trip.

With this post, our team blog is officially back up and running. We would love for you to make a new habit of checking in regularly. In the days to come, we will be posting introductions to our team, sharing prayer direction and then sharing daily updates throughout our trip.

Thanks for tuning in as we are getting things back up and running. Please be on the lookout as we introduce our team later this week!

Until next time!

Lucas Pruett (Director of Student Ministry, AM)

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Final Post for 2019

Here we are. It is amazing to think about the fact this is the final post in regards to our 2019 Ecuador Mission Trip.

I only have two quick things to note for you:

First, I just want to say thank you to everyone who donated, prayed, and followed the blog 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! (Also, huge shout out to Doug Hale for organizing and leading our blog efforts this year!)

Second, if you wish to find the pictures for our trip, then you can find them here: 2019 Ecuador 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.

Thanks again!

Lucas Pruett

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We’re home

After a long day of travel starting early Saturday in Misahualli back to Quito and on to Atlanta, we returned safely home early this (Sunday) morning.  Now that we have access to more robust Internet connectivity, we’ll get additional photos posted over the next couple days and some parting thoughts from Lucas and any of our team members who may want to share more.

Thanks for following us!

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Additional Friday thoughts from the team

This post is a little late, but I wanted to get it up.

Andy Garcia:

Hey, its Andy, so today was a very special day for all of us. It started with us going on a boat ride to the chocolate lodge, where we were able to see the whole process of making chocolate from a cocoa bean. We were able to help make some chocolate and then eventually able to even try some of It as a spread. After that, we docked the canoe and had lunch on the river. We had some delicious empanadas and the made our way back to the hostile to get ready for the end of the year celebration at the school. At the celebration we were able to see all our favorite students partake in the dances and the award ceremonies. It was tough to say our final goodbyes to our friends, but it was nice to see them all dressed up with their families. We took some good pictures and then went our separate ways. After the ceremony we went back to the hostile to do our final worship. We said our prayers and then made our way to the soccer field to have a friendly match between some of the students, Lucas, our bus driver Willi, and a couple other friends. It was nice to have one final sweat before beginning our long journey back home.

Doug Hale:

We are coming to the end of an incredible trip.  I have been lucky enough to make this journey each of the last four years.  To see God at work in the missions we serve here in Ecuador and in our students is awesome.  I find myself at a loss for words to express how I truly feel, so I’ll just say this:

Thank you – for a church and it’s leaders that support this mission, for the people who have supported me personally through prayer and/or financially, for the parents of our students who allowed your child to go on this trip, and for all my fellow team members.  Thank you!

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Friday thoughts from the team

Bri MacFadyen:

Hey,

Going into this trip I tried to keep a very open mind. This is my second time going and I didn’t want to set any expectations. Its been such a blessing to be able to serve with this amazing group. The kids have a very special place in my heart. It’s so incredible to be able to come back and have a kid remember you. We don’t realize how much we mean to the kids. This week God really spoke to me about letting go of the past and being reborn through him. A constant word that resonated in my heart this week was strength. Joshua 1:9 was a verse that I found that spoke about how strong we are through God and that he will be with us wherever we go.  As we all go home and disburse back into our lives, I pray that we don’t forget the messages and connections we made with God and these amazing team members. I’m so beyond blessed to have been able to have this opportunity to serve our heavenly father.

Much love, Bri

Haven Donnelly:

Hello,

So I’m currently in the lobby of the hostel being forced to write this by Dougie Fresh.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to write about or say, so let’s see how this goes, I guess. Avery said to talk about the little girl I had grown close with, Meritxell. She’s just this one little girl that I’ve started to feel some sort of responsibility over as we’ve become close. I got the privilege of spending her 10th birthday with her, and we now have matching bracelets I bought in the little city square here in Misahualli. We’ve exchanged many hugs and laughs, and there have been many confused faces on my part from when she speaks too fast or uses a word I don’t know. Oh yeah, and everything has been in Spanish. Its been great practice and its amazing to see the product of my years learning Spanish. It’s just great to see the new people you can reach by just having some knowledge of a language, and I can confidently say that I’m so glad I decided to learn the language even if my classmates say its redundant or useless. But yeah, its been great to step away from my life for a bit and just spend time with wonderful people in such a relaxing, easygoing place. And mom, they have taken really good care of me regarding food. Even though Mrs. Eunise isn’t here, there’s this one really nice woman here that reassures me on everything, constantly saying “No milk”. Anyways, I don’t know what else I’m supposed to write about. I’ve gotten very close with a select few people that I’m so grateful to have gotten to know, and I’ve been able to spend good time with my brother before he goes off to college, which has been such an amazing opportunity. Today was cool though, we went to a little chocolate making place thing on the river and Emily got baptized, and then we played soccer in the street (don’t worry mom we did it safely). But yeah. That’s it I guess. Peace.

Mike Dilworth:

This week culminates my third visit to Ecuador visiting both Dunamis and Jungle Kids for Christ.  How blessed I am to be able to attend the three trips.  Like the previous two trips, I have been encouraged by our youth and the youth leadership of our church.  What a great group of young people who energetically engaged in all that was asked of them.  This was evident in teaching the students as well as the physical labor activities each day.  No complaining, joyous hearts and a willingness to make a difference.  God’s presence and the many prayers of family, friends and our church were certainly with us throughout.   I love the last verse of Les Miserables “ to love another person is to see the face of God.”  How true!

Rene Watson:

We are reaching the conclusion of an incredible week in Ecuador.  God has shown us His favor as we have worked with the beautiful children at Antioch School and as we completed a multitude of challenging jobs on the worksite.  I am full to capacity with love and respect for this team, the missionaries here, and the friendly people of Misahualli.  It is rare, I think, to travel with 23 people for 9 days and still want to spend more time together, but that’s exactly the way I feel.  God has assembled incredible talent and heart within this team and each night as we have gathered for worship and counted the blessings of the day my faith has been strengthened.

Tonight we were blessed to attend the end of school celebration.   It is incredible to see God’s hand at work in the lives of the children here.  I have been given the awesome privilege of knowing many of these kids for 7 years, and God’s handywork is evident and real.  Tonight we saw kids get awards in Math, Science, and English.  We saw supportive families and proud sponsors gather together, many from very different worlds, but all so happy to see these precious children express hope and confidence in the future.  I witnessed two boys whom I love start a Bible study with two missionaries who are willing to answer the tough questions to help them accept this great love God has for them.

I am immensely thankful tonight for God’s provision and for the depth of these Alpharetta Methodist students from whom I’ve had the opportunity to learn.  They are full of love and faith, awesome leaders and followers, and they give me renewed hope for the future of our church and our mission of reaching people for Christ. I am thankful for every person who supported us financially and in prayer.  We have been able to accomplish more than I could have dreamed, but I’m sure it was exactly what the Lord envisioned when He called us to go and called you to send us!  We love you all.

Grace and Peace,
Rene Watson

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Antioquia’s End-of-Year Event

We had the pleasure of attending Antioquia’s end-of-year celebration Friday evening.  It was an opportunity to watch their students perform skits and dances, sing songs, and be celebrated for all their accomplishments over the school year.  There was considerable pride (and many smiles) from all the students and their families.  It was also an opportunity for us to exchange hugs and say our goodbyes to these special kids.  Truly a special evening.

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Emily’s Baptism

Today I was blessed enough to be baptized in the country that strengthened my faith two years ago. During worship last night, God placed the thought in my heart to ask Rene. I was uncertain but then a missionary was speaking and mentioned her favorite memory ever was watching the girl she sponsors get baptized in the river. That was a confirmation for me. So when we got to the hostel, I pulled Rene aside and asked her. Before I knew it, God was working and creating a plan for me. The entire team attended, and it meant the world to me. These people are amazing and loving and beautiful children of Christ. When Lucas and Rene were speaking while holding me in the water, I started to shake and tear up. I had so much shame and worthlessness held up deep inside. As I was being submerged, I felt all those feelings wash away from me. I rose smiling and full of love. I have been smiling all day long and feel like I want to sing from a mountain top. I thank God for this opportunity and the people I am surrounded by. Thank you also to everyone at home who is taking the time to read this. This day is one of the most important in my life and I am overjoyed to share the story.

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Friday morning on the river

After six days of work and travel, we finally have a day for rest and exploration and enjoy a boat trip to a small family owned cacao farm and lunch on an island in the middle of the Arajuno River.

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