Monday afternoon at Antioquia

Getting ready for some hard work.


Our boss for afternoon work parties, the legendary Louis…


Hard at work in the Ecuadorian sun…

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Monday, our first day at Antioquia

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Monday student thoughts

Abby Fribush:

Hey everyone! Today the team and I had our first full day in Misahualli, and it was clear that nerves were getting to most of the group; the newcomers were coming in with no experience while the “veterans” were coming in with certain expectations, so anxiety was flooding our hostel during breakfast.

At around 7:45 in the morning, we load up into our bus and ride up Antioquia, the school we will be at for the next few days. Stepping onto the campus was truly a surreal moment—as someone who has been to Ecuador two years in a row prior to this trip, looking at the school’s advancements over the past year was an incredible feeling.

After a few minutes of preparation and orientation, we split into our groups and headed towards our classrooms. As I was walking towards the classroom, I hear my name in the distance. I see none other than the amazing Gustavo, a kid I met last year that I keep in contact with through WhatsApp. He ran towards me and gave me a huge hug, completely reinstating my confidence and excitement for the week.

Just as Gustavo heads back into the classroom, I hear a myriad of high-pitched voices shouting my name. “Abby!” comes from the entire sixth grade classroom as they run out of their classroom to greet me. This moment, this one moment, was worth the whole trip.

Throughout the rest of the day, my teammates and I connected with kids in our respective classes. I was assigned to the fifth-grade class and reconnected with one of the girls I met the first year, Keyra, and my child that I sponsor, Fabian.

It is always surprising how much these kids have an effect over me. Although most do not live in the luxury, they are still such beautiful lights with full hearts, and I am honored and privileged to know them.

Thank you all for reading and keeping updated with our blogs. I speak on behalf of the whole team when I say that we are having a wonderful experience and appreciate all your support!

Brittany Grigorian:

Hey! Today was our first day working and teaching at the school, and it was such a fulfilling experience to be able to interact and have fun with the kids. I have been working with the 4th grade students who aren’t completely fluent in English yet, so it was cool to communicate with them in Spanish and English. I think it’s so amazing that all these kids are so accepting of mission teams like us even though we are not there for a long time. They love on everyone! I can’t wait to see the connections that I have made with the students a few days from now! Another part of today I really enjoyed was construction because I really loved to see and hear everyone encouraging each other and working hard. I was wheelbarrowing rocks and cement, and it was very satisfying to see the progress we made throughout the work session. Lastly, I LOVED worship. There’s something about being outside all in a circle that makes it seem so natural, raw, and even more beautiful than normal. I love looking around the circle while I’m playing the guitar and seeing everyone so deeply invested in worshipping in their own way. That’s it from me! Can’t wait for you guys to hear more fun stories from this week! Adios!

Emory Malone:

Hey y’all! Today was our first day working with the kids at the school in Misahualli and it was awesome! Something that stuck out to me involved one of the kids I was paired with to teach. He’s a sweet little 4th grade boy named Andre, and he was assigned to read a book about the aquarium. After we finished reading, he had extra time and began doodling. He drew the sweetest picture of all the sea creatures he read about. He also wrote down all their names in English, which he’s really good at by the way :). I asked him what some of them were called in Spanish and he got really excited to get a chance to teach me. He wrote out all the Spanish names and let me take the sheet home so I could learn them. I can’t wait to teach Andre more this week and for him to teach me!

Another thing that has been a big part of this week so far, for me, is worship. I’ve been leading worship with Hayley and Brittany and we’ve had a blast. Planning out songs, practicing, and actually carrying out an incredible night of worship is so rewarding. Knowing that I am a part of something crucial to our experience in Misahualli is so uplifting and it keeps me motivated! I’m so pumped to share more stories and pictures with y’all! Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and support ❤

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunday thoughts from our students…

Kellen Fain:

Today was a slower day. Being our travel day, we were on the road from 9 to about 6:45. While on the road in the middle of nowhere, you are left to a lot of time and nothing to do. With this time, I began to observe. I spent time really taking in the mountains and the way rivers had paved a way through the rock to form deep and crazy canyons. Now as a high school boy, thinking is rare so when it happens it probably means something. These mountains allowed me to realize the crazy power of God. But in this thought, I then looked to the true power of God shown through his son. To defeat sin by sending a man into the world so he would be a servant to people and show what love is meant to be. I am blown away by this and I can’t even comprehend this love. As I near the end of my thinking, I ask myself so what do I do. What do I do to show my thanks for the actions God has taken to save me? The answer is to love God and to love my neighbor, but I so often get caught up and those two simple commands end up getting lost in my life. If I do anything this week, I want to be able to place those to things in the front of my mind, so I never lose sight of my purpose in this life.

PS Mom I am alive and well.

Charlotte Williams:

Hey everyone! Ecuador has been so good to us so far! Tomorrow we are headed to the school to teach 4th and 5th graders about math and science! We have some fun games and activities planned such as; edible compost and playing games because who doesn’t love that.  I am very excited because the kid I sponsor, Fabian, is in 5th grade now and I will be able to spend time with him and help him with his English. I am ready for the rest of the week and ask for your prayers & support. We love you parents 😉😉 love, char ❤

Abbie Holcombe:

It is so great to be back in Ecuador; it honestly feels like a dream. Today we drove through winding mountain roads on our trek from Quito to the jungle village of Misahualli. After a stop for lunch, a trip across the gorge in a zipline and multiple bathroom breaks we made it to the hostel in Misahualli and were welcomed with a delicious dinner. We wrapped up the night with worship and shared about our experiences and what the Lord has already been teaching us on this trip.

This group has been incredible when it comes to discerning God’s voice. We think He has been telling us to lean into Him and His presence with an open mind and heart. We know that God is able to do exceedingly more than we could ever ask or imagine. With that mindset, we are so excited to begin teaching the fourth and fifth graders of JKC tomorrow!

Thank you everyone for showing your support for us by reading this blog and keeping us in our prayers! We love y’all and cannot wait to share more about our week here in the jungle!

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Day 2: Quito to Misahualli

After a full day at Dunamis, we had a long relaxing bus ride from Quito to Misahualli.  After a stop in in Banos for traditional Ecuadorian lunch it was on to the cable car ride and a quick stop at the Saint House before arriving for dinner in our home for the next five days in Misahualli.  10 hours of travel to go less than 150 miles.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Thoughts from two students

Avery Symons:

Wow, amazing, hard work, and beautiful are just a few of the words I could use to describe this trip and it has only been 24 hours. Coming in to this trip I was super excited and had a ton of expectations, but once we landed, I dropped my expectations and prayed to God asking him to lead me through this trip and provide opportunities to show his love. The amazing thing is I have already seen my prayer being answered. Today I mixed, poured, and transported cement which was not an easy task. Mixing and pouring were not hard but as soon as the cement was in the wheelbarrow it was all downhill…literally. We had to wheel it down a very steep hill. At first, I thought I had the hang of it but the more I did it the wheelbarrow got harder to move. Before lunch I was almost down the hill and I spilled more than half of the cement, which is bad once but no I did it twice. I felt so bad, but everyone was like it’s fine your all good. But I had already decided that I was done. I did not trust myself at all wheeling it down for the rest of the morning, but after lunch we got different wheel barrows that were a lot easier to move. Then I decided I was going to try again. I told myself Avery you can do this, so I said a quick prayer asking for strength. After that I did not spill another wheelbarrow again. Why am a sharing this well to be honest I have no idea because it is a very embarrassing story, but what I did realize and what I think God was trying to teach me was that this week is not going to be perfect like I thought it would. I’m probably not going to do everything right, but today God showed me that when I lean on him things go much better.

Deanna Mathis:

Hi all! Yes, all is well. No, none of us have accidentally drank the water yet. Nothing too exciting happened last night when we got in, so I’ll skip to this morning. We traveled through Quito to get to Dunamis after breakfast and got right to work digging holes, carrying rocks, mixing cement, and (the most difficult task of all) holding polls in place. We worked, ate lunch, and then worked even more until the sun started setting. Dunamis just continues to grow and coming from a 3rd year Ecuador kid it has changed A LOT. We were gathered in the living room of a building that was just bones the first year I came, and now people can live here. It’s been a really tiring day and the elevation is wearing us all down I’m sure but after hearing the missionaries’ testimonies tonight, I’ve realized this is the best kind of exhausted. I’m so excited for more tiring days like this. I’m so proud of my team after today and cannot wait to spend the next week with them!!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 1: Working @ Dunamis

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 1 Updates

Greetings from Quito, Ecuador.  We haven’t had Internet access since arriving.  Our trip down on Friday went smoothly and we had a successful day working at Dunamis on the outskirts of Quito today.  Pictures and posts from two students coming soon!

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

And we’re off!

Ecuador departure

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet the 2019 Ecuador Team!

Good Afternoon!

We are heading to Ecuador in 2 DAYS! We are so excited and expectant of the amazing things God is going to do in the hearts of 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:

Abbie Holcombe / Brock Donnelly / Hayley Newton / Abby Fribush / Kellen Fain

Grayson Justiss / Brittany Grigorian / Erin Grissom / Doug Hale / Olivia Holcombe

Andy Garcia / Avery Symons / Deanna Mathis / Bri Macfadyen / Brooklyn Clayton

Emily Bonfanti / Emory Malone / Nancy Malone / Haven Donnelly / Mike Dilworth

Lucas Pruett  / Rene Watson / Charlotte Williams / Stephanie Newton

This is our team! We have been training together monthly and bonding together through meals and fundraising since last January. It is finally time to get on the plane and we could not be more pumped! Thank you for all you have done in supporting us through your prayers, donations, and encouraging words to this point. We would love to ask a few more things of you all:

  1. Please pray for each of our team members by name. 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 Christ call to “Go” and make disciples (Matthew 28:19).
  2. 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 for us in their eyes and that God would continually open doors for us to share his love and encourage our neighbors.
  3. The last thing we ask is that you would check in often throughout the next days. We will update our blog (and AMS Instagram page) daily and we want you to be a part of this adventure with us!

Until next time!

Lucas Pruett (Director of Student Ministry, AM)

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.