Just last month, God gave me the opportunity to go on my first missions trip. On Sunday, April 12th, 2017, our team of 12 people left Houston, TX for Ecuador. Although we spent only five full days there, it seemed like a month because of all the new and amazing things we experienced. I’m sure my team and I can agree that five days was too short. 😉
God taught me so many things while I was there, and I can’t wait to share them with you (posts to come…). First, I’d like to introduce you to my Ecuador Scrapbook, and share with you this beautiful country filled with amazing people that now has a special place in my heart.
We stayed in a place called The Meeting Place. It was founded by Tom and Joan Beak, a couple saved by Jesus in their sixties. After spending some time in Togo, Africa, as missionaries, the Beaks moved to Ecuador where they felt God calling them to build The Meeting Place and begin a ministry known as the International Ministry Of Jesus (IMOJ).The Meeting Place is used for local church retreats, as well as housing for short term/long term missionaries. Sadly, both Tom and Joan Beak have now passed away.
Eduardo and his wife Marie Edith are currently living and running The Meeting Place. Each of them, and the others who served us while we stayed there, were such a blessing. God’s presence is definitely felt in that place.
On Monday we visited some families that Eduardo has developed relationships with. Most of the families do not have much, but they still greeted us with huge smiles.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we hosted a soccer camp for some kids.
Each day the kids learned a Bible story and were given a memory verse. Most of the children who attended the camp are regular attendees of AWANA, a bible program run by IMOJ. Our goal was to have fun with the kids and show them the love of Jesus through our love for them.
On the last day of camp we gave each child a Jesus block. The blocks have the name of Jesus on the front and the steps to salvation on the back. These blocks were graciously provided by Sports Quest, a soccer organization in Houston, TX. (Thank you!!)
On Friday we visited one of the families that we had met on Monday. Carlos is blind and has two adult siblings who are blind, deaf and mute. When we came to visit him and his family on Monday, one of the first things he said to us was that he was filled with joy. He also explained that he was thankful for his blindness, because God has used it to work in his life.
That day we helped by shaving vines, which will be dried and used to make baskets. Carlos and others who have disabilities can then sell these baskets to earn money. While we shaved vines Carlos played the piano for us!
Later we drove our awesome bus (which only got stuck in the mud once and broke down once during the whole five days) into Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
In Quito, we visited a large church, a museum located right on the ecuador, a market, and a mall. It was extremely interesting to experience a new culture. (For instance, guinea-pig-on-a-stick is an expensive food item.)
After an amazing day, our team headed to the airport to fly back to Houston. And I left a little piece of my heart in Ecuador.
I hope this “scrapbook” helped you to get a feel for my Ecuador experience. As a I mentioned at the beginning, I will be posting more on what I learned there in the future (it would never all fit into one post!). You will be able to find all of those posts under the Ecuador category, which you can find on the sidebar of my blog. 🙂 Thanks for reading!