***I had wanted to post each day while we were in Ecuador. We did not have WIFI for the first three days and then my blog would not allow me to post. Everything was in Spanish and I did not have the time to fix it. So here are my daily blog posts for the time we were in Ecuador.***
|midnight in Ecuador|
We arrived safely in Ecuador around 9:30 Monday night. Went through customs without a problem. The amount of people waiting in the airport was unbleivable. Trying to get through the crowd without losing each other was crazy. Mark & Brittany greeted us once we got past customs and helped us get through the large crowd. Once we got outside we had little children coming up and asking us to buy packs of gum. It was overwhelming.
We finally all got loaded into the buses and took off. And I mean we took off. I thought I had a fear of flying now my fear of riding in a bus in Ecuador trumps that.
We made a brief stop at the main hotel and then made our way to our hotel. Micahel & I were asked to chaperon the college kids. So we were about 6 blocks from the main hotel for our team.
Our hotel room is clean but we had no hot water the first two nights. I think I got about 3 hours sleep but was up and ready to go for our first full day of VBS.
Our VBS program is based on the Wordless Book.
Our first location was at a small church that has been in Ecuador for 30 years. When we arrived the kids we already there. They actaully started the VBS on Monday and had 60 kids. Today we had 130 kids!
The hardest part for us was the language barrier. We had a few interpreters. Very few! But we some how managed to get the job done. For game time we used beach balls. The kids loved the balls, so much that they about took me down trying to get them off me.
There are dogs everywhere. On the street, sidewalks,and rooftops. We joke that it was PET VBS week in Ecuador.
Driving to our second location was frightening. We were in the Word of Life bus on a road not big enough for it! Each bend I said a prayer! I honestly don’t know how we got up and down that hill.
The location was very poor. I have never seen anything like this. The homes were not homes. Everything looks like it was never finished. When we arrived the children were already sitting there ready to go. We set up our puppets and music and away we went. We had 45 kids and they were only expecting 5. We had a blast with this group.
After a very much needed nights sleep we were ready for day two. We had even more kids today. The language barrier has been really hard for us during our morning session. At one point we had 40 without an interpreter during game time.
The kids love to play. And kept asking for a ball. They loved the beach balls from the first day.
After lunch we traveled back down that mountian. I have to say that this is my favorite group. The kids are so excited for us to come. There are two little girls that are so full of energy. Michael recorded them and they got all embarassed when they saw themselves. They will keep repeating over and over in Spanish what they want to ask me until I some how figure it out.
It has been two very long days. We are having a blast and are so grateful to be able to come to Ecuador. Thank you for your prayers. The hardes part for us right now is not being able to comminucate. I have not been able to blog since their internet has been out for three days. With no internet means no phone calls. We have not spoken to the kids since Monday around 3pm. That has been hard. We hope to be able to connect somehow tomorrow.
We got internet! We finally got to call home today. We touched base with the kids for about 2 minutes this morning then after lunch the main phone came back. It was a much needed call home to the kids. This has been the longest we have gone with out contact with them. They are having so much fun and put my mind to ease.
Our morning VBS was busy again. The kids love the prizes and somehow I got elected along with Michelle to hand them out. That means we get attacked by 100 + kids each time. To get a little ball brings such joy to them.
After our afternoon session we went to the orphange. We got to spend an hour with the kids and tour the place. We delivered a ton of clothing for them. There are about 25 kids there and they had one staff member on duty til 7 am the next morning!
Today was a long day. We had another large crowd in the morning. There was a little girl, Emily, that loved to sing Dios Es Tan Grande. She would walk up to Michael and want to sing it with him.
We finally figure out how to hand out prizes and ballons without gettting attacked. We handed them out through the windows of the smaller rooms. It only took 4 days for us to get smart on that one.
This was our last day at the afternoon group. We enjoyed this group so much. The kids really have nothing and they were so grateful for the little things we handed out. Today we were able to send each child home with a bag of clothes. It was very moving.
It is so hard to describe the area. It was just so poor and run down. Houses were half built and they were living in them with no windows. Roofs flapping in the wind and toilets out back.
There were two little girls there that won my heart. Gensis & Priscilla. They had so much engery and could not wait to play the games.
This week has been so much fun. There is nothing that I did not enjoy doing. The Word of Life group has been wonderful. Opening up their home and serving us all week. We came here to serve them. They have fed us all week and allowed us to hang out at their home . They are true examples of servants for the Lord.
We only got to spend a few hours each day with these kids but it is something I will never forget.
Today was our last day of VBS. We only had our morning location. Today they invited the parents to attend the closing program. We have been so blesed by the children in Ecuador. Their little hearts are full of love and are so grateful for the smallest things you give them. Michael and I got attached to a little girl named Emily. Her laugh was the cutest thing and would bring smiles to our faces. We did tape her singing on video one day and you can view it at qik.com/michreyn
The kids wrote us thank you notes, which was a sweet surprise to our group.
After many photos and sad goodbyes we headed back to Word of Life for lunch and back to the hotel to change.
We then got a chance to go to the Equator and do some shopping. We also got to do some street ministry. Michael started us off with a song in Spanish and then we had our puppet team do a skit. Pastor Ken gave a short message and then we had several people that wanted to speak with us about the gospel. It was a cool experience to see our team sharing the gospel.
Today we attended a local church and then had lunch back at Word of Life. After lunch we went up to the camp that the missionaries are going to be purchasing. It was a wild ride of the hills of Ecuador. Once there we got to go on a hike that was a lot of fun. We took off on this hike not realizing what we were getting ourselfs into, but it was fun. After the hike we spent some time in prayer over the camp.
After the ride back down we went back to have dinner at Word of Life. We had a great time in fellowship with the Word of Life students this week. In Ecuador there are two soccer teams – Liga & Barcellona. Half the boys are split on who they cheer for and we had a lot of fun cheering along with them.
Today was our last day. We started with a tour into Quito and a visit to their White House to see the President and changing of the guards. We also got to tour a church. After lunch we headed into town to a Flea Market to do some shopping.
Then it was off to the hotel to pack up and shower. We headed back to Word of Life for our last dinner and share time.
Daniel and Ana our true examples of missionaries. They pour their lives into the people of Ecuador. We got to hear what each team member repsonsiblity is at Word of Life. We had to leave our mark on Ecuador by passing out Terrible Towels.
Afer a tearful goodbye we boarded our bus to the airport.
Is it Tuesday?? It feels like we have been traveling for two days. We are sitting in Altanta airport. Michael slept some on the plane and I got maybe 30 minutes in. After a crazy time going throught security and customs and then checking in our bags again, I headed for a much needed Starbucks. It was been a week since I had coffee.
We are looking forward to seeing the kids in a few hours. This week has been amazing. The days were long, but each day we looked forward to doing it again. So much is going through my mind right now and I just can’t seem to get it all down. So I plan to blog over the next few weeks on several other items of the trip.
We are so grateful to go to Ecuador. This has been a life changing trip. Thank you for all your prayers