Today started with breakfast at 7am in the hostel (los Olivios) which was a delicious egg/potato/ham dish served with fresh juice and fresh rolls. We did team devotions and then loaded up the trucks to head up to Lote Tres for church. Those of us on the team were amazed as we climbed the mountain at the changes over the past 4 years. There are so many new greenhouses that have been constructed that are used in growing of roses. Our biggest surprise was seeing rose growing houses right in Lote Tres! These can be another source of income for these people, however later in the day we learned that the country of Ecuador will no longer sell roses to Russia which makes up almost 25% of their exports. Please pray that the people up the mountain who have invested a lot of money into these rose houses will find a way to sell roses when they are ready and will not lose the money they have invested in the materials to build.
The church service was great, and included a lot of singing by the people of Lote Tres, special singing performances by the women of the church and by the Sunday School children, a sermon given by Pastor Brian, testimonies given by Sarah Vance and Andrew Hampton, more singing by the people of Lote Tres, a LOT of announcements, a welcoming of the new director of the milk cooperative and more. That sounds like a lot… right??? It was. Church lasted 3 hours this morning! No one back in the US should ever complain when the service gets “long.”
After church, and before lunch we took photos of each family in the church so we can create a sort of photo directory of the church members for the church to have. We will print these photos during the week in Cayambe and return the album next Sunday. The people were very excited to have their family photos taken by us.
We were served a lunch that consisted of boiled potatoes, boiled havas (very large beans), a slice of queso fresco and a thin slice of well seasoned beef. When we finished lunch we spent some time making connections with the people of Lote Tres. Some by playing soccer, some through visiting, and one team member made great connections through knitting. We arrived back to Cayambe a bit earlier today and many on the team who are still suffering from lack of sleep took naps and others explored los Olivios which has giant swings, and a zoo of sorts as well as lots of space for playing games and just visiting.
After a dinner of seasoned potatoes, rice, veggies, chicken and a delicious passionfruit dessert we met as a team to talk about our first impressions of the day as well as plan the rest of our week.
Below are some first impressions as shared by team members:
They are like us, they truly are our brothers and sisters- Jo Heuschele
There are so many universal things- kids are still kids (even the kid who picked his nose in front of church while the kids sang a song for us), sports connect everyone, smiles and laughter are the same in every language- Neil and Sarah Vance
There were kids who saw we had a soccer ball in church, and could not even wait until the service was over to ask if we would play football with them. They were super excited to play. – Micah Majerus
The plants are the same- just a little bit bigger… ok a lot bigger- Jo Heuschele
This was both a surface and deep cultural eye opening experience. – Camilla Johnson
We all shared a relaxing evening preparing for tomorrow’s activities and practicing the puppet show for the VBS program tomorrow afternoon.