Day 9

This morning started as usual with breakfast at 7am. Breakfast was a bit different…. We had ham and cheese sandwiches. After devotions we loaded up and headed to Lote Tres.

Our morning was fairly quiet as the “minga” (kind of like a barn raising – all community members come together to help on one project) was completed yesterday. I’m sure many of the community members needed to do work on their own farms and did not come to church today. There were a lot of kids that showed up and team members were able to just play and connect with them now that the roof on the milk house was completed.
There was one older man named Esteban who asked Mark to teach him English. Our translater worked with a group teaching English words and they all had a great time together! We were able to bring out some games like Jenga and Connect 4 and have time to play together.

Because “flexible” is one of the main things a missions team needs to be…. We flexed again today. The bulk tank was supposed to be empty of milk this morning so our agricultural team (Mark, Jim and Jo) could check it and do a refresher course on cleaning…. But it was not emptied! The team did their refresher on the tank used for cheese making instead and is hoping the tank is empty tomorrow morning so they can at least look at it before church. The same team was told that there were 4 different farms scheduled for them to visit and see current practices and be able to offer advice to these farmers. However the man who organized these got held up at home and we couldnt go.

One farm was within walking distance of the church so a large portion of the team rode in the one truck to get their or walked. They talked at great lengths about types of foraging that is best for cattle and how to use what is available to the farmers. It was so nice to see another part of Lote Tres and to see the beauty of the area.

We all headed back and Sue was met with a wonderful surprise. The man driving the truck turned around, looked at her and asked if her name was Susana. When she said yes he said that he remembered her visiting the school when he was only 9 years old and she had a cast on her foot. That was in 2008! She had such an impact on her 14 years ago that he still remembered her today.

We all got back to church and were served a soup with quinoa and lamb (that they butchered yesterday while we were working). After lunch the team finished preparing for the community outreach event that took place at 3. While most prepared for the event our Ag team talked about the importance of cleanliness in the milk house and had a group of Ecuadorian people who are members of the cooperative clean the milk house as well as the outside of the tank.

Our youth held an event for the youth of Lote Tres and had 7 kids show up. They built a fire from eucalyptus that was picked up on the side of the road this morning and yauvht the youth all about roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. This ended up turning into an event that all who were at the church participated in. The youth got s’mores and the kids and adults ate roasted marshmallows after the youth headed I side to do some fun games and activities.

At 3 the community outreach event started and we had 42 adults attend to watch an episode from The Chosen in Spanish. There were many children there as well, but many left to either play or go home. After the outreach event we were able to give away gifts to each person in attendance and then quickly go through the line to get a piece or two of their fried bread. It was still warm and yummy.

We headed back to the hostel and had some time to work on packing. After dinner we had another devotion as we will not have time tomorrow morning because we have to all get covid tests done before we go to Lote Tres for church. We also practiced our music for the church service in the morning.
Many people continued to pack, the teens headed upstairs to watch one of the Spanish Bible stories we had brought to use for VBS and several team members snuck into the kitchen with several Merge staff members to teach them how to make rice krispie bars (they ate them from the men’s event and wanted to learn how to make them again for themselves).

Team members tried to get in bed early as tomorrow will be almost a 24 hour day, but that didn’t work for all.