Our entire team made it up the mountain again today! Several didn’t feel great but didn’t want to miss another day of time with our family in Lote Tres. We all jumped right into work on various projects including danding tables, helping in the kitchen, cleaning the sanctuary and other small tasks. There were lots of hands to help today because it was Saturday and people who work were off of work and all of the children were around.
Sanding tables was quite the task with many, many children who ALL wanted to help. It took some coordination to get them to listen to directions about how to do the sanding. They listened well, and all went to work… The tables were sanded in no time flat! They were moved to a room where some adults could work on finishing with a colored varnish. This needed to be done to keep the ninos out of the way. It took a lot of very careful instruction as they have never used a product like this before. They turned out great a d all of the adults involved seemed to have fun learning a new skill.
A bunch of our team worked an getting the sanctuary ready for our community outreach event this afternoon by sweeping, arranging chairs and covering windows to make it dark. After things were done it was a good chance to relax and visit with our friends. The boys played soccer with the kids and even had to retrieve the soccer ball from a water holding pond with a bucket and rope. Several team members received new hair styles from some of the girls. Sue was able to visit with several of her long time friends and we all enjoyed some time in the Ecuadorian sun.
After lunch the adults on the team prepared for our community outreach event and the youth held a special event for just youth. They had a time of asking each other questions, had a short devotion led by Camilla on how no one is perfect, and made Jiffy Pop as a treat.  After the youth event finished we held the community outreach event. We showed an episode from The Chosen and the people of the church were supposed to invite their friends and other community members to attend. I think they all forgot to invite others as the people who came to watch the movie were all the same people who are in church on Sunday morning. It was OK and we all had a good time. The people enjoyed the door prizes we gave out almost as much as they did the movie.
As the movie finished a man from the church asked Mark K and any others who swished to join in if they wanted to come see his rose houses. We only had about 40 minutes before our trucks came to bring us back down the mountain but this man promised that he would drive people in his trunk and have them all back by 5. A handful of our team was able to pile into the back of his truck and go on a brief tour of the rose houses. They reported back that hey were beautiful and almkst all returned with an arm full of roses. Unfortunately we can not bring these roses back to the US as they have not been inspected yet. We decided to give them to the lovely ladies who have made us dinner each night this week. The trip to the rose house turned out to be quite an adventure for one member of the team who needed to find a bathroom in a rather quick manner. It’s quite a funny story… But I’m not at liberty to share the details here. The entire team got quite a laugh out of it and the team member is even able to laugh about it after the fact. It did result in the throwing away of one pair of pants and underware upon the return to the hotel however.
We stopped for ice cream on the way home – as we have every night, and we’re back to the hotel just in time for dinner. Juanca joined us for dinner again as the team he was supposed to meet at the airport tonight had their flight cancelled too. They are from Chicago and are stranded in Charlotte. They will arrive on Monday which means that Juanca will be able to join our team tomorrow. After dinner we had a time of debriefing led by Esther. Lots of good things were shared and some tears were shed. We played a rousing game of a Fruit Basket Upset (if you’ve been on a trip to Ecuador with Jim you’ve played it!) and then all headed to our rooms to pack. We have to have everything packed and ready to go tomorrow before we leave for church because the hotel check out time is noon and we will not be back by noon. They are allowing us to keep our luggage at the hotel and we can change before we have to go to the airport. It has been a very long day for all of us and most of us headed to bed quite late tomorrow…. Which may not be the best as this is the last night we sleep in beds before we get home Monday afternoon (our flight home is the red eye on Sunday night/Monday morning).
Please be in prayer for us tomorrow as it is our last day on the mountain and we must say goodbye to our family once more.