3/4 Day 8 – Connections

Presentation to the team by the school children

Cynthia and her son

Working on the test plot with new vegetables

Cynthia's son took a liking to Lanny

Preparing the movie screen

Lanny giving his talk on vegetable production

The women were comfortable enough to braid Melissa and Nikki's hair

One of our favorite little boys - Orley

Nielee (from a previous day's photos)

Beautiful braids done by the Ecuadorian women...

Hand-stitching by Krista!

Juan Ramone and Lanny working with the vegetables
This morning’s devotion after breakfast was on Philippians 4:1-7. Rejoice! Don’t be anxious, but pray! Sarah S. brought up a good point. God created our brain with the same part of our brain responsible for anxiety and thankfulness. You can’t do both at the same time! God is so good to create us in this way!
We climbed onto the bus about 8, and headed for the mountain. We dropped off a small team at the school to teach the boy’s and girl’s puberty lessons. Krista and Melissa lead the girl’s discussion and Jim and Pastor Todd lead the boy’s discussion. We had Daniela and Erik along for interpreters. Angie came along for technical support…
The boys 8-10 and the girls 8-10 gathered in separate rooms, and we started each of our presentations with a game where we threw a ball to each child in turn and they each said something that was unique and special about them, or something they liked. It was a great way to start the lesson with a message regarding the body that God created and how special it is. Both teams did a great job and the teachers were thankful for the message.
After we were done teaching the classes, we brought our supplies out to Mandy’s truck that she drove, and saw the bus pulling in with the rest of our team. The whole team had been invited for a special presentation of gifts by the school children. We were so moved to know that each grade had spent time and effort to create a gift for each of us on the team. The oldest grade (7th) presented theirs first, followed by 6th grade, 5th, and so forth. So much work and love went into those gifts, and we were overwhelmed by God’s love through these children. It was sad to leave them, knowing we may not see them again on this trip.
Most of us went back on the bus to the church, except for Sue and Sarah S. who stayed at the school to work with the teachers on fractions and math.
When we returned to the church, we fell into conversation with the people that were there and were watching them plant a few new vegetables into a test plot behind the church. A few women were sitting off to one side, and one brought out her sewing (Maria Lucia – Krista’s prayer partner from two years ago). She was showing us her pattern and her running stitch, and after awhile, she invited Krista to try her hand at the sewing. After lunch, we worked on the movie screen, and getting it hung up on wire stretched over the church stage. We tested the projector, and are getting excited to be able to share a movie and treats with this community. When Verhilio arrived, him and two others joined Angie for a discussion on the felt boards, felt pieces, and teacher guide for teaching the Bible stories. It was such a joy to talk about the work with the children at our church, and spread it to these church members who are excited about providing this to their church children!
During the Sunday School discussion, Lanny was having conversations with the Lote Tres team about growing the new vegetables, and how to help them to grow best. After the Sunday School discussion, we joined the large group on the church patio to have a Q & A session. This was something that has not been done before, but people on both sides were excited about the prospect of asking the other about life in their country and their culture. The conversations covered topics such as church history, church roles and function, marriage, weddings, etc., and was eye-opening on both sides.
We left Lote Tres about 5pm, and treated ourselves to ice cream (yes…again!) on the way back to the pastor’s house. We didn’t eat supper until about 7:30, but everyone was still full from ice cream earlier. After supper, we had a special treat – passionfruit cake, bought by Lanny at the ice cream shop. It was delicious!
We had a team meeting in the living room, reviewing the events of the day, planning for tomorrow.
Good night!
Praise Reports:
We had enough supplies for all the boys, even though there were more than originally told to us. We had to borrow some of the girls bags for the supplies, but esta bien (it’s good)!
The technology worked in both classrooms, and helped to enhance the message by the teams.
Pastor Todd, Sue and Helen were all feeling better this morning and were able to participate in today’s activities!
Prayer Requests:
Pray for the community movie event, that it would be fruitful and create connections to the church of Lote Tres.
Pray for continued recovery for those that were ill, and continued health for the remainder of our time here.
Pray for Sunday School teachers that are committed and willing to share the love of Jesus through Bible stories. At this time, the church of Lote Tres only has a few that are willing to help.
Team Member Impressions:
School children coming up to us and hugging us is such a great feeling!
Seeing others from God’s eyes, loving them and feeling for them how God would.
The openness with the team and the people of Lote Tres has been great! There is a whole new level of relationship we have reached with these people. New people that haven’t talked before are now talking to us. We are having such a joyful greeting everytime we arrive at the church.
The Q&A discussion was really significant, it probably wouldn’t have happened two years ago.
Pastor Jose’s sermon spoke so much to us, about being tired, and to continue to be a light to others. It isn’t just at Lote Tres that we can have an impact, but at home, too. The music at the service, playing the English song in Spanish, you could just feel his joy when he was preaching the sermon.
Young boy at the puberty lesson telling about something unique about himself said he liked to pray.
One thing a little girl learned was that God made her special. To have those kids express that was a reminder that God’s word goes out and does a job that we can’t do, using us as a willing mouthpiece or willing heart. So neat to see the responses from these children.
When you think about the pastor being persecuted not that long ago, and now there is openness in the school, and how far they have come. Talking about religion in school is not allowed in US. A lot of people in the church working have been from the milk association, and not the church. It is so special to reach out to the milk association. There must be strength and influence of the church to have the milk association help. We think they just showed up, without being asked. There has been a lot of younger people doing this work.
On Wednesday night, a little lady came running down to say good bye to us, “we have to hug you”.
Jim tried to help the woman with a cane while she was carrying heavy loads, but she would just keep going.
Kid argued with Sue when she tried to help scoop the sand. He wouldn’t let her.
On the bus, giving a ride to Jose, he was sharing that he works as a security guard at the rose house. It is a big season for theft at the rose house, as much as $18,000. There have even been threats to his life, and security guards killed with the thefts. He is still coming to church to work in addition to all his shifts. Still communicates with Justin. We prayed over him on the ride to Cangahua for his safety. Edison even stopped the bus while we were praying.
Each team has been unique. Each person is on this team for a reason, adding more dimensions to ministry. It does make it hard for MERGE to deal with, but they have been very accommodating. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to be successful.
You become friends, even though you can’t talk about a lot of stuff. Danielle was really great at gathering in with the people of Lote Tres when the rest of us may be more comfortable in our own group.
Big effort to speak in Spanish, even though they are more fluent in Quichua, but they wanted to share these things with us, and they were really focusing on making sure we were able to understand them.

Krista not only got to meet her previous prayer partner’s husband and children, but her father. Now she has a new prayer partner, and knows her husband and children from being with them all week. It is going to be a family affair as well – Krista praying for her, Mark praying for her husband, the family praying for the family.

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