3/5 Day 9 – Day at the Movies

Puzzlers up early to work on the puzzle

The Ecuadorian women were teaching us to knit!

Making cheese with Vehilio and Juan Ramone

Little children making hand tracings and signing their name in Angie's book

Bringing the benches back up to the church

Making popcorn....lots of popcorn! (Canguil in Espanol)

Enjoying the popcorn
Full house for the showing of War Room

Jim made a friend!

All the children that captured our hearts...


Today we were able to sleep in an extra hour! The puzzle that was started last night, was still on the table, and the puzzle team started working on it before breakfast. They were relegated to the puzzle section of the table for breakfast.

After breakfast, we had a devotion by Danielle. Though the devotion was only two verses, it was packed with lots of strength – Phil 4:7-8. We discussed how, if we fill up our minds with things that are right, noble, pure, excellent and praiseworthy, there would be no room in our brains for the enemy to take a foothold with anxiety, sin or unkind thoughts. Being intentional about focusing on the good things in life will help us to guard our heart and mind.
After the devotional, we climbed on the bus and headed for the mountain for the second to the last time. As soon as we arrived and said our greetings, we set up for the cheese-making and Sunday School training. The rest of the team helped to put the benches back in the church and clean them for the movie in the afternoon.
Towards the end of the Sunday School presentation, the Ecuadorian ladies sat down with the ladies of our team to teach them how to knit. Some were faster learners than others, and some had their stitches pulled out when they made a mistake. What a feeling of joy in that room! They were such good teachers, and we learned so much from them, not  only about knitting, but also about life as a woman in Ecuador.
Once lunch was ready, we had to put our knitting away. The lunch was a delicious combination of chicken, sausage, rice, vegetables and potatoes. They also served us pineapple juice. We have really enjoyed the food made by the Lote Tres women and have told them so on many different occasions. We have been fed so well this trip!
After lunch, we had to hurry to clean  up, in order to set up for the movie, pop popcorn and pour small glasses of soda. Everyone ate the popcorn and pop on the church patio, since we didn’t want to get the new cement floor in the church dirty! Some children threw their pop or popcorn away, and said they didn’t get any! We knew better!
The projector hooked up with the laptop just great, and the audio worked perfectly! The movie started a little after 3, and the people that came really seemed to enjoy it. We showed the movie War Room in Spanish with English subtitles. About halfway through the movie, we started to become concerned about the battery life on the laptop. It did end up showing us a 10% battery warning about ¾ of the way through the film, and we were ready to switch out the extension cord for a surge protector, After a minute getting it back to Spanish audio and the right scene, we were back up and running!
We had laid out the prizes on a table in the back of the church to give out. We drew names from the names collected at the door, and handed out lots of prizes – leftover compasses, calendars, hats, and bags for women. Every child 2-12 got a pen, and every adult received a prize. We said our good-byes, and headed for the bus, since it was already 5:45 and getting dark, and it wasn’t very safe to travel down the mountain in the dark.
We arrived back in Cayambe and some of the group were dropped off at Pastor Jose’s home about 6:45pm, and they prepared supper. The rest took one final field trip to the grocery store for regional treats that we can only find in Ecuador, like lime Doritos, passion fruit lollipops, and manzanilla tea, among other things.
We ate supper and the “puzzlers” continued their puzzle, once we were done. We had homemade guacamole one last time, with the lime Doritos we bought at the store.
Closing debrief with MERGE was our evening team meeting, after the dishes were done. Mandy talked about MERGE and our continued partnership, similarities and differences between cultures, frustrations.
What did we see, hear, or do that will impact our life:
-Comforts in the United States that they
-Faith is stronger here, because they have to rely on God
-Persecution not that long ago
-Not holding a grudge against community from past hurts
-Church service on Thursday night - We are the light of the world!
-7-year old drummer at Lote Tres Church
-Not have to say stuff all the time, just to be there and sit in silence
-Not knowing what they were thinking or talking about, especially about us

-There are faster ways to do things, but they have found good, sustainable ways to do things
-Continued relationships, pick up on conversations right where you left off, like you never left
-We are so joyful and refreshed from not watching news, or being constantly connected to technology (well....some of us)
Words used to describe the trip:
amazing
grateful
intense
funny
emotional
unique
awesome
blessed
reinvigorating
fun
growing
rewarding
thankful
interesting
tiring
beautiful
inspiring
eye-opening
refreshing
family
overflowing
humbling
joyful
breathtaking (sometimes literally)
change
respect
eternal
laughter
friendship
As we prepare for our last day in Lote Tres, I don’t think we could have expected or imagined the personal encounters and connections we have all made. Whether it be a connection with a single person that lasted all week, or small connections with many people throughout our time here. There have been many children that have stolen our hearts (as well as some drinks from our water bottles!), and some rich conversations with other men and women that we never would have been prepared for, no matter  how far ahead of time we had team meetings. As many of us are preparing to leave tomorrow night, we think of our families, responsibilities, and jobs back home, and might be starting to get anxious about it, especially potential reverse culture shock, which Mandy explained might happen. We were reminded in yesterday morning’s devotional not to be anxious, but to pray. I believe that this experience will color all of our lives going forward, and we will have no choice but to live differently because of it.

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