Day 8: Finishing the work

“Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100: 3.

It’s hard to believe, but today was our last day of working in the Quichua area. Again we met for devotions at 7:00. We talked about Daniel 3 with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the furnace. It’s not just a kid’s story! Three men were willing to stick to their beliefs and face a firey furnace. God was faithful and protected them through the fire. And God was glorified!

This morning, we left the hotel around 9:00. Again we took the bus through the mountainside. It was a glorious ride through God’s amazing quilted earth. We arrived at the crossroad of Lote Tres and Lote Cuatro and some of us got out of the bus and headed up to Lote Tres—the bus then went on to Lote Cuatro. At Lote Tres, all that the group was able to do was move rebar from the pastor’s house to the building site. It was only about 200 yards, but it was uphill and at the altitude, it took seven people almost two hours to move about 100 ½-inch by 40-foot rebars. Needless to say, the group was tired when they were done at noon. Down at Lote Cuatro Sue worked again with the kids, Mark and Ben bent rebar, and Pastor Todd and Mark K. worked with the local people pouring cement into the foundation of the mill building. Just before noon, the worked stopped—this time it was for the last time. The group at Lote Cuatro joined the group at Lote Tres for a farewell service.

The service (including songs and prayers) was a very moving service. Once again the team was placed out of their comfort zone and asked to sing. Thank goodness Kathy brought all her music with (she was always prepared for anything—she carried her backpack with things like sanitizer, toilet paper, sun block, tissues, the music that we sang, and various other things). We sang two American songs and then sang two songs with the congregation in Spanish. Our team was then presented with two gifts—a poncho to Pastor Todd and a Quichuan hat to Mark Kimball.

After good-byes at Lote Tres, the team moved to Lote Cuatro where we were served a wonderful meal of chicken, potatoes, onion gravy, and an anise drink. We then had another service with music and prayers. The congregation sang a few songs. The team again was asked to sing. So we sang a few of our worship songs in English and then asked the congregation to join us in singing a couple Spanish worship songs. We then were presented with gifts made by the children. And we in turn presented their church with one of the banners that had been made for CBC-E (because the school closed down, we were given back the two banners that the Banner Ladies had made for the school. One banner had a verse in Spanish, and so we thought it was appropriate for that banner to stay in Ecuador—the other banner will be coming back home.). The pastor of the church was overwhelmed with the gift and asked the team to again come forward so that he could pray for us. After the prayer, the entire congregation came forward and gave each team member a huge hug. Before we knew it, it was 4:00, time to head back to the hotel. We met at 6:00 to eat dinner, which consisted of the sandwiches we had made this morning for our lunch (and chips, fruit, pop, and cookies).

Mark Kimball asked the team to meet to talk about the week’s events. Mark asked us to share what God had been doing in our lives throughout the week and how today’s events may have affected us. Joan then asked about our reasons for coming down and how they might have changed throughout the week. Some of the team shared how God had taught them different things about themselves and how they needed to make changes in their lives. Our team has definitely experienced God’s presence here in Ecuador.

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