Day Six – Motivated in Ecuador

Church in Oyacachi 

In the morning, we got to Lote Tres and began setting up for our children’s program and Phillip gave a devotional at the church.

At first, only a few kids were there for the children’s program.  But slowly, they began to trickle in.  The children colored pictures, played games with a basketball, and enjoying hanging out.  The skit Sue wrote then started.  It is a skit about Noah’s Ark.  The kids seemed to enjoy it.  We’ll probably be performing it again tomorrow at church.

Noah's ark kid's program 

Once the skit was done, the group packed up and boarded the bus.  A long and extremely bumpy ride later, we arrived at Oyacachi.  The entire group was impressed by the scenery.  We ate lunch and then departed on a walk towards the Old Town.  Along the way, Jim and Richard pointed out some of the things they had seen on their tour of the Oyacachi earlier in the week.  They were impressed that the sewer system, exposed earlier this week, was now covered up and underground.  Other items were also shown, such as the guinea pig farm, rotational grazing, electricity lines, and other progressive items.

Down at the Old Town, the group explored the antiquated church and houses.  They were made out of stone, with moss, grass, and small bushes growing out of the walls.  Turning back towards town, everyone made the long trip uphill.

Back at Oyacachi, many people enjoyed the warmth of natural hot springs.  Kasey and Nikki made everyone laugh as they jumped from the hottest to the coldest pool!

People also stopped by the wood carving store, buying many handmade bowls and items.  They were beautifully carved and wood burned.

After a dinner of excellent soup at the Lomas household, there was another discussion.  Jerry was impressed by the amount of projects we have been able to accomplish in just a few short days.  Nikki felt the people of Lote Tres were more motivated to help this time in comparison to her last trip here.  Many members echoed the same sentiments.  When talking about Oyacachi, people were impressed about how the town has advanced in just a few short years.  Jim and Mark felt the presence of the Gospel and a faith in God has helped Oyacachi move forward and stand together.  Sue was excited about the fact that the town is so isolated, yet it has a great market for its cheese and wood products.  Matt pointed out that since the town completely moved in the 1960’s, many of our parents are actually older than the entire place!  Everyone laughed.  

Group Observations ... 

the children seem mature for their age.

I’ve been before.  This time they seem more open than last time.

Flexibility is important.  Some days you have plans, but then you can’t cross the road to get there.  We’ll get around the obstacles, I’m sure. It good to prepare for the need to be flexible.

We’ve had to be flexible with our Spanish.  Sometimes we don’t have a translator while we are figuring out what tasks to do, so through pantomime and little words we do know, we figure it out.

Those women may be small, but they are strong!  They can carry bags of concrete up the big hill.  Have a strong work ethic.

I enjoy hanging out with the kids.  I prayed to be able to communicate with them, and suddenly I had a whole bunch of new friends!

They have been reserved, but now I’m greeted warmly.  One morning I even got two hugs!

I love seeing the progress on the church.  There’s now a roof when before it was just open.  The work can be strenuous but rewarding.

I’m surprised by the amount of random, stray dogs.  People seemed shy at first but warming up.

This is a testament to the importance of returning to the same area.  Developing relationships with them is important, and I’m encouraged to keep up the partnership.

The church service was great.  Although I didn’t understand a word being said, I was still touched by the fact that we are all believers.  Sat next to a lady with a child.  She showed me proverbs 3, I showed her psalm 23.

I do feel the flexibility is important.  I’m encouraged by the farming practices we’ve been seeing in the other towns and hope we can show it to Lote Tres.  And, like everyone said, I got a sunburn.  Shoot. 

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