It's Almost Time

In only 4 days, I'm leaving for Ecuador. I've got a suitcase already packed - with tons of sporting goods donated by a member of our congregation. It's insane how full this suitcase is!

I hope that the kids can have lots of fun with all of these kick balls, frisbees, soccer balls, footballs, hackey sacks and jump ropes! The art supplies and things on the left there are actually for our sponsored child, Jaleska.

Letters from Ecuador

Speaking of which...I actually received a letter from Jaleska this week. I had been wondering if she even knew I was coming to visit, since our letters have a pretty long delay (the one I received this week was dated July 17th, so a little shy of two months to get here). But, she said she is excited that I'm coming and she can't wait to hug me!

I will be honest - I've been very nervous about meeting her. Since I've only been sponsoring her since November 2011, I was worried that our bond hadn't had enough time to form to give us that "happy tears and hugs" first meeting that I've had in my head. I was worried she would think I'm just a weird lady from the US wanting to hug her. But, it seems those fears are unfounded and we will greatly enjoy the time we get to spend together.

Vacation vs. Mission

Often times, when I tell someone I'm going to be off work for eight days and I'll be going on a mission trip, they seem somewhat taken aback. They mention that it's too bad I won't be able to enjoy my time off and will be going there to "work."

I, however, see this trip very differently. I see it as an amazing opportunity to do God's work and bask in the glory of His creation. I'm looking forward to leaving technology behind (for the most part) and just enjoy the sunset. Our "work" in Ecuador has three main components, as I understand it:
  1. Build a playground at the Compassion Center in Manta
  2. Paint and help decorate some of the classrooms
  3. Host a VBS for 100 kids at the center
I can't think of a better way to spend a vacation! I get to hang out with 100 little kids who are on FIRE for Jesus and who see the Church as a privilege rather than something they "have to" do. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!


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