We apologize for this update being overdue. Our internet has been down several days and we are back online. Our team has been able to be a part of an awesome experience this weekend, and I wanted to share about that with all of you (this is head leader, Mary Lane, sharing personal testimony).
If you are familiar with the movie, End of the Spear, and the story of missionaries Jim Elliott and Nate Saint along with three others, than you know of their experience in the 1950s when they moved to Ecuador with their families to witness to unreached tribes. The tribe they were reaching out to was the Waodani tribe, and these missionaries gave their lives when several from the trible attacked them. One of the tribe members who was portrayed in the movie, Mincaye, was one that was involved in killing these missionaries. After their death, Rachael Saint and Elisabeth Elliott returned to Ecuador with their children to live with the Waodani tribe. Tribe member, Mincaye, gave his life to the Lord after these ladies moved back to live in the village, and ever since then, he has been reaching out to his tribe and speaking to others all over the world to bring lost souls to Jesus.
On Sunday, here at the Teen Missions base in Ecuador, we had the once in a lifetime privelage to meet Mincaye. He spoke to the Ecuador bootcamp and the American team, shared his testimony and talked about his experience when the missionaries came to their village in the 50s and he also spoke of the day when they killed the missionaries. He spoke in his native language, and his youngest son translated for him in Spanish. This was then translated for us in English. Many on the team were able to take a picture with him and his wife. We were honored and blessed to hear his testimony and see in person a man who has been dramatically changed by the Lord. On Sunday night, the commissioning service was held for the Ecuador boot camp. Just like our commissioning service in Florida, the Ecuador boot camp had to light their candles to symbolize their commit to go and spread the gospel. My husband and I were given the huge honor to light the first candle for the boot camp. We definitely did not deserve that honor, but we are thankful. After we lit the first candle, my husband, Brant, was given the honor to light Mincaye’s candle, and then Mincaye lit the leaders’ candles. For my husband and I, it was an indescribable feeling to have that honor and be in the presence of a man of God who has been through so much and has gone through such a dramatic change for the Lord. God really and truly blessed our lives Sunday in being able to meet Mincaye and hear him speak in person. His love for the Lord is profound and you can see the joy in his face that is from God. We are very thankful the team got to experience this and that God chose to send us to Ecuador this summer to lead this team.
Now today, we are finishing up as much work as possible. The plan is that we go to the Equator on Wednesday and stay in Quito on Wednesday night. We begin our travel to the US on Thursday, and we’re scheduled to arrive back in Florida on Friday. Please pray for us as we travel and that we will be prepared to learn all we can in debrief. I plan on sending one more update before we leave with testimony from some of the team members. We are all doing well, by the way. Everyone is doing great health-wise, and the Lord is working in our team!