Both today and yesterday we woke up to the base being completely covered in mist/clouds. The dampness put a chill in the uadorair (even more than usual) and required us to hold personal devos indoors for only the second time this summer. As the morning progressed and the mist dispersed, it really was a beautiful sight as we find ourselves looking *down* on the clouds in the valley below.
Yesterday we got to stay here at the base for the Boot Camp church service which resulted in our most peaceful Sunday since coming to Ecuador. (No shuttling of kids and leaders to church in the city starting two hours before service!) Mr. Ben even included some worship songs in English for us! A quick walk around camp Sunday afternoon found several relaxing scenes, including Abe, John, Berea and Matthew sitting on the ground playing a makeshift game of “volleyball” using a sawhorse as a net and a squishball for the volleyball; Joelle and Travis sitting at one of the outdoor tables playing a game of chess (with a Conquistador vs Indians chess set someone bought as a souvenir); and Alex and Elijah on the ukulele and Parker and Jeremy on the guitar as they practiced Spanish worship songs with Dario, one of the Boot Camp volunteers. The Ecuadorian teens wanted Jeremy to join in on violin, but the only violin to be found was too small for him. Sunday evening was Bible quizzing. Second round was run by some of the kids who quizzed out first round (Cheese, Abe, Andrew, and Alex).
Bible Study every week night has included topics such as Fear, the Armor of God, Complaining, Controlling Your Temper, Creation/Evolution, King David, Queen Esther, Giving and Sharing, the Attributes of God, Salvation, the Holy Spirit, Jealousy, Jesus, Peer Pressure, Judging, the Power of Praise, and the Power of Prayer.
In the guys’ GG class, they’ve been covering the Fruits of the Spirit. In the girls’ GG class, we’ve covered topics such as self respect and acceptance, being content in Christ, where we set our affections, materialism, fear, worry, anger, reactions vs. responses, depression, and relationships (among others).
The team continues to get up at 5:30 and is ready to judge the OC by 5:45. They are interacting more and more with the Ecuadorian teams and are making friends in spite of the language barrier. Earlier in the week our team was invited to join them for their evening rally and to do a presentation. During team cheer time, our team did their favorite cheer from our BC. (“Oh no! Not me! Miss Piggy’s coming after me!”) Cheese and Darin also shared their testimonies, and Parker closed by thanking the Ecuadorians for being such kind hosts.
Saturday was a full day as the team visited a zoo (Eco Zoologico San Martin); went swimming in a pool filled with hot spring water from Tungurahua, Ecuador’s largest volcano; went hiking up a volcano and across a suspension bridge to a beautiful waterfall (Bella de la Novia); and finally headed back to Banos for dinner and an hour of souvenir shopping before climbing on the bus for our almost three-hour ride back to the base. During our drive we stopped to watch a few brave souls zip line between cliffs (and had to keep Miss Kim from getting off the bus and joining them!)
The kids are starting to get excited about heading back to Florida for debrief, while at the same time knowing they’ll miss their new friends and the beauty of Ecuador. After all the work the team put into getting the OC ready for the Ecuadorian teens, judging the OC, and spending free time getting to know the team members, they are happy that we’ll get to stay long enough for this Boot Camp’s Commissioning service on Wednesday night. Following the service, we will bus to the airport in Quito where we will spend the night before boarding our early-morning flight back to the States. Please pray that we will finish our time here well, continuing to press on toward the goal of completing everything the Lord has for us while we are here. We’d also appreciate prayers for a peaceful pack-out day and uneventful travel. Next report….Florida! ~Celeste
“I’ve learned to be faithful and not to complain.” ~ Abraham
“God taught me to not fight back to people or get revenge.” ~Matthew
“God taught me to be thankful for the food we get to eat three times a day.” ~Travis
“I’ve learned to trust God more, and if he wants you to have something, then He will give it to you.” ~ Darin
“We went shopping for souvenirs, and it was really fun. I bought two knives.” ~Seth
“We went to Banos to see the rivers and waterfalls and other cool things!” ~Elijah
“Got an awesome knife. Got a ring. Fell in the slough.” ~Cheese
“I love all the opportunities for evangelism we have had. It’s really fun to judge the OC. I can’t wait to get home. I also got an ostrich burger.” ~Andrew
“I’ve learned to be patient and not to complain about English.” ~ Kymberly
“We went to Banos and ate sugar cane. I got three knives.” ~ Parker Hayes
“I played my ukulele and sang with one of the Boot Camp teams in English and Spanish.” ~Alex
“They have the best hot dogs over here! The souvenir shopping was fun, as was evangelizing.” ~Faith
“God taught me to be thankful for three meals a day, and to pray for my grandma that has breast cancer.” ~Garrett