Greetings from the Ecuador team!
The team has continued to do well over the past few days. On Tuesday the concrete materials arrived to the worksite to lay the foundation for the church pavilion. The team worked hard to continue clearing the area and to lay down forms for the concrete to be poured on Thursday. Julio helped them on Tuesday to prepare a slab that will be used for all of the mixing in the next week. It has been hot here recently, reminding us a little of Florida. We are working hard to pre-hydrate for the work day! We praise the Lord for the bus that has been taking everyone back and forth to the site each day. In the mornings, the team uses the time to study their verses and review while on the ride back they enjoy singing songs and trying to fit in a small siesta.
Tuesday evening we enjoyed a relaxed night to take some extra time for our group devotions. Recently, we have been trying to sing some new songs during this time such as God if Miracles, My Lighthouse, and Broken Vessels. We share this time packed into the living room. We are grateful for the time together to praise Jesus and hear the testimonies of those on the team. This week Ella, Ben, Jaron, and Trinity have shared with us. Every night after devos and group prayer, we pass out the S.P.P’s! (Secret Prayer Partner). Everyone has someone that they are praying for daily and that they write encouraging notes to. It is especially exciting after a trip to the store when most S.P.P. notes are attached to a coke or a special snack.
Wednesday, we had the opportunity to visit a Mennonite camp that is being built in Puerto Cayo. Our host missionary, Mr. Ernesto, is working with the staff there and showed us around the property. It took a bus and three vehicles to get us there but we enjoyed driving through small towns, mountains, and coastline to get there. Right now the camp has the main building done and the foundation for the first dorm building set. They hope to have the first story finished and furnished by next year. The property had mango trees, banana trees, cacti that reach to the clouds, and other tropical vegetation along with a small creek running along the back. The team was excited to see what was going on there, knowing that with the growth and completion of the camp, Ecuadorian young people will be able to attend and grow in their faith and knowledge of Jesus! The staff there blessed us with a morning snack of orange juice and ham sandwhiches.
After our visit there, we traveled 20 minutes to a national park beach! We were all very excited to spend some time at the beach and Jesus blessed us with warm water and cloud coverage! We have found that it is very easy to be burned here and thankfully that happened to no one yesterday. For many, it was their first time in the Pacific Ocean and we were greeted by dark sands and rocky cliffs. We walked down the beach a ways to stay clear of the rocks, but later enjoyed walking on them and finding crabs, starfish, coral, sea urchins, and more! Around noon we headed back to our home in Montecristi, about an hour’s drive. Everyone was so tired from the swim they all took a good nap on the way back.
The rest of the day was spent bathing, catching up on laundry and verses, and cleaning our homes and yards. The girls and guys split for their separate time which for many is a favorite part of the day. We ended again with group devos and had an early bed time for work the next morning. At night, we are all fighting the mosquitos that get into the rooms but thankfully have found a mosquito repellant that works well. We are thankful for all of your prayers as we head into our last week in Manta before making the drive to Quito for sightseeing and our flight home. Please pray that in the time left the team would have more evangelistic opportunities as they are eager to share the good news of Jesus with the people of Ecuador!