Thinking of Ecuador

As many of you know, last June Roger and I went to Ecuador on a mission trip with my home church Wilmer UMC. You can read all about the trip on our Ecuador page.

Some of our VBS kids in Ecuador

I knew then the trip was changing my life, and it’s an odd feeling to be aware of such a change as it’s happening to you. But what I didn’t expect is the lasting impact it’s having on me. I find myself often thinking of Ecuador: the kids dancing at Colinas del Norte, Pastora Ruth singing to us after VBS, school kids racing to hug us.

I’ve struggled lately with being happy with all that I have when I know the people in Ecuador have so little. I nearly had a nervous break down Christmas shopping, because I felt like I was slapping God in the face by buying stuff that makes me happy but doesn’t feed or clothe me. Why should I have all these wonderful things (and that’s what they are – just things) when people in Ecuador face poverty with potentially no way out of it?

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Meet Drufo


This is Drufo. He was one of the dogs at the construction site in Ecuador. His favorite resting spot happened to be where the team was digging an 8 feet deep hole. But did that bother him? Heck no! He just jumped down in the hole and took a nap. And don’t worry – he had an escape plan . . .

Colinas del Norte

The sweet kids of Colinas del Norte

It means “Hills of the North,” and it’s a special place in the hearts of our Ecuador mission team. In years past the team has worked with the children at the daycare here. The kids are ages 2-5. We visited them on our last work day, and they managed to touch all of us in just a few minutes. Continue reading

Seeing God’s Power

At tonight’s devotion I realized something – God is making sure we don’t fail.

Today Karen worked construction, so I led the music (Tanya, are you proud?!?). Even though I volunteered for this job, I was really nervous. The songs are in Spanish and the tunes are new to me. But today at VBS not only did I do a pretty good job leading the music, I had FUN! God was there.

Chris hurt his arm working construction and so had to join the VBS team for today and tomorrow. But it was awesome with Chris. The kids love him and he’s a great addition to our team. God knew we needed him there.

Travis shared a story tonight about how his working area was directly in the sun. The helpers at the church tried several times to make some shade for him with tarps, but it never worked. Later, the pastor told the translator he had something to tell Travis. He said, “We tried to provide you shade but failed, so God sent clouds.” Travis said the clouds stuck around the rest of the day. God provided.

We can’t fail. God is making sure of it, and I’m so thankful for His power. At devotion, Gail told us that God is always there providing for us, but we often miss it in the comforts of home. I tell you what I’ve learned – God’s love and power are magnified here. It’s like suddenly His love for us is in focus; it was always there but now I see it so clearly.

Thank you to everyone who gave me (and all of us) the chance to be on this mission. I know I’m not alone in saying that the experiences here are life changing.

And finally more pictures! First from the construction site. Today some of the church members came out to meet the team and see their progress.

Gail and MomTommy and RonConstruction siteGail, Alison, Mom, and KarenConstruction teamTravis helping a church member Meeting the church members

I’m sorry again for the lack of VBS pictures. I’ll try to snag someone’s memory card and copy some of the photos. I snapped these while hanging outside the daycare between sessions yesterday. The kids come out from everywhere and love to have their picture taken.

Some of our VBS kidsMore neighborhood kidsOn the bus headed back to the hotel


We just got back from the “super maxi” (grocery store). We bought a ton of candy we’ve never heard of. Can’t wait to try it, but trying to hold off until at least we’ve had dinner.

Ecuador candy and snacks