Friday, July 19, 2013

Our Final Day in Ecuador

Thursday was our final day in Ecuador. After a wonderful day of work and closing Eucharist on Wednesday, we spent Thursday packing the bus. one final presentation at Youth World Headquarters complete with good-byes to staff, and then touring the "Middle of the World"- the museum and monument demarcating the equator.

With time to wander as a large group, share a final meal at a restaurant and do some final shopping- we then headed out to El Refugio for time to savor God's creation in the outdoors. El Refugio is a retreat center run by Youth World and gave us the opportunity to reflect on our week in small groups, solo in hiking and being in the outdoors, and then as a large group.

We ended our time at El Refugio with roasting hot dogs, making s'mores, and singing camp songs. Before we boarded the bus to get to the airport, we spent time in prayer and our hands were anointed for the mission we were departing and embarking upon simultaneously.

Our flight departed at 11:30pm and arrived in Atlanta just right before 6am on Friday morning.
We departed each other's physical company when we finished customs and those who drove went off to the right and the rest departed to check in and continue their journey home by airplane.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Final day at Buen Pastor

Today was our final work day at Buen Pastor. We arrived and immediately began our tasks, painting, making and pouring concrete, painting murals, preparing lunch, and catching up with the parish.
We stopped for lunch and the resumed work until 3:30pm when our closing Eucharist began. We ended our time with song and prayer and gathering one more time around the Lord's table. United as family we then sang and danced and ate one last supper together. With hearts full of love and breaking ever so slightly- we head into our final 24 hours in country. Keep us and our new brothers and sisters in your prayers.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Day in Ecuador

Today before we headed out to Buen Pastor we heard of three incredible programs.
Education = Hope is a wonderful program that allows donors to provide the means for children to go to school. A program that began 10 years ago with a single child now provides the provisions for hundreds of children to go to school here in Ecuador and also for some in Haiti and Uganda.

After our brief introduction to Education = Hope, we headed off to Casa Gabriel and heard about the ministry ther for boys who lived on the street and the infancy of Dalia, a similar ministry for girls. Phil and Desi told us their stories and then we had the opportunity to support Handmade for Hope's jewelry..also providing resources and job skills for the girls in the program Dalia.

THEN we went off to Buen Pastor to begin our day. Today we all headed out to separate work sites. 5 different groups painting and cleaning "the church in the community"- the families of Buen Pastor. What a gift. We can back and resumed work at Buen Pastor and now will eat our dinner and reflect on the day!

We are greatful for your support!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Wonderful Day at Buen Pasteur

Well, we arrived at Buen Pasteur right at 9am and began our morning with song and prayer with our family at Beun Pasteur. What a wonderful begining to our day!
THEN we split into work groups. We had folks moving dirt from a future building site to another location on the property, painting continued, some helped prepare our lunch, patching walls began, Plastering the new office continued and after a most delicious lunch, we even had Vacation bible School for the children. A WONDERFUL day of playing and working with our friends!