We began our day with Bekah and Radim leading us in worship.
After praying for our students, we had a murder mystery party in the Blue and Green classrooms. The bride was “murdered”; one bridesmaid was not too heart broken.
After lunch we played American kickball with our Czech friends. The students named their two teams The Chicago Bears and No Questions. No Questions won.
Tonight Josh taught a seminar on Scientific Discoveries while Bekah and Rhonda fielded questions on Christianity. What an amazing opportunity to be asked, “What is Christianity to you?” and “What does your faith/belief do for you?” And more!!!
We are so thankful for the opportunity to be here. Thank you for letting us come and for praying for us.
We began the day with a time of worship led by Bekah and devotion by Alca (Czech) with our Czech team. Alca brought us the Word of the Lord from Psalm 25 and 1 Peter 5:7. We were encouraged to put our hope in the Lord and give Him all our worries and cares. After praying for the students in our classrooms, we had breakfast together with all of the campers. (Photo of all 11 American English teachers). We are ready for our first day of school–English classes here we come! What a joy to be with our students today! Our first lessons were on the topics of family and friends. We learned a lot about each other, building a strong foundation for the rest of the week. This afternoon we will have team games, followed by dinner and evening seminars. Rhonda will be leading a seminar entitled “It’s About Time.” We will be challenged to consider our time, our priorities, our choices and our brevity on earth. We are just beginning to put the “puzzle” together. Later in the week, Josh will lead a seminar on scientific discoveries. His seminar will also point us to the choices we make regarding what we believe, what can be proven and what cannot. “Puzzle” is the the theme of our camp which will culminate in the Gospel message on Friday night. Please join us in prayer this week as God works in us, through us and around us for His Kingdom and His glory.
All three American churches have arrived on time and with luggage! This is a picture of our training time together in our Czech partner church’s youth room. They graciously gave us the use of their room for our all day training. We began as strangers from three teams and are now united as one. Today we will join the nine members from the Czech team on a day trip. Our prayer is that we will end the day united with our Czech brothers and sisters. Tomorrow? We meet our campers and head to English camp! Thank you for praying for us.
Woke up to …. yes, another gorgeous morning!!
We had a great fireside meeting last night where Sterling spoke about being attached to the “Vine” and what pruning looks like in our lives. He challenged us to think through what things in our life might be hindering our walk/relationship with Jesus. Where do we need to do some pruning?
This morning everyone was up bright and early to go out and do their quiet time of devotions and journaling. A few climbed the mountain to the cross, some went to the Tree House, some actually climbed a tree, and some met at the playground to do their study and then worship for a while.
After a delicious breakfast of baked French toast, sausage and fresh fruit, we met at the carpenters shed to break into our work teams. Since we have gotten so much done, we only have four teams this morning: cement/rock splitting/arbor, climbing wall, irrigation ditches, painting the coach house/cement entrance/fence posts, and clearing walking trails on the mountain. Almost all the jobs were completed!!!!
During our free time we had a fun game of soccer with only one slight casualty. Marcus Harper sprained his ankle … But it’s wrapped up and he doing good. Also enjoyed a little volleyball, hanging out, some took showers, and some played cards.
I am truly amazed and impressed with all our students. They are such hard workers and have such great attitudes and caring hearts. It is a blessing to see God working in the hearts and lives of these precious kids.
Well, we are getting up at 4 am for the perimeter hike and have an incredibly long, jam packed day tomorrow leaving after breakfast for the market in Quito, then more Shoeless time tomorrow afternoon followed by zip lining, rock climbing and the Leap of Faith. Then we are having roasted pig and qui (Guinness pig) for dinner, followed by our last Bon fire team time. Then loading up on the bus to head to the airport for our midnight flight.
Please pray that our transition in Houston goes smoothly as we have to go through customs there and only have a little less than two hours between flights.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon!
Team Quito Quest
We’re back! We made it back safe and sound this afternoon around 4:00 pm. The jungle was amazingly beautiful and we had a wonderful time.
We left El Refugio around 8:30 am on Wednesday morning. We all had to pack everything we needed for two days (including towel and 2 pairs of shoes) in a backpack. We made the six hour trek through the winding mountains without anyone getting sick. However, I think most of us took Dramamine! We stopped 1/2 way to eat some sandwiches on the side of the road and made it to a small town called Rio Negro in time for dinner. We split into two teams: one team went to a Young Life meeting and the other group held a VBS for the children of the town. Both events went really well but it was a long day and we didn’t get to the house where we were sleeping until about 11 pm. It was raining really hard all afternoon, evening and through the night.
The next morning we were up early so we could load the bus and head about an hour into the jungle to hike up to the waterfall where about 13 of our students were gettting baptized. It was still pouring in the morning, but by the time we arrived at our location, it was only overcast and we had a rain free day. We took some time to hear the students testimonies before hiking to the waterfall for the baptisms. It was such a special time! It was even more special because both Pastor Sterling and Pastor Brian had arrived on Tuesday evening and Sterling was able to perform the baptisms and Pastor Brian baptised his son Micah.
That afternoon we went to the Young Life Center to have lunch and hear about their ministry. We then toured Nate Saint’s House. He was one of the 5 missionaries killed while trying to reach the Waorani Tribe. We then hiked to a waterfall called the devils Cauldron. A beautiful and powerful waterfall! After the waterfall hike, Rick Borman had arranged for us to have dinner at a local trout farm. I was amazed at how many of the students not only ate the smoked trout, but even tried the eyeballs!
Unfortunately, we had to say good bye to Rick Borman after dinner as he had to head back to the states. But we all feel so fortunate and grateful to have had him with us for so much of our trip!
After dinner, we headed back to the house and enjoyed a wonderful evening of worship and was blessed to have Pastor Brian share Gods word with us. We then had some free time of just hanging out. The house was very large and open so we had some students singing and playing the guitar and bongo drum, while several groups played cards, twister, hung out and talked, etc. it was a wonderful day!!!
This morning we got to sleep in just a little … Didn’t have breakfast until 8 am! We needed to get packed up and clean the house then loaded the bus for the long trek home. The bus trips were a lot of fun with lots of laughter, games, yelling through tunnels, and sleeping. Once again, Dramamine was in high demand, and no one got sick. Once we got near Quito, we stopped at a local supermarket so we could buy some food gifts to bring home to our family and friends. The “mora” jelly is one of the favorites items coming home.
We have our final full work day tomorrow. Please continue to pray for continued good health and good attitudes as we complete our last couple days.
Team Quito Quest