Monday, July 29, 2013

Ecuador Trip 2

I first watched the movie The Lord of the Rings when I was 10 years old. I'm now almost 18 and I've seen the trilogy more times than I can count; needless to say I'm a huge fan.    At the very end of The Return of the King when Frodo starts to narrate again, talking about how they leave Gondor and head back to Hobbitton I always get a lump in my throat. I can't help but say, "No, stay, don't go back. Just stay." 
As I left Quito, heading to the airport, to fly back home I was telling myself the same thing.
"No, stay, don't go back. Just stay."  God worked in wonderful ways on the trip and I didn't want to leave.
Leading up to the trip I prayed that those on the trip would have open hearts and minds. God answered that prayer 100%.    I came into the trip only know one of the teens, but even in that one week of getting to know them, I saw so much change.   I saw their hearts open to the children we played with, and the adults we talked and prayed over.  I saw their minds open to the great task of missions.  I was so blessed.
One of the main things I love about Ecuador is how hard we have to work to go to small communities.  One day we hike hours to a community, and once we get there we usually start a game of soccer with the kids. It's exhausting but so rewarding. Your legs ache, but as you sing and hold the hand of a small child you know it's worth it.
I was also just so blessed to be back in missions.  I wake up each morning and I know my goal. Sometimes, when I'm back stateside, it's easy to get sidetracked. In missions everything you do is for Him.
Another thing is being surrounded by likeminded people. Not only are you going through a life changing journey, but so are the 20 or so other people with you. And it's so amazing to see them change, to hear their testimonies of God's grace and serve along side them.
Missions is not just me going to another country and teaching people about God. It's also God teaching me through them.  This reminds me of a verse from Sirach: "As you have used us to show them your holiness, so now use them to show us your glory."

Praise God!
Singing at a community
Ryan and Matthew (our full time missionaries)  with two of the girls on the trip

 Dirty after a long hike