We woke up early on Sunday and went over to the church by 9AM. After a marathon teaching session from Gary, the church was really blessed and glad to be able to learn. What we take for granted is such a blessing to them and they have been such a blessing to us. After service, the church got together and had lunch for us. Interestingly, they normally do not eat lunch together, but because of us, they did.
For those wondering what we have been eating other than cuy, we have had chicken and potatoes and soup–the best soup ever! If you are into soup, you should come to Ecuador. We had some the previous night also, and it was delicioso.
After lunch, the men got together and played soccer. Ben showed them that people from the United States can be good at soccer, too. By the end of the game, they all knew his name, “Ben-ha-nim.” The ladies were hanging out with the ladies. They were able to share about their lives and even got to share their testimonies. The children seem to mature faster here because their parents are busy working and so you see these young children about Abi’s age carrying a baby and doing it well (Sigh, I miss Abi all the other kids at IBC–from uncle Mark).
If you ask the older ladies, they’ll know all about Yoonjin’s love life. The young girls are getting attached to our ladies, asking questions about Christianity and how they live their lives. The ladies were even able to speak with the older ladies about the difficulties of being Christian in a Catholic nation. We have heard stories of people being beaten and being persecuted because of their Christian faith. We take for granted so often how easy it is being Christian in the United States. We stayed till late afternoon and then went back to our hostel.
On monday, we got to the church a few hours early to set up for our first day. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but things went really well and the Lord provided a great day for the children and us. The kids were ridiculously cute. I think I said this already, but ridiculous. It was encouraging to see the turnout because for a lot of them, we believe that this is the first exposure to the Gospel.
The kids were hesitant at first, but by the end of the day, the kids were singing, “Yo tengo gozo, gozo, gozo” which means “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy.” The kids were even doing the hand motion for the song, “We are the Lord’s army.” We had about 60 kids who ranged from babies to 13 years old.
Another encouraging thing was to see the youth of their church teaching. The youth are between 17 and 21 and they are teaching the children the lessons which were prepared. It is encouraging because they are so good and also because they, themselves, want to learn even more. Gary may be teaching an evangelism class to the youth because they wanted to be able to speak to their friends about their faith more and be able to answer questions that may come up.
Our team has come together quite well and we laugh more than we do in the States. Maybe it is the altitude or just eating cuy, but everything here has been awesome. There are jokes about roasted yam juice care of Yoonjin, the “four universals” mentioned before, Mark wearing the same clothes again (including a “holy” shirt which came from a barbeb wired fence he was too big to go through; in case anyone was wondering, I finally got my bag), and Gary’s lengthy messages which we, as a team, joke about, but the Ecuadorians are so thankful for.
Since this internet cafe is closing, I’ll close this post with a joke from “Lau” as we have been calling Christina here in the Republic of the Equator:
“Que hace el pez cuando tiene tiempo libre?”
“NADA.” Get it? Nada?! Haha…
“What does a fish do in its free time?”
“Nothing” or it also means, “Swim.”
OK. Adios amigos. Hasta luego.
IBC Team Ecuador via Mark Choi