Thursday, July 18, 2013

A little piece of my heart is forever in Ecuador

I've postponed writing this post because I feel like it's a vulnerable one to write. Leaving Ecuador last Friday night was so difficult and bittersweet. Don't get me wrong, I was excited to come home and see my friends and family (and sleep in my own bed) but I loved Ecuador. I loved the people I met. I loved our host home and family. I loved the culture, the language and food. There is no doubt that I left a little piece of my heart in Ecuador. I also know why so many of the team members return each year! Writing this post is hard because I know I'm probably going to cry while writing it because my heart aches for Ecuador. (I hate crying!)

I'm so incredibly thankful that God put this trip on my heart and I'm also so very thankful for those who helped make the trip possible for me. Many of you selflessly gave money to my trip and it was paid in full, something I had been worried about. I was able to leave work for a week, I'm appreciative for a boss who not only allowed me to take a week of vacation but encouraged me to take the trip. This trip was a prime example of when you say "yes" God will do the rest. I've been raised in church my entire life and know this in my head...God will provide. I've seen Him provide but this trip made it so real and true in my life. For weeks I laid awake thinking about the trip. I daydreamed about the trip and one day I called about it and then literally everything fell into place. From my passport, to the funding, to getting into Ecuador with 20 bags of medicine...I can say that God had complete control over this trip. (I doubted it Friday before we left..thanks to the encouraging words of my mother, I still packed my bags and went!) I saw God move and work. We were there for physical healing but also spiritual encouragement. Also, let me state again, I was raised in church but something that never dawned on me before was how we are an encouragement to the churches we visited. Just like Paul visited the churches of the New Testament and encouraged them, we were able to go into small churches in Ecuador and encourage them. They are doing incredible things. One of the churches, Maranatha, is very much the hands and feet of Christ in their community. The testimonies they shared with us are amazing and they are not only winning people for the Lord but are actively disciplining them. We are fortunate enough to have our associations and organizations like the BGCO to encourage and rejuvenate our church leaders and we were able to go and help revitalize them. I found  that to be so refreshing. The reverse of that is we are also encouraged and revitalized through them. I'm so glad it works both ways.

I pray for the 3 churches we visited. I pray that although the clinics for the physical healing of the community are over, that the spiritual healing is just beginning. I pray for great revival in their communities and growth for their churches. I pray that the leaders of the churches be encouraged in what the Lord is doing through them for their communities and churches. I cannot wait to return next year (or hear from the team that goes next year) about the work that will be done in this coming year.

Writing a few posts about Ecuador doesn't do this trip justice so I hope we get to chat in the coming weeks about my trip and I have tons of pictures that I'd love to show you!

No comments:

Post a Comment