The three gauges we all have are PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, and SPIRITUAL. For those who have been on a trip like this, you know this well.
And suffice to say, by the end of the week, our gauges were reading in the red. We were like cups with holes poked in them. We once held water but that water has flowed out to give someone else a drink. It is time for us to refill.
Our amazing hosts, Pancho and Pity, have been around enough trips to anticipate our low gauges and had an incredible day of refilling the heart, body, and soul in store.
And so it was off to Nono, a rural mountain town about an hour outside of Quito where Pity's friends and and family have farmhouses.
The nimble cows of Nono.
The headmaster of Alliance International School , the "Whitefield of Quito", was kind enough to host us during the morning at his house. We enjoyed stunning views, horse back rides, and fresh air.
Olivia and Bailey wrangle "Chocolat"
Christina takes a ride!
Malcolm saddles up for the first time!
Olivia and others hiked to a spot where we fed horses carrots, the Spanish for which, "zanahoria", is fun to say because it sounds like the title of a bad sic-fi movie. Also, it probably has way to many syllables (5) for a basic orange vegetable.
We left the The Wells' house and several of us biked the windy paths to Pity's parents. It was exhilarating, but again, ALTITUDE, WHY YOU KNOW LIKE MY LUNGS?!
And filled our cups!
After lunch it was on to a USA vs Ecuador soccer match, this time (thankfully) on grass!
While some filled their gauges through soccer, other were filled connecting to their artsy side.
Though the US went up early, the game ended in a tie. Thankfully, too, as our bodies were WORN! Something told us though that Pancho wouldn't let this game end any other way!
Nono is dairy country...here is a typical road block!
Back at the farmhouse we played games, sang worship songs, listened to a devotional, and reflected on our experience. A gift Pancho gave each of us was 10 minutes of silence. It's amazing, in our world of screen and insta-everything, just how challenging this is.
But the gift was received and the result was evidence of our cups filling back up. The specifics of our time will stay within the group but know that words of new healing of deep wounds were offered - that tears were shed, hugs given, and hearts clearly changed.
It seems like cup-emptying experiences are often the most memorable - we will certainly remember this one! And the solace of Nono was the perfect host to help us see the growth that's begun.
Thanks be to God for this wonderful time, this wonderful place, for open hearts, and and for unlooked for healing of hurts. And thanks TO YOU for supporting us!
Tomorrow is our final day! Amazing that we will finally be coming back down the mountain.
Until then, Amor y Esperanza to all!