EMT 2018

EMT 2018
2018 Ecuador Mission Team

EMT Day 9: Coming home

            On Sunday morning, many of us crowded around a small TV to watch the World Cup games. We boisterously argued over the superiority of the German team versus the Mexican team, but truly all enjoyed this time of togetherness. Shortly after, we headed back for the Seminary to pack up, have dinner, have devotion, and head to the airport. We had Pizza Hut for dinner and spent devotion time speaking life and encouragement into each other’s lives. Groups of students were speaking words of life to each other and truly building each other up. It was a picture of the body of Christ supporting each other. We headed for the airport around 7 pm, said our goodbyes to Pancho, Pity, Danny, Mateo, and Maria Victoria, and began our traveling adventure. Praise the Lord we all made it safely to Atlanta on the red eye flight and got through customs smoothly. A huge sign and many loving family members joyfully awaited us in the international terminal. It was a beautiful sight to see after some long, exhausting hours of traveling—that’s for sure. It’s hard to believe this trip has come to an end already. While it’s a sobering thought that I won’t be waking up and seeing glorious Ecuadorian mountains out my window, I have a peace knowing what God accomplished in everyone’s hearts and that we get to take that with us. I truly think each student walked out of the Atlanta airport today a different person than when they walked in on June 8th. We were most definitely more exhausted, and our muscles were sore. We were feeling a little delirious and maybe a little dirty (we were all in need of a good shower) and weak. Some were even a little sick or physically hurt. However, along with these physical ailments, came many spiritual blessings. We walked out as students who had been renewed spiritually. We were all more in love with Jesus and more in awe of who God is. We were humbled and broken down in the most God-honoring way. We were fulfilled and at peace in a way that can only result from true service to God. We came back with a lot of new friendships and a confidence in the community of God’s people. We came back as forgiven followers of Christ, rather than guilt-stricken sinners. 
We came back thankful for the work God is doing and will continue to do in Ecuador, and we are especially thankful that we got to be a small part of it. What a blessing it is to be a part of this team and those of you following along and reading our posts are a part of this team too. Please continue to keep Amor Y Esperanza, the Ecuadorian kids, Pancho and Pity’s family, and the city of Carmenbajo in your prayers. Just because the trip has come to an end doesn’t mean our job is over. God can and will use those who are willing to continue to serve the Ecuadorians, even when we are many miles away.
Thanks be to God for His blessings. 
Peace be with you! 
-Grayce 












EMT Day 8: Nono

            On Saturday morning, we headed for Nono, where we would spend the night. First we went to Dr. Well’s house, a beautiful and quaint home in an isolated part of the mountains. It was breathtaking to say the least. Here we rested. We played cards, swung in hammocks, rode horses, read Scripture, sang songs, ate some very delicious food, and most importantly just enjoyed the fellowship with one another and the beauty of God’s nature all around us. At one point we were literally inside of a cloud, and the once visible green mountains were covered with a thick white fog. We sang lyrics about looking to the mountains and seeing where our help comes from. It’s one thing to sing this song and picture the mountains in your head as best you can. It’s another to be in the midst of some of the most beautiful mountains in the world surrounding you on every side. I was reminded of the power of the God that we serve and the proof of His power that He offers us in the intricate beauty of his creation. Our bodies were still tired, but our souls rejoiced. God was with us. 
            We headed back to the house where we were staying for devotion, a nighttime walk, s’mores, and cards. It was truly a relaxing evening. We went around and all shared something that we wanted to leave behind or something we wanted to take with us from this trip. Students shared of wanting to leave doubts, insecurities, self-sufficiency, selfishness, and so much more behind. Students shared of wanting to take with them a servant’s spirit, a joy in the Lord, a confidence in Him and His love for us. Each person opened up about what God was doing in their hearts and shared many vulnerable things for the sake of honoring God. Jesus was glorified in these honest moments, and it’s something we are all thankful to have been a part of. 
Thanks be to God for His blessings. 
Peace be with you! 
-Grayce 













EMT Day 7: Saying goodbye

EMT Friday

Friday was a very full day. It included our last lessons, emotional goodbyes from the students, a party for the Amor Y Esperanza staff, our last construction day, our own World Cup soccer game (Ecuador v. USA), and finally a fancy dinner at Pim’s. By the end of the day, we were drained emotionally and physically, but in the most fulfilling way possible. As we watched many students cry heavily when it was time to say goodbye, it was clear that God had established deep bonds between the students and teachers. God had chosen to use us in their lives to touch them in some way. We hugged them tight, shed a few tears of our own, but ultimately we had to trust God that He will take care of those kids when we leave. We had to trust God that He has them in His hands and that the best way to support them from afar is through prayer. After recovering emotionally, we pulled ourselves together to set up and host a party for the teachers of Amor Y Esperanza. We sang worship songs with them, handed out gifts, and many talented students preformed musically for the teacher’s entertainment. This was a really sweet time. At the end of the party, each EMT member paired up with a teacher and prayed over them. This moment was a tiny glimpse of Heaven—two people of very different ages, different social status, different ethnicities, different languages, and wildly different lives, holding hands and talking to God. It didn’t matter that some of us prayed in English (which most teachers couldn’t understand) because by the look on their faces, they could feel God’s presence nevertheless. It seemed the idea of someone genuinely praying over them (especially some random teenager from the U.S.) was a glorious novelty. They felt loved and seen and cherished in a way that maybe they haven’t in a long time. I believe the Holy Spirit touched many of their hearts through our prayers and it was amazing to be a part of. 
            We finished off construction strong and played our ending song (one we played at the end of every work day), The Workers are Going Home (by Weezer). Although we were physically exhausted at the end, we were spiritually renewed as we saw tangibly how God had used us as His servants to help with the building. We could see the many walls we were able to finish and the many blocks that each one of us touched. Serving God as a true team (doing something that none of us are necessarily skilled at or used to, like mixing cement and building walls) was a highlight of the week for many. God graciously supplied the energy and strength we needed to accomplish a lot in the advancement of the building. Thanks be to God. 
            As we pulled into the Seminary, the boys (and one or two brave girls) quickly changed and prepared for the infamous World Cup game. A group of Ecuadorian students from the school, along with Danny and Mateo, played against all the Americans. It was a tough battle, but ultimately the Ecuadorians pulled through with a 1-0 win. (although there may or may not have been some unfair calls… at least that’s what I have heard J… there was no dearth of competitive spirit in this game!) Although the boys were disappointed in their loss (some more than others), they were able to pull themselves together for an amazing dinner. We showered and dressed up for our fancy dinner at Pim’s. This meal began our weekend of fellowship with one another, rest, and thankfulness for the week we had finished. 
Thanks be to God for His blessings. 
Peace be with you! 
-Grayce