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!