EMT 2016

EMT 2016
2016 Ecuador Mission Team

Reflecting On The Week With Thanks

Tuesday, June 16

I want to begin by saying that it is good to give thanks! Now that the EMT 2013 team is back from their mission work, I have had quite some time to reflect on everyone who helped to make this year’s trip happen for us. Our headmaster and principals are among the first group I would like to thank for their unrelenting support for the events that we engage in all school year to raise support. Thanks also to Tom Wood and the advancement team, the Marketing team, and Lou Nardi and his team for their support with our fundraising efforts. To our teachers and staff from all three schools and the administration, thanks for supporting our fundraising events and also generously donating to the cause. Thanks to all Upper School students who wore jeans this past school year and also Middle School student who supported the child sponsorship by purchasing chicken biscuits. In addition I want to also thank all the families at Whitefield who sponsor kids at the Love and Hope Foundation school. The kids are elated when we visit and continuously want to hear about their sponsors. Your partnership is invaluable.

My appreciation also goes out to the kindergarten teachers and their students who continue to raise coins for Quito. This year their contribution of over $400 will be dedicated to equipping the Upper School science lab when the new school is built for the FAE kids. All being well, they should begin construction on this new project in July. The next EMT group should see a brand new school building next summer when they arrive. We must pray for this new school project as it is in the infantile stages at this time and they covet our prayerful support.


Thanks to Michelle Davidson for giving us a well-equipped first aid kit which we only needed for band aids and cough drops this year, praise Jesus! Thanks to Kyle and Susan Justice for allowing us to sell concessions at the Chess Tournament back in January and Chick-fil-A who provided great service on this hectic day for us. 

EMT parents - this would not have happened without you and your EMT members. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, your heart of service and desire to partner with us as we demonstrate “others ahead of self and the living and active Jesus” all the way in Quito, Ecuador. Your prayers and support make God smile. The Whitefield community continues to be an example of God’s heart, hands and feet; light and salt of the earth until Jesus returns. 

I apologize if I have not mentioned anyone whom I did need to name but please know that the EMT is deeply appreciative of all the support that we receive consistently year after year.

 From us to you, muchísimas (muhas) gracias, until 2013-2014!

Opal and the EMT team

A Wedding And Goodbyes

Sunday, June 23

Sunday began with a late breakfast. We were able to take things a little slower as we did not have to meet at the usual 7:30 a.m. time for our first meal of the day. Since I was expecting to hear pots and pans stirring and Margarita and her daughter conversing at the crack of dawn in the kitchen, I woke up early anyway. I decided to take in the sounds of Quito and the crisp cool air for one last morning. The team started emerging fully dressed for the wedding at about 8:30 a.m. I thought that I had missed the memo, the wedding was scheduled for noon but these guys and gals were ready to go. “They are excited about this," I thought to myself and “they look great too!"  The team wasn't just ready to attend a wedding, they were also ready to set up, decorate, participate, and entertain. It was satisfying to see them all so “on the ball” about this momentous occasion.

After breakfast the decorations emerged and my helpers were busy. By 11 a.m. everything was all set for the guests and guests of honor to arrive. Pity requested that a few EMT members be in the wedding party and we kindly obliged. Then the moment that we were all awaiting for arrived. The processional began with the flower girls, Kiev and Maria Victoria leading the way. The older flower girls, Lorena’s daughter Lorena, another relative, and a teacher’s daughter started the procession. Then the ring bearer, Lorena’s son Henry followed behind. The bridesmaids and groomsmen from the EMT team were Kathryn, Grace, Cara Grace and Kathryn Grace, Nile and Sage. David and Daniel Sola (two of Pancho’s sons) completed the wedding party. Next the bride, escorted by Pancho, lit up the room as she entered. Her groom was pleased to see and receive her; then they gathered at the altar.

Since that was my first Spanish wedding I didn’t know what exactly to expect. I thought that it would have some familiar elements but the first surprise was that they had a praise celebration in the middle of the wedding. Since we didn’t have church that morning, I liked that infusion of praise and worship. Glory to God, the only One who can bring two hearts together and unite them as one! There was a round of cheering and applause when the pastor presented the couple as Mr. and Mrs. for the first time J

A spirited reception followed with one solid hour of dancing and entertainment provided by none other than the EMT group. For every item that we presented they asked for an encore. I took a look at the guests of honor and they were so pleased. I thanked God silently that we could make this happen for them. In our well wishes for them a few of our EMT members mentioned that they were being great examples to the community and to their children by making their union before God a public example. Pancho mentioned to me that another worker recently tol him that she would like to go ahead and marry her longtime partner as well. What an example and a blessing this one wedding will be!

Sometime around the 5 p.m. hour we began to assemble our belongings in preparation for our return flight to Atlanta. We were still in high spirits and I could hear a few EMT members mention the desire to return next year in the same breath as they mentioned the fact that no one got seriously ill this year. They shared photos of the kids they bonded with the most during the week, who they prayed for, and who they want to see again  next summer.

Kathryn Grace had a chance to connect one last time with the young lady who commented earlier in the week that she is not interested in God or the Bible. In their short talk, KG assured Belen that God is in love with her at all times regardless of her emotions or reactions toward Him and that she would continue to pray for Belen until she would get a chance to see her again. Let us all pray especially for Belen and Sarita who lost her mom on Father’s day last year. Sarita is expecting a baby in a few months. She is healthy and attending school every day.


Our trip to the airport took a little over an hour because they opened a brand new airport further away. So we left earlier than usual. Needless to say we got to the airport and to our gate in expectation of an on-time departure, only to spend another three hours waiting on the plane to arrive and then another hour sitting in the plane before take-off. We could only trust the Lord’s wisdom in that situation and remember that we are not in control. 

See you at home,
Opal