Today we saw a miracle, a wonderful wonderful miracle of God's love and healing. Jesus, Anita's son, one of the administrators for FAE, was diagnosed with a 4mm tumor on Friday. Jesus is 11 years old and has been in constant pain and the tumor was about the size of a golfball visibly sticking out of the side of his stomach. His mother came in yesterday around 2:00, in tears because she was about to take him in for more tests, trying to determine if it was cancerous, and asked us to pray with her for him. When he got to his appointment at 4:00 yesterday the tumor had vanished. The doctor couldn't find it on any of the tests he ran and couldn't feel it or see it sticking out of his body. He couldn't explain why it disappeared, but simply said it was a miracle.
Jesus woke up this morning and told his mom that he felt perfectly well (for the first time in many many months) and was proud to show all of us at school today his flat stomach with no lump.
Pity and Pancho had scheduled a follow up with their pediatrician this afternoon for a second opinion. The doctor agreed to only charge him $10 for the visit, because they are so poor, instead of the typical $40-$50. When Jesus and Anita brought him the films from the tests yesterday, the doctor was shocked and amazed that this little boy who had been so weak and sick was completely healed. He was so amazed by this miracle, which he also couldn't explain, that he didn't charge them at all for the visit.
Pancho asked the group how God has moved in their lives during devotionals tonight and several of the kids opened up and said they had been struggling for a visible sign of God's presence and had asked God before coming on this trip that they would at least hear a story of a miracle during their trip. How powerful is our God to perform a miracle right in front of our very eyes!
It's been a fun, but very long couple of days. Yesterday we were busy in the classrooms in the morning and then headed out to the construction site in the afternoon. The students have worked so hard, both inside and outside, and the new campus looks great!
Today we taught the students again in the morning and then the boys headed back out to the construction site while the girls stayed behind and tutored the kids in English.
Daniel's birthday is today and we had a little birthday party for him this evening. Parents, you'd be so proud of the kids, because they all pitched some of their own money to buy him a birthday present. He has spent every birthday with Whitefield folks and your kids made his day extra special.
Tomorrow we're back at the school and we're spending the afternoon playing games with the kids!
Today was another gorgeous day in Quito! We spent the day in Carmen Bajo, the town on the outskirts of Quito where Fundacion Amor y Esperanza has their primary campus. Over 200 children! It's truly an amazing facility, but Carmen Bajo is a very poor neighborhood and these kids have so many needs, both emotional and physical.
The day began with a chapel service on the patio, each school praying for the other and teaching each other worship songs in their native languages - so amazing to see people from different worlds praising and loving the same wonderful God.
Tomorrow we head to the new property that FAE has purchased to build a new school. It will have over 30 classrooms (as opposed to the 12 they have in the current building) and space for an enclosed patio/playground to allow the kids more opportunities to go outside, yet stay safe inside the compound. They just broke ground and are going to put us to work tomorrow. We are going to help mix and pour concrete!
Today we headed out to Otavalo to do a little shopping and stopped for lunch at Lago San Pablo, where we watched Ecuador's first World Cup game - it was a heartbreaker!
After a little shopping (sorry parents, your kids are coming home with suitcases full of llama jackets), we headed back to the apartment for dinner where Pity's mom prepared a gourmet meal.
We finished off the evening with a devotional led by Pancho for our fathers, sharing how much they have meant to each of us and praising God and praying for them.
Tomorrow we head to Carmen Bajo to start the week with the kids. EMT has been busy preparing devotionals, lesson plans and worship time. We are excited to see God moving in our lives and in the lives of the people here this week.
Our adventure in Quito is off to a great start! We put together a short video to show you all of the amazing things we saw today. The word of the day today was definitely teamwork as everyone came together and helped each other prepare the lesson plans for the kids for the week. Pancho and Pity lead a wonderful sermon on facing your giants and talked to us about putting aside your fears and obstacles to focus on the wonderful plan God has for each of our lives. But after a morning of hard work, we headed to the equator (both sites - the tourist site and the official Incan museum) to learn about the culture, do a little shopping and enjoy each other's compan and God's beautiful creation.