Hola from Ecuador! We finally made it and are getting settled in to our hotel and our routine but unfortunately our Wifi is a little bit spotty so right now I am sitting outside under the Andean night sky listening to the sound of barking dogs and typing with chilly fingers. One of the joys of cross cultural mission! Anyway, let me catch you up on the last 48 hours. Many of you know that we left yesterday to come to Ecuador and have been diligently praying. Please know that God has answered those prayers. Everything from traveling to the airport to checking our luggage was great. But then mother nature had her way and we ended up experiencing a flight delay. First it was only an hour flight delay. Then it was a two hour flight delay. Then it was our team getting nervous. Then it was God being gracious to us. Our plane was stuck in Jacksonville due to bad weather and was not able to get out, but fortunately, a flight coming in from Los Angeles was landing and that was going to be our new aircraft. So all in all, we had about an hour and a half flight today, but it could have been much worse. After an uneventful flight – again answer to prayer if you are following the prayer calendar, we landed and had to sit through immigration
One of the greatest prayer points for that first day was getting all of our supplies through customs. This was the moment that we were most nervous about for the trip, because if we could just get all of our supplies through we could continue as planned. And again, God was gracious in a huge way. We went up to customs with all of our crates full of medication and supplies. The worker began to question us about all the materials and we calmly presented all the of the legal documentation we had accumulated. He looked at the letters of invitation and that was it! The crates went through the scanners with not one of the being questioned to be open! We serve a great! All of the “checklist” items were accomplished, but because of the delay it was very late. We did not arrive to our hotel and flop onto the beds in our rooms until 3 AM!
After a brief rest period, we had the privilege and opportunity to worship with the host church that we are working with here in Ecuador. There is something so sweet about worshipping with other believers of different nationalities. We may come from different backgrounds, different, cultures, and different languages but we were there together worshipping our most high savior as children of God and citizens of heaven. In that moment, Ephesians 2:13-18 but particularly verse 14 which says, “For he (Jesus) is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down the wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace…” In Christ, the barriers are broken and we are one body with believers around the world. And to taste that and experience that in a tangible way is truly a gift of God and a glimpse of heaven. And as we worshipped through the preaching of the word, Pastor Christian brought a powerful message on the fact that the mark of true Christians is love for God, love for each other, and that those two things cause the body of Christ to love the world. Poignant, applicable, and motivating. We are so excited to be working with fellow believes who want to make more disciples of Jesus! It was truly a refreshing time.
As the day draws to a close, we spent the evening hours together as a team counting medicine and making last minute preparations for our first clinic tomorrow in the small community of Pilgaran. So, I ask that you would continue to pray for us, for the brothers and sisters who are helping us, and for the hearts and souls of the people of Pilgaran. Pray that they may know this love that breaks barriers and that changes lives. Thank you for all the support so far and I hope you see that God is working and answering prayer through you! Adios and Buenos Noches!