Wednesday, September 9, 2015

#teamagua2015: Quito

"The most glorious reason you exist is for the proclamation 
of the glory of God to the ends of the world." {David Platt}

I left my heart in Ecuador. At least a part of it. I came across a quote after I came home from Thailand and was reminded of it upon returning from this trip: "You will never be completely at home again, because part of you will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place." 
Don't get me wrong, I love my family, and there's honestly nothing quite like the feeling of being home, surrounded by the people who know and love you best, but no matter where I am, I'm missing people. Right now I'm missing the sweet faces of the kids that so quickly found a spot in my heart, and the 19 team members and 7 translators who became like a second family. 

The adventure began on Friday, July 10. The team all flew into Fort Lauderdale and spent the afternoon and evening packing team luggage, sewing (that was an adventure!), getting supplies together for games and crafts, and getting to know each other. Saturday, after a time of prayer and worship and last minute phone calls home, we headed to the Miami airport to begin the much-anticipated journey to Ecuador. 

 We landed in Quito at around 12:30 am on Sunday morning. The view from Casa Del Padre, the hostel we stayed at for the week, was incredible. I think that there is something so awesome about being able to see the city you are going to be working in stretching out in front of you.

After a restful morning, a time of corporate worship as a team, lunch at Pastor Benjamin's house, and getting divided up into teams, we settled down and started prepping for the week ahead. 

We also probably had too much fun learning the time-filler games to play with the kids.

Monday morning came and we were SO excited to start working with the kids. Our team divided up into 5 different groups - 2 craft groups, 2 game groups, and 1 story group. The kids also divided up into 5 different groups - Morado, Amarillo, Azul, Verde, and Tomate - based on their ages. 

Each group of kids would cycle through each of our groups. We would have about 20-25 minutes with each group of them. 

I was on one of the game teams for the first week.

I love how Global Encounters has each of the groups teaching the same concepts using different techniques. 

It was so fun to get to go around to all the groups and take pictures.

Our last morning in Quito - the lesson was about keeping your eyes on Jesus.

To help them memorize the verses we were learning (Romans 12:1-2), we had them hop from one word to the next in the correct order. This game was definitely a favorite!

My team's last group of kids for the day was the 4-5 year olds. We would usually just spend the time playing with them on the playground and interacting with them one on one.

Melany and me. This little dolly sat next to me one morning and gave me a "Jesus loves me" bracelet. *insert heart melting here*

It's moments like this that I miss most

After the kids got done going through all five rotations, everyone would come together for a large group time.  We would sing songs, work on the memory verses, and do a skit.

It was so fun to be part of the skits, and the kids enjoyed them so much! (Especially the one where we had a fire-breathing dragon, but alas I have no pictures of that one because I was in it). 

Our team and the awesome translators who worked with us. The translators were such a blessing. They so cheerfully gave of their time to serve us and the kids. The mornings in Quito flew by, and just like that, one-third of the trip came to a close. 

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