Ecuador 2018

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I wanted to give you a brief recap of our trip rather than just sporadic pictures and brief captions. This is a long post, but I hope you take the time to read it. ❤

Our flight was delayed the Friday night we left, and we arrived late that night (actually well past midnight) into Quito and stayed in a hotel. The next morning, we began our road trip to the jungle camp with a stop at the Papallacta Hot Springs to enjoy the hot water yet chilly air. After some time in the springs and lunch, we headed to the jungle camp, Campamento Bautista UNPES. We settled into our humble abodes, and the interns (Americans) attempted (since they were in Spanish) to teach us the songs we would be singing for the week. That night, it rained for hours and caused some local flooding, and the waters of the Napo River behind the camp surged down stream with full force.

Sunday we had the pleasure of worshiping at Iglesia Cristiana Bautista Cristo El Unico Camino as the rains continued to fall, landing rhythmically on the metal roof. Later that day, the 260+ kids arrived at the jungle camp. We had our first evening of dinner and worship together. One of our jobs as the ministry team was to wash dishes…by hand…for 300+ people. I loved watching our kids (and I mean the Terry kids plus the other kids from our church) jump right in, wash, dry, and put away all those dishes. They served whole-hardheartedly without complaint. And there would always be several Ecuadorian kids that would jump in after the meals and help out too.

The kids were at camp Sunday afternoon until Wednesday after lunch. Our days consisted of worship times, recreation, swimming and free time and our meals together. Monday’s rec time was a muddy mess. Joel and I had the opportunity to do some inner tube tug-of-war, and I must confess that was the only time I fully stood under the COLD shower head! That night after worship, we had the comical experience of making 300 s’mores for the campers. Thankfully there were 34 of us and a handful of interns to help…I was the marshmallow puller-offer, and my hands were a sticky mess!

Tuesday morning, Anna woke up and didn’t feel well. After two vomiting incidents, some essential oils, activated charcoal, a few hours of sleep, and lots of prayer, she was completely better. Praise the Lord!  That evening was the talent show, and the girls and I, along with one of their best friends, were scheduled to perform a worship piece to “So Will I” (en espanol 😊). Anna was determined to do it, and we were able to dance. It was the first time I was able to perform alongside my girls in a dance choreographed just for His glory. The practices we had at home and the performance are times I will always cherish in my heart.

As camp drew to a close on Wednesday morning, Byron, one of the leaders there in the ministry, shared the Gospel with the kids. While it was spoken in Spanish, the message is still the same…Jesus is the only one who can rescue us from our sins, and we need the forgiveness offered through his sacrifice on the cross in order to have restored fellowship with God the Father. 34 precious kids gave their hearts and lives to Jesus. I had the privilege of holding tight to a young girl named Gabriela. She is forever in my prayers. These 260+ kids were from 22 jungle villages. May these kids go back and shine bright for Jesus! There is an awesome team set up to make sure these kids are discipled and connected with a local church. Ecuadorian kids have joy and energy beyond what we see here in the States. They have grateful hearts and a love for family that is to be admired.

That afternoon, after the kids left, we began our cultural experiences. We were able to see and feed some monkeys, take a boat ride up the Napo River and stop at a local village area where we were taught about their native plants and their medicinal uses, and see some of their traditional tools and methodology. Then we had the opportunity to take a 45 min hike up to see one of the local waterfalls. It wasn’t an easy hike, so about 2/3 of our group went. My girls had to stay behind because Anna hadn’t eaten anything the day before and still felt weak. And Aleyah somehow bruised the underside of her foot on the bunk’s metal ladder…craziness! But Scott and Joel and I took advantage of this opportunity. Wow! What a hike but what an exhilarating reward to jump into the falls once we got there! God’s creation- I love it!!!

That night, we went into Tena. It is interesting to see this city at night.  One of the things I learned on this trip is to make sure you experience and learn about the culture. I am by no means well-versed in Ecuadorian culture, but I have more of an understanding than what I started with.

Thursday we began our drive to Camp Chacauco in the mountains. We stopped at the Nate Saint house and stood in the same kitchen where the 5 wives of the Ecuadorian missionaries stood when they received the news that their husbands had been killed by the Waodani tribe. Now the home is a place where you can purchase goods made by local tribes, including the Waodani… God’s grace and forgiveness on display! From there, we went to El Diablo waterfall. This was another hike (shorter and not as difficult and a man-made trail) to an amazingly powerful waterfall. After our hike, we headed to the mountain camp and were greeted by Steve and Carol Thompson, the missionaries who began the work in the jungle and mountains about 30 years ago. His recounts of God’s provision and protection are a reminder of how great our God is!

Friday was another outside adventure. If you know me, you know I love being outside and being active, so these excursions were tight up my alley. We stopped at the local zip lining place and zipped over the rushing waters hundreds of feet below. Wow! So amazing to be able to do that! That evening, we headed further up the mountain (think giant bus on small, winding mountain roads…just a bit scary!) and ministered to about 20 kids from a small village. The two hours we spent there, along with my early morning quiet times in the jungle camp, were probably the most touching times for me. These people had very little, but had hearts ready to serve and ready to love. The pastor there finished the evening saying, “My hands are empty, but my God is big!” The Spirit pricked my heart and those words will forever resound in my mind. We were able to bless the kids there with new shoes donated by one of our members. Not one child complained about the color or style of the shoe. A few didn’t even get a pair because we ran out of those certain sizes. They will get shoes – their names and sizes were taken so they could be delivered later. But even the ones who didn’t have shoes in their hands never complained. They each were completely joyful to have shoes or know that some are coming. It’s been difficult to come back to the US and see the selfishness that we have, the sense of entitlement, and the discontent. Less is indeed more, and I’m praying I won’t forget that truth.

We spent one last night at the mountain camp, with its beautiful sights, sounds and smells. Saturday morning was our good-bye time. We left Patate and headed to Quito with some stops along the way. We had lunch at the historical Hacienda La Cienega and then headed to the equator. We spent some time there being touristy and then headed to the airport to catch our midnight flight that was delayed an hour. Despite tiredness, we continued to enjoy each other’s company and were happy to eventually arrive home safely. The 30+ hours of being awake (who can actually sleep on a plane?!) definitely deserved a Sunday afternoon nap and a couple more days of recovery. But it was SOOOOOO worth it. The eternal destination was changed for 34 souls, and those who went to minister also had hearts that changed. Thank you for your prayers! God is good and God is BIG! So now I’m asking Him, “What’s next? Bring it on Lord!”

 

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6 Comments

  1. Christina Jones

     /  August 8, 2018

    Amazing Story!! Thank you for sharing this and allowing us a glimpse into your Adventure! I’m confident that this time will go on reminding you of God’s provision, of God’s Love for ALL People, and the need for missionaries – long or short term. I love you my friend and continue to pray for God’s leading in your family’s life. Hugs!! Christina

    On Wed, Aug 8, 2018, 8:46 PM Whole to the Core Blog wrote:

    > M. Terry posted: ” I wanted to give you a brief recap of our trip rather > than just sporadic pictures and brief captions. This is a long post, but I > hope you take the time to read it. night we left, and we arrived late that night (a” >

    Reply
    • I love you too! And that’s exactly what I desire…for this time to go on reminding me. You read my heart! 😘

      Reply
  2. Carol Schilleman

     /  August 8, 2018

    A big smile on my face reading of ur mission trip always to be remembered and blessed while blessing.

    Reply
    • Thanks Carol! I truly was blessed in countless ways! Miss seeing you – hope you are able to come back to pilates soon!

      Reply
  3. skmurray516

     /  August 10, 2018

    Hey friend!!
    I loved reading about your adventures with your family in Ecuador. Wow!! I’m so glad y’all got to experience all of that together (even dancing with the girls. God is so faithful and good. You were definitely “blessed to be a blessing!”
    I was praying for you while you were gone. Thanks for sending this update.
    Much love,
    Sara

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
    • My heart is forever changed ❤️ God’s timing is perfect but wish I would’ve done this looooong ago!

      Reply

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