As I've been writing these last couple of blog posts of our amazing trip to Ecuador, the clouds and sky have hovered around me in the most majestic way as I often gaze out the airplane window while listening to Hillsong music on my ipod...praise the name of The Lord oh my soul, sing his words, full of life join the song, come and lift up our King...Christ is enough for me, Christ is enough for me, Christ is enough for me....worthy are You Lord, all the glory belongs to you forever....I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back....listening to the wonderful heart lifting praise songs while up in the never ending sky is the closest that I often feel physically to God....Holy Holy are you Lord, oh my soul, sing His word, come and lift up our King.....The way my heart always feels after ending a life changing trip is truly indescribable and to listen to praise music on the whole flight back is a great way to express all that is in my heart and mind through song and worship as the words express so much and more than how I am feeling at the moment....His Hope is an anchor for my soul and with God I will stand unshakable.....unchanging word, You was, You are and is to come....there is Hope in the promise of our God....our God will stand unchangable.....Your Name is high, Your Name is great, all my hope is in You, Your Word won't fail, Your cross unchanged, all my hope is in You.....amazing!!!!...I best not lift up my hands high in the air, as much as I want to....it may raise concern :) and embarassment. :)
We arrived back at the hotel just before 5 pm and a few of us who missed out on shopping in the little market yesterday...me and Kyrstin... :) wanted to go for a bit now. So our translator David took us together with Roxanne and Karen from the group. What a sweet little market it was. Such dear Spanish women selling their stuff with beautiful smiles and joy on their faces that we came to shop at their stall. :) I found a few items that I've been wanting to purchase before leaving Ecuador...a blanket, a pair of fun pants and scarves, another thick wool poncho and a colorful hammock. I still have my orange hammock from Bolivia but this beautiful colorful one with be a great addition for us at the lake. :) I also found a couple of items for my family and we walked away from the little market pleased with our purchases where the prices were very affordable. Now it was time to freshen up and get ready for our final supper together as a group to end our very very special day.
What a lovely room that was set up for us in the banquet room for our supper and there were even orange and brown colors in the decor. How much better could it be? :) As we prayed, much emotion was on our hearts thanking God for this amazing day and for the food set before us and for the fantastic week that we've all experienced. The food was wonderful as usual. Kyrstin was pleasantly surprised this week because the food was much better than what she imagined and that is a good thing to hear because she is quite particular with what she eats :) We had packed many granola bars and snacks for her because we thought that is what she'd be eating but to her surprise, she ate hardly any of it but God had another reason why we had packed so much of it....we had left it with Liliana's family <3 Oh how good that felt to leave a small blessing like that for them!
You have to remember I'm writing this all on the plane and when we flew away from Ecuador and watched the mountains fade behind us, the stewardess brought our breakfast. I took a few bites but it didn't taste very good. Instantly tears came to my eyes and I felt deeply convicted. I began to weep as I watched the scenery around me out the airplane window. The tears wouldn't stop. I have food at my disposal, I can climb into my car and drive, I am in an airplane flying for goodness sake!! There's so many great things about my life and I have all I want ....and my first thought is I don't like the taste of this food....while everyone who I just visited up in those mountains barely had enough food to eat everyday. So many questions ran through my head...why was I born where I was and not where they were, why them and not me, why me and not them, change my heart God and help me to be more grateful and help me to appreciate everything about my life more.
But back to our final supper together....As we were finishing up our meal, a group of 5 brothers entered the room with their instruments and began singing and playing for us. Wow! (yes I got a CD :) What voices and talent they have! The most amazing part is that they are all a direct result of Compassion! Yes!! 4 of the 5 brothers went through the complete sponsor program but the 5th brother was always there with them. Compassion has a policy that no more than 3 family members, possibly 4 in extreme poverty situations, can be registered in a project. But that is enough as the help for those children extends to the family. The youngest brother is currently a Leadership Development Student (LDP) as well. Their testimony and enthusiasm for Jesus was astounding. It was soooo wonderful to have them end this time with us! They have had opportunity to do a bit of travelling with their testimony and music but have dreams of going more places. Each of them has a career and are strong leaders in their area of influence, one of the brothers is now a Compassion Project Director as well. Amazing to see and hear how all through their lives, Compassion was there, from young on, helping them with their education, believing in them and their dreams, providing doctor and dentist checkups and food, giving them the hope in Jesus..and now their are a true testimony of what God has done in and through their lives because of Him and the work of Compassion. WOW WOW WOW is all we can say! We had not imagined the day would get any better but it just did! I think every single one of us in the group bought one of their CD's. :) We celebrated together with them through song and dance...so wonderful!!
Then it was time for goodbyes.... :( oh goodbyes are hard. Lots of goodbyes in the room after supper and some stayed up visiting in the lobby. I needed to go pack up and shower. At 3:30 am we woke up and were on the bus by 5 am after some coffee and croisants in the hotel lobby followed by more goodbyes. The bus ride would be an hour to the airport and our plane would be leaving at 8:30 am. We flew up into the air watching the incredible beauty of the Andes Mountains fading beneath us, leaving a part of our hearts behind in Ecuador. But we've made life-long friendships that will last into eternity! Can anything get better than that??!! No it can't! Being part of the family of God is a HUGE adventure and so amazing!! He is so faithful and gracious and loving and has wonderful wonderful wonderful surprises for us continually in our journey here on earth. This week has been filled with many of them. Thank You God for all of this! May we have the joy that many of the beautiful people we met on this trip have. I pray that Jesus is enough for all of us!
My friends, I have brought home 3 sponsor packs back home with me of beautiful young girls that need a loving sponsor. Here are their pictures. They would be friends of Liliana's :) and if you would like to sponsor them, please connect with me by email.
So that's all for now folks, until we meet again on another grand journey. :) Keep looking to Jesus and may He be enough <3
......well....actually here's a few snapshots from my other camera which I noticed just now.... :)
THANK GOD FOR THIS AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!!!! <3