Wow. It has been a while since I have had time to sit and write. This week was the first week of our new schedule and I do not think we were anticipating such a drastic change in time management. On Wednesday, Grant and I spent all of our time outside of class and meetings at each others houses planning for the next day’s events. We spent almost 8 hours working on a Sunday School planning and goals sheet, planning a 2 hour class that we taught to the missions ministry, and planning a Bible Study for the other students. While we both went to bed really tired that night, I felt like we had accomplished so much and were making a lot of progress. Then Thursday happened, I didn’t know if it would ever end, but it did and it ended beautifully. We didn’t end up teaching the Bible Study because the devotional went over 40 minutes and we didn’t have enough time. Then we had our first Spanish test, yikes! It was actually a placement test to see what we all actually knew, but it was really difficult. Then we had time to grab some dinner and head back to the Church for our first class. Grant and I taught a class to the missions ministry about goals, objectives and strategies for starting home churches. I definitely felt inadequate to be teaching the class, not to mention I thought I was going to pee my pants I was so nervous, but they were so excited to have us. The class went way better than we were expecting, we ended up having a translator with us for the difficult ministry stuff, and we did a workshop type class where we were able to help them actually write goals and objectives for their ministry. It was incredible, and definitely from the hand of God. We couldn’t have imagined that they would be so receptive and that God would work through us so much. I feel blessed to have had it go so smoothly, and I am excited about next week! After the class our translator, Juan Diego, who is a good friend of our sisters wanted to take us out for coffee. So, Grant and I went with Juan Diego into the downtown to this really cute little restaurant for coffee, sandwiches and really great conversations! This was the first time that we hung out with an “Ecuadorian” friend without our sisters, and it was really liberating. We are making friends! Ha, I feel like I am in second grade, but as we were sitting there enjoying out time, we really felt like we were making progress and not just tag alongs!
On Friday we were supposed to have 5 hours worth of meeting, but because of some scheduling conflicts and other engagements, we only sat in a meeting for a half hour! It was really nice to be able to have a little free time to get some errands done and also just sit and talk with Maria Delordes. Maria is one of my favorite people here; she works for
Yesterday was one of the most incredible days so far, we went to El Cajas, which is a national park here that consists of mountains, lakes/lagoons, wild animals, and waterfalls. I was blown away at the beauty and majesty of God as we were walking through His beautiful creation witnessing what He has done. It is times like these that I am stunned that people can see the great creation and not recognize that there is one great God that made it. After 6 hours of hiking, grilling out, and walking though lots of mud, we went back to Maria’s house for pizza and worship. I cant imagine a more perfect day. Well, maybe I would take away the sunburn on my face, and the skin that is peeling off of my toes, but other than that, it was amazing!
Today was somewhat relaxing with Church, a trip to the ‘campo’ with my family and some free time to catch up on work. I am looking forward to this week, but I know that it is going to be really busy. We have a lot of work to get done and seemingly not a lot of time. As we enter this week, please pray for…
1. Time Management, I know I say this a lot, but it continues to be challenging. Also, for those of you that don’t know, I have a hard time saying “no” so that doesn’t help my problem.
2. God’s truth and love to be evident in everything that I do, it is so important that I keep the goal in mind and know that He is the reason that I am here and He is who I want to show everyone else here.
3. Rest, since Wednesday night I haven’t seen more than 6 hours of sleep a night, and while I sometimes can do that in the States, here everything is more draining. I also have a pretty impressive sunburn, so that doesn’t help with the whole rest/sleep thing.
And 4. please pray for all of the relationships that are forming here, with the Ecuadorians, with my family and with the other students; and also those at home, with friends and family. Please pray that they will be protected and strengthened during this challenging and exciting time.