Ecuador: Intern Luci’s First Week in Quito

Editor’s Note: High school junior Luci Bryson, daughter of SIFAT training director Kathy Bryson, is spending six weeks this summer as an intern with SIFAT Ecuador. Having already been part of Learn & Serve programming and training events both on our Galilee Campus and internationally, Luci is helping our teams in Ecuador and improving her Spanish translating skills. This is the first installment of her trip journal.

June 11 — Today marks day 11 of my internship here in Ecuador. It seems that there hasn’t been a single moment to sit down and write. This past week, I worked with a medical team from Pensacola translating, and wow, how very eye opening it truly was for me! Literally. One time, I translated for an older gentleman who had never experienced glasses. Being able to translate his words to the doctors– connecting two languages for a clearer vision really cleared my own. I’m not only here to translate, but I am here as a bridge between two cultures. This first week, I have been hit hard with how much of what I considered “common sense” to really be another word I used for past experiences. It amazed me how shocked many were, even in tears, at the poverty that is so prevalent here in Quito–especially during the home visits at Villaflora.

Luci Bryson, SIFAT Ecuador intern, translated for VBS and a medical clinic, hosted by the St. Luke UMC (Pensacola) mission team, during her first week in Ecuador.

Yes it is true, many of them lack what we consider basic human needs back in the USA, but they are so rich spiritually. Who are we, missioning to them? It’s easy to pass out medicine and love on people, then turn back and live our own lives until 365 days go by and we do it all again. But these trips, this is an ongoing mission for these dear people from Pensacola; this isn’t a mission trip, it’s a life’s mission. Even Satan believes in God, but there is a difference to believe God, and go where he calls you to go. 

The team returned to Villaflora to provide a VBS for the children and medical care for the church members, after-school project participants and the community members.

St. Luke UMC from Pensacola spent the week with Dr. Roberto and I at Villaflora. (A group of doctors, ultrasound aspect, pharmacy and VBS, which touched so many people here.) Hundreds of patients and kids left with proper healthcare and thankful hearts from this humble team. They didn’t need to speak the language; they spoke the universal language– smiling. Each member of the team would smile and hug any person he or she could find. It didn’t matter if they smelled. 

Luci with the other translators who make it possible for the patients, nurses and doctors to understand one another.

I write you this looking at millions of golden lights mysteriously sprawled alongside low clouds and the occasional volcano. Spanish voices pass hurriedly in the streets. Public buses zoom by carrying the scent of frying plantains and goat shish kebabs entangling me in the exotic new beginning Ecuador is for me. Here I am Lord, use me.
This is my weekly update to you, my friends. Talk to you in a week. God is working here in Ecuador.
Luci Bryson