A short-term mission team from the University of West Alabama’s Wesley Foundation will be in Ecuador May 8-15. Please pray for them as they serve the children and adults at Dulce Refugio in Villaflora, Quito. They will be posting throughout the week about their experiences.

May 12

On Monday night, one of our team members, Lauren, left Ecuador to head home.  We miss her and pray she is well and safe at home.

The entire team is the author of today’s blog.  We gathered for devotion this evening led by Melvin.  Dan led Communion, and the team members served one another.  Afterwards, we each took turns to write a bit for the blog.  The following documents what each team member has to say about the week thus far.

Rachel Spurgin
God has been so great!!!His love is all around us and we are receiving his blessed in abundance every day! His love and grace has been shown to us in the children that we are working with in VBS. They want to know all about us, our names, where we are from, our ages, anything they can find out. They not only learning about us, but more importantly they are learning about God and his love. We are blessed to have been able to come on this wonderful trip and thank everyone that has been praying for us.

Melvin Williams
This week has been amazing. I didn’t expect God to show up and do the things He did. God spoke to me on several different things. He showed me how to give up self, and care for others. In Philippians 2:3 says “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. The kids here in Quito are amazing. Just running up and wanting hugs or even someone to love on them. They made my day by just seeing them everyday and having a smile on their face and playing outside with them. I was glad God called me to this trip and allowed me this opportunity to share about His love and grace. Jesus is Love, and I’m glad to be one of His servants for this trip and this world.

Ashley Leashea Metheny
God has been soooooooo good to me! I had a great time working with the children in VBS. We are truly blessed to be on this mission trip, and I thank everyone who prayed for us to go on this trip. In John 15:5 says, “ If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Scott Hohn
God has been good. We accomplished our construction goals today; tomorrow we begin the next phase of construction to give a head start to the mission team that will be following us. Our team is having a great mission with children.  Look at our photos.  Thanks for your continued prayers.

MaeLee Taylor
Wow. What can I say about this week? I do not think there are enough words to describe what I am feeling right now. The children and adults are all so loving, caring, and sweet. One of the best things about this week has been when the children run up to me hugging and kissing me. It brings a smile to my face and my heart when the children remember my name and call me to do things with them all throughout the day. God has revealed Himself to me in so many ways this week. To be here in Quito, you have to have a servant heart and have faith in God that He can and will do great things in this city. I would like to thank everyone for the prayers and support for our team. It is amazing to see God’s work in action. Praise the Lord!

Jeremy Lindsay
Today I started the day off with two Bible verses from II Corinthians 12:9-10 which was very important for this point in time of the week. Some of have been sick, some of us have been tired, and some of us have been aching. I felt that everyone needed to hear those verses. I would have to say that this mission trip has been an amazing experience, the people are beautiful here and the scenery is marvelous. Seeing the work of Nanny, Anita and others is very awe inspiring and knowing that there are people like them here, gives hope to the people of Ecuador.

Wilson Kendrick
This was a great experience! I have now had more than 14 years of Christian service in one way or another, and I have not had nearly as much fun in only five days. We get pretty crazy and silly with everything, making a lot of fun of each other. But there are also great moments in which we experience the work of God here in Ecuador and in our own lives.  SIFAT has been a well-organized group, and we have certainly been well taken care of. We lack nothing on this trip, and I believe that the children they serve lack nothing either. That I believe is God’s love. The children have also fascinated me in their patience when we have moments of power failure or when we have to reorganize what we are doing or when we have to wait for others to come from lunch to introduction songs. Anita of the Villaflora program certainly has been teaching them well in manners and respect. And they have a thirst for learning more about God’s love. We have been blessed all week. I hope we can come back next year. Thank you to the people of Ecuador!!!

Ketia Shumaker
Praise the Lord! Our mission team here in Ecuador is uniting in Christ well. I am working with the vacation bible school and I am amazed at how respectful the children are. For instance, we had about 35 children between the ages of 8-13 in a room, and they were calm and only a few were talking in a very low voice. I have also enjoyed our morning and evening group devotions! Nanny, our SIFAT team coordinator, has also been a blessing, along with the pastor of daycare center where we are working.  Their dedication to being God’s hands and feet has been a blessing.

Richard Hester
I found out late in life that there is a very special, rewarding joy associated with helping and serving others. I wanted to be a part of a team that could contribute something more tangible and life changing for people in need. We were able to be such a team on this trip to Ecuador, and I am thankful for the opportunity that God has provided us. Looking into the eager eyes of the children it is easy to heed God’s call to help in this area. I hope to bring my son on a mission like this one day, so he can learn early to listen to the voice that wills you to do good with the gifts that you have. It has been a blessing.

Dan Baughman
Sometimes heaven and earth don’t seem to be so separate. They intersect, and it takes your breath away. We have been breathless. Literally. Quito sits several thousand feet above sea level, and my lungs don’t want to work correctly.  But I have had my breath taken away by the nearness of God, too. God is always near, of course, but I rarely let that register in my busy life. Now I’m recognizing once again that heaven and earth really aren’t so far apart. The kingdom of heaven is near. The love of God is never very far away nor is it very abstract. That’s reality. The people of Ecuador and SIFAT have been helping me see that.

Genevieve Baughman
As the author of the blog, it’s sometimes hard to convey my own thoughts when trying to convey eleven others’. This week has been a wonderful experience to see God’s grace in unfamiliar places. Though we’ve only been here a few days, it seems like much longer. The days are mostly filled with activities from the moment we get up to the moment we lay down to rest for the evening. It’s during the busy moments that it’s nice to take a break and look up to see the peace and beauty of the mountains. I see God’s presence in the people that we’ve met here. We’ve been welcomed with open arms. That’s a characteristic that we ought to take with us – to be as open a people and church to those that are around us. It’s such a blessing to be taken out of our comfort zones. It’s at times like these that we are pressed to be gracious to those around us. We are truly blessed.

For photos, click here, here or here!