Amy_Esmeraldas_EcuadorThe day began by hitting the snooze button a couple too many times. I can only speak for myself, but breakfast is digressing on my priority list and sleep is quickly moving up. Especially when breakfast only consists of small crescents, scrambled eggs, and juice every morning at our hotel in the Esmeraldas. Needless to say I had a granola bar instead and got a whole 40 minutes of extra NEEDED sleep.

Our morning was quite typical for our stay here in the Esmeraldas. We headed to the school first thing, but this day was bittersweet because it was the last day working at the school. Every day we do two presentations in which we sing songs and do a skit to illustrate a character quality. Our first presentation we did a skit called “Musical Chairs” in which the rules are changed to where the first is last and the last first.

dsc8663-1During the second presentation we prepared to do the same skit, but for an older crowd of students. When Daniel (Cavanaugh) got up to narrate the story, the students were very restless and talking. We had been noticing an obvious lack of focus and discipline in the children here in the days prior, and Daniel took this situation and turned it into a great illustration. The words respect, focus, disciple, and Christ-centered lives hit these older students like water to a fire. The room was the most quiet I’ve heard all week. All the musical chair characters stepped outside to pray for this message Daniel was prompted to bring at this moment. As we stood there (Nathaniel, John, Darlene, Lorianne, and Andrea), I couldn’t help but think how interesting this must look with all of us in costumes – a punk, a hippy, a gangster, a nerd and a king, all huddled together praying. The skit never happened for that group, but the message they did hear was priceless – including a full presentation of the Gospel. Only God knows the hearts it touched.

Later in the day our afternoon was scattered with devotions, planning the evening children’s programs, cutting out 200+ paper doll chains for craft team #1, and a hair cut due to an unfortunate gum accident at the school). The final evening of the children program was a precious one. It was scattered with strained voices and headaches but Christ was all the more evident because of it: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

boy_esmeraldas_ecuadorThe last night of the children’s program is always sprinkled with emotions. This one was also sprinkled with rain to match. Being our last night at this church, I wanted to take in the surroundings one last time. I looked into the faces of the children differently. I wish I could know each of their stories. At times you can almost feel the brokenness of their lives by the look in their eyes. I can’t explain it, but it’s there. And even though I can’t see it all the time, that brokenness will always be felt in my heart when I pray for these people, these friends, these brothers and sisters.

– Lorianne, for the team


Elizabeth playing games with the school kids.



Tim signing autographs


Skit crew at the school


Evening skit crew

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