Sunday was our last day in the beautiful city of Esmeraldas. After working all week with children from all over the city, we had the opportunity to visit the main host church for our Sunday morning service. During the service, several team members performed piano and violin numbers and delivered testimonies. Worshiping with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, it was amazing to see that despite the cultural differences, the object of our adoration remains the same. After the service, we were swarmed by children who we had worked with during the week and their parents. After tons of pictures and autographs, we were treated to one final amazing “Esmeraldas” meal.

After our lunch, we headed over to the camp were we would be teaching and living with kids from Quito for the next week. Let me tell you, the transition from comfortable, air-conditioned, hotel rooms to the bare, concrete floor, barely ventilated cabins was rough. Here’s just a little run-down on the camp facilities: no air conditioning, no consistent running water (it comes and leaves ever 10 minutes or so), no hot water, no internet (this blog post is being posted by our faithful team leader, Elizabeth, who is making the long trek to the local internet cafe), and TONS of bugs. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The kids make it all worth it. It is SO much fun to see their expressions at everything from the beautiful beach with its enormous waves to the “larger-than-life” grasshoppers that make their home on the ceilings. Since all of the kids are from the mountain city of Quito, beach trips are a rare occasion for them, and every trip to the beach is a new experience. “Cuando vamos a ir a la playa?” (When are we going to the beach?) is definitely the most asked question. 🙂

Despite the “less than 5 star” accommodations, this week is turning into my favorite week of Ecuador. Even though just getting a shower has turned into quite a feat, this camp has made me appreciate the “little” things of life. (For example, after being in a hotel and bed and breakfast for the past two weeks, most of the team members never missed their own personal towels. Let me tell you, after drying ourself off with old shirts for a day, we have NEVER been so glad to see the towels that the team leaders bought.) This week will truly be summed up in the verse, 2 Corinthians 12:9 – And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

-Nani, on behalf of the team

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