It’s only day two of our Ecuadorian adventure, yet it feels as though we’ve spent two weeks here! I must admit a bit of naïveté in my expectations for Ecuador and, especially, the Church we are privileged to serve alongside. I would have never thought that this Church would have over 2000 members and seven services every Sunday. Day two allowed us to get to know the people within the Church; what I discovered truly impacted my view of the God we serve.
Today I discovered how much God is moving within the lives of each of the members of the Church. First, Pastor Benjamin and his wife, Rosita, absolutely amaze me with their fervency and sincerity in service. Our lesson today defined what it means to be a “servant of Christ,” “sirviente de Cristo.” It seems Pastor Benjamin and the youth translators were teaching us the lesson that we were teaching the kids: living as servants of Christ not only blesses and inspires the people they serve, it’s written in the joy on their faces. They sincerely enjoy offering hospitality to others – and their empanadas… my, oh my. Can I just say blessing and inspiring?! Seeing Pastor Benjamin and the work he and many others have done in Ecuador has shown me the bountiful rewards of a servant’s journey with Christ, within his life and the lives of everyone he is around.
Secondly, today offered an opportunity to get to know the translators better, and – again – I am amazed at God’s work in the lives of the Ecuadorian young people. Their passion and love for the kids they host simply tickled me. We spent the evening marveling at how much fun we had today, much of it owing to the carefree, non-pretentious atmosphere the translators offer . . . after all, the chances of Ecuadorian and American young people enjoying an Irish jig and square dance to the beat of a bongo drum are very slim. We also had the opportunity to discuss with the translators what the Lord was doing in their lives, and what they felt Him leading them to in the future. Some aspired to be missionaries, some simply looked to finishing high school; the Lord was at work in their hearts as they planned their upcoming life steps, so similar to my own.
Overall, today was a reminder of how much God is doing in the lives of His people . . . all over the world. I am so thankful that His plan saw fit to bring me here and allow my paths to cross with so many awesome people. In reading, Isaiah 42:5-6 struck perfectly the chord of our second day in Quito: “This is what God the Lord says, the Creator of the heavens who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all who spring from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness, I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, and a light for the Gentiles.” Today I realized that God calls each of us, across thousands of miles, to total abandon of self into to a richer, fuller journey with Christ.