Otavalo was one of my favorite parts of our time in Ecuador. Which, if I’m being honest, are words I could probably say about every place we stopped for one reason or another…so, put however much weight on that statement as you wish.
Truly, though, Otavalo is an amazing city. It’s gorgeous and seems to have a much more traditional atmosphere than Quito. A majority of the ladies in Otavalo wear traditional outfits, as do some of the little girls (which might be the cutest thing you’ll ever see).
The church we worked with all week is full of the kindest people and the sweetest kids and saying goodbye to them was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I told the team they might as well not try to take me to camp if I couldn’t even get out of Otavalo without my heart breaking.
Our final lesson was about the persecuted church and our Christian family around the world and in our craft tent the kids made a paper chain of people. I’m not saying the kids loved us, or anything…but more than a couple of them made versions of Rachel, Laura, and myself in their chains.
I remember asking them if they knew that tons of people in the United State were praying for them and their eyes got so big! Before they started on their craft, Rachel led them in a prayer (via our translator Braulio…who we would have been completely lost without that week!) for their brothers and sisters in Christ around the world…
Personally, I’ll always remember that lesson…but mostly I’ll remember one of our little girls getting there early that morning and helping me set up the craft room. And I’ll remember sweet little Sisa, who came up behind me and hugged me while I was helping some of the other kids with their craft. And who wouldn’t let go of me at the end of the day (and let’s be honest, I wasn’t letting go, either.)
I promised that little girl I would come back, and you better believe I meant it. I left a little piece of my heart in Otavalo and I pray for those kids and that church every day.