Here it is, the last day. When this trip started we wondered what would happen…. how we’d respond…… how God would work this year. And now we know. It’s history. A part of our history – a history we lived and experienced. Many aspects of this trip were the same as in years past….. many aspects were different. We worked in places we’d been before….. and we paved roads of ministry in areas that were new to us. We had team members who’d come before….. and those who’d never been. We renewed old friendships in Ecuador….. and made new ones. It was a good trip.
One of the things that intrigues me most when going on a trip is all the different people we meet. So many faces. So many personalities. Different appearances. Varied skin tones. And all of them have a story that is uniquely theirs. We were privileged to see them, know them, work with them and love them. And many times, we were tied together by our love for the Lord. Pastors, translators, kids, teachers, helpers, cooks, fathers, mothers, camp directors, students, counselors, and so many more….. all working for Him. Each one with a purpose (given by Him) for being there and joining together in the work.
This trip was by no means easy. Many times we had little sleep and thoughts just didn’t want to process as they should! As is so often the case, we had health issues. And then those tough moments….. whether we’re home or far from it, we each have our own particular struggles or insecurities. But regardless of the hardships, looking into the eyes of a young child who loves you puts it all into perspective. And you remember why you came: to show them Christ’s love. A love far greater than we could ever manufacture.
At trip’s end we find ourselves faced with going home…… be that a welcome thought, or hard to come to terms with. So many faces and friends….. some we may never see again on this earth. And that is SO hard to walk away from. In the end, we know we followed Him. We went, we loved, we taught, and we saw Him work. We leave the results in His hand. And we are so grateful for all the memories that were made in the process.