“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you,
saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21


“Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ
loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7


Friday, June 20, 2014

Remembered in my prayers

Meet the maestros: Jaime, Hernan, and Luis!
Romans 1:8-12 "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith." I am beyond grateful for the service of all the missionaries and Ecuadorian staff at Casa de Fe. I pray the Lord's work continues to increase in this place and that all people encountered may grow closer to God is a personal way. I am constantly humbled, then encouraged in ways only God can build me up! I started the day today much how I ended yesterday, with breakfast and the Beck's and some games. It was the perfect way to start the day. I got up to Casa and went with Christy to welcome the new team and walk them
Christy, Geidi, and Libby!!
through expectations. I had to take one of the new team members up to Casa and while he was being helped I got to say goodbye to some of the tias and maestros. It wasn't too hard to bid them farewell, because in my heart I know it is more of a see you later and even though I don't know when later is I believe it will come soon! Since the team is so big, I got to be a waitress at Alexander's. There are always new experiences here in Ecuador and this one was quite exciting! When I was all done helping Kelcy and I got to take a seat on the couch in the kitchen to eat. It was great eating with him and his wife, we not only got to enjoy the yummy French fries covered in green mayo, but we got to chat and get to know them! I wasn't every hungry after leaving Johnny's, but I went over to Esmereldita's to join up with summer staff for lunch (round 2)! It was nice to briefly meet them before having to leave. I spent the afternoon sporadically saying goodbyes to the teachers and kids at Casa de Fe. I got to hang out, play with kids, have my face painting for the Ecuadorian soccer game. While the game was
Genesis is the sweetest girl! I am beyond grateful for her
the big heart this little girl has <3
going, though I wanted to watch it, I was distracted and trying to say all of my last goodbyes. As I was telling all goodbye it hit me like a ton of bricks that I will never see a fair number of these kids again. I know God has done a great work during my time here and look forward to seeing all He has done in heaven someday! The things He has done is fare beyond earthly measure. As I was hurrying off Christy pulled me aside to pray for me and the tears came pouring out! I was not only overwhelmed with emotions from leaving, but by the understanding of some of my greatest hopes that she was able to speak life in to! The Freeman's took me to meet my ride to Quito and then I was off. It all happened so quickly it was kind of hard to process, I know it will take a while for everything to sink in. I felt fairly nauseous for most of the trip to Quito, the roads here don't always agree with me. Though I didn't feel well most of the time I was blown away by the hospitality of the family who took me right to where I needed to go in Quito and Mandi who graciously hosted me! I've been learning a lot about what it means to be hospitable this last month in Ecuador. Mandi and I hung out for a while before going to bed, thank you Lord for knowing exactly what I need.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Living Water

Evelyn, Caila, and Diana!!! Three of my girls from English class last year.
My last chapel for my time in Ecuador happened this morning! I am so glad I went, the worship and message were so good for the kids. When it was all done I got to take a picture with my English girls from last year. I was so happy to get a picture with them, I just love them to pieces! As soon as chapel was done I walked over to Sharon's to look through more books for the school, then headed over to the Beck's to sew with the Freeman's, Mary, and Vivi. When I finished up, because the thread ran out, it was almost 11 so I went back up to Casa! By the time I arrived I didn't have time to do much before lunch at Alexander's with a group of missionaries. I go to take Evelyn to get her hair cut this afternoon and when we were heading out the door, she asked if a friend could come with! She ran and got Diana to accompany us. It was fun to see how excited she was to get her hair done! We took our time walking back to Casa de Fe and enjoyed to time together. Upon arriving back at Casa I hung out with the kids and starting to tell the kids goodbye. I started to prepare the kids, but mostly myself for leaving tomorrow. I know it is going to be a difficult day tomorrow, it was good for me to emotionally get ready. I stayed up at the orphanage pretty late, then went straight over to the Beck's for supper. They invited Olivia and I over for sloppy joes and cards! I went out for one last evening of guayusa with Jorge and April, it was great catching up with them before I leave Shell. Finally, I went home to chat, clean, pack, and get ready for bed. It was a busy evening of gathering things up, but it went well. John 7:37-38, "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Before Jesus was glorified He told us of the Holy Spirit that we would receive, how great a gift we have been given! It is my prayer that my heart will overflow more and more of the Lord's living water. God calls us to take refuge in Him for every need and He faithfully meets each desire. I have been given so great a gift and long to serve others for God's glory!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

To whom shall we go?

Sweet Telmo!
I am continually reminded of my dependence on God for absolutely everything in this wonderful place. Daily I am humbled and reminded of my deep need for everything I do, I cannot get through the day without full reliance on Him. John 6:68-69, "Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God." I know the Lord has done great things in this place and that He will continue to move, I am honored to be a small part of it and am eternally grateful for the work that has been done in my heart. I grow a little more in trust every day, He faithfully provides! As I walked up to Casa de Fe this morning I heard the kids singing praises in chapel. It was a beautiful sound pouring through the windows and echoing around me. Then the day got even better with staff prayer time before beginning work! I spent the morning working on sponsorship stuff and visited the kids in the special needs room. I love spending time with them, they just need to be loved and simply holding them speaks volumes. Woohoo my prayers were answered, I am grateful to say I have a ride to Quito and a place to stay! My ride is leaving Friday night and has graciously allowed me to ride with them there. Also, my friend Mandi has offered me a place to stay, praise God! I was blown away at how intricately God works things together when I found out I was an answer to her prayers. God is good! I enjoyed lunch at Las Carnes with a bunch of missionaries. I got to go o Bible Club one last time and on the way Genesis was falling asleep in my arms. She is SO precious! As usual there were great worship songs for little kids to dance around, a message, and outdoor games. I really enjoy going to Bible Club and hanging out with the kiddos, I especially appreciate it now that I don't get to spend much time with the school aged kids! For my despendida a small group of us went over to Puyo for Volquetero. It is hard to start saying goodbye, but having my favorite regional food with people that I care about greatly was such a blessing! Nice Cream was another stop on the way back to Shell, the Kelcy, Olivia, and I stopped at Johnny's for guayusa. I was going to go by myself, but I couldn't have been more thankful these two ladies joined me!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Be hospitable

Geovany just being precious!
I began my journey to work and took a break midway to have breakfast at Cheralyn's! It is always constructive to start the day with a good friend and positive discussions. I spent the morning in the office continuing work on the new sponsorship task, although it is very repetitive and mundane I know it is beneficial. There were a huge group of missionaries at Alexander's for lunch. Right as we finished up a tasty meal it started teranchal raining. Now although it rains all the time, it was the first time I have ever felt the mist while I've been inside! It was misting all over in Alexander's, I'll have to add it to my list of unique things that happen in Ecuador. I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the same task, then as I was getting ready to leave I spent a bit of time with the kiddos! We were all in the front of the multiuse building and the kids decided they wanted to try flying, so they would jump into my arms, I would spin them in a circle and set them back on the bench. There was a whole mob of them wanting a turn, so I got my arm workout for the day! It was extra adorable when they would flap their wings as they prepared
These are a couple of the little "flying" guys!
to "take off"! My final task for the day was to pass out the necklaces they made and I baked last week. I will admit it was pretty stressful, all of the kids were grabbing at the tray and trying to get the one they wanted, but it was all fine in the end. As I was passing them out I learned very quickly what would and although it was kind of a mess all of them got a necklace if they wanted one! We had our second supper at Patti Sue's for the volunteers tonight. It is nice gathering as a group, talking, and simply spending time together! After our potluck meal I stopped by Kyle and April's had a little break down. I am thankful for their willingness to be there for me at any time. It speaks so much of Christ's love into my life, I appreciate them so much! Hebrews 13, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it". We must TRUST the Lord to bring us through each of life's challenges. He is drawing us closer in the daily joy and struggle! Jaime, his father, and daughter also stopped by to see them while I was there. I really like how friends just stop by each others houses to visit here, of course they use other modes of communication as well, but personal visits are always nice!
Nayeli and Evelyn have stolen my heart!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Prayers for You!

After the cake fight!!!
Right away when I arrived at work I had great talk about life with Kyle. I am beyond thankful the continual prayer outreach that takes place here, it is overwhelming to know how supportive the families here are! Prayer is powerful. God has given us all the great privilege to communicate with him and it is magnificent! 2 Corinthians 9:12-15, "This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" I am thankful for all of you near and far the continue to keep me in your prayers, it is appreciated far more than I can ever explain! We had a nice girls lunch going on at "Las Carnes', also known as the red restaurant, with Kelcy, Cheralyn, Bailey, and I! When I got back I continued working on the new sponsorship task, checked in at the school, and stopped by the bodega. Jeff was busy repairing the washing machine, so I had a mini lesson on how to fix the washer. I like learning new things and it was fun to see how things were taken apart and tested. As soon as we go back to the house we were celebrating his birthday party! Of course birthday parties are always fun, since I like birthday's so much, but there are some cool traditions here in Ecuador too. The birthday boy or girl takes the first bite of the cake (with their face) and depending on how skilled they are they can get away without their face being shoved in the cake! It is entertaining for sure. This party turned in to a bite of a cake and confetti fight, which is fun too! I hung out with the kiddos for a while before going over to Tracy's. She had supplies to make some tasty iced coffee and we had great conversation. She is so hospitable and an awesome woman to listen to, she is incredible! Time flew while we were there and in order to make it to zumba I stopped at home and had supper on the go. Oh how I have missed zumba at the Coliseo, I joined Kelcy and her friend for the dancing and we lounged in the park for a while afterwards. At last the day concluded with another evening hanging out on the roof and sharing life!





 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Genuine Forgiveness

Watching Ecuador play with the kids at Casa de Fe!
I went to church here in Shell this morning, it is the one Marcela's husband is the pastor at. It was fun going there and seeing a few other workers from Casa de Fe too! God is doing great work in this city for both the kids and staff at Casa de Fe. Right after the service I stopped by a bakery to grab some food, then went up to the orphanage. I hang out with the little ones watching Scooby Doo while I waited for the soccer game! The kids just want to be near you and feel loved, they all want to be the one sitting closest to you. For example, this morning a little girl named Evelyn came up to me and sat on my lap, then another little guy named Samuel decided he could sit there too. While those two were sitting nicely a different little boy sitting on the chair next to me leaned his shoulder against my arm. There is an extensive space in their hearts to feel the love of a parent and though we love them as much as we can their longing cannot be satisfied until they have parents that can take care of them 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It never ceases to amaze me how special these little kids can make me feel loved too. By the end of the movie it was Nayeli's turn to sit on my lap and she kept telling me I was beautiful, when I would tell her the same she would giggle and her face would light up! I started dancing like the actors in the movie were at the end and pretty soon Nayeli was getting really into her own little dance as well! 11am was game time and after a couple of minor technical difficulties the game was on! Ecuador scored the first goal, then it was tied up for the whole second half until the last few seconds when Switzerland pulled ahead. It an awesome game to watch, but crushing to see them lose at the very end. I have been meaning to make it to the Balsa Wood Store in Puyo for a while and the time was now! I hopped on the bus and took an adventure on my own. I spent I while looking at all of the stuff around the store and enjoyed this relaxing Sunday afternoon on my own, it was the perfect opportunity to take a little trip and re-explore the area. It's crazy to say this already, but I began repacking my suitcase. I still have this coming week here in Ecuador, but I know it will go all too fast and I didn't want to worry about trying to pack when I am trying to say goodbye to friends. I had just enough time to bake cookies before a Bible study/prayer at Dwight and Tandy's. The whole staff was gathered up there and the lesson was about freedom that comes with confessing our sins to those we have hurt. It was a good reminder and important lesson about self-righteousness that can get in the way of genuinely asking
We lost at the very end, this is how we felt.
for and freely giving forgiving. It is an invaluable and ever important topic to reflect on. We are not called to look at people's actions and compare others or ourselves to them, but to look at Christ and the life we have been given from Him. At the end there were prayer requests and they prayed for me as I already prepare to leave Shell. It was a much needed prayer and reminder to continually turn to Christ in my need, not looking to external things for comfort, and seeking God first. The evening ended with a tea party on our roof watching the stars and clouds in the sky, I even saw a distant shooting star.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Eternally Rich

Some of the missionary ladies with the birthday girl! Happy Quincenera!
It is Quincenera day, so there was no time to waste. Christy and I started bright and early by going to the flower shop to get the much anticipated greenery. We spent the whole morning working on the arrangements. Since the roses, buttons, and babies breath all came in large groupings we started by clearing the stems and prepping them. When all the flowers were ready to be arranged, we separated them by colors and began the pretty arrangements! It was a lot of fun to arrange them, who knows maybe I'll be a florist someday! We made a quick trip to Puyo for last minute supplies, then finished up decorating before going home to get ready. The party started at 3pm with a short procession where the birthday girl in her fancy dress is revealed! There was an introduction, then the Quincenera's first pair of high heals were put on her feet. It is a very important step in to womanhood in Ecuador when the young woman gets her high heels. When her shoes were on the dance with her father figures, the missionary men and workers at Casa de Fe, took place. The festivities end with pictures, then a large social with food! As I was observing the crowd during this time the kids that are alone always jump out at me. Here and in all places there are certain children that tend to be more secluded from groups and it breaks my heart. All people are God's beautiful creation. At some level all of us know what it feels like to be the one left out or cast aside, knowing that feeling and seeing it happen to kids breaks my heart. It is my prayer for all people to feel loved and cared for, even when loneliness sneaks in the Lord is with us and will always come through. We long to be cared for and accepted by others, but in the times we are let down or crushed God has a plan. I know do not see everything that happens nor do I understand everything these kids are going through, but if there is anything in my power to show God's love to these beautiful children I want to be a part of it. Isaiah 61:1, "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners". The Lord has given me eyes to see like He does and it is my great privilege to serve those who need love and attention. God does not take care of us based on how many friends we have or how nice we look on any given day His love and
Patti Sue, Geidi, and I!
care is UNCONTITIONAL. In Christ we are RICH in all things eternally valuable! Isaiah 61:3, "And provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor". It is my prayer that all of those who are brokenhearted, poor, imprisoned, grieving, mourning, or in despair may be made whole! In Christ we have been given an identity, my identity comes from Him. It is easy to find my identity in other people at times, but it is all in vain because my worth is in Christ alone. I am humbled daily and reminded I cannot rely on my own abilities, or lack there of, I need more of God every day. Before calling it a night, Cheralyn, Christy, and I went to the brand new Mexican restaurant to pick up supper. It took a while to get the food, but we got to watch Italy win their first soccer game while we waited! We took the food home and were joined by Rick & Rebekah, Kelcy, and Anna. Once we were all done eating we played a card game called "Bang" and enjoyed some chocolates and popcorn. It was so much fun.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Discerning what is right


Wilson crossing the finish line!
May God from whom all good things come, grant that we, at His prompting discern what is right, and by His guidance do it. I was encouraged by this school email I received. I am constantly striving to discern God's will and it is my continued prayer that I may do so more and more every day. As I was downstairs greeting the Tias, little Telmo crawled right under my feet to say hello! I couldn't resist picking him up and talk to him for a while. He is so sweet and longs to be held, talked to, walked around, and just look into your eyes. It is sweet to see how much he has learned to do in the last year, I didn't get to spend very much time with him last year, but I have seen such great progress! After spending some time holding and talking with him I was back upstairs to get to work. I
Here comes Alondra running fast!
was working hard until the 100 meter dash for the school kids. The were participating in physical fitness testing for the kids, so they had to find a stretch of land with 100 meters of flat surface, this left the road to Sacharuna in front of Patti Sue's house. They kids participating had a great cheer team, because the whole school was there as well as their teachers and almost all of the missionaries! I had lunch at Cheralyn's house and paused to watch the clouds move across the sky. There is are huge awesome windows at house she is living at, they face towards Casa de Fe and have a nice view of the dique. The clouds were moving at different speeds and the "friendly clouds" were overtaking the storm clouds, I've never seen anything quite like it before! I worked the rest of the afternoon, and before I knew it, it was time to head home. I got to play soccer (2 on 2) with some of the girls, it was great competition. Caila and I played against Diana and Alondra, even when it started raining it didn't slow any of us down! Right from work I went to check on flowers for the Quinceañera tomorrow, but they didn't have the right ones, so we will have to try again in the morning...the day of the celebration! I had just enough time to buy ingredients to make applesauce for Cheralyn's birthday party! The evening was filled with good waffles, games, and giggles. It was a much needed evening with the missionary women at Casa de Fe!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Carry your cross

Time well spent with this little beauty while the power was out!
I started my day of by standing on my roof, looking at the jungle with mountains in the background, and listening to all the critter sounds. The music within nature is truly something glorious! After a warm walk to work I did my usual rounds of greeting the Tias. It wasn't until I got upstairs and saw all the missionaries waiting that I realized the electricity was out! I wondered now what? So much of what we do requires electricity, seriously initially I couldn't think of any work I could do that didn't require it! I hung around for a little bit while I was waiting for a job, and was helping burned the fringy ends of safety rope key chains, apparently it was a fire kind of day, because my next job was baking. I was given the task to back the playdough-like necklaces the kids made at school and I gladly accepted. I got to use the gas stove to bake them and the first three trays turned out great, I put in the next three and one of them did not turn out so well. I scorched all of the playdough on a try, it was fried to a crisp. Though the other two turned out well the biggest tray was totally ruined. When the electricity is out there is always my favorite job as an option, playing with the toddlers! They are a hoot to be around and it is always priceless to be out on the playground playing with them. For lunch I was planning on going home, but needed to wait at Alexander's and decided to stay and I'm sure glad I did. Lunch with the Martin's and Kelcy was a huge blessing! Upon returning to Casa de Fe I, with the help of the missionary kids, added string to the colorful necklace pendants! As I was pondering life on my way home I couldn't stop thinking about the changes we face throughout life. Every day life presents us with changes, both big and small, but all of them help shape who we are. I continued my thoughts where I started my day, back on the rooftop. It was really powerful for me to reflect on the life changes the Lord has brought me through. In honor of the opening day of the World Cup 2014, I reflected back to the last FIFA soccer festivities four years ago. I had just undergone reconstructive surgery on my ACL and was beginning the slow road to recovery. Looking back I am thankful for all of the physical and emotional strains I experienced that summer, because He drew me closer to Himself. It was not easy, in fact, it was one of the most difficult few months of my life, but I grew in beautiful ways! "Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" -Mark 8:34-36. I received this in a daily devotion this morning and some of the other context Kyle mentioned spoke to my heart as well, "The cross that the Lord calls each of us to carry has various shapes. We may have to openly confess Jesus before those who do not want to be reminded of Him or His good news. And we may be called to walk through this fallen world with a bright smile on our face while our heart is breaking. Jesus is never as near to us as when we lift our cross, lay it submissively on our own shoulders, and welcome it with a patient and uncomplaining spirit. He draws us close in order to mature us, deepen our peace, and increase our courage. He does all this so that through the very experience that is so painful and distressing to us, we will be of greater service to others". God is good and speaks to our hearts in beautiful ways, He guides us through the mountains and the valley to reveal more of His perfect love and plan for our lives. Supper and an evening of fellowship was a great way to end a day of reflecting on life experiences, people, and places that have changed my life and helped make me who I am today!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Help through prayer

Lydia and I were twins today!
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many" -2 Corinthians 1:3-11. Each day I am reminded more and more that I cannot get through a day on my own, and I don't just want to "get through" any day. I want to live each day, hour, and moment to the fullest, so I rely on the great Provider! God is my daily hope, the gracious giver, and wonderful counselor who hears my pleas. Not only does the Lord walk before me, but He goes with me and is faithful to each prayer I lay at His feet. When I come to Him with a ready heart and truly present my requests to Him, He provides in His perfect way. I went through donations this morning and got to visit with Sharon this

Beautiful rainbow at Bible Club!
morning! Then I got to spend the rest of the morning sewing away, such a great way to work and relax at the same time! Christy invited me over for lunch and it was delicious! When I was back at work it was time to help with sponsorship information. I went along to Bible Club to help out with the little guys, I also got to ride it the truck and had forgotten how excited the kids are about going places! It was so entertaining to see their responses to all the bumps from the road construction. There was a great message about how important it is to tell the truth and speaking kind words. When we got to go outside to play there were a bunch of different things going on, but jump rope and soccer were the two big events. There was a beautiful rainbow too! Such a beautiful reminder of God's promises! I walked straight to supper afterwards and it was a great time of fellowship.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We are Gifted

I woke up to thunderstorm this morning, not the bus, not dogs, not any other nice by the relaxing sound of the thunder and rain! It was great, I was really excited about the storm and went to the window to see if there was lightning along with it. Unfortunately I did not see any for the brief amount of time I watched, so I went back to bed, however, shortly after laying down to go back to bed I was quite certain I saw a flash through my curtains. The storm did pass by the time I went walked up to work, Kelcy and I walked part of the way until we were picked up by another missionary. I got to spend the whole morning sewing! I wouldn't mind doing a whole bunch more of this, I think my grandma would be proud of my work too! Use the gifts God has given you! We all have our specialties, we are one body and have unique skills! I was flattered today by a comment about coming back as a house parent someday. I know it would be a challenge, but I know God works here in incredible ways and maybe someday He will call me back for this purpose. As we were heading out for lunch we sang happy birthday to Cheralyn and ate some cake. You can't go wrong starting lunch with dessert. Tandy and Dwight invited a group of us over for lunch and it was great catching up, laughing, and sharing stories! I left work to go to Super Tias in Puyo with Cheralyn and Christy. I finally made it to Super Tias! After arriving home from Puyo I put my groceries away and somehow took a two hour nap. I was super tired, so it was a much needed nap! When Cheralyn, the birthday girl, and I were ready to head over to Patti Sue's for supper it started torrential raining again, somehow nether of us were prepared with ANY rain gear so we had
Sausti and I!
to improvise. We constructed raincoats with garbage bags and I made a little skirt with a towel so my pants wouldn't get so wet. We were even more preventative by calling a taxi and getting dropped off, let's just say everybody got a kick out of our attire when we arrived. We were stylish to say the least! Supper at Patti Sue's was build your own pizza and there was real pizza sauce, yum! When we were finished eating we watched silly videos and ate ice cream!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Amazon Rain

Our newest baby girl at Casa de Fe.
This morning there were four new children at Casa de Fe, the youngest in the family is a sweet baby girl only a couple of months and so sweet. The other ones were off at school, but she was sound asleep in the baby room. The song He Reigns by the Newsboys has a much deeper meaning when you get caught walking in a big rain or hear it beating down on the metal roof. This morning I did not get stuck in the rain on my way to work, but hearing it pour on the roof brought it this song to life this morning: "It's the song of the redeemed, rising from the African plain. It's the song of the forgiven, drowning out the AMAZON RAIN. The song of Asian believers, filled with God's holy fire. It's every TRIBE, every TONGUE, every NATION, a love song borne of a grateful choir. It's all God's children singing glory, glory, hallelujah, he reigns. Let it rise above the four winds, caught up in the heavenly sound. Let praises echo from the towers of cathedrals, to the faithful gathered on the ground. Of all the songs sung since the dawn of creation, some were meant to persist. Of all the bells on a thousand steeples, none rings truer than these. It's all God's children singing glory, glory, hallelujah, he reigns. And all the powers of darkness tremble at what they've just heard. Because all the powers of darkness can't drown out a single word. When all God's children sing, glory, glory, hallelujah, he reigns. It's all God's people singing glory, glory, hallelujah, he reigns". This power of this song struck me this morning, though I have heard it many times and seen rain in Ecuador many more. We are redeemed, we are forgiven, and our lives can set a fire in the hearts of others! I got to have a brief talk with kyle about separation between people in the church and not in the church and how important it is to fill the space and welcome people in. It is our job as the body of Christ to reach out to others, set a fire in the hearts of others and show them the true love of God through His son Jesus Christ. There was a big meeting for the long term staff with an organization at the multiuse building today and I was helping organize the snack and setting/serving the catered lunch. My childhood dream of working at a restaurant was kind of fulfilled! When I was all done helping serve the food I got to sit down and eat lunch with the group. At the end of the day I got to follow along and help Christy with the team visiting this afternoon. They were excited to be here and enjoyed spending time with the kids even though it was brief. We got to spend a little bit of time in the toddler play area with them and right before they left one of the men said he could tell how much I loved being here. I was flattered that he could see my passion to care for and serve in this place. Cheralyn hosted Anna and I for supper, we ate French toast and I think I have found just the right recipe for it! A day isn't truly done until the last errand is run and ice cream is consumed, so that is precisely what I did!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Leaders

This is only part of the market in Puyo!
I picked up breakfast from the bakery on my walk to Freeman's house, then they ever so kindly took me to Puyo. I met up with Heidi's team at the El Jardin hotel, then we were off to the market. We went to the big Sunday market in Puyo to pick up food for lunch at the finca (farm). While we were there we enjoyed eating some new foods and I bought a beautiful necklace and another soccer jersey! We checked out the fish part of the market, walked up and down the rows and rows of food, then were off after a solid hour and a half. The farm was about 30 minutes away from Puyo and naturally I slept the whole way there! Upon our arrival we went on a hike, thankfully before we got too far Nube handed me a hiking stick, it really is incredible how much they help when you are walking through the mucky mud in the jungle here. We walked through a river, toured different plants (such as sugar cane, sour cane, mandarine oranges, banana, plantain, and guyaba),
Ready to swim!
then looked at the ant farm. It was really a beautiful sight to see countless ants carrying their greenery. They marched purposefully in a line with their little fan-like greens. As we finished up the hike we crossed a rickety three log wide bridge, then "muddy" mountain hiking climbed up a steep hill. I thought I would five it a new name, because it was not a traditional hike, if it would have been any steeper, we would have been mountain climbing! When we reached the top I feasted on mandarin oranges with Nube, they were a great treat after the hike. Swimming in the stream and a very informal game of EcoVolley happened before our late lunch. Nelly's sister spent hours from the time we got there until when we ate, at 3:30pm, preparing the food. They were so hospitable! I was moved by the amount of work and kindness they showed by hosting us and it makes me want to have a nice space to host people! On the way home we went to Casa del
The tree house.
Arbol (between Shell and Puyo). It is very different than the one I've been to in Banos, but awesome! The man who built the tree house took us on the tour. We started at the caverna (caves) which required making a human chain. I will admit I was more than a little nervous as he lead us into this black cave with no light, it was pitch black. The whole group was fully relying on every step he took. When at last we made it the center cavern he told us about how leadership is required in troubled times, through fears and anxiety a leader must step up for survival. He mentioned the Chilean miners, they survived for 69 days which required leadership to ration food and keep moral up. It is a sweet lesson on leadership and submitting to leadership for me. Hebrews 13:17-19, "Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon." It is invaluable for groups of people to work as one so that all may be of gain for them as a whole! Once we completed the cave tour it was a
My beautiful friends! Nelly, Dany, Nube, and Heidi <3
short distance to the 11 story tree house this man had built. It was really quite the sight and climb. From the top of the tree house there was a great view of Puyo! I had just enough time to make my treat for Micheal's despedida and head over to Patti Sue's with all of the other missionaries to send him off. I love how we come together as a Casa de Fe family to support and celebrate with one another!




 




Saturday, June 7, 2014

Care beyond measure


So precious!
This fine Saturday morning I went up to Casa de Fe with Christy to meet Heidi's team. Although they were quite a bit later than I anticipated, it was a sweet time of reflecting and watching the kids interact outside from upstairs in the therapy room. These were some thoughts that crossed my mind as I pondered life: When things appear to be broken it doesn't always mean they are, and when others seem to be perfectly together it doesn't mean it is true. Every day we are all facing battles and fears of some kind that others will probably never know. Though God works all things together for our good, this does not mean life is easy and everything goes the way we want. Our dreams are invaluable, but God's are so much bigger than we could ever hope. I thank the Lord for knowing the deepest desires in my heart and His vision for me, He fulfills all things in His precise timing. Trusting Him is all we need to even when it is the hardest. He cares for each of us far beyond our ability to measure. Seeing the faces of these precious children I am reminded of
Heidi visited Casa de Fe with her group of
Middle School Students!
how He guides us all, young and old, in the act of leading one another. If today was my last day on this earth all I would want to do is help people to know God's good and personal love! The boys were being boys and digging in the mud, I was a blessed to watch them work for a while. While they were working Jimmy was showing the little guys how to help build their mini fort, he was literally holding their hand and guiding them. Christy, Thalia, and I went down to the bridge to meet Heidi's team and take them up to Casa de Fe for a tour and day to play with the kids! It was an easy going morning and all too shortly it was time for lunch at Esmereldita's. I couldn't stop drinking the guaynabana juice, it is so yummy! As soon as we were done eating we headed back up to Casa, played Frisbee for a while, then I got a rockin' hair style. When I wrapped things up at Casa for the day I walked in to town, met up with Olivia, then went
Making empanadas at Sylvia's!
to Sylvia's (in Moravia) for empanadas and coffee with some of the other teachers! It was a great time of conversation and getting to know each other better. It was great practice for comprehending and speaking in Spanish! At the end of our time there we caught a taxi back to Shell and went over to the Freeman's for some food and intense games of Scategories! I forgot how much I like that game and I love spending time with good company!


Friday, June 6, 2014

Pushing Back the Dark

Gilmar with the Shadow puppets!

We sang Pushing Back The Dark by Josh Wilson in chapel and it was exactly what I needed to hear! Some of the lyrics are: "One million reasons why, you shouldn't even try. After all you're just one heart, a single candle in the dark. And there are shadows here, feeding on your fears,That you don't have what it takes - who are you to make a change? But oh, oh, don't underestimate the God you follow. Whatever you do, just don't look back. Oh somebody needs the light you have. Whatever you do, just don't lose heart. Keep on pushing back the dark. Keep on pushing back the dark. The city on a hill, it should be shining still. Every sinner saved by
Marjouri, Sylvia, and I!
 grace, has a purpose, has a place Inside the bigger plan, we might not understand. But if we just keep walking on, we will see the Kingdom come, yeah. Whatever you do, just don't look back. Oh somebody needs the light you have. Whatever you do, just don't lose heart. Keep on pushing back the dark, Keep on pushing back the dark. (Let your lights all shine) Oh, oh, don't underestimate the God you follow. He is the light that burns inside your soul, So keep on shining 'til the whole world knows. Whatever you do, just don't look back. Oh somebody needs the light you have. Whatever you do, just don't lose heart. Keep on pushing back the dark, Just keep on pushing back the dark, dark." Thank you Lord for starting my day off with Your presence in my life and constantly telling me to shine Your light even when I feel microscopic and like I don't have much to give!
During the final preparations for the Art Show Genesis stopped and wanted a hug. It was such a great reminder to stop and care for the kids, to pause in the business and just be present for them! The teachers went above and beyond with the extra decorations again this year, they are all into the presentation of things, right down to the food. After everything was settled in and running smoothly, I took a breath and relearned how to make tessellations. One of the art stations was being run by a group of our older students, so Jimmy showed me and many others how to master this skill. Chifa China was the special teacher lunch today, it was great to have everybody gathered together for the meal. Throughout the day, when there was time, I kept working on tessellations since it was so relaxing. The other art station was about lines and patterns, so my tessellation was filled in with the patterns, it was a great combination! I also
Nube, Nelly, and I at the food station!
continued eating cookies throughout the day, starting at breakfast time. Let it be known that on this day I probably broke my personal cookie record, I better mark this in the history books! We cleaned up the school and got things back to normal, before I could blink it was 5:30 so Olivia and I walked home. Christy invited us in for a quick supper before youth group in Puyo, then we were off again! On the way to Puyo my window was open and I was taking in the sights and fresh crisp night air. At youth group people were put on the spot to share what God had done in their lives and tell about how He has worked in them. It really got me thinking about my story, not that I have never thought about it, in fact, I think about it all the time, but I was really challenged to think about WHY and HOW. When I was graduating from college I knew God was calling me abroad, I just didn't know where, when, for how long, or why. Although I had a couple of interviews and good opportunities nothing fell in place, I spent the fall substitute teaching and inquiring about service opportunities. I heard about Casa de Fe, an orphanage for all kids including those with special needs, from a friend and prayed about this place and going for a couple of months. At the end of December I contacted the coordinator at Casa de Fe and by God's perfect plan there was a need for a missionary for the second half of the school year. I packed up my life as quickly as possible, took care of all the necessary paperwork, and hopped on the first possible flight to Ecuador. However, the Lord's calling didn't stop there, through faith and trust the visa process (the part that needed to be taken care of in Ecuador) began and I had a ride to the city I would be living in! The Lord's faithfulness and presence was overwhelming. I adjusted right in the culture and way of living and fell in love with the kids. I could have never predicted the great joys
Guayasimin "puzzle" art!
and challenges I would face and I still cannot measure the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me in this place. At the end of every day I knew it was filled with God's purpose and though it was not always glamorous it was divine. God did and continues to teach me how to love unconditionally and care for all people where they are at. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" -Galatians 2:20. I have been given much because I have Christ in me and I am called to give much in return, not out of duty or guilt, but out of God's overflowing love! Life is not about how much I can gain for myself, but how I can serve others!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Work for the Lord

This BEAUTIFUL butterfly visited the
school office this morning!
I had some "Mission Impossible" style going on as I rode up the hill to Casa with the Martins! It was a pretty great way to start the day, they are awesome people to be around! It was a productive start to the school day with a variety of Art Show preparations happening. I was in charge of the welcome sign, Evelyn was my design assistant and Jenny was the color expert! It was my favorite project of the day, but the rest of the day was filled with great lessons. God taught me a great deal about perseverance and working for the benefit of others at work today. It was an excruciatingly long day of work and I was exhausted by lunch time, but the work to do was far from done. Though I felt as if I had no energy and was hardly of assistance, I kept completing tasks both big and small. I would be lying if I said I was excited about what I was doing, but I know how big this is for the kids and proud they will be to see their accomplishments tomorrow because of the work done tonight. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us" Romans 5:1-5. I was not suffering in any major ways, but the Lord was building my perseverance through my work and I am grateful for His strength through it all. "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free" Ephesians 6:5-8. May everything I say and do be done to serve God and work for His kingdom! After completing work at the school, Anna and I needed to go and buy 8 watermelons as a snack for the Art Show. Once we picked the winners, Jeff gave us a ride back up to the school so we could drop them off and he had all his girls with him. Little Anna and I were sharing the front seat and before I could walk in to the house for the evening she wanted a picture of our hands making a 
These kiddos hard at work!

heart. The picture didn't turn out, but it was a special moment! I was impressed that she remembered it from last year and my memories flashed back to when I was little and insisted on posing in most pictures with a hand hearts! I made it through the long day with only two minor injuries ( sliding a bit on a rock and squishing my hand in the gate), an exhausted mind, and a body that didn't want to move. Then, God blessed me with Christy's hospitality and delicious spaghetti carbonara/yummy chocolates! Just when I thought I could do no more I helped Cheralyn move and we went on a hunt for Art Show cookies. Busy doesn't fully describe my day, but it is the best way to try!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Positive Perspective

Baby time!
I spent the first part of my day working in the office and helping with baby time, it was a busy morning! Baby time today was spent on the front "porch" of Casa de Fe with the littlest kids and the kids with special needs. I got to spend a bit of time playing with the chalk and chasing three little ones around, then I spent time with Michelle. It really is an emotional experience spending time with some of our kids that have the highest needs. They are God's beautiful children and they like everybody else on the planet need to be loved. This morning was hard, but good for my heart. I also got a lot done and am nearly finished with the sponsorship stuff I have been working on, I am feeling helpful and accomplished with that. A bunch of us went to lunch at the "Red place" also know as "Las Carnes", then I was off to the school. I spent the afternoon hanging artwork up in the different theme rooms, before speed walking to Bible Club. Along the way, down at the decay, I saw Duvi! It was awesome to see her and very briefly catch up. I couldn't have been more excited and surprised for this young lady to call and wave me back as I was rushing by with my eyes on the ground. I only caught the end of it, but I was very glad I did make it for some even if it wasn't much time. It was well worth it was I got to see
Micheal and Amanda & Michelle and I!
Martin with his new glasses upon arriving at the house to drop everybody off! He looked so handsome with his new lenses. Anna, Olivia, and I stopped at Johnny's after Bible Club for some much needed food. At last I got my "hamburgesa tejana" which is basically just a really good cheese burger with ham and a fried egg. As we sat there for a little bit up in the balcony a couple of bus fell on to the plates (we were all done eating), but it was still gross. It is one of those things that can only be described as "it's Ecuador"! Although it is not ideal to have critters falling in your food, you just learn how to deal with it. Having a positive perspective in life, mush as with the bugs in the food, is invaluable. God is faithful in His
Martin wearing his new glasses!
plans for my life and daily reminds me of the ways He is working. I pray that in all things I may continue to put on the armor of Christ and press on! "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should" -Ephesians 6:18. God has given us all good gifts and has well prepared us for everything life has to offer, may we all continue to embrace where He has us and trust in where we will go. Life is all about perspective, choose the positive one! When Cheralyn and I went out to run a couple of errands I saw a dog snarling at another dog and like a brave young lady I froze, then grabbed Cheralyn's arm and hid behind her! I saw it all happening in slow motion, then scurried away. After a hard day of work I got to bed as early as I could!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All I need!

Meet Cristofer, he is the little boy my sister
and I sponsor!!!
I got up extra early this morning to see the Shell sunrise. I walked around town and enjoyed this city for all that it is, I love to soak in my surroundings! I briefly checked out our rooftop view when I returned from my walk and was waiting for others to walk up to Casa de Fe, it is quite the oaisis. I spent the morning working in the office with the other missionaries, I am beyond thankful for the understanding and supportive staff that are in the place! On our way heading to lunch at Chifa China, we got in some good laughs! I got to eat there with the Hayes family, the Beck kids, Cheralyn, and Bailey. I hadn't eaten there since being back and although it wasn't the first place on my places to eat it far surpassed my expectations. After returning from lunch I went up to the school to work on Art Show stuff. I have been specializing in the color wheel room. It has been a ton of fun for me to be helping out with the preperations and escpecially with the colors! I started by outlining the wheel the kids painted the other day, then hung up student's art and outlined the title for them to fill in. After helping up at the school this afternoon I spent time with the littlest kids before walking home. Upon arrival Olivia and Anna were hosting some of there mentor students, Yajaira, Viviana, and Caila. Ther were giving manicures and watching movie, so I joined them to watch the movie! Seeing how the kids thrive in those small groups is priceless, they desire the family dynamics so deeply and they just come alive. When Viviana was done getting her nails painted she came over, gave me a big bear hug and sat close to watch the movie and lean her head on my shoulder! When they left I laid down for a long overdue nap and resting until Cheralyn was ready for a late night supper at Johnny's. Though they were all out of burger supplies by the time we arrives, the order of yucca fries and guyusa tea accompanied by a great friend was all I really needed. I'm thankful for the Lord's seemingly small, yet infinitely important moments here. Days are jam packed and filled with extremes of every kind of emotion at Casa de Fe, and having people to listen, care, and relate with your experiences is invaluable. We sat upstairs enjoying tea and chatting for quite a while, in fact, it was so long they accidently turned off the lights on us. At that point Cheralyn popped up and headed downstairs and I slowly moiseied down there, because I so badly wanted to finish my tea. One of the owners was the one who turned off the lights and she felt so bad, but it was not a big deal, honestly it was hilarious. When I had gotten an appropriate distance away I laughed uncontroallably, it is one of those funny things that would only happen here in Ecuador. I saw a friend on the way home and look forward to getting together with him and his fiancé! There was also a little kitten that we heard, then found crying along the way. The kitten's crying sounded like a person pretending to be a cat at first, but when we actually saw it I knew differently. Strangely enough the kitten's cries reminded me of the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers scene where one of the brothers is pretending to be a cat! Jesus says to the Father, "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.” -John 17:6-8. Who am I and what do I have in this life? I am not talking about what things I have and what can be gained in this world, but rather what have I been given through Christ. I have been given new life, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, hope, strength, and passions. I have been gifted with greatness through Jesus Christ and nothing in this world can take that from me, thank you dear God for the message of your Son and the life given to me in Him. Yes I do have my fair share of things on this earth, but at any moment they can disappear and at all times they are nothing compared to Christ. He is all I need!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Take Heart and have peace


Naomi and I!
Office work was the first thing on the agenda this morning, so that is where I began. I didn't feel very productive with my work on the sponsorship program, but I did get to help facilitate baby time with Michael. I was super blessed to spend time with the babies and some of the kids with special needs. It was a blast to spend time walking around and helping the team members take care of the kids. When it started raining we all went inside into the therapy room to play with them. It was incredible to see how well Naomi was doing, she is thriving! She was busy walking, crawling, and playing around with huge personality! It is so fun to see her spunkiness. She has progressed so much from when I was here last year, she was malnourished and in the hospital then, but now she so full of life! I got to spend two hours with the babies and team members and it was great, I couldn't have asked for a better surprise this morning. I ate at the hotel Esmarelda's for the first time ever and it was delicious. Much to my regret after ordering the chicken I saw how great the beef looked, thankfully the waiter messed up my order and I got the beef and I think it was the best beef I have ever been served at a restaurant here! On the way back to Casa we grabbed ice cream at Alexander's and caught a ride back up with the team. It was a crazy ride and we were all sliding down the bench and squishing each other, it was comical. For the remainder of the day I work on art show boards at the school. The students learned about Guayasamin, a famous Ecuadorian artist, earlier this year and constructed a group piece by him. The pictures "puzzle" together to create pieces by Guayasamin, a famous Ecuadorian artist. It was great to feel the power and heat from the sun as I was working on the art boards outside, it was beautiful and extremely warm! Oh, how I have missed the Ecuadorian sun! I played patty-cake and other clapping games with Nayeli and some of the smaller girls after work and they loved it! When the work day was done I walked home from Casa and enjoyed the scenery in this beautiful jungle abyss! I finally got around to shopping around Shell for some good fruit, I have been craving some treats and am pleased to say I found exactly what I was craving. While I was out and about I ran in to Jaime and his daughter, they were riding bike and it was so cute!  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” -John 16:33. Whether we are near or scattered, full of joy or uncertainty, answers or questions, love or hurt the Lord is with us and has gone before us. He knows the daily struggles that are present on this earth, but He has overcome this world and all the imperfections in it. God is far greater that we can imagine, seek Him first! Christy made a traditional Indian meal for us tonight and Cheralyn and I fried up some naan! It was a great time with the short term/single missionaries (Bailey, Cheralyn, Anna, Kelcy, Michael, and two MAF missionaries)! It was nice to learn more about everybody's stories, hear about what the Lord is and has been doing in their lives, and just getting to know them better. At the end of the festivities Kelcy, Cheralyn, and I walked the streets of Shell laughing uncontrollably, crying, sharing some of our resent experiences, and building each other up!



 




Sunday, June 1, 2014

Abide in Him

The Children's program
This morning I went to Puyo to check out the Waodani church. The service started around 9 with worship and in between each of the messages we got to sing which I really liked! The song selection was great and I got to see and hear some Waodani words through a couple of them. One of the three messages was about John 15:9-12 " As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." Abiding (as defined by google) is to accept or act in accordance with, comply with, obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, conform to, adhere to, stick to, stand by, uphold, heed, accept, go along with, acknowledge,
Cheralyn and I with the Mother's Day gift
We got on Friday!
or respect. There is nothing I want more than abiding in God's perfect plan and although it is not always easy I hold fast to His ways. At the end of the service the Sunday school group of kids performed head shoulders knees and toes, I loved it! Their trilingual performance reminded me of the end of the day classes I used to take in elementary school. They also had children and parents play a Minute-to-win-it game since it was "the day of the child". I left early, a bit before noon, because I had to get back to help with the team going to the waterfall. I ate really quick, then headed up to Casa de Fe with Cheralyn. Although I thought we were right on time, we ended up being quite early so we hung out upstairs and had a great talk. Once I was paired up with my buddy Yajaira for the day we walked to the bus on the other side of the bridge, because the bridge is far to small to allow a bus to pass. On the way to "Hola Vida" Yajaira fell asleep in my arms, she is so precious and has a smile that instantly melts your heart. It was SO much fun to spend the day with her and the other 18 kids from Casa de Fe that went. They are all such troopers on the trail, though it is wet, muddy, rocky, and fully of tree roots they walk on
Yajaira, Boris, and I at the waterfall!
without complaint. Honestly, at times I could  hardly keep up with some of them! The waterfall and swimming hole was beautiful! It was more powerful than I remembered, but it may have been like that last time or could be from all the rain we have had the last couple of days! Upon returning back to Shell, the whole group walked the kids back up to the house and said goodbye for the day. It was pretty late by the time we got home, I got to end the day with supper and prayer at the Hayes! Also, Christy concocted a donut recipe that looks and smells delicious, you can't beat late night cooking! It was a such a blessing to end the day with praises for the week and prayer for what is to come, the Lord is good!