Just wrapping up from another AMAZING night of God sightings and testimonies and personal experiences. After that, we had a bonfire on the beach in front of the house. That’s where it hit me.
From years past, my family and friends have heard ALL about my friends Isidro, Gladys, and their three kids (Gladys, Merly, and Felipe). I met them in 2010 the first year I came. They were not Christians. Nobody was in Curia and San Jose except Carlos and Jeanette. But they invited me into their home for lunch, and we talked. And my Spanish was REALLY choppy then. But we connected. Fast forward five years, here we are. Isidro is a leader for his home. He loves his wife and children. He leads. His wife, who used to be really timid now leads a kids Bible study in a neighboring town. Them and their children are family to me. They’re the family that I have connected with for five years now. The transformations are unreal. And this is only one family.
Today though, we had a party on the beach. As I was randomly associating with kids, Gladys (daughter) grabbed my hand and asked me to go get in the water with her. I told her I wanted to change clothes first, but she had my hand and we kept walking. I thought i would just get wet to my knees…but then a wave came, and I fell. But the joy. That made it all worth it. Gladys jokes about being my daughter. She calls me mama .(That would have made me 7 when I had her if she really was my daughter). Obviously though we connect. Tonight, Gladys and Merly were the only kids outside of our group here. We sat together here. Our translator, Amanda caught a comment that Gladys made. Earlier, Gladys braided my hair. She said it was ugly. I told Amanda that she had no confidence. I kid you not, Amanda spoke life into Gladys and Merly around the bonfire. She told them that they’re princesses, daughters of the King, made in His image, beautiful. It was amazing. I know the girls were listening, and though my Spanish is better, I knew Amanda was speaking life into them. That is joy.
Amanda (translator), Amanda (my sista-friend), Gladys, Merly and I sat around the fire singing our hearts out with nothing but plastic chairs, our voices, a guitar, and waves crashing in front of us. This is life, full of beautiful things that are only possible because HE IS WORKING. That’s it. God is transforming Ecuador one life at a time. I am incredibly humbled to be a part of His plan. It’s definitely a “full heart” kind of night (again).
Blessings from His beauty,