Today has been a wonderful experience. It definitely concluded these past 24 hours of journeying and this past week of anxiety in a beautiful way. Satan threw many obstacles our direction lately, from the Zeka virus to the earthquakes, as well as worries about our safety coming at us from every direction through concerned family and friends. One thing is for sure though: God brought us here for a reason, and when we arrived at Jeanette and Carlos’s today there was no doubt about the peacefulness that washed over everyone. We are here and it feels SO right.
Traveling was not the most fun at first. At Delta check-in in Savannah we were told that our bags would not be going straight to Guayaquil, meaning we would be lugging 50-100lbs of luggage each. No exaggeration! We packed our two bags of luggage full of the blessings that people donated for us to take to the people. No one was excited to have to worry about carrying the luggage, but in the end we pulled through. Everyone worked together pulling our bags off of the baggage claim and teamed up loading them onto carts. It was a wonderful assembly line; we not only became a team to get the bags together, but we became a family to keep our spirits lifted together. I think Galatians 6:9-10 reflects this perfectly. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those in the family of believers.” We could have become weary and let the bags drag us down both physically and emotionally bus instead we reflected the verse and pushed past the barrier Satan threw at us. We came out even stronger as a team.
This afternoon, we were blessed by exploring the lovely town of Curia, resting, and bonding with each other through water sports and jumping waves. This evening God brought us a gorgeous sunset as our harvest after not giving up through this past day of travel. As Jay said at the team devotion gathering, we are blessed to be surrounded by a family of Christians. This week will certainly continue to open new doors for each one of us along with new challenges, and we are very excited to see what doors God is going to open for us. As Shana said, now is the time for us to truly trust God. “He’s gotten us this far, so now all we have to do is continue praying, letting go and truly trusting him.” We don’t need to “sit, wonder, and fret.” All we need to do is pray as we are called to do and trust that it is in God’s hands now. This might bring a little more anxiety as we learnt to let go, but tonight we are reminded of this verse: “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4: 6-7 Tonight we praise Him for bringing us here safely, for the feeling of peace at arrival, and of course, we pray that God shows us the way to be his hands and feet on this mission this next week.
We will keep this verse in our hearts and minds as well as Galatians 6:9-10 as we take each day our precious father in heaven blesses us with. As Renee stated, we are going to “slow down and see what HE has in store. We are on Ecuadorian time now. Just going to breathe, in and out, and keep going.” We will be ready for God to “show up, show out and show us his plan for us.” “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen.” – 2 Corinthians 4:18 There is no doubt that we are going to continue to experience the bible brought to life in this trip through the bonding, friendship and unconditional love between the Ecuadorian people and us. We are excited to continue keeping our loved ones, church family, and supporters at home updated throughout these next nine days as well as bring home a new compassion and mindset to share with those back home when we land again in Georgia. I’ll leave you with a picture of the gorgeous sunset God brought us tonight as we shared our team devotion in this beautiful land.