Shine

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Shine was the theme for the winter break mission trip to Ecuador from February 14th to the 21st. While in Ecuador, the team was able to shine in the work they did in Ecuador and even saw their own theme in the people of Ecuador.
When the team left for Ecuador, there was an air of suspense, they did not know what to expect. The itinerary was being finalized a couple of days before departure and changed while in Ecuador. The theme was present through not only the Ecuador team members, but the people of Ecuador themselves. As the team landed in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, late Saturday night on Valentine’s Day, there was shock. Quito was a lot more industrialized than expected and even reminded students of downtown Atlanta, New York, or Chicago. The team was excited to travel to Riobamba the following day.
On Monday, the team travelled to the oldest Catholic church in Cajabamba and going to a nearby park. For lunch, the team travelled to an indigenous community where some students danced with the kids. There was an attempt to play and dance to American music, but it was unsuccessful. The leftover food from lunch was given to the kids who might otherwise have had nothing to eat.

Monday afternoon started the missionary work with the teaching of a Bible lesson and playing with the kids at the Verbo School in Riobamba. When playing with the kids, students attempted to speak in Spanish, played soccer, or played with the kids on the playground.
On the last day, the team celebrated their work and anticipated the return trip. The entire team drove the twenty minutes to Cajabamba because the pastor of the church, Pastor Manuela, wanted to say goodbye and thank the team. The Cajabamba church gave Mrs. Cost and Mr. Harsh a purse and every member on the team a bracelet. Pastor Manuela’s speech translated into English by Mrs. Cost translated for Pastor Manuela as he assured the team that the light of God’s work shines in each of them. Receiving the bracelet touched many of the team members because Pastor Manuela talked about how the church did not have much money and the team was not expecting gifts for their service.
The Nazarene School prepared a program for the two days the different teams went. The first day, Wednesday, was performed by the high school and the second day, Thursday, was performed by the elementary. Flowers and play-doh statues of a typical Ecuadorian were given out to the students on the second day.
The Verbo School performed for the group also. The performances consisted of a traditional dance, praying over the team with the children surrounding, and the giving of a traditional doll. When the team was leaving, the children lined up in a tunnel everyone went through before leaving. Many tears were shed while leaving Verbo.
One of the favorite days by the team members was Friday. The team traveled from Riobamba past Quito to Otavalo to go to a market and later a waterfall. The team practiced their haggling skills and came back with many souvenirs.
Overall, the trip was amazing and all who went had a great time. Even though there was an air of uncertainty concerning the trip when the team left, the schedule straightened out and God allowed everything to run smoothly. As Pastor Manuela told the team, they were able to shine.





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