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Ecuador Team Day 4

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This morning began with an unsettling start; we woke up to the sound of thunder and heavy rain. Fortunately, after a very satisfying breakfast, the rain began to subside, and our excitement began to build for the upcoming day. We divided into two groups and taught the younger children the importance of prayer. Afterwards, the teacher engaged the students into a sermon about the blessings that accompany Jesus Christ’s death and how he sacrificed it all for us. She emphasized the significance of the ridicule Jesus experienced and I, who do not speak Spanish unless it is at my school, was EXTREMELY impressed that I was able to understand and absorb the message.
Later, our group separated into their respected groups and I led the fourth and fifth graders into one serious game of soccer (I swear those kids are so vicious). The rec team also played a game where the soccer balls were not allowed to touch the floor by means of a parachute. This was meant to portray that despite the fact that “balls” may be falling all around you, it is possible to handle it with the guiding hand of Jesus. Similarly, the science team performed an experiment which showcased that God is capable of removing one’s sins and the English team taught the children vowels. The children are beyond loving and compassionate; with a faithful devotion to serve God. It is truly inspiring to watch these children play and watch the smiles begin to form as they became more comfortable around us. After, we ate lunch and headed down towards the construction site.

We accomplished a lot of work today at the site. Today, I was elected to stand on the tarp (approximately 10 feet above the air) and assist the workers in placing the bricks with the cement. At first, I was extremely doubtful as I am not the biggest fan of heights but found that I was most useful in that position. Even though it was demanding labor, it was do-able as we were in the shade. Then, we voyaged back to the compounds, took quick showers (with VERY low water pressure) and excitedly headed back to the school for their open house. I was blessed to be appointed to the first graders who were so cute in their costumes (this one cutie was dressed as Albert Einstein and my heart melted while watching him engage in his experiment). The parents of the children were very kind and very understanding at my lack of being able to speak Spanish (but I must say so for myself I have GREATLY improved). Later, we ate comida deliciosa (see I’m practicing) and enjoyed our send off. Worship was beyond emotional for all of us as we realized that this would be our last night here. It was a beautiful message that touched the lives of all and get this it was TWO HOURS, but did we mind…? Not at all. Being in communion and prayer with God was our ultimate goal and I feel positive that all of us have achieved it in one way or another. This week has been truly unforgettable and definitely one for the books. I have lived, learned and passionately loved and I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to come to such a wonderful place. This trip will inspire and serve to be a constant reminder of true happiness displayed by the children and God’s relentless love for us.
Te quiero mucho,
Ashley Rees

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