Here is my second post of our missions trip to Ecuador. (Sorry, I can't download the pictures just yet...)
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Gloria au Dios! Glory to God!
What an awesome and adventurous day!
Due to the extreme generosity of our team members, Sunday was a free day. They voted on this item before crew #2 arrived so that our five could share the R&R day with them. So they worked all day on Saturday!
Before our evening church service we rode to coastal city of Salinas to go Whale Watching. What an experience! We stepped off of the bus directly onto the sandy sea shore. We were met by several street vendors hoping to pawn their wares off on the Gringos. Dramamine was passed out so that we would not get seasick.
After a few minutes we waded into the ocean to get on our next mode of transportation- a small boat that could seat about 30. Life jackets were passed out and away we went with Pastor Rusty and Sis. Brenda singing the tune to “Gilligan’s Island”. (Not a pleasant thought - a 3 hour tour......hmmmm)
For several of our shipmates, the Dramamine did NOT work. We all had compassion on them but while praying for them, we prayed we did not get sick! I don’t think any of them got to see the whales, nor did they care – nor do they ever care to board a sea going vessel again!
After about an hour at sea we caught our first real glimpse of this awesome creation of our God. Absolutely amazing! If you are reading this as soon as I post, you may not get to see the picture my husband captured. You just have to check back after we get in the states to see his photographic masterpiece! (If you log on to my husband's blog, I think he was able to post the picture there. Just click here.)
I must say that we all enjoyed the whale watching experience, but none of us enjoyed it as much as Margarette Brown. I wish I had a video of her when she would see one of the whales rolling. You would most certainly enjoy the moment with her. :)
After the whale watching once in a lifetime experience, we were bussed to the Mall to eat lunch in the food court. (Hmmmmm…. How do you order without knowing a lick of Spanish except “Si!) Well, for all you moms out there, put this in your pipe and smoke it: Dora the Explorer has helped me more than you will ever know! All of those millions of hours I have spent watching and saying “Backpack Backpack” and “No, Swiper, No!” I was able to go to the local KFC and speak in fluent Spanish, “Numero Uno, por favor.”
Yaaayyy Dorinda!!!! Yes, I am patting myself on the back, because this sister chick took 3 years of French in High School! I graduated from West Memphis High School in the 80’s. My only choices were French and Latin. My high school French is still there somewhere, because I have said to my Ecuadorian friends at least a couple of times, “Je ne sais pas.” Translation- (probably not spelled correctly) – but it means “I don’t understand.”
Anyway….. I hurriedly at my piece of chicken and wonderful french fries (that came with ‘salsa de tomato') so that I could browse around the mall a little before we had to get back on the bus.
I was disappointed. I am a bargain shopper. Remember, I wouldn’t pay more than $12.50 for the Coach purse in China? So, don’t think I was going to pay $24.97 for the cute sandals at Pay-Less. I think the big hit in that mall was the coconut ice cream. Whoever owned that store made a mint Sunday from our team!
From the mall we, as in Rusty and I, parted with our team. They headed back to Ayangue to shower and dress for the 7 pm church service. Rusty and I were taxied to a hotel so we could rest and get cleaned up and dressed for the 5 pm service.
Before I tell you about the service I have to tell you one more “thing”. The service time is at 5 pm. But Sandra, our wonderful guide and interpreter (who is an angel in disguise), told us we did not need to leave the hotel until a little after 5. (Imagine my punctual and ever early husband’s surprise.) She proceeded to explain that in this culture, even if they announce a service begins at a certain time, it will not start until 10 to 15 minutes later. Even then, the people don’t start showing up until 30 minutes later or so.
She was right. We arrived in perfect time for the service and there were very few people there. But as time went by, there was almost a full house. Hmmmmm….. Are you thinking what I am thinking? If you know me, I am sure you are! I would be on time for EVERY service !!!!!! Wow!! I would actually even be early!!! In fact, we arrived about 20 minutes before the pastor and his wife. (I just had to put that in there!!!) :)
The service was beautiful! These people know how to worship our God! I couldn’t understand a word except “gracias Senor”, but I knew that God was in the place. His presence was so real and very precious.
As usual, my husband preached a timely and anointed sermon. The people responded to the altar call with very open and receptive hearts. It was humbling to pray for these precious and sincere people of God. They trust Him with so much and have so little. I wish I could paint a word picture of their smiles.
Have you ever seen someone and immediately, their joy and happiness exploded on their faces the instant they smiled? Their warmth and genuine joy invites you in. You just want to sit and spend time with them for a while. That, my friend, is the beauty of an Ecuadorian smile. And the souls behind those smiles are the reason we have all paid money to fly an ocean away to labor (as in sweat, work, kill your back and work till your fingers bleed, literally) on a campground where young people and men and women will come to a place of spiritual renewal.
Missions. Never underestimate the power of praying, giving, and going!