I had the privilege and opportunity, from August 1st to August 12th, of leading a group of 11 students and 4 adults from my Student Ministry to the country of Ecuador for a mission trip. While there we worked with a missionary couple that our church supports, doing mostly Children’s Ministry by way of a VBS program. There was also a team of Ecuadorians from near Quito who came and spent the week with us.
We helped the Ecuadorian team and the missionaries run 2 different VBS programs. One of them was in the town of Borja in the morning, and the other was in the town of Baeza in the afternoon. Both towns were a 2 to 3 hour drive from Quito over the Andes Mountains. We stayed in the town of Borja that week.
In each VBS we had roughly around 100 children (it varied from day to day). The Ecuadorian team did the upfront part of VBS (teaching, singing, organizing)…since they know the culture and speak the language. We helped with planning and implementing some of the crafts, organizing and running the games, doing the motions to songs, and sitting with and participating with the children throughout the day.
The missionaries we worked with live in the town of Borja, which actually has no Evangelical Christian church. They have started a Bible Study, which we attended one evening. Based on that night’s attendance (minus our team), their Bible Study consists of roughly 15 people, with several of them being children. This is the only Evangelical Christian gathering/meeting in the town, so it was a very cool experience to get to be a part of it. The night we attended, several of our students and adults shared testimonies, as well as did some of the people who are from that town/area.
We attended the church in Baeza where we held VBS 2 Sundays. The first week our singing team sang 2 songs as part of the morning service, and several students helped in the Jr Church. The second week I preached, a couple of our students shared testimonies, our singing team sang 2 songs, and some of the students helped in Jr Church. After each Sunday service we went out to lunch with several of the people in the church congregation.
The scenery around where we were in Borja and Baeza was incredible! We were in the Andes Mountains, so we were sounded by amazing views of mountains and valleys. Because of the higher altitude, clouds were not far above us at times. We were able to take a day to drive and visit the “La Magica” waterfall, which was a spectacular sight.
We were also able to visit the equator line on our last day. That was a fun day to enjoy some sightseeing and souvenir shopping as a team after a long week of work.
The mission trip overall was definitely a great experience, and we were able to be a part of some awesome ministry happening in the country of Ecuador.
It was cool to see how God used our team and the Ecuadorian team, despite our language and cultural differences, to work together for the purpose of sharing the gospel with the children in Borja and Baeza. Even though most of us couldn’t understand what the other was saying, we worked well as a team. We even became very close with each other…our last night in Ecuador after VBS was done, they invited us over for dinner so we could hang out one last time.
It was cool to get to be a part of ministry that is happening in a location where there is not a lot of Evangelical Christian influence at all. Being at the Bible Study and hearing the testimonies of those how live in that area talk about how God is at work in their lives was definitely a very cool experience!
Praise God for all that he did in us and through us while we were in Ecuador! I pray that he continues the work that began both in our own hearts as well as in the hearts of those we had the privilege and opportunity to minister to.