Thursday, July 9, 2015
We had chosen this location on the roof of our dormitory at Alliance Academy for our daily crew meetings. It certainly gave us a good view of the city of Quito which we were trying to serve. L-R Curt, TJ, Tim, Haley, Leigh, Grayson, Jordan, Aeron and Justin on wall, Kaleigh. We were finalizing plans for our day at Quito Norte church.
From the map, the peak with the antennas is about due West from our location, so I don't understand why the shadow angle seems to imply that the sun is significantly north of east. The picture was taken at 10:10 am local time.
This picture appears to be about 20 degrees south of west from our rooftop location. The woods are part of a protected forest, the Bosque Protegido de Inaquito Alto.
This view is almost northwest, so we probably will go by some of those highrise buildings on the way to Quito Norte.
At 12:45 we were in the middle of traffic heading north to Quito Norte church.
Through the city center we were on modern and crowded expressways, but it was fascinating to see the change in nature of the buildings as they climbed up the mountainsides.
I was sitting at a left side window and trying to get shots of the valley when a road came up steeply from the left. I was continually amazed that the valley could be so totally covered with houses!
After the opening ceremony for Bible School, the groups cycled out for recreation time on the basketball court. Curt, Kal'el, Leigh, TJ, Aeron and Dustin did the drills with Tim directing the overall process and joining in. Markos and wife Sandra plus Mailyn provide translation when needed.
Curt and Kal'el guide the basketball drills for these groups of children.
With our crew members each directing the dribbling drills for a small group, they spread out across the court so each child got to participate actively.
Dustin, Tim and Leigh demonstrate to lead the children in dribbling practice. Markos and Sandra translated and had brought along their year-old son whom everyone enjoyed.
Our sports crew continued the practice of interspersing sharing sessions with the basketball drills. They sat on the court with the bandanna in the center, and shared another segment of the Creation to Christ story each day.
These upper courts of the small community park worked well for both the basketball and the bandanna sharing sessions. Here Dustin and Aeron share with Sandra and Mailyn as translators.
This afternoon we arrived at the church and went through the opening ceremony for Escuela Biblica Vacionales with them. Then everyone proceeded with the activities like yesterday.
I didn't take many pictures today because I felt the need to pray and study for tonight's Bible study with the youth. I spent a good bit of the afternoon in the back of the sanctuary next to this interesting sound booth hanging on the back wall with a steel ladder leading to it. There were so many creative steel constructions around the church, I felt there must be a skilled welder and steel worker in the congregation.
Last night I had been troubled and prayed a lot about how to best conduct a Bible study with 20 or so Spanish-speaking youth and a dozen English-speakers. It seemed like such a great opportunity to get these two youth groups to really interact with each other about the Bible. When I woke up I felt a bit of peace with the idea of constructing the study with a series of scriptures with successive scriptures alternatively read in Spanish and English to emphasize the interchange.
As we were finishing our Alliance-made sack-suppers, someone commented that there was a nice sunset from upstairs, and I didn't even know you could go upstairs! But sure enough, there was a nice view over the dense houses to the colorful sunset sky. With this many people living close by, this active and loving church really has a mission field.
I had brought along a lesson on "How We Read the New Testament" from the Gospel Project by Lifeway, so I gathered a list of relevant scriptures to illustrate the natures of each of the gospels and Acts and a few from the letters. I cut out slips with the scripture references on then and divided them so that I would have alternate English and Spanish reading. The final challenge was to decide how to transition from last night's session of the Bible as the guide for our Christian worldview. About 30 minutes before the session while the youth were out engaged in their pre-study basketball game, the idea came to me to use a series of icons to summarize last night's content.
The group came in from the basketball game in a playful mood, so the icons for review of the Bible as the guide for our view of the world seemed to work well. I handed out the scriptures to the two groups and alternated Spanish and English, depending on them to find the verses in their own Bibles.
Both groups seemed familiar with the differences in the gospels and the nature of Acts, so with Daniela's help in translating we were able to have a discussion of the nature of the New Testament and how it can guide us.
I asked them to be prepared to share a "life verse" tomorrow night, defining life verse as a verse of foundational value to you, one that you think of when you are discouraged, tempted or stressed.
A few of the older adults of the church came to the Bible study along with the youth. Pastor Alfredo made ending comments and led us in a benedictory prayer.
Then, at least partly at the Pastor's initiation, we started making crazy group pictures of the two groups together.
So with the joint participation in the study and the fun together afterward, I felt like my prayers for a good interaction had been answered.
The lady on the left front spoke very good English, and also Alba Vásconez in the pink jacket on the second row who teaches English at a Christian school in Quito. Carlota Ortega on the back right was always great fun. She sang in the praise band.