Quito Norte

Friday, July 10, 2015

We were sitting with our Northshore Church group at our 8:45 worship time. Second row: Ashleigh, Jordan, Abbie, Alex, Hannah. First row: Paul, Michael, Jhanne.

In this last worship service on Friday, the group gave an offering for the Syrian refugees. Jhanne and Michael Stasney were Northshore's representatives to take the offering and kneel around the basket. We gave an offering of about $1066. Northshore also gave a special offering to Ron Sutton's ministry here in Quito. Shawn Edwards leads the prayer for the offering.

Jordan, Kaleigh and Grayson on the roof for our last 10am meeting of Crew #5 before our last day of activity at Quito Norte church.

Kelly Davis and Ron Sutton in a question and answer session about missions at 11am. Ron had given his testimony on Wednesday, and Kelly had outlined different missions options on Thursday.

We caught our bus to Quito Norte church and were on our way to the park behind it about 1:30pm.

When we went back to the church for the beginning of Bible school, Markos and Sandra had brought their little boy again, and he always made a big hit. He gathered almost the whole crew: Jordan, Aeron, Grayson, Kaleigh, Haley, TJ, Mailyn and Dustin.

After the opening ceremony, Jordan with the children's group where she is helping.

Kaleigh, Jordan and Kaleigh helped here. It appears that the number of kids has increased so much that they moved downstairs to this bigger room. What I saw here in terms of workers and materials certainly was a sign of a healthy church program.

The first group of kids reaches the basketball court. Tim demonstrates, and Mailyn and Daniela are on hand to translate.

TJ starts the kids in a basketball drill, and they certainly seem happy to be there. Mailyn and Daniela help and translate.

Curt and Kal'el start off their groups.

Leigh and Dustin get their groups ready.

Kal'el and TJ and an active group of kids.

Dustin, Aeron, Grayson, Leigh and Mailyn gather half the group for the continuation of the creation-to-Christ story using the bandanna.

TJ, Daniela and Curt gather the other half around the bandanna.

All this sharing of the gospel story with the children was taking place in this small public park in a densely populated area of the north part of Quito.

With the rotation of the Bible School schedule, this older group now has their turn at basketball. Curt, Mailyn and Kal'el give instructions about the full-court dribbling drill.

They got the hang of it pretty quickly, so the next stage was a team race.

Not only did our crew enjoy watching, there were kids from the neighborhood watching as well.

It was good to follow the fun and games with a session on the story of Christ using the bandanna as a guide.

We were pleased to see such a large group of kids to participate with us.

It the response of these lovely children we saw evidence that they were being brought up in a strong healthy church at Quito Norte.

Daniela worked with Kal'el, TJ and Curt, and Mailyn worked with Tim, Leigh, Dustin, Grayson to make possible the sharing of the gospel across the language barrier. We praised the Lord for providing us with such fine translators.

Haley, Jordan, Mailyn and Daniela helped with the painting of the children's hands for making handprints on a poster.

When Jordan and Haley visited the basketball court, they enjoyed playing with Markos' little boy. Grayson joins them.

It was a beautiful day, and after supper I went back up to the top level to get another view of Quito Norte's mission field. The clothes line is on the roof of the church's educational space, and the concrete block wall to the right represents the property line with the neighboring property as I understood it.

The density of the housing amazed me. The only spaces were the streets and the parks.

A city view I will certainly remember.

For the final recreation time with our crew and the youth of the church, they chose soccer instead of basketball. I would think this would tip things in favor of the Ecuadorans, even in addition to the fact that they are acclimatized to over 9000 ft altitude and we were not. It seemed to be great fun, and it was fun for us observers to see youth from the two countries in fellowship.

Mailyn Bravo and Daniela Alvarez were the translators that I worked with in a wide range of situations from addressing the church on Sunday morning to sharing from the bandanna in the park. Having never spoken through a translator before, I was amazed at how easy it was with their help. In my mind, the translators were some of the heroes of this whole process, making it possible to share the gospel and just have friendly conversations with the people of Ecuador.

After the youth soccer game, we got them together for the last Bible study of the series. A number of the adults of the church were also present.

At the end of last night's Bible study I had asked both groups to be prepared to share "life verses" for them in tonight's session.

At our crew meeting this morning I had asked all our group to be ready to share a life verse and commment on why it had been meaningful to them. I did this thinking the Quito Norte youth might be reticent, but I needn't have worried! After one of our group came to the microphone to share a verse, Pastor Alfredo shared one of his verses. Then we had a stream of the youth from the church plus our crew members and adult members of Quito Norte. We had a great time of sharing with Daniela translating both ways so we could understand each others comments. So I filled most of the spaces on the board with scripture references as we had a good time of celebrating the verses that had been most meaningful to us in our Christian walk.

After Pastor Alfredo had closing remarks and pronounced our benediction, some of the youth came up with a card of thanks they had made up for our crew for our time with them. It had certainly been a blessing to us.

Tim Crutchfield and I received the card for the group from the youth and Pastor Alfredo.

It was a good time of celebration with the group.

They had prepared a farewell tea for us in their fellowship room behind the sanctuary, so we got to sit and talk with them a while longer.

It was a kind of farewell for the crew members as well since we would be back with our church groups tomorrow. It had been a great blessing to get to know and work with each other, so this was a nice time of conversation. The twin guys and the girl at the end of the table spoke English well since they had lived in Texas for a while.

Curt Brady, Tim Crutchfield, Pastor Alfredo Pérez, Rod Nave, and two of the church members whose names I didn't get. It was good to celebrate as brothers in Christ.

Saturday, July 11

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