On Saturday we went to the New Jerusalem church for leadership training with LaRed, the ministry of Youth World which focuses on training youth ministers from within the Latin America community. All of the youth leaders are volunteers. We started the day by the team making and serving a breakfast which represented our Minnesota culture and traditions. After breakfast we participated in a "bingo" mixer to get the groups to know each other better. Tom led a leadership training seminar focusing on serving. The highlight was the washing of feet which was done by Tom, Rick, Chuck (Charles) and Larry. After the team was finished, the LaRed leaders spontaneously began washing feet. Many people had their feet washed several times! It was a very moving time, demonstrating servant leadership.
The LaRed team prepared and served us a traditional Ecuadorian lunch of rice, lentils and meat, along with fresh pear and blackberry juice. That was a real treat for all of us. After lunch we participated in youth group at the church and observed an Awana group meeting. There were about 200 people, grade school through high school.
We finished the day with dinner and team debriefing and devotions with Brad, Sandi and Hanna at the Miller's home. It was a full and challenging day, where we continued to see God at work in Quito.
Serving "North American" breakfast to the LaRed leaders
Jose Luis and Sally during the group mixers
Two of the LaRed youth leaders at the leadership training
Rick and Pete and Barb and Kandace at our team debriefing on Saturday night at Brad and Sandi's
On Sunday we enjoyed a great day of worship, fellowship, shopping and debriefing. We started our day back at Remanso De Amor where we led Kids Club and workshops on Friday. This church is located in a very poor area of Quito. Worship was wonderful as we heard testimonies from Sally, Larry and a local church member that tugged at the hearts of all who were present. The church service lasted about two hours and was filled with singing, liturgical dance, prayers and of course a message. The Pastor made an interesting announcement at the end of the service. Three children would be moving to the area next week and he needed a family to volunteer to house them for the next YEAR!!! This church truly is a light in the poor community and cares for those with needs the best they can.
After service Pastor Ramiro shared with us about the ministry of Remanso De Amor and how it serves nearly 500 children every week through the school and Compassion International program. They also have job training, seminary classes and social ministry to the community. We were blessed to be in partnership with these faithful brothers and sisters, please keep this ministry in your prayers.
After church we went to one of the local malls to see the great contrast between the rich and poor in Ecuador. The mall was as fancy as any that you will find in the US. After the mall we hit a local market for some shopping, several Lama's were needed to transport all the local goods that we purchased :)
We spent the remainder of the evening sharing and learning from one another. It has been an incredible week with God with us at every turn. We have seen the results of your prayers and look forward to sharing so much more when we return to WLC.
Sally giving her testimony - she did a fantastic job. We were also blessed to hear from Larry and his life. What a great day of worship!
The Liturgical dance team in action.
The team receiving a gift from the church of Remanso De Amor.