Part of the Compassion Connection team, myself included, took a trip to Baños, Ecuador to, well, take a step of faith!
It’s not part of any of Compassion Connection’s programs, but we had enough people who wanted to jump, so we made the trip. Even some who weren’t planning on jumping at all were swayed by peer pressure to put their faith on the platform. It kind of makes me think how we should have more faith in God. I couldn’t see the rope when I was plunging towards the rocky bank of the river, but how many times have I seen the power of god move in my life. He is certainly our shepherd and refuge, and is so much more able than any 2 rock-climbing ropes that wear out after time.
by Sam Harrison
How many games of “hang man” can you play on the six hour bus ride to Chichico Rumi? Apparently, about four pages full, ha ha! The first day of travel held the prospect of a hot shower, which was not delivered. That night we watched “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” which is a documentary about the five men who were killed in Ecuador almost 60 years ago as they ventured to share Christ with a tribe here. (We were at Shell Mira, the very place that these men and their wives counted the cost of taking the gospel to the Walrani tribe.) I was amazed at the commitment of the wives of these men. Even after they were widowed, their immense love for Christ led them to see an entire tribe saved. The following day, we toured Nate Saint’s house (one of the five that were murdered), the missionary hospital that is now there, and the airstrip that is still serving missionaries. It was a great day.
Even though we did not get the anticipated shower, we did get to bathe in a river once we arrived at Chichico Rumi, followed by a nice coat of bug repellent. I can just see the ad, “Cockroaches the size of a baby’s fist! 100% DEET is for YOU!” What a great jungle commercial we would be right now…
Update: The team spent the day yesterday (Thursday) blessing the people of Chichico Rumi by digging latrines (outhouse holes) for the community center, hauling bricks for building, and giving a two hour VBS for children. Please keep us all in your prayers!
by Neha Enser (Buffalo, NY)
Set in the midst of the Andes Mountains, the CC base is the home to people of all ages who come to Ecuador to experience God’s plan for them. This home far away from home is where Ryan and I came to see what God has in store for us. This is our first missions trip together as a married couple.
The first few days at the base, we were immersed into Spanish, the Ecuadorian culture, and team building activities. I had the opportunity to lead one of the teams during a team building session, and I have to admit that I was a reluctant leader. I didn’t quite know how I was going to instruct a group of thinking, independent and intelligent adults who were all blindfolded and think that they would obey me. I had the most trusting team ever, we even won the event! God showed me that I have qualities that He knows and that He will use me in His time.
Yesterday our team touched more on the topic of our “treasure,” and making it so the world can see what our treasure truly is. We dedicated the night service to learning and respecting those who have set an example of “showing their treasure.” Reading and learning about the lives of ordinary people who lost and endured so very much opened my eyes so much. I see how easy my own walk with Christ has been, and how hard I have thought the simplest of tasks for God have been. God has asked little of me so far, I fear because I have been unwilling to obey.
This experience has made me want more. I understand change does not come over night, but God can work miracles even in me. I am going to work on my courage and hard obedience. I want to take joy in everything God commands of me. I want to go wherever He may send me; see what He sees, feel what He feels, hear what He says, and do what He asks.
Update: Day 3 was filled with more opportunities to prepare for ministering to the people of Chichico Rumi. The team has prepared for four days of two hour children’s outreaches, purchased supplies for community work projects, practiced Spanish bible verses and how to lead someone to Christ in Spanish, and learned Spanish songs. Tuesday morning all headed by bus to Shell Mira where they will spend the night. They will travel by bus and by canoe to the village of Chichico Rumi on Wednesday.
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by Tanya Ferrell (Buffalo, NY)
After a gripping demonstration, statistics on world hunger was read along with the scripture where Jesus says, “when I was hungry you did not feed me, when I was thirsty, you gave me no drink, and when I was in prison you did not come to visit me.” This demonstration had a profound affect on us all. What grieved me the most is that my heart did not grieve as much as it should.
We all need a work of God on our hearts, including you who may be reading this. We need to have the heart of God with respect to physical hunger as well as spiritual hunger. We cannot ignore the physical hunger of people, otherwise they would not live to receive the spiritual food.
Concerning world hunger, practical ways in which I can get involved with this need, which may also be ideas for you, are the following: I can get involved through prayer, being aware of my supply and purchase of excess food, save money to give toward world hunger, find out about organizations like World Vision and how I can take part along with other friends, co-workers, church members and students, sell items in which I don’t need in my house to increase the monetary gifts I can give toward world hunger, fast in order to deny myself of what I want and dedicate the time to praying and to God’s Word. There are other ways also. What are your thoughts? And yes, I need an accountability partner, which the same mind and heart.
Let us pray for a continued work of God in our hearts and get an accountability partner to help us in our frequent check-ups, as we strive to catch ourselves in the act. I am with you, I need a lot of work also. Glory be to God for His grace and the continued work of the Holy Spirit in His children.
Day one of M101 Boot Camp is on the books. It was a day filled with challenges and the Lord caused all to grow. When I get home ask me how a purple pen changed my life…it’s a fantastic story!
The highlight of the day was meeting our Ecuadorian brothers and sisters who will be joining us in the jungle next week Actually, the truth is we are joining them. They are fantastic young people and it is going to be an honor to serve with them. We also got to spend the afternoon hanging out, playing soccer, and playing volleyball with some Ecuadorian teenagers. They belong to a local youth group and they were fantastic. I was humbled on the soccer field by them as they ran circles around me and most of our team for that matter. I blame the altitude…it’s around 9000 feet above sea level here!
All in all God was great to us today and His blessings just keep pouring in. Please continue to pray for us that God would continue to refine us and use us effectively. We are learning that in order for Him to do that we all need to die to ourselves. Its not as easy as it sounds.
This past week PW packed up and went to Tena, in the jungle, to build an outhouse for Mercedes and her children. The pictures tell the story – from the digging the hole, to building the walls, to the finished project with the builders all inside of the outhouse! After that, they carried bricks to help another family with some building. Then it was time for some fun with the wildlife (what is that around Greg’s neck?!) and beauty of Ecuador.
Missions 101: Boot Camp is a ministry of Compassion Connection to short term groups coming down for two weeks of training and outreach.
Potter’s Wheel students and a few summer staffers have been getting everything ready for this month’s short term team. The Boot Camp begins tomorrow morning – so the next two weeks will be intense with long days and much activity.
You can follow the daily goings on on our M101 blog (listed right). Please pray for all of us as we take a few days for intensive training and focusing on God and His mission, and then as we go to the jungle area of Chichico Rumi to serve the community there through work projects and to share the gospel.
This past week has been full of cramming for classes, visiting beautiful down town Quito, climbing to the top of a famous cathedral (and ringing the tower bells!), praying as we walk through our neighborhood, getting to know our neighbors, learning to plan meals, shop, and cook.
We also helped to host this month’s IBCI meeting by serving breakfast and trying to get to know the students. It’s been crazy busy and it’s been crazy fun.
The PW team packed up and took off for Tena, in the jungle, on Saturday afternoon. Everyone will transition from all of the above to working together on two projects: building an outhouse for a widow and her children, and getting things ready for the upcoming M101 Boot Camp. The outhouse is being built for Mercedes, an IBCI student who lives outside of Tena alone with her kids. Rachel is going to be doing her home stay with Mercedes and her family in August.
Keep praying for the team here as we venture forward to learn together and serve together!