This week, I was blessed to be able to go to Santa Domingo, Ecuador and serve and meet our brothers and sisters serving in Christ there. Santa Domingo is a large city in Ecuador that is about three hours away. The NILIs (Spanish students) were going Wednesday-Sunday as part of their “ministry week” and I was blessed to be able to tag along.
Our adventure began with setting up scaffolding and painting the second story of a local church. I think the six of us girls were quite underestimated in this venture, but we managed to paint nearly the entire church in one day. We returned the second morning to do some finishing touches and give one side a second coat. We were fortunate to have the pastor’s family with us which included two local guys that you will see in the pictures. It was a great opportunity to get to know my brothers and sisters in Christ in a different part of Ecuador as well as practice my Spanish.
We were also able to take part in a “minga” or group work day at the church where we mixed cement and laid the floor for a new youth room in the church. I wish I thought ahead to take some before and after pictures but you will all have take my word for it that it was a lot of work. That day we worked side by side with church members and it was a great experience to serve there and take a break from classes.
In between working with the local Nazarene church there, we also were able to spend some time with some local missionaries with the Methodist church in Santa Domingo. On our free evenings we helped put together some Christmas gifts for the local children there. We were also able to do some Children’s ministries. We were able to venture to a poorer community outside the city that was completely different than anything I have ever experienced before. We worked with mothers in the community to serve the children lunch. It was through the “loaves and fishes project” where children from this community were able to come eat lunch a couple of times a week. We were told that this was possibly the only food the children would see during the week. It was an amazing experience to serve the children as well as sing, dance and play with the children afterwards. It was astounding to see the children’s reactions to the music and just how joyful they were at singing “Tanto Tanto” and “Jesus es mi Superheroe”.
Besides the children’s ministries there we were also able to do one for the local church there in Santa Domingo. It was an amazing church that was actually started by children’s ministries and amazingly enough it had probably double the amount of children in the congregationas adults (There were just over 50 kids there for Sunday School). Overall I am very fortunate to have been able to participate in this ministry and I am excited for our futures here in Ecuador.