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Sunday, June 10, 2012


The Praise leaders Juana and Iles
We had our final service in Quislag Saturday. It's a two hour drive up to the village from Riobamba because the very rough mountain road. They had planned on having an ordination service so that Pastor Jose and Iles could be ordinated as the Pastor and Assistant pastor of the church.

This is where the glass will be installed
Pastor Jose does not live in the village and cannot always get up there because of bad weather situations. Pedro and Pastor Jose made progress on finding a 4 wheel drive truck to make it up to the village when the weather is bad.  Right now he uses a small 4 cylinder Toyota van that we have to get out a push up the steep parts.  Frankly, I have a lot more respect for Toyota just seeing that van make it up this rough road. They also made arrangements to finish the church flooring and install the glass in the windows.  It has taken server years and many donations but the church building is close to being completed.
The 4 cyclinder Toyota and Pastor Jose

Iles at the Hotel
One positive note of progress concerns Iles who lives in the village and has attended some Bible college.  She has agreed to be the assistant pastor. She speaks both Quechan and Spanish and her willingness to help is a real blessing.

Ground Wheat
Whenever we go to the village the kids run out and cover us with hugs. Before the service the elders ushered us into the side room of the church where they had set up a table for refreshments. They generously offered us fresh warm cow’s milk and ground up wheat. It was a bit like malt-O-meal but more fine. We added enough wheat to make it into a paste and I must admit it was very filling.

Buster singing
The service started with Juana leading some praise songs with help from Iles. They led the people in several songs while they were accompanied by a keyboard player and drummer. The ladies choir also sang a few songs and the men also led us in a song. Buster also sang a song that everyone enjoyed before Bro. Shockley preached a short sermon while Victoria translated.

The ladies choir

After the message all the elders were brought up along with Pastor Jose and Iles for the ordination service. Bro. Shockley laid hands on each of them and Pedro presented them with their certificates and then we took several photos with the elders before they invited all of us up and presented us with beautifully embroidered flags.

Our group with our beautiful embroidered gifts

Dr. Shockley continued to pray for several of the sick and then we were ushered back into the side room for lunch. It started with dried lamb’s blood that went into the chitin and potato soup. Then we had a main course of Corn on the cob, lima beans, baby potatoes and lamb. This was a very extravagant meal for them. After we ate they took the huge kettle of soup and added chicken and started feeding everyone. They had a limited number of bowls which they filled up and then once emptied they were handed back to be refilled and sent back for the other to eat.

Sonya and me
It was so humbling to see them do so much for us while they had so very little. The little girl Sonya who I have fallen in, love with was sitting on my lap during the service. I noticed that her shoes were on the wrong foot. As I was changing them I saw her big toe sticking out of one sock and her whole heel was torn out of the other. I had a few pair of socks left and the kids almost were fighting to get them.

I have to admit it makes you think about life and what you put importance on when you see people who have so little but are still so happy. I just want to help them more, give them more and most importantly help them know that Jesus loves them as much as everyone else. These people up in the mountains are isolated and still discriminated against.

Iles enjoying her ice cream
Iles who is one of the more educated girls in the village came with us after the service to Riobamba to get signed up for more classes there. We had pizza for dinner and then went to a restaurant for lunch today and got an ice cream cone afterward. She told Pedro that she had never had pizza before or ice cream or even been to a restaurant. It's amazing to think that a 21 year old lady had never experienced any of those things.

During our visits to Quislag we gave away candy, shoes, socks, soccer balls and other clothing items. It's amazing how thankful each of the villagers is for the gifts and the visits. Each time we leave they ask us to come back and again and not to forget them.  Pedro says they are so worried we won't come back because most people don't care about them.

Maria and Victoria at a river crossing
Maria who owns the Hotel Tren Dorado where we are staying has a medical background and has been working with the villagers to improve their lives. Pedro met her several years ago and helped lead her to the Lord and since then she has been a huge blessing to Highland Ministries.

It is so encouraging to see the church building being finished and the church leadership falling into place. Pedro and Highland Ministries efforts are making a big difference in the lives of the villagers and more importantly their eternal destiny. I have been so blessed to have been a part of this trip even thought I don’t think I did much. I tried to spend time with the children and encourage them to lead. It was amazing how kids who never get candy would share their candy with me and only take one peice.  I had 25 testaments to give out and the kids were almost fighting to get them. I wish I would have brought more.

12,000ft in the Andees no snow, no bugs, and perfect weather

Ecuador is a beautiful county with warm and friendly people. It is different than America but still a great place to live. The mountain villagers live a life of hard work and rough living conditions but they are happy and seem to have strong families. Letting them know that God loves them and he has sent other Christians to help them will help reach them for Christ.


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