Today we are back to the grind of school after a long 4 and a half day vacation. Last week we celebrated the "Day of the Dead" with the rest of Ecuador. We began last week by making crowns on Monday and on Tuesday we took a field trip with the kids to the cemetery to put the crowns we make on the gravestones of the kids from Casa de Fe who had passed away. The next day we had a half day of school and we taught the kids how to make “Colada Morada” which is the traditional drink made on this day consisting of lots of fruits, spices and oatmeal. We also made “Guagua de Pan” (Quechuan word for bread babies). The kids had fun learning how to make the traditional food they eat each year. I had an awesome holiday weekend. There is a missions team here from the United States so us “Gringa” missionaries came up to the property to help the team make Banana Splits for all the kids and we watched a movie. The next day was the hottest it has been since I have arrived in Ecuador and I went to the city of Puyo with some Ecuadorian friends where we played basketball in 100 degree heat and then went swimming to cool down, it was cool to see how the Ecuadorian’s like to spend their holidays, just relaxing and enjoying the presence of family and friends, laughter is for sure a huge part of it as well! That night we were back at the property helping the team teach the kids how to make pizza! Sunday after church we were back up at Casa de Fe with the team who had brought new shoes for all the kids and staff! It was such a blessing to see all the kids get their feet washed and be so excited about a new pair of shoes. I was also in need of a new pair of running shoes since I am training for a marathon and mine were getting destroyed and somehow the team found out I was a runner and not only did I get a new pair of running shoes but I was blessed to have received my favorite kind of running shoes.. God knew what I needed but He went above and beyond and I got what I wanted.. God is cool like that J
|Thalia and her awesome crowns and flowers to bring to the cemetery!|
|Visiting the cemetery|
|Making Colada Morada!|
|Maribel and Greis|
|Taking a break from our studies :)|
I have been reading the Old Testament a lot lately and I can’t help but be drawn into the stories about the testing of Yahweh. Luckily all the major characters in the OT who we look up to as pioneers of the faith were tested and screwed up at one point or another. God tested Abraham, Moses, and even Jesus. Jesus was the only person in history to withstand every test that was thrown his way. I feel like I am in a season of testing and being sanctified. Lately, I have been failing a lot, but I am reminded by the stories in the Old Testament where God was big enough to get glory out of our failures..if He is the same yesterday, today and forever I guess that means He is big enough to get glory out of my failures as well. His grace is sufficient for me. The hardest part of the whole grace thing is that even though God forgives me and extends grace, I can’t help but dwell on how quickly I will act in my sin nature and I have a hard time forgiving myself. I guess it’s a good reminder that without God I am nothing, my worship is like filthy rags before Him. Sometimes I just sit in my self-loathe and I wonder how Moses or Abraham dealt with this feeling, because I am sure they experienced similar feelings. So I read on in their stories and come to realize that God’s testing is not just to humble us, but also used for purification and strengthening of faith. God knows we are going to screw up but He stands there waiting for us ready to extend His grace. He tests us so that our faith will be strengthened and our hearts will be purified. I stand humbled and in awe of God's unfailing love.