- Tutoring and Educational classes
- Bible Lessons and crafts
- Games and Trips to the park
- Dance Classes
- Physical therapy
- Construction on the new house
- Smaller group and one-on-one time with the children
- Logistical support of the long-term missionaries
- Guiding volunteers and short term teams as they ministered to the children
Erin- A beautiful little girl named Marley was my partner for the trip to the beach. She was very quiet and a little shy, but she warmed up to me quickly. It was such a treat to be able to focus on one child and to know that every other child had a buddy of their own. The children love that kind of attention –someone to run with them on the beach, to "ohhh" and "ahhh" over the crabs and shells that they found, to be there if they need something during the night, and to pray the Lord’s blessings on their lives. Oh yeah, and to hold them when they don’t feel so well on the long bus ride… "Teacher I have to barf" -Marley. Another of the fun things we did was hold dance classes at the house where we stayed. The children all love to dance to music –especially the little boys, they were hilarious! –and I thought I was going to teach them to dance.
Sara -Upon returning to Casa De Fe this summer I instantly felt like I belonged. The kids remembered me and we started back up where we had left off last summer. While I have so many awesome memories of our ministry with the kids, my favorite part of the visit was just spending time with the kids. As we took the kids to our house for cookies and games, went on errands in the community, or just being their buddy and joining in with whatever was planed for the day, we really got to know the kids and see their personalities. I especially found myself drawn Julisa, a 10 year old girl who came from an abusive home situation.
Julisa has the silliest personality and loves to make up stories and copy whatever anyone says. She is really sweet with the younger kids, but she can be mischievous at the same time. One day while I was talking with a group of volunteers she came up behind me and started her antics. After a tickle fight I decided that she had earned herself a new name. I told her that I would call her "Pippi" (for Pippi Longstockings) "Loma" (because she copied me like a parrot) "Jamón" (because she is such a ham). From that day on she would not let me call her Julisa, but would only respond to her new name, Pippi Loma Jamón.
Luke- One morning while I was working construction at the new property, the construction leader and most of the other volunteers went in to town to pick up supplies. While they were gone for the day I worked with one other volunteer and the Maestros (Ecuadorian workers). The Maestros spoke only Spanish, and between the other volunteer and I we had a handful of irrelevant Spanish words, most of which were learned years ago. As you can imagine that made communication very difficult! Through hand motions and our limited vocabulary we managed to learn how to plaster and complete other construction tasks. Although the language barrier was challenging, I grew to enjoy our basic conversations. Most of the work we did was hard manual labor without the benefit of heavy machinery. However, I was glad to do it because each hour of work brought the house that much closer to being ready for the kids.
As we got to know the children better we also started hearing their individual stories. The more we heard the more we were amazed that these little children who laughed and played with seemingly no care in the world had been through so many horrible things in their short lives. We felt privileged to partner with Casa de Fe as they care for these little ones and as they show them how much Jesus loves them.
Thank you once again for your prayers and financial support. None of this ministry would have been possible without your partnership.
As they say in Ecuador, "Dios se lo pague" May God repay you.
Erin, Sara, and Luke