I’ve been struggling. I know I need to communicate with those of you who are standing here beside us in your prayers, in your support, and in love; I simply do not know what to say. So much is going on with earthquake recovery, church planting, camp maintenance, upcoming teams and with daily life that I have no simple words with which to tell you.
Maybe it is that I feel as if we are standing on the edge. Like when you witness something so stunning that you gasp in response of the already magnificent that is happening and you hold that breath of air in anticipation of what has yet to occur. Maybe that it is, I’m holding my breath. This did not begin with the earthquake as you may think. No, it started early this year when God responded to our prayers and opened a little spot on the main park for our little church to plant some roots. We were told that it was impossible to get a spot at the park, but God said just ask Him. A gasp of wonder at how perfect, how timely God responded. Within days of moving our Bible study group in, the town began to ask of us. English classes, guitar lessons, college test prep, prayer group and Bible study, translation services and even a daycare inauguration have been requested. As we respond to the “needs” we ask for a donation of non perishable food or used clothing as the fee and we expected a minimal response. But we gasped at the quick and easy response of the people of Pallatanga who began to drop off donations. In the first two months, we have already delivered food and clothing packages to 4 large families with great needs. We had enough left over that when the town campaigned for supplies for the earthquake victims, our church walked over five bags full of non-perishable, donated goods!
And then the earthquake. Yes that was a gasp too but not so much with the fear and heartbreak of the disaster. No, It was the response of the people that hit me. Yes, people all over the world have responded with millions in donations and teams of workers but it was the Ecuadorians who took my breath away. The poorest of the poor giving donations, going to the hospitals just to offer support to victims and traveling from all over Ecuador to the epicenter to help recover the dead. I honestly did not expect it. The Ecuadorian response to the tragedy is something to take your breath away, something worthy of respect.
It is with this gasp of anticipation that we take each day right now. Today the local social worker showed up with a list of 53 names of kids who live in extreme poverty in and around Pallatanga. We have a medical/work team coming June 6-15. Our plan is to use half the team to work on the gymnasium at the camp and half of the team to do a medical outreach to 50 kids in Pallatanga. We prayed that as we seek a partnership with Compassion International, God would lead and show us the need.
There are many more things big and small that take my breath away every day. Too many for words. I almost feel that I do the awe an injustice by trying to capture them. That somehow my words make the God moments something less than astounding.
We are on the cusp. If we just hold our breath for a moment, HE will astound and amaze us. He will take our breath away.