Every year, sometime in the fall, there is one sunday that is completely dedicated to Ecuador in our church. The sermon is written about the mission trip. The prayers are given in honor of those who we help. And multiple of the participants who go down to Ecuador to build take part in this service.
This past fall, instead of Gary, the senior minister, giving the sermon like he usually would. He had four of the participants give the sermon. We each had a different part to write and talk about and each thing fit us in its own special way and we were all able to put together a great service.
Abby(Gary's younger daughter) talked about the overall trip, how it got started and what it means to her and everyone who is a part of it.
Chris(who spent his entire summer teaching in Ecuador) talked about the education and tutoring program and why it is so important that we do as much as we can for these kids.
Vanessa(studying to become a minister) talked about social justice and the effects that going on this trip for the first time in years had impacted her.
Megan(Me) talked about family, and what she thought that family meant in Ecuador and how it was different then here.
This was my portion of the sermon...
“The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself””
When you hear the word neighbor…what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Is it oh yeah, my neighbor I met him that one time. I went out to get the mail and he was mowing the lawn. Or is it more like… My neighbor?? Don’t even get me started about him, I can’t stand him, he always lets his dog run across my beautiful cut lawn. Or from the teenagers’ point of view, I hate my neighbor! She always calls the cops on me…well I guess my music was a little too loud.
Well … when someone in guasmo hears the word neighbor (or should I say…) a few things will come to their minds. No…not what’s his name again, or thanks for the sugar. But they think of love, compassion, hospitality, friendship, and of course…family.
That’s what the people in this project are to each other…a family. Sure, they aren’t all related, but they may as well be. Because that is how they treat each other. Not as neighbors like we would consider it. But as a caring community
We are so used to living in a community where we hardly no one another. So coming from a place where you could be walking down your street and no one even looks at you to the way they are in guasmo…was really a great thing to experience. Every person that they passed by on the street knew them and would greet them with a “hello…how are you” well, I mean “hola…como estas?” Even if they didn’t know me, I would get greeted too. Each day… they would smile and say hello.
Family is by far my favorite part of this trip, and not only the family that I lived with, but also all the families as a whole. They are all so different but they all show the same great love towards one another… and towards all the participants.
I love going on this trip because how welcome my family, and all of the familys make me feel. From the moment I stepped off the plane last year, my first year, to this very second. I feel like I am a part of that Ecuadorian family… and it is the best feeling ever.