On the Mountain with God
A continuation of my memories from the trip to Ecuador with members of the Proverbs 31 Speaker Team and Compassion International.
Day 3

After all the emotions of day 1, I was not sure I could handle any more.

Today we headed to the mountains of Otavalo. It was a breathtaking trip. We stopped on the equator to go potty and take pictures. The magnetic forces their are supposed to allow an egg to stand on its own. Many tried, but Ashley TerKeurst (12 years old) was the only one to get it done. Yeah---Ashley!

We arrived at the project to again be greeted by a line up of beautiful faces, smiles, roses, and of course more tears from me!! The girls were dressed in the native Indian clothing. They wore embroidered white shirts and solid colored skirts of red, green, or blue.

I met a little boy named Jimmie. He had on a sweater that was identical to one my boys have. I would later go to his home and meet his family.

This day we were privileged to to attend an amazing worship service. The purity of the praise that came from these people was refreshing. One of the Compassion International hosts, Rich, gave the message. He taught from Mark 2:3-5. He talked about the friends of the paralytic. They had the stick to it ability to persevere to get their friend to the feet of Jesus. He challenged all of us to be "stretcher carriers for Christ", thus allowing our faith to carry others to the resting peace of Jesus.

The view from the church was spectacular. We were overlooking a lake that
as surrounded by volcanoes. The native legend had it that there was a papa volcano and a momma volcano, they got together and had three baby volcanoes. Then the momma volcano fell in love with another bigger volcano. The papa volcano was so devastated that his heart broke (there is a crevice on the side of the volcano in the shape of a broken heart) and his tears made the lake below.
See the heart on the side of the volcano.

After the home visits that day we had lunch back at the church. We were treated to a local delicacy "Gui" (Guinea Pig) of which I did try. Then it was off to the famous outdoor market at Otavalo for some power buying!! With Roberto in tow I scored some great finds and deals.

We left the market with our treasures in hand and headed to dinner at Puerto Largo. The restaurant was on the lake at the base of the papa volcano. We were entertained with beautiful praise music from a band of former Compassion students. Back at the hotel Rachel and I again talked and reviewed all we had experienced on this incredible day.

I pray that these entries will let you feel like you were there with us. Many of you were because you were praying for our trip. I have two more entries to do. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Blessings always,

Torrential Tears
I hope you enjoy my memories of the trip I took with the Proverbs 31 Speaker Team and Compassion International

Travel Time

It was a scorching 108 degrees the day we departed for
Ecuador. I did not notice it though. I was so excited about the trip I was getting ready to take. The last trip I took with friends was a snow ski trip in 1991. This was a very special trip with ten of my favorite girl friends (the Proverbs 31 Speaker Team).

We all wore matching shirts , so we would be easy to spot for the Compassion International staff, but it would be a great conversation starter. It accomplished both. Ask Van Wal
ton about her special meeting in the Atlanta Airport.

I got to sit next to LeAnn for the trip to Ecuador. We had a great time catching up and planning for the future. Once in Ecuador we were greeted by beautiful smile
s and gorgeous roses.

I felt the tears beginning at the warm welcome we received. At the hotel we were served some of the most incredible juices. The hotel was fabulous. Some of us headed to the business center to send quick emails to our husbands to let them know we had arrived safely. Then it was up to our rooms. My roomie (Rachel) and I settled in, then talked for a while before we fell asleep.

Day 2

We woke up to a bright sun and a spectacular view. The city of Quito is surrounded by mountains. We headed for breakfast, where we were treated to a gourmet spread and awesome coffee. Before boarding the bus I ran back to the room to brush my teeth with bottled water of course. The local water would not be safe for us to consume.

The bus ride to the El Rancho project was like being on a roller coaster at Carowinds. We came to trust and love our bus driver over the next few days. When we arrived at our destination we were greeted by smiling faces and more roses.

As we walked into the building we received a rose and the children took our hands and led us into the very modest church building. The second the children grabbed my hands, the tears started flowing. I could not put any real emotion to the tears, except that they were falling. The children treated us to a song and dance.

We were told about one of the girls (Gabriella). She had open heart surgery for a heart valve disorder. This peeked my attention because of my background in Echocardiography. We were handed folders on the children to see how the program works. The tears came again when I received Gabriella's folder. I learned that hers was to be one of the homes we could vi
sit. I was so excited.
At her home I was able to learn more about her surgery and explain some things to her mom. It was truly a blessing.

The camera crew that came with us pulled me for some questions. I am not sure who had more tears, Pete or me!!

I was taken aback by the genuine hospitality these people showed us. There surroundings were unbearable by our standards, yet they were excited to have us their and gladly showed us their dwellings.

We headed back to the project to meet our sponsored child and have lunch. I
was very anxious to meet David. I was overjoyed when his mom was with him. My tears poured out again when I met and hugged him. He grabbed my neck and just smiled at me. We talked about his dreams, he want to be a policeman. My son David also want to be a policeman. He likes soccer, cars, and animals. His mom said is a good student. I was impressed with his printing of letters and numbers. She said he likes to help with chores and loves his pet dogs.

When it was time to go, I hated to leave David. A piece of my heart went with him. The tears would flow on the way back.

Our bus was stuck in a crater like rut. Rain was beginning to fall. The team got to throw our weight around to help us break free. It was successful and we were on the roller coaster ride back to the hotel.

We had a little time to rest and freshen up before dinner. Dinner held another treat. We were joined by three students from Compassion International Leadership Program. These are students who have graduated from the traditional Compassion project and are in college. They shared their testimonies with us. Two of them even shared in English. The tears were flowing again.

At dinner I sat next to Veronica. She is a CI employee in Ecuador. I was blown away by her heart. She started a project near her home place, it is five years old now. She plans to go and start another project in the rain forest. More tears.

Rachel talked some more that night with more tears, then fell asleep.

I hope you enjoy my memories. I will continue in the next post.


Southern Hospitality
I live in the south. We are often characterized by what others call "Southern Hospitality". We are viewed as friendly people. This week I saw what real "Southern Hospitality" was. I was privileged to join many of the Proverbs 31 Speaker Team members on a trip to Ecuador, South America.

The people we met live in what we would consider to be unbearable conditions. Most of the dwellings were concrete walls and floors. Some places had windows and doors. Others only had sheets covering the openings. Most of the homes were only two or three rooms. The number of people living in the home averaged anywhere from 5 to 11. The children often slept 2 or more to a bed. Yet their homes were clean. These precious people were unashamed of their surroundings. They welcomed us with open arms, and insisted we sit and visit with them. They excitedly showed us their homes, and shared how they live out their day to day lives.

I am reminded of Luke 10:38. It is the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was distracted with the preparations while Mary visited with Jesus. I know that here in the "South" (the US that is), we are very concerned and aware of how our homes look compared to the others around us. When we have visitors we are focused on what we will fix for them.

The people in Ecuador have the right understanding. They were concerned with relationships not presentation.

I am still processing all I experienced. I wanted to share a small part of it with you. I also want to challenge myself and you to be a person that extends true "Southern Hospitality". I want to focus on extending Christlike fellowship to all who come to visit.

The P31 Devotional Book

I am so excited the Proverbs 31 Ministry devotional book is here!!

I know this book will bless you!
I was covering for a friend yesterday(at a local hospital) which happens to be right near the office.
I ran over at lunch a
nd purchased some copies.
I was
looking through the book that afternoon the other ladies in the lab got so excited and inspired. Ladies love new and pretty things. They wanted to know where to get them, so I sold them my copies!!

The book is written by members of the Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker Team (me included). I am humbled to be a part of this great team. We have all opened ourselves up to share personal stories to inspire you. I find it so incredible that I know these ladies personally and yet their devotions stir my heart and strengthen my walk with our precious Lord on a daily basis.

This great gift idea!

It can be ordered at www.proverbs31.org
go to the resource tab.

If only I would listen and obey
We were on a road trip not long ago. Some of the children were thirsty so we stopped for drinks. My oldest son was sound asleep and did not respond to my question for a request. As I was climbing out of the car the thought hit me to grab my phone in case a request came in. I did not take it with me.

When I got back to the car he was awake and asked where his drink was, he said he tried to call me to ask for one. I realized that I failed to heed the direction from the Holy Spirit.

A scripture I had recently studied Matthew 10:30 came to mind. It is where God talks about counting/knowing every hair on our head. I had wondered what God really meant by knowing every hair on our heads. I now had a real life explanation, He absolutely cares for our every need. He knew my son would awaken and want a drink too. He tried to make a way for that to happen. It was me who did not listen.

I love how God will bring His lessons to life for us even when it is one have to learn the hard way!!

Of course I went back in the store and purchased a drink for my son. I was also able to relate the story to the kids and help them to be more careful to listen to Gods promptings.

I hope this will encourage you to take a moment to recount the ways our Heavenly Father knows and cares for your needs.

About Me
I am taking some time away from speaking to glean more from God and draw closer to Him. I need to be at home more with my children for a season. I will continue to post on my blog and update you all. I covet your prayers during this new season.
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