Psalm 100:2 “Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.”
The rain is coming down pretty hard right now as I write, its peaceful though and I find myself strangely aware that this is my new home now. I was told by a missionary named Julia (she is from Ireland and has been helping with the VBS) that we brought the good weather with us (everyday has been sunny so far), but we will see how the rest of the week goes.
Today was day 5 of serving the Lord with gladness, we finished the VBS in Cuenca (we still have two more days for a different VBS we are going to do in Uncovia) despite feeling so unprepared for it. It was very hard to tell the kids that this was the last day for the VBS in Cuenca, especially to my friends Angelica, Juan Diego, and Michel (they all gave me great big hugs after the VBS though so that helped sooth my soul, very dramatic words I know but hey I’m a blogger now so I can say it how I want!).
Tonight it is Erika’s turn to share some words for the readers. She isn’t known for being few on words, which for me is a good thing since I am really tired and totally OK with her taking over just about the entire post for today. After your done reading what Erika put scroll down to check out the schedule of the mission team so you can pray accordingly.
“The Lord put Psalms 100 on my heart to share with the team this morning, which was an amazing reminder about serving the Lord with gladness and how that stems from being joyful which stems from knowing God, which causes us to be thankful, which causes humility which in turn brings us to the reason for all of this: because 1. He made us, 2. We are His 3. He LOVES us and most importantly because God is SO good!! We talked about joy being tied to a relationship rather than our circumstances, and when we get down to the nitty gritty, our relationship with the Lord is where our joy should stem from. Our reason not only for this trip, but the purpose for our lives is to bring glory to the Lord, to bless His name; and when we bless Him He blesses us in return, which brings us back to humility and being joyful and causes us to serve with gladness. They all coincide with each other and if we’re lacking we become ineffective.
VBS day 2 was super amazing as per usual!!! It is such an amazing thing to see these kids worship the Lord in prayer, singing and learning about Jesus!! They have such a desire to worship which becomes evident when they are yelling OTRA! OTRA! OTRA! At the end of each song! For me, it is always so hard to say goodbye, knowing that I wont see them tomorrow, and possibly until the next time I come to Ecuador if the Lord wills. Another really cool thing about coming back for the third time is being able to watch the children grow up. Today I brought pictures of me with some of the girls from my last trip in 2010 and I was able to show them…it was so cool to watch it click and their faces light up and for them to tell me, RECUERDO!!! To see how much of an impact we can make on these young lives in just 4 hours a year is absolutely a testimony of how BIG God is!!
I’m super sad the days are flying by because when I am here I feel at home…despite the fears that seem to keep holding me captive and it becomes so frustrating to me. Tonight we were going to see some traditional Ecuador dancing, and the flashbacks from two years ago came to mind, being mugged and having to run for safety, that I completely broke down and I could not contain my tears. Those are real feelings and being here brings back those fears. In preparing for Ecuador, my biggest prayer was that I wouldn’t be held captive by my fears, and remember that perfect love casts out fear! Our first day Zeke talked about how God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self control (2 Timothy 1:7) and this is something that I will daily, hourly, and just moment by moment surrender to the Lord. But in the end I know that my God is FAITHFUL and HE has brought me down here for a purpose, for HIS purpose, and that is to bring HIM glory! So for the readers, please continue to pray for us as we’re down here, pray that fears won’t hinder us for what we came to do and keep Matt in prayer as He will be staying.
A side note: (Sorry Matt for taking up your blogging time…) It has been such a joy to watch Matt interact with the people down here. I feel so blessed and encouraged to watch his journey as a Missionary unfold right before my eyes. I am confident that he is being obedient to the calling that the Lord has placed on his life!
“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thessalonians 1:11
Dios te bendiga!