Abre Mis Ojos
On Saturday, we had our final work project day. We could tell you lots of stories about all the work we've done: scraping paint, repairing concrete, spackling, sealing, painting, replacing locks, cleaning out storage sheds, and so many other projects. It's easy for us to talk about the work.
We've also met incredible people here, who have incredible stories. Some of those stories are not as easy to talk about. Stories involving abuse, broken families, poverty, and pain. But those stories also involve incredible faith, redemption, love, hope, and restoration.
We had the opportunity at both Casa A and Casa G to share a few testimonies. Patrick and Breana from our group, a Casa A resident, Casa A house mom Rebeca, Casa G resident Dario, and one of our hosts, Marvin, who is from Ecuador, shared. Both instances of sharing were emotional and full of genuine connection through a shared relationship with Christ.
"He led them from darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them." Psalm 107:14-15
Many of these stories are still in process. The Casa A resident who gave her testimony is very much in the moment of trying to rescue her niece from a vulnerable situation. We met Casa G resident Andrés, and his sister Valesca. Andrés is trying to make sure his sister is taken care of. Phil and Debbie are working with the family of Andrés and Valesca to see what can be done. Valesca was a surprise to our group, we weren't expecting a young girl at Casa G. She had a profound impact on our group.
She had such joy in the midst of her difficult situation. She encouraged and helped our group with our projects. One moment we will remember forever... we had the idea to sing a song as we painted. We had been worshiping God in English and Spanish most mornings thanks to Sarah's ukulele talents. We started singing "Abre Mis Ojos" ("Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord"). Valesca shared that it was one of her favorite songs. She out sang every one of us. Sarah had brought her ukulele with her. We made our way into the living room and sang with Valesca. We sang some of the songs we had brought along. Then Valesca taught all of us a children's song "Yo Tengo un Amigo que me Ama" - translated lyrics: I have a friend who loves me, who loves me, who loves me, I have a friend who loves me, he name is Jesus.
God is in Ecuador. He is in the lives of the people here.