This past week, we had the honor of seeing the Eastwood Baptist Church return for another mission trip at Pan de Vida! They came three years ago, and came back this past week. It was good to see old friends again and to meet new friends, who had come for the first time. During their time here, they had the opportunity to help us with our regular programs, do a Hit Squad for Laura Lema, help us with work around the house, and run a soccer camp for our kids.
During their Hit Squad, they were able to go visit the home of one of our beneficiaries, Laura Lema. Laura was living in a one room house that had no foundation and was likely to fall over if there were a str0ng earthquake. We didn´t want to wait and see if it would stand an earthquake like that, so the group helped us tear down the house and begin rebuilding it. Despite the small working space, the large group was needed that day to make an assembly line to move all the debris out of the work site. Then they helped mix concrete and pour a foundation so that another group can come and build the house once more.
One of the other projects that this group was in charge of was doing work around the house. While some group members helped cook for the kids who were coming for the sports camp, the rest of the group did some painting and home improvement projects. Almost everything got repainted by diligent hands: the patio, the doors to the compound, the outside of the house, the playground equipment, the benches outside, and the main children´s classroom upstairs, which was repainted in Pan de Vida colors, yellow and blue. This is the work that the group did in the morning while they waited for the kids to get out of school and come to the soccer camp.
Once the kids came, they were able to eat with the group and get to know some of the group members. They then went to change into brand new, matching Pan de Vida uniforms, which they were able to keep once the camp was over. After walking to the nearby park, they practiced soccer skills, such as passing and kicking, under the direction of the group members. At the end of the week, when the camp was over, they had a ceremony where they received a certificate for participating in the program. Many of the kids and group members asked everyone to sign their shirts as they left, so that they would have a memory of each person who was there.
Thank you to everyone who came and helped! Without you, we couldn´t have done any of this. Without groups like this, these kinds of projects can´t happen. For several of the group members, leaving Pan de Vida was a tear-filled experience, and we know that they were able to learn about themselves, the world around them, and what God is doing through their lives and the lives of his servants here in Quito. Hopefully they will remember their experiences here and take it back to Bowling Green, where they will be able to serve God with a better understanding of what sacrificial service looks like, having experienced it here.
Thank you again to the whole group! If you are interested in bringing a group down to do a similar project, you can contact us here. If you would like to suppor the work that we are doing by making a donation, you can do that here.