Some of you might wonder what one of our trips to Piñas might look like. Here is an outline of what we did the last time we went. This time, just Tomas and I went. Other times we have another person or two that come. With just two of us this time, we had to split up quite a bit.
A family in our church in Loja makes backpacks and they sent several backpacks for us to give to the children. School in that part of Ecuador started a few weeks ago. Also, as you'll see with many of the meetings we are focusing on stories of the bible. It's a method we're using for those who aren't believers but have interest in meeting with us and those who are very young in the faith. The idea is that by learning these stories and talking about them we are able to see God's character and understand the Gospel better.
4am- I meet Tomas to start the trip.
5am - We stop at the market in Catamayo to eat breakfast but none of the places have food ready yet. So, we continue on.
7am - We stop in Balsas to eat breakfast at a small restaurant. I have carne guisado and rice. Breakfast here looks about the same as a lunch, minus the soup you have with a typical lunch.
9am - We arrive in Piñas. Tomas has a meeting with Marianita and a few others. He starts the first lesson of some discipleship material we're going to use with her.
9:30am- I have a meeting with Paula and her 3 children, ages 5, 10, and 12. We go over the story of Simon the Pharisee and Jesus (Luke 7:36-50). Sorry, I forgot to take a photo!
10:30am- I meet with Marianita and Jackeline and we go over the story of the pharisee and the publican who went to the temple to pray (Luke 18:9-14).
At the same time Tomas met with the children and went over a lesson with them from a kids devotional book.
12pm - We both go to William and Angelita's house. As it turned out Angelita's sister-in-law was there with her children. Also, some of the neighbor's children was there. Tomas started a lesson about marriage with women and a few minutes later the husbands came to join.
I stayed with the 6 children and went over a lesson with them. It was great to see how eager they all were to read and do the activities.
1pm - Lunch time. We had a normal lunch with soup, the main plate, and desert.
2pm - I had a meeting with Dorian, Viviana, their children, and friend of theirs. They live in Portovelo, about 20 minutes from Piñas. We went over part of the story of when Jesus was on the cross. (Luke 23:26-43).
2:30pm - Tomas had a meeting in Zaruma, it's about 20 minutes from Portovelo but in a different direction than Piñas. After he arrived, it turned out that the person he was going to meet with couldn't make it. So, he came back to Portovelo to meet me.
4:15pm - we start traveling back to Loja.
9pm - We made it back to Loja!
We had to take the longer way to go to Piñas because the other two ways were blocked because of landslides. During the rainy season, it's common to see the road wash away. Here is one example of the road. Thankfully it didn't take too long for them to make a temporary fix. It may be awhile before they are able to completely fix it though. Also, here is a picture of a 5 story apartment building that slid down the hill. Look how far it went down! It was originally by the road!