Tucker Hemphill and I leave in just a few short days and my dining room table is covered with supplies to take on our journey. This Sunday, July 5, our congregation will commission Tucker and I for our short-term mission to Quito, Ecuador and the parish of Buen Pastor. On Tuesday we fly to Atlanta to meet the rest of our team and begin our work of preparing for entering a different culture and an opportunity to grow in faith. The next day we will head to Quito to meet our hosts and guides, two members of the short-term staff for the summer. Once there we will spend one day touring and learning about the culture and people of Ecuador. The following day we will begin our work at the parish of Buen Pastor. This congregation is one of the Episcopal churches in Quito and where our church currently sponsors two children to attend public school. Their priest, Juan Carlos Quiñonez is a friend that I have known for ten years and I can't wait to see him and work with him for the next week. We will spend our days continuing the work they are doing with their building projects, leading a VBS for children, teaching Sunday school, leading youth group programs and teaching youth leaders from the diocesan community. It will be a full ten days!
We ask for your prayers throughout our experience - July 7-17 - for safe travel, open hearts and minds, and growth in sharing our faith stories and listening to the faith stories of others. We will be sharing as much as possible through St. Dunstan's Facebook page and PYE Quito Province VI - our blog site. We will have much to share when we return.