What happens next?
For just over eight days Tucker Hemphill and I were a part of a short-term mission team in Quito, Ecuador. We went with a group of Episcopal youth and adults from the southeast U.S. We stayed at a wonderful hostel and were treated to amazing breakfasts and outstanding hospitality. We learned more about the ministries of our missionaries Cameron and Roberto Vivanco. We did a day of touring to learn about the culture and people of Ecuador and an afternoon of shopping in the market. Most of our time was spent with the people of Buen Pastor, one of the four Episcopal congregations in the city and the home church of the children we sponsor through Education=Hope.
Each day we would wake up fairly early, have breakfast and get on the bus for the day's activities. On the bus we would do our daily devotion, led by one of the participants. The ride took about 45 minutes to travel to the southern end of the city. Quito sits in an long valley between the mountains and the parish of Buen Pastor is the southernmost congregation in the city. The journey each day took us through the heart of the city and we would see much along the way. Children and youth headed to summer school, beggars on the streets (selling everything from toilet paper to lottery tickets), and people going about their daily affairs. From our bus windows we saw both the beauty and splendor of Quito and the reality and sadness of it's poverty.
We also had the pleasure to meet Juana, one of the students we sponsor and Maria, her mother. We will share more of their story in the upcoming weeks.
Christian Formation Director