Dustin Riebel, Global Mission Intern
Watch Dusty and Kelsey's presentation of their time in Guatemala and Ecuador. (This can be downloaded for use in virtual Sunday School and worship.)
How would you describe the mission of our partner in Ecuador?
FEDICE works with communities, mainly women, in Ecuador Provinces that are most vulnerable. They work to help empower women with 4 main programs: Microcredit loans, fair trade, construction (volunteer groups from US), and agriculture/livestock projects.
How do you fit into their mission?
Our part in FEDICE was working with the mission groups that come from the USA to participate in Mingas (Group work). We worked alongside the groups as well as helped organize upcoming groups. I worked with the children from the daycare centers on art projects and organized games and entertainment.
What led you to engage in this calling?
Going on a 9 day mission trip to Nicaragua moved me in ways I never expected and when it was time to leave on the 9th day I felt that it couldn’t be over. I was starved for more experience like this; to learn from the people about faith and happiness.
Is there a passage of scripture that carries special meaning in your daily work?
“Faith without works is dead” -James 2:17
This is the mantra of FEDICE which I saw almost every day. The workers of FEDICE live by this and show the love of God through their actions.
What are some of the challenges facing the people of Ecuador, our partner, or yourself?
The people of Ecuador face issues that we don’t really see in the USA. Some of the communities don’t have essentials like running water or electricity. We learned this during our first group visit while talking with the indigenous tribes. We were working there doing construction projects on their daycare center that FEDICE helped to build years in the past.
What is a lesson you have learned from our partner that you feel should be shared with churches in the U.S.?
Actions can be the greatest testament to faith, however presence can go a long ways. With some of the groups we visited just being with them meant the world to them even if at that point we couldn’t offer a ton of help. Just working alongside the people gave them huge smiles that I will never forget.
Which books have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology:
Ecuador-Culture Smart! - Russel Maddicks
This is the only book but in school we read a lot about local heroes like Baltazar Uska and Oswaldo Guayasamin who shaped art and culture in Ecuador.
Which films that have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology:
Magical Andes (Netflix)
Blog link: https://ecuadoramor.home.blog
Is there a special food you would like to share a recipe of?
Humitas (Warning if you make authentic humitas it will take hours)
6 fresh ears corn on the cob (with husks)
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup butter softened
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup cornmeal
1 pkg 8oz mozzarella cheese
2 cups water
Remove green husks and silk from corn, being careful to keep husks whole. Discard silk. Place husks in large pot of boiling water and blanch 1 minute. Remove from water; drain.
Cut kernels off cobs. Place half of the kernels and onions in blender container; cover. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Pour into large bowl. Place remaining corn kernels, butter, baking powder, eggs and cornmeal in blender container; cover. Blend until smooth. Add to corn puree in bowl. Stir in cheese. (Batter will be thick but not stiff.)
Place 2 of the corn husks on work surface, with long sides slightly overlapping. Spoon 1/4 cup of the corn puree onto bottom half of the husks; fold the top of the husks over the filling. Fold in half from the left side, then fold in half again from the right side. (One end of each humita should remain open.) Repeat with 34 of the remaining corn husks and remaining corn puree. Keep folded ends in place by tieing closed with thin strips of the remaining corn husks.
Fill a large pot with 2 cups water. Line steamer basket with half of the leftover corn husks; place in pot. Stand the humitas, open ends up, in the basket; cover with the remaining corn husks. Cover the pot with a lid. Bring water to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; steam 30 minutes or until humitas are firm.