I really enjoyed myself from July 10th to July 20th, despite the work involved. Another group from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Oregon and Southwest Idaho Region was here. I knew the majority of members from previous trips, so it was like seeing old friends. New friends were easily made, also.
Watching and participating with the group reminded me why I’m always impressed with the way they approach mission work. For them, it’s not about the “work”, though there’s always plenty of that. It’s about connecting with people. It’s about respecting and getting to know a different culture without imposing one’s own values. It’s about smiles, handshakes, hugs, eating together, worshiping together, playing together, and praying together. It’s about struggling to learn a few phrases in Quechua to ease communication as well as affirm the basic equality of different cultures and countries. The group from Oregon and Southwest Idaho ultimately reaffirms that my presence in Ecuador is valuable.
It was also wonderful to have such a caring group on hand to participate in FEDICE’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on July 19th in San Francisco, near Latacunga, Ecuador. It was a celebration of heart, mind, spirit, and foresight. It was a celebration of hours of tireless work on behalf of the economically marginalized people of Ecuador. It was a celebration of the numerous communities with which FEDICE works, with representatives from each community. It was a celebration of the vision of Victor and Violet Groth Vaca. It was a celebration of the capability and dedication of the staff and volunteers of FEDICE, who are making sure that the vision of Violet and Victor is fulfilled in due course. It was a celebration of the future as well as the past.
It was a celebration that made me feel honored to be volunteering with FEDICE through Global
Glenn Hebert and Marilyn Cooper work as volunteer missionaries with FEDICE (Ecumenical Foundation for Holistic Development, Training, and Education), which is based in Quito, Ecuador. We are also under the auspices of Global Ministries, the missionary arm of both the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denominations. Global Ministries lends support to grassroots organizations such as FEDICE worldwide.