While I have only been in Ecuador with Ecumenical Foundation for Development, Integration, Training and Education (FEDICE) for two months, I have been out of the United States (and my comfort zone) since November. For me, November was the tail end of a time of discomfort, restlessness, and waiting for God’s plans for my future to be revealed. I had finished my medical school applications, and my plans to be a GMI had been in the works for months. When I was finally given a week’s notice that I could go to Mexico before heading to my placement in Ecuador, I leapt at the opportunity. Hanging up the phone after that conversation, I wondered if I had been hasty. I didn’t know anything about Chiapas, Mexico. I had been preparing for a different country all together. Fast forward to the night of November 20th: I found myself smiling as my taxi wove through traffic, I had this overwhelming feeling that life is so cool. While my time in Mexico was brief, it was the perfect transition on my way to Ecuador. I got back into the groove of speaking Spanish, I worked with people different from me, I found value in any menial task that could help those around me, and I learned that forming relationships is one of the most valuable things we can do in life.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 14:22-33
Prayers for Ecuador:
Lord, tell us to come and meet you on the water, call us to unfamiliar places. Challenge us not only to believe deeply, but to act on those beliefs. Help us to see fully that you are God.
Give us faith like Peter, to go and meet you in the communities of Ecuador; to Pijal where hard working families and their children are rejoicing in new opportunities, to Sua where your people are still recovering from floods and earthquakes, to Romerillos where gifts are growing through microcredit programs.
Give us faith like Peter, faith like our partner FEDICE, to step out of our comfortable and safe spaces, and go where you call us, and we will meet you there.
“As a volunteer with FEDICE, I am making a difference in indigenous communities. The leaders of the future, the children, are getting an enhanced curriculum because FEDICE has the foresight to provide this service of teaching English in these communities. It is a gift for the next generation."Read more
The experience of being in Ecuador has been great, a magnificent opportunity to put love and knowledge into action. This country has everything. Its multiculturalism is admirable and each ethnic group maintains its customs and traditions. There is a lot to learn from Ecuador.Read more
I arrived in Ecuador in November, 2016. My first few weeks were spent learning the history of FEDICE and getting to know the general work and mission of the organization. FEDICE (Fundación Ecuménica por el Desarrollo Integral, Capacitación y Educación or, in English, the Ecumenical Foundation for Integral Development, Training and Education) works predominantly with indigenous people in rural communities in the Andes mountains to empower and to break the cyclical chains of poverty, discrimination, and injustice. Easier said than done, right? In the case of FEDICE, wrong! FEDICE has worked for over twenty years to bring about real change in rural communities and they have made a huge impact on the communities they serve.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 5:21-37
Prayers for Ecuador:
As we go about our normal days we often forget to go above and beyond what is required of us. We remember the laws but we forget what it means to truly live for and by your name. We tithe and make offerings to our churches but we forget to volunteer or support another person in need. God, please help us to know what it means to go above and beyond, to love you and follow the laws of the land but also to put everything we’ve got into truly living in your image.
As we pray for and with our partners in Ecuador this week, we ask that you guide our thoughts and our prayers to envelope not only our partners, but all the people of the country, from the Amazonian rain forest to the Andean highlands to the coastal lowlands and the Galapagos Islands where we see the beauty of God’s awesome creation. We ask that you help each of us to take those extra steps to truly serve you in everything we do.
In your loving name we pray,
Romerillos, a community in Cotopaxi, has lovely natural resources surrounding it which beautify it such as the Cotopaxi and the Ilinizas volcanos, and the people are kind and so warm in spite of the cold climate.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 12:13-21
Prayers for Ecuador:
O Lord, it is sunny today and the sky beholds your love for your creation. Yet your people of Ecuador have recently suffered from devastating earthquakes and erupting volcanoes. Have we been too greedy? Have we stored too much in our coffers? Surely we are not deserving of this cruelty.
We pray you will teach us to love and to be patient, to share and to receive with grace. And we give thanks to the many individuals, government entities, and organizations including FEDICE and Global Ministries, that have contributed to making our lives, maybe not filled with belongings, but rich with your love again. Help us not to demonstrate greed, but to be abundant in our love toward you and all of your creation and people.
On Sunday, April 17, 2016, Ecuador was hit by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake causing widespread damage. The earthquake was approximately 12 miles deep and centered approximately 17 miles south-southeast of Muisne, in a tourist area of fishing ports. As of Tuesday, April 19, 2016, over 400 deaths had been reported and more than 2,000 were injured. Traumatized survivors are evaluating their next steps amid the rubble of their former homes. Physical damages reported so far include demolished buildings, broken roadways, and lost electricity along the Pacific coastline. The Ecuadoran President, Rafael Correa has indicated that reconstruction will cost billions of dollars.Read more
Even as search and rescue efforts continue following last week's devastating earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador, UCC Disaster Ministries has begun its response with grants for relief efforts in Japan and Ecuador.Read more