Lectionary Selection: Mark 10:35-45
Prayers for Ecuador:
Oh Lord, this life can be tough. You know that. Your Son experienced it. Beggars from Venezuela, jugglers and buskers from Colombia, women without resources to give a good beginning to their children, little children who care for their younger siblings, youth who cannot find jobs, borrowers who cannot pay their debts, dogs too weak to search for food.
James and John asked to sit on the right and left. Our prayers are filled with wanting: Give me …. Help my family …. Make it possible for me to ….
Oh Lord, when will there be justice? If I am to drink the cup and share the fate, what am I to do? I cannot even help the poor animal lying on the side of the road that is only bones and skin. We too want to sit on the right and the left, but why must we drink of the cup? Why can’t You just make it fair?
Lectionary Selection: Mark 6:14-29
Prayers for Ecuador:
As Ecuador faces a changing social landscape, I pray that you give them a peaceful resilience. I pray that you will give them courage in the face of challenges. John the Baptist chose to denounce leadership in favor of justice, regardless of what the consequences might be. In the same way, please help the people of Ecuador to remain kind, and compassionate toward those seeking refuge in their country, despite fears stemming from the hate-driven actions of few. Help them to remain strong as they face new and foreign obstacles that may at first seem insurmountable. FEDICE is also facing a time of new challenges. As the organization faces these times of change and transition, walk with them, ease their fears, and feed their drive. Please continue to guide them, strengthen them, and bless them. The faith they have shown me is unparalleled, and their commitment to your work is astounding, they truly embody what it means to serve all brothers and sisters faithfully. I am so thankful that they remain eternally optimistic and certain that you will bring them what is best. So I pray for guidance, wisdom, and peace for both Ecuador and FEDICE.
As of last February 2018, I have been volunteering with FEDICE in Ecuador for 8 years. My main job is teaching English to over 100 preschoolers between 3 and 4 years of age. I work at 8 preschools sharing my native language twice a week for 25 minutes at each class. These schools are in small, indigenous communities near Otavalo where I live.Read more
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