Monday, March 24, 2014

Catching Up: July

We spent the first part of July gearing up for the medical campaign to Kumanii at the end of the month. Participants of this campaign came primarily from the Hillsboro Church of Christ (our sponsoring congregation), and from the Southside Church of Christ (one of our supporting congregations). Of course, we were excited to have members from Hillsboro visit us in Ecuador for the first time since we arrived on the field. This was also the first short-term group that Rusty planned for and organized all on his own since Kent was in the States at the time. He did have help from Alberto and some of the folks at the EQEB in arranging some of the logistics. Alberto had planned to go to Kumanii to help Rusty, but at the last minute was unable to, due to some issues at the EQEB, so Rusty pretty much ran things all week on his own. He did a great job -- everything went so smoothly and so well, and we had an awesome group of participants, too, which always helps! As it turned out, although we didn't know it at the time, the July medical mission set in motion the chain of events that led us to where we are now. (More about all that later.)

I had planned on participating in the medical mission as a kitchen helper. Jauna Reeger, who at the time was administrating Camp Bellevue along with her husband, Justin, had agreed to run the kitchen at Kumanii during the medical campaign. I was going to tag along and see what I could glean from her years of experience cooking for large groups out at the camp. However, the pregnancy caused us to rethink things, and in the end, I decided that going to the jungle for a week in my first trimester was probably not the wisest thing. So, I ended up staying back in Quito with the kids. I was disappointed that I couldn't be with the group the entire time, but I was able to spend time with them on both ends of their trip... the kids and I went out to Camp Bellevue for the two nights they spent there before heading out to Kumanii, and we joined them at the end of the week for a night at Chachimbiro to enjoy the hot springs and a day of shopping in Otavalo.

While Rusty was gone on the medical mission, the kids and I enjoyed having Italia Brewington and her kids stay with us in Quito for a few nights. Italia's husband, Jason, was one of the doctors on the medical mission, and the whole family stayed on in Ecuador for a couple of weeks after Kumanii to work out at Camp Bellevue. The boys enjoyed having other kids their age around to play with for a few days, and for my part, having the company of another adult made the week much less lonely.

Here are a few pictures of the medical mission:
Clinic day at Camp Bellevue. The team did a half-day clinic here before heading out to Kumanii.
There were 3 baptisms at Kumanii after church on Sunday!
Eye clinic
Clinic day at one of the villages
New friends
What a great group of hard-working, servant-hearted people!
For more photos, you can visit Gene's Facebook album by clicking here. Gene is a professional photographer and a member of the Southside congregation. He has come to Ecuador several times on short-term projects and has such a gift for capturing the beauty of Ecuador and her people.
And here are a few more random shots from July:
Look at all the goodies our friends at Hillsboro sent us!
Stephen enjoying a giant piece of pie at The Pie Shop in Otavalo
Our family at the market in Otavalo (thanks to Nathan Hall for this picture)

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