Dragon Fruit, Pigs, and Chicken Feet!

The CMV group with the Greenwoods in front of the San Sebastian Church Loja sign.

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We started our morning at 7:00 am with this cheerful breakfast making/clean up crew! (Yes, Patty, I also have a picture of Erik washing dishes!)

Our first food adventure was this fruit for breakfast. Murray told us what it was called in Spanish, because he didn’t know what it was in English. We likened it to a pale dragon fruit. And we all enjoyed it! Little did we know that we would have an even greater food adventure by the end of the night!

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After breakfast, we enjoyed a devotion by Zoe, and a challenge by Murray to consider what we can do for Christ, this week and in the future.

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After our morning get together, we ended up getting in 3 separate taxis. Sheryl gave them the address and off went each taxi. That was an adventure all by itself!  

 
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To explain what we did next, let me give you a little Ecuadorian lesson that we have learned in the last 24 hours. The people here are very genuine, respectful and welcoming. What the Greenwood’s church has found is that people won’t necessarily walk into an evangelical church setting, but they will attend “cell groups”, which is our equivalent to a home fellowship. We went to one particular home that hosts a very evangelical home group and met the wonderful hostess. Our job was to canvas the neighborhood, with invitations to an all day event next Saturday, where we will be co-hosts. The neighborhood, with the low hanging clouds clinging to the mountains, was very picturesque. We went in groups of four, with a member of our hostess’s family, who knew the neighborhood.  Many of us compared this neighborhood to neighborhoods we have visited in Mexico, complete with roaming dogs and chickens. However, many of us have not seen Josh hanging with this pig before!

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I, personally, have asked many people to pray for my Spanish to come flooding back, especially the subjunctive.  Well, I have been able to communicate with several people, including sharing my personal testimony with our neighborhood tour guide, who was the brother of the hostess. But, because we were walking through the neighborhood, it wasn’t my Spanish that was lacking, it was my lung capacity as I was walking up the hills at 7000 feet elevation, with a bunch of 20 somethings! (Who needs an aerobic workout? Just move to Loja!)

Our day was just beginning. We had lunch at a local restaurant, where many tried tripe for the first time. Although, it wasn’t my first time, I decided to see if Ecuadorian tripe was different than Mexican tripe. Can’t say for sure, but I’m still not a fan!

On our way back to our “home”, we walked through the street market and enjoyed the sights:

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After we returned to our compound, we prepared for the youth ministry at 4:00. It was determined that Chloe, Jacob and Leandro were going to give testimonies at the appropriate time. We left the compound at 3:30, as the church is about a 20 minute walk, full of city sounds, sights, and smells. (Including crazy taxi drivers!) We arrived early and set up, and we about doubled the youth group. It was a lot of fun! In our debriefing tonight, it was agreed that youth are youth no matter what culture, and playing games breaks the barriers!  We played a bunch of games in Spanish and it was fun to see everyone mix together! We finished our fellowship with pan con queso and some fruit juice.

There are so many more adventures that happened this day, and I can’t write them all. Let’s just say each hour was an adventure! And upon our return, you can ask band members how we may or may not have distracted their worship band from practicing! And about Donald’s Pan, and all of the sights along the way!  

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But, I’ll post one last picture tonight. It involves a bigger food adventure than the dragon fruit this morning.  And yes, I believe those are chicken feet in the soup! Yum! Dinner!

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 That’s all for this lengthy blog post. Time for me to rest and prepare for more hill climbing tomorrow!

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Marie Stout