Rosie, Matthew & the Entire Team
What an incredibly blessed couple of days we´ve been having here in Misahualli!
While your missionaries I´m sure will share so much more with you upon return home, we wanted to give you another update about what we´ve been up to.
Sunday evening´s Youth Night at the Church in town was beautiful. We had a good number of young people of all ages gathered to play soccer, have an egg toss, sing songs and pray together. Some of the missionaries put on a skit for the youth and Fr. Lachlan was able to lead adoration for a short time. Our Lord´s presence and our opportunity to adore Him with the Ecuadorian youth in this way was an incredible blessing. It is not something that any of the Ecuadorian people, reminding them it is a place they can call home.
Monday morning we awoke earlier than usual, as we had a long day ahead of us. We began our day in prayer and headed out to a very remote village called Tres Hermanos which had never before had Holy Mass celebrated there. To get there, we drove part of the way and hiked the rest of the way. The trek was a challenge, with a lot of mud and streams, but we rented the team tall rain boots and supported each other along the way.
What an incredible gift it was to finally arrive. Though we were full of mud and a bit tired, the faces on the people and their warm welcome was worth it all. Witnessing the very first mass of this village was overwhelming. It has moved us all to a beautiful appreciation of the presence of our Lord in the Eucharist and just how blessed we are to have the opportunity to receive Him so regularly back home.
We were able to play with the children, have a wild soccer game in the rain and speak with the men and women about our own experiences of faith through our testimonies. Some of the men of the village, in their incredible hospitality, guided us nearby to some caves and showed us some more of the beauty of their incredible country. We trekked back home and slept so soundly, with a greater understanding of how the Lord walks with us, loves us and gives Himself to us so humbly. We, in turn, are coming to understand more and more how all of us are called every day, whether on mission in another country or back at home, to give of ourselves and bring Christ wherever we might go, even when it is difficult.
Today we prayed together and headed out after breakfast in two groups.
One group visited a nearby village and brought them Mass while another group stayed back in the morning to work at the church and convent, mixing cement and painting. The village visited had great faith and were so grateful for our presence. We brought with us candy, clothing, toys and religious articles and distributed them to the people. We prayed with a number of men and women who were ill, mostly with physical aches, pains and injuries. Fr. Lachlan was able to give many of them the sacrament of the Annointing of the Sick. Some of the young men of the village led part of the group to some nearby waterfalls while others stayed back and played with the children. The other group visited two villages and had a similarly blessed time with the people.
This afternoon we had a bit of free time. Some went swimming in the river and others stayed behind to pray and journal about all of the incredible experiences we´ve had so far.
Tonight, we´ll share a meal together, pray together and relax.
Tomorrow we will do a bit more work at the church, take the team out for a surprise boat ride down the river and then head from Misahualli back to Quito, back to the hostel we stayed at the first night.
Thursday we will have ´Quito Day´ and spend some time in the city.
We´ll have the opportunity to serve the people there a bit and do some sight seeing. We´ll return back that night to sleep and prepare for our flight back on Friday.
Once in Quito, we´ll be able to send you another update before heading home!
Thank you for your prayers as we remember you all each day in ours.
Dios te bendiga!
In Jesus and Mary,
Rosie, Matthew & the Entire Team