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ecuador : day 3 | champaign-urbana photographer

Day 3 : Painting, Pouring Concrete, and another day of VBS…

Our third day in Ecuador was probably the most productive day of the week.  After another tasty breakfast of eggs and bolon, we headed to the Compassion project site, ready to work.  I helped lead a crew of hard-working gals to paint and decorate one of the classrooms.  We had spent some time Monday cutting in the corners of the room and discovering that a paint roller would be much more effective than a brush… but alas, we only had one small 3″ roller… So on Tuesday morning, we painted the entire room with a 3″ paint roller! We took turns with the brushes, getting in the nooks and crannies and cracks and edges that the roller couldn’t reach, while also taking turns with the baby roller. After the largest wall started to dry, I began the lettering for the verse we had chosen to write on the wall: “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  Galatians 5:22-23  By the time I finished the letter outlines, the other gals had finished painting the other two walls and were ready to paint in the letters… and I moved on to drawing and painting some pictures of fruit on the other two walls. Other than a few drips to touch up in the morning, we finished this project by lunchtime! Yay!!

While we were working in the classroom, most of the rest of our team was working on pouring the concrete patio – with the help of a rented concrete mixer!! Praise God!!  They really got a pretty good rhythm going after a while… a few pails of water, 3 boxes of sand, 3 1/2 boxes of rocks, one 110 lb. bag of cement mix, fill 4 wheelbarrows, repeat…

Sky was the main cement-mix-handler, so by the end of the day (well, by noon actually) he was covered with a semi-permanent layer of grey dust.  We we got back to the hotel, it took 2 showers and a lotion/soap mixture directly applied to his arms and left to soak in a bit before he was back to his normal shade!

Everyone did a great job of bridging the language gap, and got along really well with Jose (center – the pastor of the church) and Fabian (far right – the local general contractor). It was fun to see all the guys joking around and having a good time while working so hard (and getting filthy dirty!)

There was still time to take breaks and talk with the kids during their school recess too.  After a delicious lunch (shrimp ceviche is my new favorite Ecuadorian dish) it was time for day #2 of VBS.  The kids were just as excited as on day #1, and there were some new kids who joined us as well. I think my favorite part of each day was when Camilo invited the kids to come give us a hug… and he always warned us right before doing so, because otherwise we might’ve been knocked over by the mass of children hurtling themselves toward us!

Today we went through the last six eggs, representing Jesus’ death on the cross (two small nails held together in the shape of a cross), the soldiers who cast lots for his clothing (dice), the soldier confirming his death by piercing his side with a sword (a tiny plastic spear), Jesus’ body being wrapped in linen cloth (a small square of white fabric), the stone rolled in front of the tomb entrance (a small rock), and finally the empty tomb when Jesus arose — and the final egg was empty!

During VBS, most of the guys were still working outside, trying to get as much of the concrete poured as possible.  They worked until the courtyard was nearly finished, stopping just short of the last classroom where the 3-5 year old kids were doing their VBS project, and leaving a path for the kids to exit to the right. However, a little girl about 3 years old came running out of the room, turned to the left and stepped directly into the fresh concrete, sinking up to her ankles. She stood there, stuck but not upset, with a look of bewilderment on her face. Sky helped her out of the concrete and took her over to a bench with a bucket of water. Carefully, Sky removed her shoes and socks, washing them off in the bucket as she studied what he was doing. As he began gently washing her feet in the water, he realized… ohhh… this is what Jesus meant about serving one another… John 13:14-15 says “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”

Wow. God sure is amazing…

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