South of the Border

As mentioned on my Raging Inferno post, I will be leaving for Ecuador this Firday. The church I attend, Santa Rosa Bible Church, has planned this trip to visit a church that we support in the town of Pifo, high in the Andes Mountains. There are about 50 of us going ranging from ages 10 to 60’s. We will be putting on a Vacation Bible School for about 300 kids from the town, we will be building some classrooms for the church, and a couple of dentists are coming along as well. As an added bonus, we’ll be escaping the sweltering heat of the Northern California coast, for the balmy atmosphere of the equator. Yes, we have to go to the equator to cool off!

I’m pretty excited. I’ve been on mission trips before, but only to Mexico and not too far from the border. This will really be my first time to be immersed in a culture and country where you can’t run back across the border in an hour if something goes wrong. I’m not scared, but just full of excitement and anticipation for what it’s going to be like. I know a little bit of Spanish but it’s been about eight years since I was last in Mexico, so we’ll see how much rust has accumulated. I’m anxious to see how God chooses to use me there and I pray that I will be a willing instrument to do His work. In some ways it’s hard not to think of this as just a cool way to do some traveling, but that’s not why we are going and that’s not where I need my focus to be. The purpose is to bring glory to God by doing His work. Sunday night my ol’ buddy J Crew preached in church and his main theme was how everything we do as a Christian should be for the glory of God. I need to stay focused on that all important fact. Yes, I’ll get to see some amazing terrain, and yes I’ll have a good time with J Crew and RJ-77 (doesn’t that sound like a droid’s name?), but the focus needs to be on Christ.

Quick side note on J Crew’s first sermon in “big church.” He brought it! He’ll get embarrassed about me posting this probably, but I think it’s pretty clear that God has gifted him with the ability to preach and teach clearly and effectively. He was calm and clear and spoke from the Bible with authority. If there were any new comers in church that night, they would have had no idea that this was his first go at it. It’s hard to believe, and I can say this since he’s my brother from another mother, that this is the same guy that used to stutter like a ’53 DeSoto and who once, by his own admission, just wanted to “kiss every girl.” In his defense, that was a looooooooooooong time ago. Just goes to show what God can do once He gets ahold of someone.

At any rate, please pray for me and the rest of the team as we head down toward the equator. We’ll be there for a little over a week and some of us will be staying with families from the church and some will be in a hotel. I’m kind of torn as to which of these accomidations I’m hoping for. On the one hand, one of the main reasons I’m going on this trip is to push myself outside my comfort zone and really make some sacrifices for the Lord, so staying with a family could be more challenging but also more rewarding. But on the other hand, if I’m going to be doing construction all day at 8000 feet above sea level, it might be nice to have a bed to sleep in and my own bathroom. We’ll see. But please, do pray for us.

I can’t wait to see the water go down the toliet the other direction!

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12 thoughts on “South of the Border

  1. SJ

    Ando,

    We will be praying for all of you! God will use you in great ways and what I have found from mission trips I have been on is when I go with the right attitude, God changes me in great ways too! We are praying that in all each of you do, God will be glorified! Have a wonderful trip! You will be forever changed!

  2. kludge

    I’m very excited for all of you. I know I wouldn’t be up to a missions trip.

    Do Gods’ work, be good, bring back stories!

  3. Ando

    Don’t be so sure, Kludge. God has a way of helping us realize strength we never knew we had. Remember, nothing is impossible with God. Even getting you into a jungle somewhere :)

    And with spending 10 days with RJ-77 and J Crew, how could I not come back with some great stories.

  4. J Crew

    The Desoto comment might be the greatest of all time(LOL!!) I can’t wait to see what God has in store for all of us. I greatly anticipate it will be something we can tell or children’s children Lord willing how great God is and what He can do.

  5. jbau

    I’ll miss you so much. I’m already missing you. I know God has great things in store to teach you, and I’m excited to see how He will grow and stretch you. But if A.B. visits me while you’re gone, I’m letting Jackson loose on him.

  6. Sarah

    I am so excited to hear what God does through you and all those with you down there. I am praying for you to allow God to work through you and to also change your life. Each time I get an oportunity to see God working my Christian walk is always strengthened. Can’t wait to hear an update.

  7. kludge

    And then Ando sent and email to 400 people and still no update…

    J Crew is holding trump, and RJ has resigned

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