We recently came back from our South American reunion- the three churches united together in Peru for a Spirit-filled camp!
This year, we were very glad to be able to have Arthur, Dario, Karina, Alejo, Lucy and Jason from Hope Ecuador join us over in Peru. For the four Ecuadorians, it was the first time they were travelling out of Ecuador and for some of them, it was also the first time on a plane! But more than just having first-time experiences, I believe it was really a wonderful time of fellowshipping and gelling together as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, getting to know each other in a different context, having great, healthy fun and growing together spiritually. 🙂
Jason has only been in Ecuador for five months and with our church for about four months. He is still learning the Spanish language but we were so glad to see Dario, Karina, Lucy and Alejo communicating with him and taking care of Arthur and Jason (the two gringos) on this trip. Jason’s spanish improved a lot on this trip! We also got to see another side of Jason and Arthur, their fun and quirkiness!
We had a lot of fun at the SA camp as well, together with the Peruvian and Chilean brothers and sisters. Jason and Alejo connected immediately with their musical skills, and all of us had a great time interacting and making music unto the Lord with the Peruvian praise and worship team. We had such fun playing “Si tuvieras fe como un granito de mostaza” together! In the campfire too, the musicians just all gelled together, singing Peruvian, Ecuadorian, American songs while others danced around the bonfire… and it all ended up in praise and worship again! 🙂 What better than to praise the Lord with our gifts!
Over the three days at Mahanaim campsite, we got a lot of mosquito bites and it was really hot weather (it was the desert!) especially for those of us who came from Quito! But that did not dampen our spirits as we really enjoyed the amazing time we spent together as a team and as a South American community. We played games… some were hilarious (like moving a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using hands or dropping the cookie) and some were really competitive (like the three person, four-legged football match). We ate, we sang, we read the Word of God together. We prayed, we praised, we shared… it was really a time filled with God’s joy and God’s Spirit. God spoke and reminded us of His love and us loving Him and simply enjoying His presence, worshipping Him, being wowed! by Him, and bringing His presence with us whereever we go… a missional community that simply loves God and genuinely brings God’s presence to others.
We also celebrated the water baptism of Constantina and Edith’s mother (from Peru) as well as Monica and Carlos (from Chile). It was so wonderful to witness their declaration of faith together as a South American family! 🙂
We returned from the camp with new refreshment in the Spirit, greatly encouraged by the fellowship. May we truly grow to be a missional community and continue to stay in God’s presence, bringing His love with us to build more missional communities in South America!