Farewell Ninawachi (for now!)
Thursday evening after a wonderful dinner we once again met in the choza, this time not only for worship but also to take time to encourage each and every student and staff member at Ninawachi. One by one, a Daybreak team member would kneel before a student or staffer and affirm them, sharing with them what we saw God doing in them during our time together this week. It was a moving and emotional time for each of us as we got to speak into the hearts of our new friends. Following that, we had our final team debrief in the choza - which brought even more tears! - before heading off to bed.
Friday morning at breakfast, the Ninawachi team surprised us by returning the favor, affirming each of us one by one as we had done for them the night before. Each of us was blessed and encouraged and we truly felt the love of Jesus flowing through them as they spoke to us. It was a magical time that left us all in tears!!
The rest of the morning was spent hurriedly cleaning up and packing, as a heavy downpour was likely to cause road blockages on the way back to Quito. We said our final tearful goodbyes and were on the road by 10:30AM. Sure enough, about 2 hours into the trip we were forced to take a looong detour due to a road closure, and we did not roll into Quito until almost 8PM. Huge thanks to Mark and Shawn, our drivers, for keeping us safe! We had some take-out pizza (which was divine) and then off to bed!!
Saturday morning we had a beautiful time of worship and Brian led a heartfelt devotion before breakfast. Then it was off to Otovala for some shopping in the market there. We all got some goodies for our loved ones back home! Afterwards Mark and Cheryl took us to a lovely restaurant with an amazing view overlooking the city for a late lunch, and we returned back to our hostel for a quick rest. Tonight we’ll be heading out for a little bit more shopping and dinner, and then we’ll have our final team debrief at the hostel.
We wake up at oh-dark-thirty tomorrow AM for our early flight out. We are all so anxious to reunite with our families back home, but leaving Ecuador - and all the children, families, and Ninawachi students and staff - behind will be bittersweet for sure. Each one of us has had a life-altering experience this week, and we look forward to sharing with our loved ones at home in the days and weeks to come. If all goes as planned, we should be rolling into Daybreak in about 24 hours from the time of this writing! Please pray with us for safe travels!
See you soon!!!