Hi everyone, thank you for your continued love, support and prayers!

Image of Step team having a mealThe week from the 18th-24th May was a busy but good week. The Thursday morning brought new challenges for our team when we woke to find we had been burgled overnight. Some money was taken from the boys camping outside, Saulo’s rucksack and about 7 pairs of our shoes were missing too, which we (perhaps foolishly) had left in cardboard boxes in the courtyard. This was a shock to begin with and unsettled us all, but has reminded us to continue to pray for protection and trust in God! Since then, the boys have moved back inside and we’re being more careful with our belongings. It’s meant we spend more time with our host family too and has enabled us to get to know them better. It’s amazing how God can bring good out of tough situations!

Later on that morning we had the opportunity to go into a local school for the first time. Our team split into 3 different classes to talk about UK culture, share testimonies, chat about Psalm 139 and get to know the students. It was really encouraging to talk to some of them and all were engaged in the drama and song we finished up with. On Friday morning we went into another different school in Pedernales and did a similar session with 3 groups of students, some of whom were asking really interesting questions about Christianity! Pastor Carlos and Lucia were away for the weekend for their son’s wedding, so some of the team tried their hand at waitressing in the restaurant and Saulo was unofficial manager for the weekend.

Image of Step team in front of siteOn Saturday the 20th we were back working at the church, cleaning bamboo and working on the foundations of the bodega (Spanish for storage room). It was encouraging to have Katy visit for the day with a Latin link Strider Emily, who was really lovely! Ina led and preached on Sunday about Jesus walking on the water, featuring Alice W and Zack as part of her illustration. Mel, Beth and Josh led worship and Alice P and Jordan each went into a kid’s group, where Jordan ended up running her group in the absence of a leader. Classic South America!..The team prepared Shepherd’s pie for lunch with the family, with a lot of help from Yolanda, our host mum. We were able to have some time off at the beach in the afternoon!

Image of view towards seaOn Monday 22nd we carried on with more building at the church, working on the bodega and the path. Tuesday 23rd was Beth’s birthday and so we had the day off. A couple who own a hotel on the edge of Pedernales had come into the restaurant the previous day and when they heard about our project said we were welcome to use it at some point to rest – such a blessing! We had a fab day swimming and relaxing there with the place to ourselves, a beautiful view and good food!

Image of Step girls restingThe sad news is that early on in the day Jordan slipped over on some water around the pool and really injured her ankle. She was unable to put any weight on it and did a good job of staying positive for the rest of the day despite how much pain she was in. A doctor from the church dropped in in the evening to assess her ankle and bandage it up, but when it seemed like it wasn’t getting any better, the decision was made that she should be taken to a hospital.

On Wednesday the team continued to work on the church building, and Katy came from Santo Domingo (about 2 1/2 hrs away) to take Jordan to the hospital, with Zack going too for support. Saulo needed to go back to Quito for the weekend, so Chris, another girl from Proposito Global arrived in the afternoon to switch places with him and stay with us for the weekend.

Praise God for:

  • two encouraging sessions in schools
  • a good day off for Beth’s birthday
  • growing in our relationships with our host family
  • the support network we have in Ecuador

Please pray:

  • for more opportunities to go into schools
  • that we would trust in God when things seem to be a little pear shaped
  • for healing for Jordan’s ankle
  • for God’s protection over us