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Go. Be Love: A REACH Update

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By Katie, Team Ecuador

Katie and her team have been in Ecuador since the beginning of December, helping at a foundation designed to care for neglected and at-risk children and teens. Here she shares a story of how she was emboldened to be God’s love to those around her.

I’ve now been living on another continent for two months. That seems crazy to believe, and as cliché as this may sound…time is flying by. My team arrived in Ecuador on November 29th and now here we are, just a few days shy of February.

Our first month seemed to drag on forever. We all had thoughts of “are we ever going to leave?” and “how long is outreach going to take?” I don’t want to spend my whole time here waiting to go home. I want to look back on my adventure to Ecuador and remember living in the moment. I want to cherish my time of trying new foods, learning a new language and most importantly being God’s love.

“If I am here six months and choose to be God’s love daily, then that is enough for me. I was called to go, and while going I am then called to be God’s love.”For a while, as we were first starting out, I was so focused on thinking “we have to make a big impact.” But that is so false, and honestly, it’s a lie from Satan. My time here doesn’t have to involve some crazy story of how I led someone to know Christ or the way I spent each day out preaching in the streets. If I am here six months and choose to be God’s love daily, then that is enough for me. I was called to go, and while going I am then called to be God’s love.

I want to share this story with you…

This was just this week, during one of my shifts at the foundation. I was asked by a “tia” (one of the paid caretakers), to have a girl wash school uniforms. Now, this girl is known to have a bit of a temper, so I knew I may have my work cut out for me. Regardless, I went upstairs to her room and told her it was time to wash uniforms. She flopped her eleven-year-old self onto her bed and moaned, “I don’t want to.” Please honey, you know you have to…come with me and I’ll help you. No. She wouldn’t budge. I showed her my watch and told her I would give her one minute, then she needed to come. I walked out into the hallway for a minute to pass. When I walked back in, she got up and came with me (although still grouchy). We went outside to where the children hand-wash clothes. She washed the skirts and pants, while I stood beside her, washing the shirts. Once we had finished I told her how much I love her and that even though she acts bad sometimes, I will always love her. A smile sprouted on her face and she gave me a long, tight hug.

That story may seem simple to you, it really was nothing major. But to the eleven-year-old little girl who harbors anger from her past…I was the one who chose not to yell at her. Instead, I gave her a minute, literally just one minute. I showed her that I would be there with her, helping her and loving her. In that moment I was being God’s love.

I was called to go, and I was called to be love…and these kids are the recipients of that.

As you pray for Katie and her team to love the children at the foundation, ask God how he can use you to be his love to the people he puts in your path.

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