Hope you had a great Christmas! I hope the craziness of the season didn’t suck the joy of the celebration out of you too much.
December in Quito hits on a number of different levels.
It impacts the city: The 6th of December is celebrated as the founding of Quito in 1534. There are parties and festivals across the city of 2.6 million people. We had the chance to celebrate with our missionary and national staff on the campus of Reach Beyond.
Each department cooked traditional Ecuadorean food, decorated booths and dressed up in traditional clothing. Then we had a contest to determine who had the best food booth and costume. Um… we didn’t win.
It impacts our Radio Station: A number of years ago, Reach Beyond decided it was time for HCJB Ecuador (our first radio station) to stand on its own and be fully self- sufficient. So, they had their first local fundraising campaign called Mision Compartida (Shared Mission).
Each year, in December, we open our campus to visitors and have three days of celebration for what God is doing here in Ecuador and around the world. There are booths (Nancy and I helped here), food trucks, concerts and more. It’s crazy. People call to give money, make pledges, bring money… bring chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, whatever they have.
Years ago, when we said we were going to begin to fund a Latin American station with Latin American money people said it couldn’t be done. Maybe they were right, but God has done it with money… and his bunnies on a thousand hills.
It impacts missions: December is a huge month of outreach to the poor. I have no idea how many meals were served and gifts were given over the past month, through multiple outreaches all over the city.
The cool thing about this community is how much organizational crosspollination there is. So folks from Reach Beyond can help out with Pan de Vida who is partnering with Extreme Response to feed the city’s poor. It’s amazing how much can be done when no one organization cares who gets the credit.
It impacts us: We were part of at least four Christmas parties, cookie sharing, Quito days, Mision Compartida, three outreaches and hosted about 50 people in the guest house.
More than that though, we crossed paths with Ecuadoreans in extreme poverty who
have very few long-term options for help. We crossed paths with Ecuadoreans, some giving out of their wealth and others from what they had. We crossed paths with missionaries who have poured their hearts and lives into the people of this country.
In the chaos of the busyness of the month, there were people. Lots and lots of people. Hopefully, we loved a few of them well.
Grace and Peace, Jeff