¡El tiempo pasa muy rápido! Time flies!
We are quickly approaching semester’s end, and I can’t believe I’ll be flying home in a few days. God has been faithful in every detail, including these final moments.
Last week and this week are the carrera (race), as Lucy says—everyone trying to do everything before time’s up.
Lucy’s sister-in-law and nephew visited again, sharing meals and moments. Carolina enjoys cooking, so she prepared a few coastal dishes for us.
On Tuesday, we invited our ñaños along to the Basilica. We had visited at the beginning of the semester when the cathedral towers were under construction but wanted to return to complete the experience. The view of the city is striking.
We explored the church and climbed countless stairs, some winding, others steep and in open air. We browsed the shops on different floors and goofed around on the roof, seeing who could climb the backside of the ladder using only their hands. It was an amusing time with our siblings, to say the least.
On the way back, we stopped at a place called “Food Truck.” We split into pairs and wandered around, ordering what appealed to our appetite and returning to eat as a group.
On Wednesday, we spent a few hours helping in the taller (shop) on the seminary campus. Our assignment consisted of cutting iron for the apartment windows. For me, it was a neat experience because it reminded me fondly of working with my Dad.
Afterward, Hermano Luchito dropped us off at Sweet & Coffee. I ordered cookie dough cheesecake, and enjoyed every bite! It was a special treat on a rainy day.
On Thursday, Katherine came over to bake galletas de aguacate (avocado cookies) and pan de guineo (banana bread). Both were tan rico (very delicious), thanks to Lucy’s expertise and our enthusiasm. I thank God for good friends and wholesome moments.
Friday included a “tiempo de refuerzo académico,” in other words, a time of academic reinforcement in the form of a cafetería. We transferred our class conversation to a coffee shop in the mall and continued practicing for the OPI over coffee and mil hojas cake.
I am always amazed at Pastor’s love and care. As professor, he demonstrates full confidence in us, explaining and challenging as necessary. As pastor, he encourages us, praying and serving consistently. He never ceases to pour into us.
As if we hadn’t consumed enough, we returned to my house for lunch. Lucy made her famous tacos (the best in the mundo, collectively agreed upon), and we relaxed, very satisfied.
The rest of the afternoon, I hung out with Davidcito and Arleth, organizing Bicho’s LEGOs. It was un gran proyecto (a big project), but we finished over the weekend, so the little guy can find his pieces more quickly.
The next morning, desayunamos (we ate breakfast) after Pastor’s weekly devotional via Zoom. My family bought huevos de codorniz for me to try, so we had fun pealing the fragile shells off the miniature hard-boiled, uniquely-speckled eggs.
Once we finished, Lucy, the kids and I headed to a local mall, el Condado. I experienced heart-felt joy watching my ñaños light up in the toy sections and skip down the aisles.
That afternoon, we prepared a fiesta de sorpresa (surprise party) for the quinceañeros de la iglesia. Three youth within the church turned fifteen within the past few weeks, so we gathered to honor them with a ceremony, refreshments, and cake.
Immediately afterward, the entire group piled into the van and numerous cars to spend the evening in Quito. Like the big happy family we are, we climbed La Virgen de El Panecillo, a massive statue of Mary the mother of Jesus standing upon the dragon written about in Revelation. The chain in her hand represents the imprisonment of death, Christ’s victory over evil.
We took many pictures and walked along the streets, lined with booths bursting with traditional artisanal items. To conclude the night, we enjoyed ice cream and purchased an empanada de viento to share, the most gigantic puff of dough I’ve even seen, filled with air and sprinkled in sugar. It resembles an elephant ear almost exactly.
Sunday marked our last time attending la Iglesia del Nazareno Carcelén. Of course we cried saying goodbye to everyone, but my heart was overflowing the entire morning. I absolutely love my equipo de producción (production team), who wrapped me in the biggest and longest group hug of my life and graciously took my family and I out to lunch.
I will always remember my Sundays of service in the tech booth with my people, all our jokes, and their patient enseñanza (teaching).
Finally, Mathías and Isabela’s parents invited us to cenar (eat dinner) with them Sunday evening. Hermana Jimena made empanadas de verde filled with queso, pollo o camerones (cheese, chicken, or shrimp) and served with mayonesa casera (homemade mayonnaise) and ensalada (salad made with tomato, onion, and lime). We exchanged stories, looked at photos, and laughed a lot.
To finish the weekend, we watched my little brother’s favorite movie and ate truly Ecuadorian: arroz con leche (rice with milk) and torta de choclo (corn bread).
I am constantly rejoicing in these blessings, right up unto the very last second.
God’s Provision: This week I triumph that my confianza (confidence) is in the Lord. Preparing for our oral exam is tenseful, especially with my personality, but I will achieve what God permits for His glory, nada más (nothing more). He is fortifying me with ánimo y oración (encouragement and prayer) from His people.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, ESV).
Palabra de la Semana (Word of the Week): Tuna. Prickly pear or cactus fruit. It grows in spiny clusters and helps the digestive system. I really do love trying new things!
¡Nos vemos! ¡Muy pronto! We will see each other! Very soon!