Bethany Hess        Network 21 Missions
it was a sunny afternoon in cuenca, and we (4 grengos) landed on a short runway. it was beautiful flying into cuenca...the city is surrouned by mountains (hence the short runway).

we were picked up by a sweet couple from the church, and then taken to meet up with our host families.

vanessa, lukus and i are staying with the lasso family. reuben, the father, alexandria, the mother, and the 4 children,(all teenagers) santiago, diego, patrizio, and carolina. we, along with our ecuadorian family, sat around the table exchanging spanish and english. we played uno, spoons, and some other card games....laughing constantly and feeling extremely welcomed! this family has been my greatest experience in ecuador thus far! the best word to describe them is joyful. they've been an amazing help to us with the language and being so far from the familiar.

while here in cuenca, we are working with a church, centro christiano. we've done quite a few different things with them. our first activity was setting up for this huge concert hosted by the church. they had been working on it for a year! it was a marcos witt concert, who is apparently like the billy graham of latin america. anyways, we were able to attend was quite an experience. the stadium was packed! we have a video of it that we will hopefully post soon.

the majority of the things we have done with the church have been children or youth related. we climbed a mountain with the youth group, and oh my gosh, i thought i was going to pass out! just to put it in perspective... cuenca is 10,000 feet above sea level...and we then climbed up and up and up. it was a long, tiring day, but i absolutely loved it. i remeber looking from the base of the mountain and thinking, how in the world is this going to happen? and when standing on the top of the mountain , looking over all of cuenca, i then thought, how in the world did this happen? :) while on the trek, a twelve year old boy named tomi, took to lukus and i. he has so much energy, and so many smiles to share.

i have to say, ecuadorian children are some of the cutest i've ever seen. we have had the chance to work in the churches childrens departement as well as the christian school. this last tuesday and wednesday we shared the message in the jr.high and high school chapel services. there are 4 people on our team, and most of us don't really like getting up to preach. but we as a team prayed about what to share, and it all came together. it was really great to see how God works! it was cool to know that God brought it all about....we didn't have to manipulate it...we just prayed and He gave us something.

i've lumped the majority of these first two weeks together...but i will post a few other entries to expound on some other happenings.

thanks for reading!

love, love!

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