Pete Dill, a friend of our MSM Team, recently returned from six months of volunteering in Ecuador. He shares a little about his experience in the letter below:
The realities of the mission can at first be harsh and visceral to experience. In a poor town on the rural coast of Ecuador, children who have been abandoned or abused, either physically or sexually, live together in an orphanage. The school is under-funded, and the living conditions are not up to the standards of a developed country. Because of these truths, the stability of the entire program is never certain, but a closer look into the Foundation reveals something beautiful and uplifting that outweighs the constant problems and uncertainties. The women, or missionaries, who run the mission are filled with love and have dedicated their lives to serving and helping children. The work they do is constant, from early morning chores, until late at night putting everyone to bed, with the time in-between filled with the tedious work of running a sustaining orphanage and school for over 50 children. Each day it is an inspiration to see how these women love and care for every child and how they create an environment that is positive and Christ-centered – a far departure from the lives many of the children had.
The children who live here and are recipients of the care of the missionaries are at the heart of why all of this exists. They may have come from dire situations, but the smiles and laughter make that hard to believe. Every day is filled with chasing after running children and picking up those who have fallen during a game. With the occasional breaking up of a fight, it is never uninteresting. The culture created by the missionaries, one of school, chores, play, and God, gives the kids a structure that keeps them busy, teaches them responsibility, and allows them to just be children.
It has been an honor to be involved with the mission for the past few months. I am constantly filled with love from the children and inspired by the selfless work of the missionaries. I can feel underwhelmed with what I can bring in helping this foundation, seeing as though I am not a doctor, trained carpenter, or teacher, yet any lack I have is filled with love for the children and desire to hard work in whatever way I can help. And this love is what keeps the foundation running: love in the hearts of the missionaries who wake up everyday and give everything, love of those who have found a value in this and help by giving their resources or time, and the love of God who continually blesses both the missionaries and the children and has never abandoned them. For some of the children, this may be the first time they’ve experienced this kind of love, and this first time is a new start and fresh beginning, and this is reason enough for me to give of my time and volunteer.
We are thankful to people like Peter who are able to provide such a great service to these children. We hope his story reminds you of the great need that is being provided by the missionaries’ efforts. Thank you for your continued support.