So I have refrained from blogging about this till now because I didn’t know any details, nor did it seem that anyone else did. I wasn’t keeping it a secret, I just told some people and knew that it would get around eventually and if it didn’t, then I knew that one day I would get the details and then I would blog and then you all would know: I am going to Ecuador!!!
So the story goes back to when I was at the Call2All conference in Long Beach, California last month. As you read in the last blog, I was really having a hard time with being home and not on the front lines in missions. As you also read, around the end of the conference, God gave me peace about being at ITEC and I was entering back into the work here with renewed drive.
When I got back from Call2All I went to Tennessee for my best friend Joel and Ashelie’s, wedding, and since I was up there, ITEC sent me to Nashville to pick up an engine for a Maverick. I ended up driving all night to get home and stopped both in Tallahassee and Gainesville to see some friends, which put me at ITEC just before lunch. I really just wanted to go to bed, but I had to drop the engine off first. I pulled in on the airport side of the hangar, stepped out of my truck and walked up to Jesse and Galo. The moment I got up to them, Jesse had given me 3 small projects and was told that I was going to Ecuador. I wasn’t sure if they were joking, because I have been asked in the past to go but it never went anywhere.
Well, it turns out they were serious, and wanted to send me the following week, but there were other things that needed to happen first. The only detail I was given was that it was sometime in January. How are you supposed to prepare for a trip that you don’t even know when it is happening? I have worked at ITEC long enough to know what that translates to, but for those of you who don't, I shall translate for you. That basically means, "you will have a less notice than you need".
So today was my first day back after spending several days with my family and friends. I was asked when I was going to Ecuador and I told them I had no idea. And they said "well you need to get down there yesterday." After throwing around a few dates and times, It was decided that I will leave Sunday morning and return on the 17th of March when a large church group comes back. Jamie Saint and Jimmy Tingler are going to be taking a group down in March and I am returning with them.
ITEC has a building down there called the ITEC Training Center and I have 2 months to finish it before Jamie and Jimmy arrive with the big church group in March. I will be staying with a man named Galo and his family. He has been working with ITEC for a really long time. He is a pilot and also builds RV10s with Jesse Saint. I have met him several times while he has been in the States. As I understand it, he lives in Shell Mera, technically in the Jungle, but more accurately, Shell Mera is on the edge of the jungle; it is the same place where Steve Saint lived and his dad, Nate Saint, flew from each day to bring supplies to the many jungle stations before his death in 1956.
I find it amazing how I have struggled for so long with not being on the front lines of missions and when I finally gave it up and have peace about being here at ITEC, God sends me to Ecuador. I love my God. For those of you who want a life of adventure, follow God, He will take you on an adventure that will constantly amaze you.