The second week of February is a vacation week here in Ecuador. Similar to Spring Break in the States, many people travel during this time. So the Casa Gabriel boys were very excited when Phil proposed a trip to the coast. Early on Tuesday morning, they loaded up Phil's car and trailer with all of their gear: tents, sleeping bags, hammocks, food, and everything else needed for camping and cooking. They also loaded up a refrigerator, but not for camping: the fridge was for the family of Daniel, a past Casa Gabriel participant whose family lost their home and belongings in the earthquake last year. (The fridge was purchased through funds generously donated by a long-time friend of Casa Gabriel Dr. Bob Brunsvold and his foundation SALTS.) The boys and Phil brought the fridge to Daniel and his wife, who were invited to live temporarily at Casa Gabriel after the earthquake. When they moved back to the coast to try and rebuild their lives they requested a fridge so they could sell food items to have an income. The boys's trip was part vacation and part missions outreach: they delivered the fridge to Daniel's family, camped on the property of friends of Phil and Debbie, and helped do some work on the land.
The property they camped on had a river running into the ocean. They had never been there before, so they were excited to visit a new spot. All the boys pitched in to set up the campsite, helped with some work on the property to thank Phil's friends for letting them camp there, and enjoyed every minute of being out on the beach and in the water. In this way they had a meaning few days out of the city camping near the beach, and had many opportunities to put into practice our core values of Service, Love, and Respect.
Opportunities for growth and discipleship, whether in Quito or on the beach, would be impossible without individuals that believe in the value of these young men and what God is doing to break the cycle of poverty, abuse, and hopelessness. These outings allow these young men to grasp incredible life lessons as they have the opportunity to bless and to serve. We love watching the fruit in their lives when they realize God's truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive. They finally have a chance to give, and it is life-changing.
Through your partnership with what the Lord is doing in the lives of these boys, they were able to have this experience of growth and discipleship. Thank you, and may you be greatly blessed.
- The Casa Gabriel team
Heading out on a beach adventure! Pictured: Phil, Dario, Luis, Carlos, Juan Miguel (graduate), Joel, Moises, plus Admin Assistant Sonnet and volunteer Amy, who went to see the boys off.
Thank you to Education Equals Hope for visiting on a vision trip in February! While getting to know various ministry sites, they invited all the Casa Gabriel boys over for dinner one night. The boys practiced English with the team over a meal of locro de papa, a traditional potato soup. Graduate Miguel R. also came and shared about his time at Casa Gabriel and his dreams of becoming a chef and one day owning his own restaurant. Miguel is in culinary school and only has one semester to go before he graduates! This is especially amazing, not only for a former street boy but for someone who was told by teachers that he had a learning disability and likely wouldn't graduate high school. That was before Miguel came to Casa Gabriel and had the love of learning nurtured in him!
We are so appreciative of the time the team spent with the boys, and for the continuous support from Education Equals Hope throughout the year. They are a blessing to Casa Gabriel, as is everyone who believes in these boys and in their futures.
Prayer Requests and Praises
:: Praise: For Carlos and David, who both have internships at Casa Gabriel, and that they are leading and learning. They are taking their responsibilities seriously and are using initiative to grow in many areas.
:: Praise: Thank God for ongoing relationships with the boys who have graduated, who also invest back into the current boys and staff of Casa Gabriel.
:: Praise: The new workshop is completely finished! Welding classes have begun!
:: Pray with us for a couple who is prayerfully considering joining us this fall as our new houseparents.
:: Pray for continued spiritual growth for the boys, and that we would help nurture a deeper walk with God which will impact them now and for the rest of their lives.
:: Pray with us for stability in our budget as we enter a new year. God is faithful through our current donors and we trust Him to raise up new ones to meet our monthly needs.
Mision Mundo Juvenil Internacional
Attn: Casa Gabriel
Pablo Herrera OE4-105PB Alvarez Del Corro
(Detrás de Teleamazonas (Canal 4))