Day Three

   Posted by: Dean White   in Ecuador


  • Escuela Tumbaco (Elementary School)
  • Igelsia Buen Pastor  (Good Shepherd Church)
  • Hotel Meeting

Purpose: To pass out shoe boxes and learn more about Samaritan’s Purse.

Tomorrow: Heading to a tough area to pass out boxes and shopping!

Highlights from today:

  • It’s Christmas …like never before
  • The Purple Team Unite
  • A Free House?  What?

Quote of the Day: “We sure had fun today!” said by a little boy after everyone opened their gifts.

What brings you the most joy?  For me is to know that what I did made someone smile.  It just fills me more than anything. Today I saw hundreds of little children and their parents smile so much their mouths had to hurt.  Needless to say, my joy is overflowing!

Christmas in March…why not?!

Today we headed East of Quito. Our first stop today was at a school for nursery age up to 3rd grade (2 – 8 yrs old).  The school was founded by a lady named Patty who had a heart to educate the kids in this area and give them a chance that their parents may not have had.  The school began in 2004 with 10 kids and today the school has 167 students. The school was organized, clean, and well thought out. You could easily tell that the teachers put their entire hearts into the education and love it. Today, Patty was dressed up like a clown and put on an ensemble for the kids.  Her energy would put most kindergartners to waste.  The kids played games, sang songs, saw a skit put on by the teachers, and there was even these two little boys who sang and rocked out.  I am hoping to upload the video.  To see the boy on the left rocking and ‘Jesus’ in the background playing the guitar was …awesome! (the video file  was too large for the blog… bummer,will have to YouTube it later).

From the school we went out to a rural area.  They warned us that this stop would be much harder with the hardest stop being tomorrow.  It is in this rural area men work for $2 a day if they can find work.  When they do find work they could be gone from home for many days.  Then they come home, drink and …beat their kids.  Today I saw many children with cigarette burns on the top of their hands and up their arms.  The church is the only refuge the children have in this area.  Here they are fed, loved, and safe.

And today they felt like kings and queens!  I had so much fun playing with the kids.  They all wanted to be hugged, tickled and they soaked in every ounce of attention our team could pour out.  When we passed out the gifts, it was almost like they didn’t know how to receive it.  For many, this was the only Christmas gift they may have received.  I went around and sat down next to many just so they, one by one, could show me what they got.  Often they would ask me in Spanish, what is this?  I then would show and tell them how play dough works, or show them how to make their glow in the dark bracelet work.  So many of the toys just amazed them.  One girl got a bag of ring pops.  I told her they were very popular in the US and she put one on and smiled from ear to ear.

But no one smiled more than this little boy who got a little white lamb in his box.  He ran all around showing everyone the lamb he got!  I swear it practically brought you to tears.  Two little boys were saying in Spanish, “We sure had a lot of Fun today!”  Wish I could give Christmas gifts out every day of my life!

My Team

The purple team consists of 12 people.  10 from the US and two interpreters. Of the ten, 2 won the trip in a contest (Paula & Kim), 2 are from large churches (Anita & Linda),  2 work for a large retailer that supports Samaritan’s Purse (Cindy & Bob) and 3 work for Samaritan’s Purse in Boone, NC (Ross, Becky & Stacey).  If you just counted don’t forget to add me in the mix.  The two interpreters are Mariela and Jose.  Jose has become a great friend.  He says people call him the Robin Williams of Quito because he resembles him so much.  I have been happy that the team has worked so well together.  We truly have been there for each other in so many ways.  Especially when you give your heart out many times a day and you are exhausted because of the altitude and little sleep, it is important to have the right team around you.  And I do.

I have to tell you a bit more about Jose.  His mother just passed last week.  In fact he buried her on Monday and joined our trip on Tuesday.  On Saturday and Sunday last week, all his family came over to his house.  And, as it is custom in Ecuador, the family parties all night long with no sleep for two days.  It is like business as usual in the day but as soon as the sun goes down it is time to celebrate the person’s life that has passed.  On Tuesday morning when I met Jose, he had a smile and joy in him that beamed.  His mother lived a good, long life but he was rejoicing since she was now in Heaven.  He is the type of person who has joy at the core of his soul and can’t help but let it overflow onto others.  He fills my ears with story after story and facts upon facts on Quito.  I will miss my time with him.

Samaritan’s Purse

When we got back to the hotel in the evening, we met up with all the other teams that are out here.  The 7 teams and 50 people filled a conference room and got to hear all the amazing things Samaritan’s Purse is doing in Ecuador.  They include: feeding programs, disaster relief, HIV Aids treatment, building playgrounds at orphanages, developing schools, wheelchairs, refugee help for those escaping Columbia, emergency response to Boliva, Haiti, Turks & Cacaos, medical caravans that have helped over 80K people, and a surgical clinic to help people with back and feet deformities be able to walk and live normal lives.   But the story that will stick out most in my mind was a lady who was gifted a free house from Samaritan’s Purse.

A few years ago, a volcano erupted and wiped out hundreds of homes.  The combination of fire and ash completely engulfed a huge area leaving many families without anything.  Samaritan’s Purse responded quickly.  In addition to disaster relief they normally provide through churches and schools, they started building homes.  They built and gave 102 homes away.  Not only were the homes free but a volunteer attorney went to work and was able to get the government give each home owner the deed to the home.  Most deeds are owned by the government out here. The government was so impressed with Samaritan’s Purse that they then started to build homes on the same plot of land modeling the homes after the ones SP built.

Well one of the people who got a free home gave her testimony today.  With tears in her eyes she thanked Samaritan’s Purse and all those who give to the organization.  She told us, through an interpreter, how she felt so desolate and scared after the volcano took her home away.  She didn’t know where go to.  Her and her children were hopeless.   But today she has a 3 bedroom home and each of her kids have their own room.  And …she owns the home!  In addition, Samaritan’s Purse taught her how to sew and sell scarfs; now she has a little business that provides for her family.

Thought for the day:

One of the gals in our group told me of a story where she went up in the hills of Jamaica to deliver shoe boxes.  She thought, ‘Jamaica …this will be a simple trip.’  Little did she know that the trip would take her up mountains and little roads to the most remote area she could ever imagine.  She told me the little children came to a little school, barefooted in old clothes.  One school for the 25 kids and one teacher to teach them all.  After they gave out the shoe boxes, the teacher grabbed her by the arms and looked straight into her eyes and said, “You don’t understand …no one comes up here …no one ever comes to help us.”   She responded, “Until now.”

I got a gift today
It made me smile
The only gift
I will get for awhile
I will keep the wrapping
And the shoe box too
Share the candy with my friends
And always wonder who
Who gave me this gift?
Was it a girl or a boy?
How can I say thank you to them?
I wish they could see my joy.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 at 11:11 pm and is filed under Ecuador. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 comments so far


Oh how I wish I was there! Thank you for sharing your time and your love and your life with these people…they will NEVER forget you!!

March 4th, 2010 at 5:36 am

Until now….TWICE you made me cry today! Out of love and compassion for what you’re doing and the stories you’re sharing. More joy your way, knowing you have also made me smile.

March 4th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Beautiful poem! Think you should send it to Samaritan’s Purse for them to use in one of their brochures. Love you.

March 4th, 2010 at 7:14 pm
Jennifer Trevithick

I LOVE the day-by-day accounts of the distributions – you and your team are in my prayers!

March 4th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)