One powerful component of this trip is the sense of community that has been created. While embedded and engaged in Ecuadorian life for a short time, deep relational connections are formed within the team, project, and culture. While we are in unity working on the same project, we all take something different away. So, I’ve asked a few team members to share their personal experience regarding community.
How have you seen or experienced a sense of community during this trip?
During the soccer game we got to participate in, there was no language barrier for a full 45 minutes. Just two different cultures together having so much fun.
I think what colleges struggle with is interdisiplinary commmunity. We do well within our majors to build that but on a trip like this, you have three distinct disciplines on a similar mission and a desire to work together. Even in seeing how the professors interact with students and live out their faith.
-Dr. Curt Wilkinson
Seeing the international gap bridged with the Guayusa tea project has been the most fulfilling for me. Both Jungle Kids for Christ and our C of O team have come at this project in many diffferent ways and it acts as a bridge. We have so many different ideas but come together in unity. We rally around a project that benefits the school.
Doing life with you all for 11 days. Getting to know people better and enjoying every step of the way. It’s like us becoming family – sharing experiences and a mission that we will remember forever. Some of us here don’t have much in common but we are still building that family community. It’s very intentional.
-Dr. Mark Hubbard
When we went to the church service on Sunday, it was a combination of Misahuallí natives, indigenous people from the surrounding jungle, and missionaries. Yet, we were all gathered together as brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.
During evening debriefs, Getting to have one-on-one time and thoughtful reflections with other team members – that’s been important to me and allows me to understand the people here.
For those wanting a short summary of the day:
Both groups continued to work on our projects with Jungle Kids for Christ and afterward, we went on a waterfall hike at Cascada de Latas. After dinner, we walked to get ice cream and stargazed on the bridge. The constellations are different here because we can see the Southern Hemisphere. For first timers, these are stars we’ve never seen before.
Written by Kressa Phillips