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Ecuador Spring Break 2024 - Emily Mcquilkin-Briggs' Story

April 9, 2024

Ecuador 2024

The first day we were there we got a tour of the land. It was absolutely breathtaking. Kathy informed me that the property used to be a dairy farm but they acquired the land in 2003, and have been building ever since. The children were overjoyed to see us when we arrived to the school. Many of the children were enjoying a snack outside, all the littles ran up to Abby and Savanna. Many of the children put out their hands to give us high fives. We immediately started on our work project and we were thrilled to start painting. Ava, autumn, Nora and I were working on a mural that resembled mountains. There were three more that we did in the school and they all looked gorgeous. I was amazed how well we all worked together and how it didn't even feel like work, we were all singing and laughing. Although we were all very different people we all found a bottom ground that we wanted to serve and become closer to the Lord. 

On the first night we all got to go to a casa and had dinner with the “families” We were all a little nervous and unsure with how the evening would go, being unaware of customs and having a language barrier; I didn't want to come across as rude or disrespectful. When we got there we were all welcomed and sat down. It was very quiet as the house parents served us dinner. One of the older children began talking to me and asking me questions in English. We all would laugh and I tried to speak some spanish which they understood what i was trying to say. I have never seen such happy people all together having dinner. I truly didn't want to leave. Everyone on the trip agreed that having dinner in the casas was a highlight of the trip. Language barrier didn't matter at all, you can say so much in your eyes and through a smile. Language never stopped us from having such an amazing time, this taught me so much and at the end of the day we are all people who just want to be loved and to give love. Lauren said during one of our devotions, “If we didn't know these kids had these backgrounds I wouldn't know it.” This was such a profound statement that has stuck with me when telling of my adventurousness, because it is so true. These children come from such terrible backgrounds even one their mother just left them for six months alone but yet they still find a way to dance, sing, get an education and smile. There is an over pouring of love and graciousness at this place. This place is filled with an undeniably sense of welcome and joy that can be unmatched anywhere else. Everyone is so kind, not for a single moment did I feel unwelcomed or misplaced. We were greeted with open arms and informed many times how much our presence means to them. 

Ecuador 2024

On Saturday we had church in a small courtyard with a big fire to keep us warm and give us light. All the children and parents sang church songs in Spanish. Abbey had said, “its amazing to hear these songs in another language.” This was so powerful and showed the movement of christianity and Jesus. It was such a beautiful thing for all these kids to be so focused and respectful during a church service. These children truly believe and poured out their hearts. During prayer many people held on to each other and cried and mourned together. Many families held hands and thanked God for his love and mercy.

I was able to hear God so clearly more than I ever have before. I was told things I needed to hear and it revealed to me my purpose on this earth and that is to serve. Many others also realized what they wanted to do or found a talent that God has given them, everyone agreed they want to start going on more mission trips and serve in our country when a need is shown. Lauren who is a math and bible education major got offered a job at the school in Ecuador and even got to sit in during a class, she hopes to one day come back or even to open up or own home in the States. Nora is a psychology major and never wanted to work with children but now is thinking about having a job to help children who have been in traumatic situations. So many doors were open and I believe we were all changed for the better because of this trip. Thank you God for this opportunity and the good Lipscomb is doing for this world.

Emily McQuilkin-Briggs

Not a Trip
Category: Student Life
Tags: missions, Lipscomb, Hacienda of Hope, Ecuador, general team