Monday, December 4, 2017

Ecuador Mission Trip - Pan de Vida Hunger Relief

Vicki, Macie, and Tracie waiting for food preparation instructions

Two and a half months later I'm still talking about Ecuador.  There was so much to see and do.  If all goes well, me and Jason are going back next September.  The dates have already been set.

During our stay in Quito we worked mainly with Pan de Vida, a non-profit organization that is a volunteer based ministry.  Their work includes hunger relief, education, health care, home improvement, empowerment, and disaster relief.

Walt and Amber preparing the food

While we were there one of our bigger tasks was to take part in the Hunger Relief program.  Pan de Vida has fed over 500 people in the last three months by opening their doors to the people of Quito who otherwise might not have ready access to food.  This happens every Wednesday and Sunday.  Some volunteers prepare and cook the food while others play with the children until it's time to eat.

Me and Gabriel (not sure why his tag says Jean)
This boy STOLE my heart.  I wanted to pack him and his entire family up and bring them home with me.

There's a system for the entire process and it keeps things running smoothly.  Both days of the Food Program, Jason stayed in the kitchen and cooked while I hung out with the kids and played.  

One rambunctious little boy fell off the playground equipment and broke his arm.  His mom went into a tizzy and took off with the kid.  The people of Pan de Vida tracked her, her sister and the boy down and took them to the hospital.  The organization paid for all medical bills, school supplies, and three months of groceries.

This is the young fella that broke his arm

An assembly line was formed once all food was cooked.  After serving the grub, we had an opportunity to sit with the families and visit with them.  There was a language barrier but you could see the love and joy in their faces.

Walt and I both brought bags of tshirts, bracelets, and candy to share.  The scene looked like piranhas in a bloodbath.  Hands were reaching up and grabbing for the goods.
Walt handing out candy

Wednesday was the first and only time I broke down.  I was told to be prepared for an emotional breakdown at some point but I didn't expect it to hit right at the heart.  After being with the families and playing with the kids (especially Gabriel) the tears started free flowing.  I ran inside before too many people took notice.  I just felt so much for these people and they showed me that love is more than a verb - it's an action!

Two little girls eating their food


imaclutz89 said...

I love seeing people help other people. I think it is important to show your appreciation and help out. It is such a humbling experience.