Grupo Andino

Beauty, Prayer and Tears in Ecuador ( one week trip)

Written by Robert & Yanet Galofre and Margaret Ziegler –Nashville, Tennessee Tuesday, 21 September 2010 22:00

Last weeecuadorservice 2010kend Robert and Yanet Galofre along with their 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter and Chris and Margaret Ziegler went from Nashville Tennessee to Quito, Ecuador, to meet Steve and Diane Brown and be with the church celebrating its fifteenth anniversary. Here is the report, first, from the Galofres and then, the Zieglers. These are amazing and powerful stories. Don’t miss the ending!



From the Galofres:

ecuador galofreOur family got to go to Quito Ecuador. On Sunday we went to church and there were many people there. The church is about 150 people and for this special event (the 15th anniversary of the church) they rented a room that could hold 500 people…talk about having faith you say? The room was not only filled but there were people also outside the room and kids…there were so many kids (the church alone has over 90 kids). It was also great to see our brothers and sisters from Tennessee, Texas and from all over South America that were also there. It was so special to sing worship songs in Spanish and to try to translate not only the words but the heart of so much that was going on for our monolingual brothers there. (smiles)
The teens did two sCelebration at Quito Servicekits and performed a dance typical to Ecuador. Mario and Mireya who lead the church there sang a beautiful duo about our need for God (entailing without HimMario & Mireya Gomez nothing matters). Steve Brown (or Esteban as he is known in South America) did an inspirational job preaching about how God could use each person if we are willing. At the end of service a sheet was collected from the people visiting who expressed their interest in studying the Bible and 80 people signed up!

When we got back to our temporary home in Quito  we got a taste of Russia because the family we stayed with prepared a Tapia & Galofre kidsdinner typical of their home. It was amazing to see this couple who gave up their comfortable life, language, customs, family, comfort to move from Russia to Quito with two young girls (Gabi 4, Sati 7). It was a privilege to stay with them and to share our hearts and dreams with one another. Most of the time when we rode together in a car you could hear Russian, Spanish and English being spoken in three different conversations.On Monday we went to the church building for a meeting in a yellow Taxi. It was so cool (according to Jacob since this was the first time he’s ever taken a taxi). Steve did a class at the meeting about the Holy Spirit that was great! Various disciples from the different churches shared great news We had lunch together and got to have another taste of Quito.
On Tuesday we went to the middle of the world! This is the place where people long ago thought that the equator line ran through. We took pictures with our bodies being in the South, North and middle of the Earth! After that we went to a place called Sitio Intiñan where GPS technology determined that the actual equator line runs through.

Wednesday morning we said goodbye or PAKA to our friends from Russia in Ecuador. This was a priceless experience.



From Margaret Ziegler:

ec margaret and chrisIt took a lot for me to leave my mama and my babies, but I spent a lot of time making a daily schedule for them and arranging all of their transportation plans to school and activities. Planning and getting food for every meal and every snack. I didn’t realize how good it was going to feel jetting off with my sweetie. We had so much fun talking, laughing, reading and sleeping as we traveled all day on our way to Quito, Ecuador.

julio & BeatrizWe were met at the airport by Julio and Beatrice a couple who kept Chris on his first trip to Quito. They loved Chris for five years and it felt like they had loved me the same amount of time. They were so happy that we were there. They live in a very nice house with several floors but it is not filled with stuff, just things that are necessary, hmmm.

They give us their bedroom, they fed us a delicious dinner (I was praying to God that I would be able to eat whatever she cooked for us) and we sat and talked for hours. Well, they talked for hours, I was in awe. Chris was incredible at speaking Spanish. They couldn’t speak any English; I was truly impressed with Big Poppa.

Then I saw Armando, a brother who had stayed with us two years ago when he came to the states for some training. ec armando and sofiaArmando was like family by the time he left our house. Zach and Meg cried when he left. So it was like a dream to see him again and to be where he lived this time. We meet Sophia, his fiancée, who he had told us all about when he had stayed with us. They are getting married in December.

After a time of fellowship, Flavio, who leads the Bogota, Colombia Church, did a lesson for the men and women. Then we split up and Diane Brown, taught a lesson for the sisters. I shared about my life with the help of a translator—not as easy as it looks.

Robert and Yanet Galofre arrived the night before (also from Nashville); they are fluent in Spanish and English. It was great having her to walk around with me to talk to people. I was also with Diane; she translates the service to me. I connected with another sister who speaks English and talked for a while and exchange email addresses.

The service was great, the teen ministry performed two skits on good vs. evil, and Jesus was the victor. There was also a cultural dance. There were many congregational songs and then Mario and Mireya came on stage and sang a song together. My heart was in my throat, so many things were going on in my mind, I couldn’t believe this woman’s life, she is singing with all her heart although she is fighting cancer. I think about all my complaints, my petty issues and struggles. After church was much great fellowship. Eighty visitors filled out cards saying that they wanted to personal study the Bible with the members.

Monday. The church leaders from Venezuela, Colombia, and Peru along theec SA leadership women Gomezes who currently lead Ecuador began their leadership conference. When Steve shared, he said that it was a dream for him that Chris and I would be there together. Another wow. I later asked him why me? (I could understand Chris) He said that he knew it would be encouraging for the brothers and sisters for me to be there too. This was all too big for me but I’ll tell you, I loved every minute of it. It is so hard to understand some things, but I trust God and am grateful.

Editor’s note: Some portions were omitted, but the original article can be found here on the Greater Nashville Church website.

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