The last two weeks were a wonderful experience for me and my son Andrew. We participated in a mission trip and youth camp in Ecuador. The people and the scenery were both beautiful and the experience is beneficial in so many ways.
First, We were thrilled to meet brothers and sisters in Christ from all over Ecuador and other Americans who joined us on the trip. Ecuador uses the same time zone we are in so the last two Sunday’s as we partook of the Lord’s Supper in Ecuador, we knew that our family in Parrish were participating in the same meal. One Sunday, in Tabacundo, I looked at my watch as we were drinking the fruit of the vine, and I noticed that we were within minutes of taking it at the same time our brothers and sisters at home. Somehow, that was an exciting realization to me.
Thinking about that common event, caused me to reflect more deeply on the efficacy of the blood of Christ and the unity of the church the world over. Every Sunday, the church gathers in multiple places as multiple cells of disciples and for a period of about 24 hours Christians the world over take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice God made in Christ for the sins of the world. Jesus said it best, “ . . . in remembrance of Me.” This coming Sunday morning as you partake of the bread and the cup, remember not only the sacrifice He made for you, but think about the universal nature of that sacrifice as well as your brothers and sisters the world over who are celebrating the same event.
The week of camp was full of games, Bible Studies, and worship. Sports included football (soccer), basketball, ecua-volley, Frisbee, some organized team events, a version of dodge-ball called “Gaga ball,” and a game I can only describe as a cross between rugby, American football, and doggie, doggie, who’s got the bone?! There were two Bible classes each day, each lasting two hours. There were two periods of singing, and an evening worship (chapel) each day. The young people were attentive, well-behaved, mostly responsible, and eager to learn.
The theme of the camp was “Entregate A Dios!” – Give Yourself to God! And beginning Wednesday and going through late Thursday night a number souls did just that. 17 young people obeyed the gospel by putting on the Lord, Jesus Christ in baptism for the remission of sins. That is why we wanted to be a part of this mission – to see the seed (the word of God) bearing fruit in the lives of these young people ages 13-20.