Settling In – Week 1 | Downey First Christian Church

I’ve spent the past week getting settled and joining in several activities going on at the school and area churches. Samuel and Paola Lefimil, missionaries from Chile, are starting up a Bible institute that meets once a quarter and then the students get assignments to complete over the three months until the next session. This weekend was an introduction to missionology and Christology. The instructor wasn’t able to make it from Chile due to health, so Samuel had to fill in. He told me it’s been quite a while since he taught the class and he’s a bit rusty.


In spite of the 90+ degree temperatures, about 50 students from the 5 associated churches came together Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning to learn about Christ and the Bible and missions.


There weren’t enough seats for everyone, so some of the men sat on the stage over to the side. As you can see there was no air conditioning, but we drank a lot of water and Gatorade and powered through.


At lunch we got a break from the heat by lunching at an air conditioned mall. The food court has quite a variety of food including familiar names like Pizza Hut and Carl’s Jr. The KFC serves Ecuadorian stewed beans as a side. I opted for a more Ecuadorian lunch: “seco de pollo” – a plate of rice with chicken in a tomato-onion-garlic-carrot sauce and fried “maduros” (bananas). Delicious!


Sunday we went to a mall where I found a bookstore. It had an English section!


Then, I looked closely and saw the titles aren’t actually in English. It made me chuckle because they are obviously translated, though I don’t know how “Around the World in 80 Days” translates to “Cinco Semanas en Globo” (“Five Weeks in a Balloon”).
I did find the English section with books in English. I didn’t even need to purchase any, but I felt at home.


I spent a couple of days with Samuel and Paola. They live between Samborondon (where the school is) and Guayaquil (the big city with all the malls). Pastor Giovanni (center) came over and we helped prepare him for his trip to the States. He’s visiting churches to share about the work he oversees in El Recreo, an outlying town from Guayaquil, where the institute sessions take place and where we’ve done all our past mission trips. He’ll be in Southern California in May.


This is the cramped school office where I helped with registration this week. Granted it’s not as cramped for the locals. I admit I feel a bit like Gulliver surrounded by small people.


To close some odds and ends, like the rooster that crows at dawn and at any other random time during the day or night.


Samborondon is too small a town to have a bus system, so for public transport we have mototaxis. Yes, that’s a cab attached to a motorcycle. You can get all the way across town for 25 cents.


When you die you’d better have some really strong pallbearers. They carry the casket, on foot, leading a caravan of people on foot, in cars, vans and even buses. If the cemetery is far, traffic gets backed up.


Well, I’ve got to run. We’re celebrating the new school year with a cookout at Samuel and Paola’s because they have a pool.

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