ECUADOR.GRATITUDE.GIFTS-lpWe were in Guangaje, Ecuador in October of 2009, placing a Safe Water System in this small village high in the Andes Mountains.  Sergio had tested the water for chlorine before the demonstration and then again about 2 minutes after it (chlorine generator) was turned on.  The people were amazed at the difference, and many crowded up close to smell the chlorine in the water.   They were very impressed with the results of what they saw and smelled.  All except one man.  He was the  most prominent political person present.  I had managed to watch him very discreetly, so as not to give offence.   During this entire time of preaching, repenting, singing, and the live demonstration (of the Safe Water System) (about two and one half hours total) he had shown no reaction whatsoever.   His demeanor was one of aloofness and coldness.  When everyone else was showing delight and smiling, he was sober-faced and almost stern in his manner.  I later learned that he was the mayor of Guangaje.

The last man to speak got to his feet.  It was the mayor of Guangaje.  I moved closer to Nixie and pleaded for the translation, as I was intensely curious about what he would say.   When Nixie began to speak softly in my ear, I was astounded at what came out of his mouth:  "Thank you for this gift.  I want you to come back and talk about Jesus to many other villages in this area!"  His entire demeanor had changed to one of openness and acceptance.   I could think of only one thing to say: "WOW! Look what the Lord has done!"

Because this event was a historical day in the life of the village, the people wrote down in a journal everything that had taken place, and asked all the officials present to affix their signature as testimony to these proceedings.  Sergio and Pastor Henry signed, as well as the mayor, water supervisor, and several others.  Then the people of Guangaje did a totally unexpected thing.  They called the five of us (Pastor Henry, Sergio, Nixie, Karen and me) each in turn and presented us with handmade gifts including ponchos, scarves, hats, and bags.  We felt indeed humbled by this display of unselfish generosity in the face of the hard lives of these simple people.

Next came the meal they had prepared for us and the village officials, consisting of small whole potatoes with peanut gravy (delicious), a soup with pieces of chicken and yucca root (also delicious), and mutton.  We realized that this was the very best they had to offer, and we ate with thankful hearts.

On the way to supper and our hotel, we could contain ourselves no longer, breaking out with thanksgiving and praise to God for such a life ~ giving and ~ changing day!  The Spirit of God was so close and personal and powerful that Pastor Henry could not drive.  He pulled to the side of the road as we lifted our hearts and gratitude to the Living Water ~ Jesus!


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