Today, we arrive at the bus station for 10:30, and board the Macas bus. It will take us to Km 16, where we’ll get off and walk 2 hours to get to Talin. As soon as I’m seated, the lady next to me starts chatting, asking where we’re going and such. Ecuadorians are very curious by nature so we don’t meet too many strangers here:-)
She told me of a situation in her life and I began to tell her how Jesus could take care of her, and she only needed to trust Him to do so. She was very encouraged by my words, and offered each of us a gift of a mandarin. We gladly accepted:-).
As we arrive at our stop, I say ‘goodbye’ to the nice lady, and because of my chatting, the bus passes our road about 1/4 of a mile. Oh, well…we already have to walk 2 hours, what’s another 1/4 mile??:-)
We get off the bus, and start walking to Talin. Today is really HOT, so we walk a little slower than usual, not to overdo it. And the sun here is often not very kind to our pale skin, so we pull out our umbrellas to cover ourselves from it’s strong rays today.
On top of that, Charles is carrying a heavier bag than usual. He plans to do some work after service, so he has the camera, some nails, a hammer, his saw, the machete, the sharpener for the machete, and 6 waters/colas, so he’s carrying a good size load today.
After about 1 hour and 15 minutes into our walk, we hear a car coming on the road. Turns out to be a taxi and he doesn’t just pass on by. No, he stops right where we are, and says, “Get in”!!! Oh wow!!! We still had about 45 minutes to walk, so yes, we hopped in the back bed and enjoyed this great blessing!
When we arrived, we got out and asked the driver how much he wanted to collect from us, and he smiled and said, “Nothing.” I said, “Not one cent?” He smiled again, and said, “No, nothing.” What another great blessing! We thanked Him and said that God would bless him for his kindess to us.
We walk on up to the church and Patricio and his family arrive just a few minutes behind us. We begin praying for service, and thanking God for our safe arrival, and we hear Patricio and his family praying, too. But they only prayed for about 5 minutes. Charles felt like maybe they didn’t understand the importance or depth of prayer, so he suggested to me that I should talk to them.
So, I asked them if they had ever prayed for an hour. They all said, “Oh, no, that’s a long time.” Then I asked, “How about 30 minutes?” Still, “Oh, no”. They said, “We only know how to pray 5 or 10 minutes”. With that, I realized that they really had no idea what to say when they pray.
I began to tell them that they should thank God for his blessings, but not just in general. They should name the specific blessing and thank Him for it. And what they have need of, they should speak it to God. I told them He knows every thought of your heart. “He knows what you’re thinking right now”, I said. “But He wants you to talk to Him; Tell Him what you need; Tell Him what you are grateful for, and pray for your loved ones”. And I saw their faces light up as they were learning something they had not known before.
We then began service, singing songs and worshipping God and it was so powerful. I preached to them about being faithful to God, and putting Him first in their lives. I then invited them to come to the altars in front and pray. As I was giving the invitation, I closed my eyes, and told them if they wanted to begin from this day forth to put Him first in every aspect of their lives, they should come up to the altar and talk to Him and pray. As I said these words, I heard scuffling around and I thought, “Wonderful. Someone has come to pray”. But when I opened my eyes I saw that not just one had come to pray, but everyone. All the seats were completely empty. Everyone was in the altar and they were pouring their hearts out to God. There were beautiful tears being shed, hands being raised and voices being lifted up. And they prayed for nearly 45 minutes!!! God moved so much in that service!!! It was powerful and so beautiful!!!
When we dismissed, Patricio and his wife paid us their tithes in some bananas they had harvested that week. Charles and I then “mowed” the grass around the church with the machete. Hard work, but it sure looks good!
We had our taxi friend, Marco, come pick us up at 5, so we made it back to Puyo at 6pm. And yep, I cooked some rice for us, hand washed some laundry and prepared for tomorrow, when we’ll have 2 services, one at Puyo and one at Puyupungo. I then rested and basked in the amazing and powerful day God had given us at Talin!