Out of all three of our churches here, not even one of our members owns a vehicle. Therefore everyone that comes to our services walks. I knew this prior to my arrival in Ecuador. But what I did not know is how far a lot of them have to walk. So, after a recent service in Puyupungo, I asked Susan and Charles where all of the families lived that were at church that day. The closest family lives a 15 minute walk from the church. Several of the families walk for 30 minutes to arrive. Even more walk for 45 minutes. Norma and her two children walk for an hour, Sis. Martha walked for an hour and a half. And as all of you know by now, they are not walking down a smooth blacktop road. They are walking through mud, sometimes knee deep. They are wading through rivers, and they are walking in 90 degree plus heat. Yet when they arrive, they are not murmuring and complaining about all of this. They come ready to worship God, ready to hear His word.
I can’t help but wonder what I would do in their situation. Would I be willing to walk 30 minutes to get to church? What if my walk was the one hour walk? Would I be there every service, smiling, happy, ready to worship God? I hesitate to even ask myself about the hour and a half walk. To be quite honest, I know very few people, myself included, that would make such an effort to get to church. Sadly, my dedication pales in comparison to these people. I like to think that I love the Lord with all of my heart and that I am totally dedicated to serving Him. But maybe I don’t know what that truly means. I think the Indians teach me a little more about that every day that I am here.
By Ann Templet