I am coming to like Ecuador and the city of Quito more and more. The feeling washed over me as I was walking today. The sun was warming my back and I genuinely enjoyed each step that I took.
Yes, I walked to church today. I am still unsure how best to use the transportation system here so I decided to walk since Sunday is a very busy day here in Quito and it is perfectly safe to be out. So I decided to walk the 35 minutes to a Spanish church that a friend had mentioned.
It is truly a blessing to see the church abroad. Although the language is different, we still worship the same Lord and believe in the same Gospel. It was great to be able to sing songs of praise that uttered the same truths that we sing about back in the United States. It was incredible to see the same passion for the Lord and His Word in a different context.
The sermon and the communion that followed reminded me that I am only who I am by God's grace. There is nothing in me and nothing that I can do that can merit His attention, love, or salvation. I am only desperate before Him... humbled by His sacrifice on the cross. This was an especially pertinent message to me because I have struggled so much in the past two weeks. I have felt incredibly weak and ashamed at how I was adjusting... or not adjusting. At times, I was unsure I would be able to do this. I have been fighting thoughts of not being good enough and not improving as rapidly as I would like to in this language. But, I am pointed back to the Gospel... that I will never be good enough. However, by God's grace, I am what I am. He loves me not because I am great at Spanish or because I am tough as nails and adventurous, but because He loves me... because of His grace.
It was wonderful to be reminded of that again today.
~Dear Conrad Memorial Baptist and Carrollton Baptist Church:
Thank you for your prayers. It was so great to be in another church today although I missed both of you so much! Please continue to pursue the Gospel! Remind each other of it daily... many people are having to remind me of it constantly. It is worth everything! Know that there are other churches, even in Ecuador, who are seeing and savoring Jesus Christ. Even as these churches are pursuing Him, continue to pursue Him. I love you all and am praying for you.