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Unexpected Friendships

I knew Maria and Maria knew me. We had worked together before advising Judson students. 

But mission trips are interesting beasts. They give one an opportunity to see someone through a different point of view.  They give people a chance to tell their story. 

In Nicaragua last year, in order to practice my Spanish, Maria and I were given $3 and told to go out to the market to buy something. As we browsed, I told Maria that this is what my version of retirement looks like –  I could wake up in the morning, peruse the vendors, do some friendly bartering, and enjoy my daily treasures.  I am always on my computer trying to meet the latest deadline. The marketplace represented the possibility of mental, emotional, and relational space.

Maria stopped, looked right at me and said: “This marketplace, what you want to move toward, is exactly what I have spent my life trying to get away from. I like only shopping once a week. I like having a refrigeration system in my home. I like working at Judson and then coming home to prepare a simple meal.” 

I shut up and listened that day as Maria told her story of growing up in Mexico. This past March, in Ecuador, she told me more of her story. Maria is a beautiful woman inside and out. I love her fiercely and am thrilled to share her wisdom with you all today. 

Maria's Prayer (In Spanish)

En el curso de nuestras vidas Dios nos brinda infinidad de oportunidades… 

Oportunidades para dar apoyo y recibir

Oportunidades para caer y levantarnos 

Oportunidades para escuchar y ser escuchados

Oportunidades para dar amor y recibir

Oportunidades para reír y llorar

Oportunidades para servir a el Reino de Dios

Y de esta manera Dios le esta brindado a Michelle la oportunidad para que paso a paso y milla a milla participe en el Chicago Marathon y recaude fondos designados para la Iglesia  “Dios es Amor” localizada en Quito Ecuador.

Para apoyar el ministerio que Dios le presento a Pastor Luis y a su Iglesia “Dios es Amor” y continúe ofreciendo ayuda a los niños mediante el programa “ Educación Esperanza”. 

Michelle y yo tuvimos la oportunidad de servir en “Dios es Amor”.   Michelle y yo somos testigos que en verdad Dios está trabajando en los lugares más remotos del mundo y que el nombre de la Iglesia en Quito Ecuador reafirma que en verdad “Dios es Amor”! 

Hoy, Dios te llama y te brinda la oportunidad de ayudar a Michelle con ayuda monetaria y lo agás atraves de “Dios es Amor” .  Así como también te agradecemos de todo corazón que mantengas a Michelle en tus oraciones mientras ella camina oh “corre” en este trayecto que Dios le ha brindado.  

Maria's Prayer (In English)

In the course of our lives, God gives us an infinite number of opportunities ...

Opportunities to give support and receive

Opportunities to fall and get up

Opportunities to listen and be heard

Opportunities to give love and receive

Opportunities to laugh and cry

Opportunities to serve the Kingdom of God

And in this way God is giving Michelle the opportunity that step by step and mile by mile participates in the Chicago Marathon and raise funds designated for the Church "God is Love" located in Quito Ecuador.

To support the ministry that God presented to Pastor Luis and his Church "God is Love" so he continues helping children through the program "Education Hope".

Michelle and I had the opportunity to serve in "God is Love".  Michelle and I are witnesses that God is indeed working in the most remote places of the world and that the name of the Church in Quito Ecuador reaffirms that indeed "God is Love"!

Today, God is calling you and giving you the opportunity to help by monetary assistance and help Michelle by donating through "God is Love." We also thank you with all our heart that you keep Michelle in your prayers while she walks or "runs" in this journey that God has given her.


Consider honoring an unexpected friendship in your life with a donation to help the “God is Love” church in Ecuador. 

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