As Christmas approaches and we are faced with the commercialism of the holiday, I encourage you to think of ways to give the people you love experiences rather than stuff.  I asked my daughter, Tabitha, to share her thoughts on her recent experience in Ecuador.  Here is what she had to say:

This past week, I was fortunate enough to travel to Ecuador with my dad. On this particular trip, I was able to meet one of my sponsor children, Natasha (4). This meeting was extremely important because she is from the church plant in Santa Elena. Exactly one year ago, nine of my friends and I planted this church in Santa Elena. Natasha was the first child to be sponsored from that church plant. After meeting Natasha’s entire family, her father said that he would go back to Santa Elena and tell everyone about how good the work of Compassion and Stadia is. Planting the church in Santa Elena was like a dream. Being a part of something bigger than us is like a dream. But meeting Natasha, proved to me that it is possible to completely alter somebody’s life. I had brought her a book bag filled with crayons, tiaras, dolls, and of course a sparkly tutu. Watching her receive these gifts was so overwhelming. I have been to Ecuador three times and it never fails to astound me each time. God always shows me a different perspective. This year, I was able to parade down a dirt road with little kids on my back, cut the ribbon to a new church with my dad, play house with Natasha (she was the mom), try guinea pig, and ride in a “boat”. Ecuador has amazing things coming ahead. We all have the chance to be a part of it.

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