El dia final (from Kristina)
Welp! Today is our last day in Quito, Ecuador. We are getting ready to head to the airport in just a couple of hours. Today was bittersweet. The children from Nuevos Amigos performed a goodbye program for us. It was amazing! We sat in the middle of the church while each grade came up one at a time to perform. The children were adorable. They danced to songs, did a human video, and sang for us. At the end of the program, every single student stood in line to give all nine of us a hug and kiss on the cheek! Many of us cried. I tried so hard not to cry, to just be strong, and say goodbye to each child. Then one of the students that I was privileged to teach these last couple of days, said, “Chao, Tia Kristina!” And he held on to me so tightly. It was so meaningful and authentic. I could tell that he truly did care and was sad that I had to leave. That was when I started tearing up. I have really enjoyed this week. It has been heartwarming, heart changing, and (today especially) heart breaking. However, I know that God is in control of my time here, and even though I’m sure most of us would love to be able to stay here another week and keep playing with and teaching these children, it is the time for us to leave. I only hope and pray that we will forever keep in mind all that we have learned this week and will continue to bless and be blessed by those who are different than us. Because in truth, these Ecuadorians are not as different from us as we originally thought. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and it brings a smile to my face when I remember that one day I will see these children again in Heaven!