Now I am in Ecuador. I returned to my people, my family, and my friends. I am very happy obviously with the satisfaction of the activities that were accomplished.
Like I have said, thanks to God, everything was fine. In each place I received friendship, support, smiles. It was a time to remember good stories, bad stories, and funny stories. Again and again thanks to God for these people.
Indianapolis - All Activities Are Important
Indianapolis was a time to arrive at the central offices of the Disciples of Christ, to get to know this place, like other places. It was a time to get to know the people that we only knew by telephone or email, people who in spite of not knowing me personally, helped to make possible my trip. They are also helping in the work of FEDICE. Many times I have said that there are many ways to help, and this is one of them.
First of all, we received a warm welcome from Felix Ortiz (Area Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean of Global Ministries) and his wife, Maria Cruzado. The next day there were meetings in the offices with various people involved in the work of the activities of FEDICE, with our turning in reports. Of course, we kept sharing the activities of FEDICE, the goals that we have set, and obviously our need to keep on looking for funding which will help to continue our work in the communities.
Little by little, we talked about different themes, coinciding in some ideas, and differing in others, but always leaving clear the principle point that FEDICE will continue as the legacy of Violeta Groth and Victor Vaca.
A very special moment for me was when I talked to a group of people who work in these offices. Upon finishing my talk, I was given a present from the hands of Julia Brown Karimu, President of the Division of Overseas Ministries of Global Ministries. I felt very proud to be in the presence of this woman, and very proud of being a woman too, she from the United States, and me from Ecuador. In the end, we are both women seeking better conditions of life for our brothers and sisters.
After this wonderful time of emotions and various sentiments, we took to the road again and went back to Illinois.
Illinois - "Sowing Seeds"
My time in Illinois was occupied with various activities - visits with churches, meetings with young people, meetings with the members of the UCC Conference of South Illinois, and meetings with people who, thanks to God, are interested in our work, in our people. Thank you, and a thousand thanks to everyone for your time, for your patience, for your counsel, for your suggestions, always keeping in mind how to improve the work of FEDICE and thereby helping the people in the communities.
In this place, as well as others that I visited before, I had very emotional moments, very happy moments, in each meeting seeing the interest of the people for us. A good friend of the many that, thanks to God, I now have in the United States said, "You are sowing seeds!"
Thank God for the people who, as real missionaries, are visiting churches, groups, speaking about Ecuador, about our people, about our projects. Thanks for the people who with passion, with love, and with solidarity have decided to support our work. They are also sowing seeds.
Something really interesting also, was the meeting we had with an organization that, like us, helps people who don't have the resources necessary for their basic needs, people who feel hunger, thirst for justice, and don't speak the same language. In the end, poverty is not exclusive to one place, but thanks to God for these people who have decided to help them. May God bless you richly and permit you to keep on helping these people.
Many times we think of the United States as a place where the people have everything - where there is sufficient money to cover their necessities, and where nobody lacks anything. But it's not like that. Here, there is also poverty and basic human needs. There are also people who don't have a place to sleep, to eat, or somewhere to live a dignified life with their families. As I mentioned before, poverty is not exclusive to one place only.
Therefore, I have even more reason to give thanks for these people that step beyond their borders to manifest their faith by their words and deeds, who have decided to help their neighbors here in Ecuador.
It was also a time to visit beautiful places among the many that this great country has. As I have mentioned before, God is so great that he permits us to see his Wonders and to enjoy the beauty of his creation in this and that place.
Little by little, I visited so many different places, accomplishing the prearranged activities, talking about FEDICE, about my people, about my work, and about my passion: helping the people in the communities. Once again, sowing seeds. Yes, sowing seeds, as the parable says, perhaps in sandy ground, perhaps on rocky ground, but the majority on fertile ground.
Perhaps we won't see the fruits of this planting very soon, perhaps we will. We don't know. As always and in everything, after the long work, after the long journeys, I put everything in God's hands and trust that He is sowing in the hearts of people the desire to help us keep on going.
Now I am in Ecuador, back to work, with jobs to do taking care of the seeds that have been sown and with the firm conviction that, thanks to God, FEDICE IS NOT ALONE.
May God bless you greatly my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and may God grant us the opportunity to be together soon. We'll wait for you here in Ecuador, or you can wait for me to return to the United States. Either way, we will see each other soon.