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Day 8 Ecuador - Friday June 13, 2014

posted May 31, 2015, 7:59 PM by Julie Lawson   [ updated May 31, 2015, 11:19 PM ]
Today we worked on completing our presentation. In the evening, we went out to Pijal, where many from the congregation had gathered to find out what our proposed plan for their new church was. I have never had a presentation go so well! I can't take credit, my role was very small on this project and even if it had been larger - it is hard to impress a crowd with water and sewer design. The architects' imagination and fabulous renderings of the design really impressed. 
After the presentation, the pastor spoke and thanked us. I mean really, he thanked us - a lot. He thanked each of us individually. Then different members of the church took turns to speak about each of us individually and presented us with an embroidered souvenir that they made. The thank yous may have lasted longer than the actual presentation. What joy filled that room, and it was so genuine. After the thank yous, we posed for a team picture. Then FEDICE joined in. Then the member families from the church took turns and each family took their picture with our team. It was amazing to think that they want to cherish that memory as much as I want to! 

After our last big group picture, we headed to the basement where the women of the church had once again prepared cuy for us, this time roasted over a fire that they made in the basement of the church. Instead of purely being served, as they had done for us so many times throughout the week, they ended up sitting among us. We laughed together, we talked the best we could, we shared pictures of family with each other, and it was a great experience. Even though there was a language barrier, we all bonded with each other and came to know each other the best we could. I may not know the facts and figures about everyone I met, but I know for sure the love that they have in their hearts!

The gathering went fairly late into the evening and it was difficult to say goodbye, but we finally did and went back to Otavalo for our last night there. With the presentation accepted, our eMi team was tasked with finishing the design for construction from our homes in Canada and the United States.

Julie's portion of the presentation (photo by Rene).

The audience had a fantastic reaction when they saw the architectural renderings.

The site will become handicap accessible by flattening out the grade by the old church (left) and adding a paved ramp to prevent erosion. The new church (right) will have some parking out front and the soccer field will be on the far right side of the picture.

The new Sanctuary.

The proposed new church (left), which will include an office, storage, and restrooms. A courtyard will connect the old and new buildings and be used for meals and fellowship. The old church (right) will become classrooms upstairs, and a more formal kitchen, meeting room, and quarters for a visiting pastor downstairs.

The front of the new church.

The courtyard.

The eMi and FEDICE teams (photo by Blanca).
Back row (left to right): Kevin, Steve, Ruth, Marilyn, Kendra, Luke
Front row (left to right): Lisa, Julie, Blanca, Glenn, Bethany, Rene

eMi, FEDICE, and the wonderful members of Pijal Evangelical Alliance Church.

Cuy prepared barbeque style - minus the sauce (photo by Kendra).

One last meal with the good people of Pijal. This is the first floor of the existing church, which is currently used for the children for Sunday School - as shown by the paper crafts hanging from the ceiling (photo by Kendra).

Learning more about one another and sharing family pictures after our meal. 

Our last goodbye with the great people of Pijal.