Cavalier reports on her mission trip to Ecuador
Published 12:00 am Friday, September 5, 2003
In the Bible’s book of Acts, we are told the story of the Lord’s return to his disciples after his resurrection.
&uot;But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you. Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the Earth&uot; (1:7-8). The Lord instilled in his disciples the power to heal and witness as to His glory, and instructs them to preach the gospel around the world.
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Now, nearly two millenniums later, local youths like Autumn Ramsey are bringing the Almighty’s words to life.
The Lakeland High School freshman and the rest of the AX-18 discipleship class of Liberty Baptist Church took a trip to Ecuador in late July. There they spread the word of the good book to those that may not have the ability to learn it.
&uot;I really wanted to go, because a missions trip like this is something that I always wanted to try,&uot; said Ramsey, who said she was saved in 1999. &uot;Every Monday, we walk up and down streets, telling people our own testimonies, how we came to know Christ. We teach them how to know him and accept him as your personal savior.&uot;
Back in December, Word of Life – the group that provides lesson plans for AX-18, announced they would be taking a trip to the Central America country; the first time in its 25-year history that a Liberty mission group would embark on such a journey.
Before hopping on the plane, the group had a bit of fundraising to perform. Actually, more than a bit.
&uot;We sold Boston Butts – big pieces of roast,&uot; Ramsey recalls. &uot;We sold coupon books, had chili cook-offs, and even had a dessert auction.&uot;
At one such event, someone paid $300 for a chocolate cake. After six months of scrounging, the group had brought in roughly $14,000.
Finally, on July 23, the AXers crowded into a plane and headed south. On the first day of their trip, they headed to the coastal city of Esmeraldas, one of Ecuador’s largest venues.
&uot;We went into schools and performed dramas,&uot; Ramsey says. &uot;We sang, ‘The Lion and the Lamb’, which is about who Christ is and what he did, and ‘Delorosa,’ the story of his crucifixion.&uot;
Thanks to months of practice, the team was able to perform their songs in Spanish, the national language of Ecuador.
According to Ramsey, few things can make an American student more appreciative of what she has than visiting the schools of a less-developed nation like Ecuador.
&uot;The nicest schools there had no electricity and no air conditioning. They played a lot of soccer, and we gave them soccer balls. They acted like it was a gift from God.&uot;
In a way, maybe it was.
&uot;Some of them knew the songs from going to church, so they sang along with us. Once in a while, we would look out into the crowd and see a few little girls and boys singing.&uot;
Over the next week, the team performed dramas at schools, parks, and local churches.
&uot;We handed out 30 pounds of Tootsie Rolls,&uot; Ramsey said. &uot;It made them so happy to get one little roll. We gave our testimonials, and told them about our plans for salvation. We taught them some sing language and did a puppet show.&uot;
The group also went humpback whale watching, and visited the Middle of the World; located right on the equator.
In early August, it was finally time to head back to the states. It was the worst part of the trip.
&uot;I cried so hard,&uot; Ramsey said. &uot;It had been the best experience of my life. I took a lot of pictures of people and made a lot of friends in Ecuador. We went to a Word of Life camp, sort of like a Bible college, and all the people that worked with us had to stay. I didn’t get to say goodbye to everyone, and I know I probably won’t see them again.&uot;