Note: Mikayla Kent is my niece. I asked her if she would write a blog for Heart for Ecuador, and she agreed immediately. I have never seen such humbleness, passion, compassion, heart, wisdom, and the ability to be the heart of Jesus, in a teenager. Every time I read one of Mikayla’s blogs, I marvel at her ability to string words together so beautifully and with such deep meaning. Once you read this, you are going to want to read her other blogs. You can do that here. Mikayla, thank you so much for your heart for Ecuador and for your willingness to be sent. It is an honor to be your aunt.
Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here I am. Send me!”
Hello, my name is Mikayla Kent. I want to share with you about my time in Ecuador. In the sweet summer of 2018, I hopped on a plane with my friend, to go and join my Aunt Stephanne on her mission trip to the precious country of Ecuador. The 2018 mission trip was split into two weeks, the first being the medical week, and the second being a construction week. At that time I truly had no earthly idea of the authenticity, joy, and love that I was about to encounter. I recall my first morning in Ecuador vividly, as we awoke to sun painted mountains, soft chatter in the alleyways, and the sound of humming cars passing up and down the streets. I remember stepping into Cemad (the church who is the head of this mission) that Sunday morning, with eyes full of awe as I witnessed the most authentic, joyful, spirit-filled worship of my life. I saw people fall to their knees in reverence, and lift their hands and voices in sweet surrender. These people live in a third world country, where poverty consumes people’s lives. Can you imagine carrying that weight? I am sure they have endless concerns and burdens that fill their lives, yet they fell before God with songs of pure praise and worship. They loved us richly and embraced each of us as their own. Worshipping alongside this church was one of the most humbling experiences of my life and challenged me to have a new attitude towards worship. I find myself continually swept away in an ocean of distraction, self-consumption and sometimes I even find my heart has grown numb to intentionally praising God. Witnessing the eruption of praise throughout that church humbled me in more ways than one; even just writing this brings tears to my eyes. The people, oh the precious people I cannot begin to accurately express the depth of their love and tenderness, both towards us and towards God. They covered us in love as they prepared meals for us, showered us in prayers that send chills down your spine as you can feel the spirit of God in the room. I could give you a list, full of reasons arguing why you should go on a mission trip to Ecuador, but the simple statement of “the precious people” is enough in itself. The week was faithfully led by my incredibly loving and Christ-filled Aunt Stephanne who led us in patience, grace, and pure passion as Ecuador is both her heart and home. She took us to five locations throughout the outskirts of Quito to set up our medical clinics for the people in the neighboring areas. The Lord moved in a mighty way throughout this week as we were able to see over 2,852 people in our medical and eye clinics to provide medications, treatments, glasses and most importantly the love of Jesus. My part consisted of assisting in children’s ministry, which was deeply rewarding. I cannot begin to paint an accurate picture of the sweetness embedded within these children, though there was a language barrier, they understand the language of love and affection. We were able to paint the mother’s and kid’s nails, color pictures, run around and play games, give tons of hugs and so much more. Our wonderful translator would read the kids a Bible lesson and then we would pray with the kids. Each day my love for these people and this country grew more and more as I continually experienced the depth of their love, kindness, humility, and grace. The most encouraging factor about partnering with my Aunt Stephanne and her connections to the churches throughout Ecuador is a promise that the work continues far after we are gone, they’re continually planting churches, and every single one built is still thriving today. Our team merely plays a part in their continual ministry, we add to their current efforts in spreading the gospel throughout Ecuador, for they are the ones on the ground, building relationships and shepherding the people. Each person who goes through the medical clinic is not only provided physical care but spiritual care, as the pastors and members of their churches collect addresses and ways of contact to ensure the growth and discipleship of new believers. The week was incredibly exhausting but in the most rewarding way, I am incredibly honored to have served alongside such loving doctors, nurses, youth leaders, students, and translators who walked with humility and grace. I am even more thrilled to announce that I am also returning in the upcoming summer of 2020 on another medical trip alongside many churches throughout the U.S. My heart truly cannot contain my excitement, I am eager to see how the Lord continues to move throughout Ecuador, and through this upcoming medical trip. All honor and glory goes to God for each of us are solely willing vessels, he is the one who saves. If you are considering going on a mission trip, I urge you to go and witness the faithful hand of God as he transforms, moves, challenges and humbles your own heart in unexpected ways. God bless you!