Source: Upper Columbia Academy
[May 14, 2007]The man walked unsteadily up to the front of the church. He didn’t look like much—his clothes were old and a bit dirty—and his 88 years were taking their toll. But to the listening ear, he had everything he needed because he was a follower of the King.
The man recounted how for the past 10 years he and his fellow church members had been collecting funds and praying for a group who would be willing to come build a church for them. Now with help from Upper Columbia Academy students, their dream of having their own church in San Pedro, Ecuador, had come true.
He spoke for the whole congregation when he said to the students, "You will take a part of our hearts back with you to the United States. The youth from UCA boarding school in Spangle, Wash., could all tell that the appreciation he expressed was from somewhere very deep inside, a level of appreciation many of these high school students had not experienced.
The local Pathfinder club came forward next, singing the Pathfinder song and carrying plastic hearts with each of the UCA students names on the inside. They put a heart around each neck and most cried. One student said, "The people were so touched by us being their friends and helping them achieve their dream, even though we couldn’t understand their language most of the time! Funny thing is we were blessed as much or more than they were. They showed us God’s love in a real way—and most of the time, without words."
People have so much here in the United States, and yet some still complain. But the people of San Pedro are just happy for a rough, brick building to worship the God who never fails them. "I hope we can learn to have that same kind of lasting happiness and joy they shared with us," said one student. "They focus on finding God in every circumstance that comes their way, whether good or bad. They may not look rich on the outside, but on the inside they are pure royalty."