travel bursary reports
I am writing to you first and foremost to thank you for the support I received towards my time of
overseas service in Ecuador. I deeply appreciate the support I received which was so crucial in
enabling me to serve.
In January, I left Ireland for Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. I spent 2 weeks there living with a very
kind family who also serve as missionaries in Ecuador, the Vasquez family. During these two weeks, I
met with a local lady named Yhady with whom I had one on one Spanish lessons and cultural visits.
This was a very special 3me of orienta3on to Ecuadorian life, but also because Yhady asked me many
questions about my faith and my reasons for being in Ecuador which was an amazing opportunity to
share the gospel with her and we kept in contact throughout my time in Ecuador.
Following my time in Quito, I travelled to Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, the city in which I served
from January to July. Santo Domingo is a city with a population just larger than Belfast and is situated
along the main route between Quito and the coast. Santo Domingo is one of the more
underdeveloped areas of Ecuador and is very different to Quito. In Santo Domingo it is very warm
and humid, crime and unemployment rates are high and many people live in poverty. In Santo
Domingo I lived with a local Christian family, the father being the pastor of the church I attended. It
was a real blessing to live with a Christian couple and their four children.
My main focus in Santo Domingo was the two projects with which I worked every day from Monday
to Friday. I travelled to work each morning by bus as the school in which I worked was in the centre
of the city. The school is called ‘Vida en Abundancia’ which translates as ‘Life in Abundance’. Life in
Abundance is a Christian school which provides children with special needs from 4-18 years with
education which is incredibly important as the state in Ecuador does not provide education for
children with special needs. There also remains a great deal of stigma and shame surrounding
children with special needs and they often lead very difficult lives and often experience neglect. I
became involved with their staff team and was working in teaching the children and helping with
tasks such as feeding and toileting. I was also part of staff training weeks and devotionals.
Following my mornings at school, I collected three children and took them by bus to the Orphaids
home where I worked in the afternoons. Orphaids is a Christian home which cares for children and
young people who have either been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, meaning many have HIV, or because
their families are not able to care for them due to illness such as AIDS, or because of problems like
drug addiction and/or prostitution which are both very common in Santo Domingo. At the Orphaids
home I was involved in helping with smaller tasks with the younger children and my main role was
helping with homework with all of the children and young people.
My time in Ecuador was incredibly formative for me. I absolutely loved the work I was involved with
and feel it was such a privilege to form such close bonds with very precious children and to express
the love that Jesus has for them. It was a very challenging experience due to being on an individual
placement, issues with health and being in a completely different culture but I have seen my faith
mature and grow in so many ways because of my time overseas. God has taught me a great deal
through this time and has continued to grow my passion for long term overseas mission.
I would like to sincerely thank you again for your support towards my time of service. It was such a
blessing to have the support of those at home.
Read our reports from those we have supported through bursaries!