Recently Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU) students and our NILI students created a 30-member team destined for a jungle adventure. These university students, along with staff, joined together for a week of ministry. Early in the morning of May 28th, their journey started only to be derailed by the eruption of the Tungurahua volcano. Having to change their travel route, the trip took 14 hours of driving through the jungle, crossing moving rivers, and maneuvering rocky roads. Although it was a difficult journey, God used it to remind them that His plans are always better, and He is always in control.
Upon arriving in Palora, they put on a roof and painted the old Nazarene church. They also held several kids clubs in the area. One day they traveled further into the jungle to a Shuar village and had an amazing time in worship. The community served chicha—a homemade, fermented drink made from the yucca plant. A key ingredient is often a female’s saliva. What a great time of fellowship and fun! God provided them a glimpse of heaven with the beautiful colors of people singing in different voices yet worshiping the same God.
After our time in Palora, the team went to the town of Shell to help with the clean up of the Shell Nazarene church. They filled a dump truck with trash and old wood, and also held a kids club there. While the students will remember their hard work, they will remember the way God worked in their lives during this trip. It never gets old to hear how God impacts the lives of college students when they are serving others.