As you may already know, our family is currently residing in the student dorm at the Alliance Academy International in Quito. I don’t know about many of you but it has been a very long time since I have experienced the dorm life firsthand. As there are currently no students here yet, it may not be as bad as you remember. It certainly smells better than I remember. Though the accommodations are pretty simple and basic, it has actually been kind of nice to be close together as a family and very convenient within the school grounds. We have also been privileged to meet a few other early arrivals including Will and Ashley, a young Christian couple who will be serving as dorm parents this year. Currently, they are our only neighbors on campus and we have been enjoying their company on a daily basis. In fact, we have been growing quite close as we have been sharing the few utensils, plates, and cook wear available to us to prepare meals. Though not always convenient, this process has been a good lesson in patience and adaptability.
On Saturday evening, our little group, including Amy, who is another early arrival and a 5th grade teacher, gathered for a meal. Sarah prepared rice in a frying pan using the other frying pan we have as a lid since we have no other pots or pans. She then quickly used the same pans to prepare green beans and chicken. We set the table with the plates and cups we currently have along with 5 forks and 3 spoons for the eight of us. As we sat down to eat together, I was struck by the sense of community and closeness within our midst, even though we had only met days earlier.
I know it was because we serve the same great Lord and King. In that moment, I was reminded of the early Christian church as described in Acts. Chapter 2:42-47 references the fellowship of believers, descibing how they “broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” Chapter 4:32 reports that “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”
I don’t know about you but in the past, I was always a little envious of that description when I read it. How great a priviledge for us to be led to a place where we were able to experience in a very small way what that may have been like. We know God is preparing us as a family to develop “glad and sincere hearts” regardless of circumstances. We are grateful for fellow believers who are “one in heart and mind.” We continue to be in training to cultivate a thankful mind-set. With less of the noise and distractions of life, we are reminded of how the simple things are the things that matter…faith, family, friends. We are thankful for the opportunity to experience His presence in a very real way within our little community of believers right now. We are trusting that He would use us as He used the early Church to accomplish His plans as recorded at the end of Acts 2 “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”