Our apologies for the delay in getting a blog post up…we’ve been doing a bit of cooking and prep work. We had a few people over for dinner again. We’re kind of getting partial to having that happen.
This time, though, we were blessed to host the Alliance Academy International Faculty and Staff Retreat out at Calacali. We haven’t yet introduced you thoroughly to Calacali, but, trust us, we’ll have a lot to say about it soon.
In the meantime, a brief introduction…Calacali is a small village outside the city of Quito. It is about a 35-40 minute drive from the school, and, in that time, you go from concrete mayhem to mountain air, scented with pine and eucalyptus. For us, stepping foot on the property owned by the school is like walking into northern Minnesota in the fall, minus the autumn colors. It drips of peaceful serenity…but, we’re a little biased.
We have been blessed with the opportunity to live on this piece of property and base our ministry from this location. We have been working on moving and setting up our “home” onsite, securing internet, organizing, envisioning, dreaming…the list goes on. BUT, this past weekend, we had 200-250 people over for dinner! 🙂 The school owns the property – what a better way to use it?
So, we had a bit of preparation time – a few days here and there…
We had prayed for a family ministry opportunity that would include serving side by side…
The kids weren’t so sure working with 88lbs of potatoes was what God had in mind.
Let me just say, I will never again underestimate the multiplication factor of the soaked bean. Note to self…cut the quantity in half.
We finished preparations of food and moved on to tables, chairs, and tent set up. Brad and the boys can easily find work as roadies for these Ecuadorian tent masters…they appreciated not having to move ladders around the perimeter – just stick a Bierle on a corner!
Grills are scrubbed and ready for hotdogs and meat!
Last minute scavenger hunt plans are finalized with help from the Butler kids…
Let the festivities begin! God provided a beautiful day with lots of opportunities for fun and fellowship. All the work was well worth the sounds of happy children playing soccer, adults chatting in various groups, teens hanging and helping, and the camaraderie of a team that pulled together to strive for a common goal – a peaceful family day in the country. I only wish I had pictures of the men who were grilling, the kids filling lemonade, the multiple desserts that were brought,Brad leading a devotion to all the staff, and all the various pockets of people gathered in different areas.
Dale Groeneweg, our Calacali mentor and friend, with Brad during afternoon ice cream…
The last bus heads out, and a successful retreat is in the books.
Our dinner table probably won’t include 200+ people again for quite some time, but we will certainly have many fond memories of our first big event here at Calacali. We know God will bring many, many people to Calacali, and we pray that each person who comes will find respite, relaxation, and rest on the ROCK on which we stand.