The senior mission trip has been a long-time tradition of Grace Academy. In recent years, our senior class has partnered with local missionary organization La MANO of HOPE, to travel to places such as Costa Rica and Punta Gorda. This year's trip took twelve seniors and seven chaperones to Quito, Ecuador - smack dab on the equator. They encountered the ever changing weather of the Andes Mountains, altitudes of over 10,000 feet, and long days of serving the community of El Ejercito.
This year's senior missionaries spent eight days in Ecuador. While there, they partnered with local pastors Erick & Pauly Pinto and their church, Iglesia Fraternidad Del Ejercito, to coordinate outreach and soccer camps for the children of the community. La MANO of HOPE has worked with Pastor Erick and his family on several projects since 2011. Pastor and his wife came to the very needy community of El Ejercito as church planters in 2000.
Grace's Quest for Quito campaign brought in around 900 pounds worth of supplies to give back to the city of El Ejercito. Included in those supplies were cleats, soccer balls, shin guards, and basic necessity items. During camp, children were fitted for and gifted new cleats and soccer equipment. Care packages were created from all the other items and delivered throughout the community, which provided a great opportunity for our seniors and chaperones to share the gospel of Jesus.
It wasn't all work, however, for our seniors. They also had opportunities to experience the culture of Ecuador in colonial Quito, shop the local markets, walk along the equator, and so much more!
Grace looks forward to returning to Quito each year with a new group of seniors as we make Ecuador a part of the mission and vision of Grace Academy!