Thursday was our first day working not only without a leader who actually had a better idea of what we were doing (Saulo), but also the first time we weren't all together as a team since we first got to Heathrow all those weeks ago! It was slightly strange and a little sad, but we managed to get a fair bit done particularly in the bodega, despite the lack of instructions and hands. We also learnt that Jordan had fractured her ankle and would need an operation, so may not even be able to come back to Pedernales. Chris, from Propósito Global, provided some much needed encouragement throughout the day, and we were grateful for the morale boost, especially after learning we probably wouldn't be working together as a team again.

Image of Step team at beachFriday was our day off, and we decided to explore a little more of Ecuador, taking a bus to another beach about 40 minutes away called Cojimies. We definitely appreciated the rest, but we got a bit carried away on the beach, and ended up missing the last bus back. Luckily a camioneta, or pick-up truck, drove by offering lifts to Pedernales, so we got back eventually, sitting on the back of the truck, a very Ecuadorian way of travelling! 

The next day we took another bus to Santo Domingo to visit Jordan in hospital. She had had her operation the day before to put in 5 nails and a plate, and already seemed quite well recovered. We spent the afternoon finally reunited as a team again, before Zack came back with us, and Alice P and Beth stayed on with Jordan.

Image of Stepper in hospital being visited by other SteppersDespite the crazy week, Mel and Josh led the worship as normal at church with Chris stepping in for Beth as a singer. The afternoon was spent relaxing at the house and going to the beach, as per usual! Jordan was finally discharged from hospital, but was told she would have to keep coming back for check-ups every week. We spent a fairly stressful evening trying to work out the best thing to do, and when Alice P and Beth would be able to come back, but we decided they would stay there until we knew if Jordan could get a transfer to Quito, which would be ideal as she could be looked after by the people at Propósito Global, and leave it at that. 

Image of girls cleaning bambooChris left Sunday during the night, so Monday morning it was only the 4 of us working at the church, with no leader, but we continued working, even though there were even fewer of us. Saulo arrived at around 5, having spent part of the day in Santo Domingo with Jordan, Alice P and Beth.   

Image of Stepper working on bambooTeam morale was low again on Tuesday, as it had been a week since Jordan had injured her foot, and we were feeling the lack of team mates. Plus, Zack walked into a bolt that was sticking out of the garage door at the house, and had to go to a doctor (luckily he was just prescribed antibiotics to prevent an infection). However, we were greeted with a lovely surprise at the church, which was that the family we were building the bodega for, who were meant to come the first week, had finally arrived at about 3 that morning: Hanier, his partner Alexandra, and her 15 year-old son Gabriel. Despite their obvious exhaustion from 5 days of travelling all the way from Venezuela, they were still warm and friendly and even helped out in the building, Hanier being a professional builder. That night, the family cut open some fresh coconuts they had bought, and shared them with us, which was a lovely chance to spend more time with them and joke around about how much coconut water we could drink (significantly less than them!). To top it all off, Alice P and Beth finally came back, meaning we were almost a complete team again: absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Jordan found out that day she could get a transfer to Quito, and so Andrés, our coordinator, drove to Santo Domingo and back in a day to pick her up. 

Image of two Steppers with bambooOn Wednesday, we at last were an almost complete team, and we were definitely much more appreciative of each other. We were also helped significantly again by Hani and Gabriel, and continued our work building the bodega and path.

Give thanks to God that:

  • He kept putting people around us when we were feeling down 
  • Jordan was able to get a transfer to Quito, and arrived there safely
  • we have grown closer as a team despite the difficulties we have gone through
  • we have been kept safe throughout all our travelling 
  • Zack was not seriously injured 

Please pray that

  • We will continue to focus on the project as we enter our final week
  • That we will make the most of the time left to talk to people 
  • That Jordan will have a safe flight back to England today (19th June)