Recently, we hosted a visiting group from the Carolinas and Canada at our ministry center. These generous friends sponsored a trip for our Kids Club to visit the amusement park in downtown Quito. Of the 70 children and 10 volunteers who attended, the majority had NEVER been to an amusement park before.
Although, we are considered to live in Quito (the capital city of Ecuador), our community of San Fernando is on on the very outskirts of the populated area and is, in fact, quite rural with its dirt roads and cows, chickens and pigs roaming everywhere. Because of their location, many of our children had never even seen the hustle and bustle of the towering downtown area first hand. It was quite an exciting day to take the hour bus ride across the city and up the side of a 15,696 foot volcano where the amusement park lies. I know some of you may consider seeing a volcano better than going to an amusement park, but when you live surrounded by a dozen or so volcanoes, it is definitely the roller coaster that gets your attention.
The Volcano Park is far from being like Six Flags, but for our children, it was pure bliss as they rode the rides and they were in amazement as the bright colors and fun music whirled around them. One of our visitors recalls,
We were with the little kids who rode the merry-go-round first. Then, we took them to the little roller coaster and asked if they wanted to ride it next. They all had this horrified look and shook their heads no – all at the same time. It was so funny and cute.
After finishing the rides, the kids all packed into a small covered picnic area to enjoy lunch. While eating, a big storm of torrential rain and chunks of hail took over, sending all the adults clinging to the edges of the pavilion trying to stay under the shelter’s edge. The kids just kept enjoying the trip and never seemed to mind the rain or hail.
Going to an amusement park may seem like such a simple thing. It’s something many have done, but this is something the children will ALWAYS remember. They will never forget these fun strangers who loved them enough to do this amazing thing. They will always remember the love of God that was shared with them this day. We trust that these children will always feel at peace in the midst of the storms of life knowing that God’s love is like a day in the park.
Here are some photos of the event: