Noah Fuller of First Baptist Church of Orange and a Little Cypress Intermediate School student, poses with one of the children from the rainforest village in Ecuador. LCIS students collected shoes to take to the children of the rainforest village.

First Baptist Church, Orange recently returned from a mission trip to Ecuador.  Their group of 10 was busy during the week ministering through construction, Vacation Bible School and dental ministry working alongside full time missionary Shiloh Barrow who grew up here in Orange County.  The dental team helped over 300 patients.  The group ministered in the rain forest region of Ecuador, near the city of Tena on the Napo River, which serves as  the head waters of the Amazon River.  The climate is similar to southeast Texas but with more humidity and more bugs. 

Noah Fuller, a Little-Cypress Intermediate student, had the opportunity to pass out shoes to children in need in the community of San Jose, located in the rain forest.  Little-Cypress Intermediate students had collected shoes in the month of March that could be taken to the children. Thanks to the students of LCI, over 170 pairs of shoes were taken and given to children.  Some of these children showed up to VBS with no shoes on at all. 

This trip ended a little differently from other mission trips the church has taken to Ecuador.  Prior to flying out of Quito and returning to the U.S., the group went to a local mall to grab something to eat.  While on the fourth floor, the entire building began to sway, lights began to flicker, items began falling off the shelves, and people began to panic.  They were experiencing a 7.8 earthquake, which is not a common occurrence in Quito.  The shaking lasted only 40 seconds but felt more like 10 minutes.  Quito is located about 120 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.  The group quickly exited the mall and drove to the airport where visible evidence of the earthquake could be seen there as well.  The group was relieved to return to the U.S. but their hearts are saddened and their prayers go out for those who have lost so much due to the earthquake.