Today we concluded the chess camp at the school and prepared to head back to the U.S. During camp, Zach and Zoe’s room finished their tournament with Jandry winning the championship with 3.5 out of 4 points. To begin the day in the advanced room, seven people played a simul against Drew, who had not lost any games during the week. However, with only five minutes on each clock, he was unable to remain undefeated as Fernando managed to win his game on time. Following the simul, the experienced students played a three-round (two games per round) blitz tournament. Pedro and Jesus each won all six of their games and faced each other in a playoff game. Pedro, who showed great improvement during the week, took home the title of blitz champion.
During the final break of the week, about half the people played soccer and the rest sat down and socialized. At the end of the break, everyone gathered together for a group photo.
Once break was over, both groups came together to play a bughouse tournament. After four intense rounds, David and Noemi came out victorious with a perfect score. They were both beginners from Zach and Zoe’s room, so we were very proud of them.
Once the camp was finished, we quickly ate lunch and packed up the boards and pieces. (The school now has twenty boards and one clock for the students to practice during the school year.) Then, we went to see Abel, a child at Amor y Esperanza who is unable to walk and has received physical therapy from our mom. She had sent a medical stroller for him, and Abel and his mother were so joyful and grateful that he had received this blessing. I (Zoe) truly experienced the feeling that giving is better than receiving. Upon seeing the joy on their faces, I knew that giving him this gift was better than receiving one.
We drove home and relaxed most of the afternoon before getting ready to leave. After packing our suitcases, the kids settled down to watch Captain America, which Drew had never seen before. He has just started watching Marvel superhero movies on this trip!
In the evening, we gathered to eat our last meal together as one family. Margarita, who had cooked an cleaned for us the whole week, had helped prepare a delicious dinner for us. She has truly displayed an others-ahead-of-self attitude by humbly serving us throughout the week. Tonight, along with Pity, she had made a dinner of tomato soup, steak, papas fritas (Roberto’s favorite!) and rice, with a dessert of lemon pound cake. It was a scrumptious conclusion to our stay. Maria Victoria also displayed a servant’s heart by sleeping next door with her grandmother the whole week, giving up her room so that Zoe could stay there.
After dinner, we assembled one last time in the living room for prayer and blessing. Pancho and Pity prayed for the Justice kids and especially Danny, who is leaving the country for the first time without his parents. They anointed Zach’s knee and prayed for it to heal, and also anointed Danny and asked God to bless him. After that, Pancho and Pity prayed for Zoe and Drew and Roberto anointed them. It was a beautiful ending to our fellowship as a family.
We loaded up our bags and piled into a rented bus to head to the airport for our 11:30 flight. After some struggle figuring out what line to stand in and where to check our luggage, we made it through by checking in at the “Special Services” counter, which was much quicker than the normal line. We said our goodbyes to the Zola family and got through security with ease because we accidentally stood in the disabled persons line.
We are truly grateful to the Lord for our week of service in Ecuador and are sad to go back home. I hope you all enjoyed our blog and thanks for reading! Adiós.