One of the first Spanish words we learned upon entering Ecuador was, “Chau.” It means, “See you later.” This is a bit friendlier than saying, “adios,” which means, “goodbye.” “Adios” is used when people do not expect to see each other again.
On the last day of our Kid’s Club in Portete, we had a great time with the kids. We laughed as they tried on and decorated the pipe cleaner eyeglasses we had made. We had fun as we played games. And we made funny gestures as we tried to communicate since we were unable to speak the others language.
Once club was over, Amanda and Chandra (the missionaries) asked our team to line up. I turned and asked our youth pastor why and he simply said, “It’s to say ‘adios.’” Those words wrapped around my heart like a vice. It was at that moment I realized my time with the kids I had fallen in love with had come to an end. And it was unlikely I would ever see them again.
The tears began running down my cheeks. I tried to gain control but the first child through the line squeezed my neck in such a loving hug that it only made the tears pool in my eyes blurring my vision. The next child hugged me and I cried even harder. It was a losing battle so I just let the tears fall.
The kids were concerned but also seemed to understand. One little girl held on so long I knew she was experiencing many of the same feelings.
I hate goodbyes.
I not only fell in love with the kids of Ecuador but all the adults we met as well. They are all wonderful people. When people capture your heart, it’s hard to say “adios.”
Being a Christ-follower, I don’t want to say “adios” to anyone. I want to say, “Chau,” meaning, “I may not see you in this lifetime but I’ll see you in heaven.” Unfortunately, I will not see many of those I love in heaven. Being a Christ-follower, I believe the bible when it says in John 14:6,
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
Many Ecuadorians worship idols and believe praying to them will get them to heaven. But God makes it clear that is not acceptable.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…” Exodus 20:4-5
I never want to say, “adios.” My desire is to spend all eternity with my friends in heaven. We have much more to talk about it. Games to play. Laughter to share. So I will pray God will use our work and the continued work of the missionaries to reach the hearts of my friends and those friends I have yet to meet. And I’ll support any way God desires including going and giving when He asks.
I will also continue to pray for my friends here and afar who have yet to accept Christ bridges the gap between them and God. Spending eternity with me may not sound appealing to some of them 🙂 but living forever in paradise should.
“Adios” can just go “adios.”
Other posts in this series:
- Creating a Stir
- Kids of Ecuador
- Long Road to Ecuador
- Desire to be Weak
- A Scary but Amazing Trip
- Does God Shop at Garage Sales
- God’s Going to Fail Me
©2013 Connie Davis Johnson
Disclaimer: These blog posts and other social media activity contain my own personal views & opinions and may not represent the views, beliefs, or ideas of my teammates or the church I am involved with currently or have been involved with in the past.