This past weekend we ventured over to Otavalo, a town about 2 hours from Quito. They are known for their large markets on Saturdays. We enjoyed the view of the mountains and countryside on our bus ride over. (Everyone except Lille enjoyed the bus ride. Lille apparently gets a little bus sick.) On Friday night, we had dinner at a little café and started chatting with the owner. He was a very enthusiastic man with a huge smile. As we talked, he shared how God had changed his life. He had been an alcoholic, unfaithful to his wife, estranged from his children and truly in the depths of despair. As a last resort, he stumbled into a church and was changed by Jesus Christ.
He has reconciled with his wife and is about to celebrate both of his children getting married this spring. His passion for life and for Jesus is undeniable. He said repeatedly, “Jesus saved me from myself and terrible decisions.” I wish you could have seen his Bible. It was tattered, torn and clearly well used. Saturday was market day. The entire town turns into a huge market. On one end of town there is a fruit and vegetable market; the other end of town has animals (goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, etc); the rest of the town has blankets, sweaters, jewelry, paintings and many other goods. It was a fun experience! The most memorable for us was to see an older man walking his goats up the street. As we were admiring his goats and the unusualness of seeing goats in the city, someone stopped and gave him 25 cents and he milked the goat and gave the woman a fresh cup of goats milk. A true dairy bar! A great weekend of exploring, chatting with a bunch of locals, and hearing how God continues to change lives.