"Peek a Week" with Erin

Hello! Last week Sandi introduced me as the summer intern for Compassion Connection and explained that I will be posting a “peek-a-week” for the next few weeks. I will be posting these weekly blogs in order to give you, our supporters and friends, a glimpse into what day-to-day life looks like here in Ecuador as well as all that is currently going on within Compassion Connection. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy following along with me this summer as I give you a little ‘peak’ into life on the mission field in Ecuador each week.

Unfortunately, my first post has not been the most enjoyable topic to write about…in the past few weeks, there has been much transition going on within the organization, and usually in times of transition, there are times when we have to say “goodbye” or “see you later” to those we love. In the past week, we have had to say goodbye to friends who have become family; the Brennan Family. The Lord has called missionaries, Noah and Cate Brennan and their family, to move back to Hawaii, which is where they were residing and serving some time prior to coming to Ecuador.

For the last eight years, Noah and Cate Brennan have served tirelessly and selflessly here in Ecuador. In the time that they have been here, they not only have been raising a family of four children, but they have also played a very pivotal role in training up pastors and leaders, as well as planting La Fuente, Compassion Connection’s church plant in Quito, Ecuador. While helping with the church plant and leading one of La Fuente’s community groups, they have been able to build relationships and create friendships that will last a lifetime. I asked a few member so fLa Fuente what the Brennan’s have meant to them and the impact they have had on their lives. I have shared those comments here.

Gaby Erazo: In the short time that I was able to meet and know the Brennans, I saw that their passion was to preach the gospel and show Christ in every area of their lives. I thank God for the blessing that they are and we will miss them very much. 

Sandi Youngren: Cate and Noah have been working side by side with us for 8 years. Three of their four kids were born here. We have walked through the trials, hardships, joys, and glories of life and we have watched them stand strong in the Lord and bring joy to many. It's a tough part of life to create such bonds and then have to say goodbye. We know that those who have them in their lives next will be blessed beyond measure.  We love you Brennans!

Nataly Velasco: For me, the Brennans are family, friends, community, and an example of love everywhere. They are a "warm welcome." They are always willing to talk and give good advice or just joke with silly things! They make me understand community and how we can encourage one another, despite age or background!

Amie Youngren: The Brennan Family became an integral part of my life eight years ago when they arrived here in Ecuador with six month old Phinehas. We have shared innumerable ministry adventures, meals, tears, laughs, game nights and more. They and their children became like family to my girls and me. We learned together what sins layed dormant prior to parenthood and we challenged one another in these things and to keep pressing toward Christ. Our friendship will no longer have daily life together as God has moved them out of the country, but I am confident that our friendship will endure because of all that God has allowed us to experience and grow in together.

Natalia Duque: The Brennans are a great example of a family in Christ.  They are an example of love.

Gaby Puente: The Brennans are special. We will never forget them. I could see in every action that they said, did, or share, the love of God and their willingness to follow the Lord everywhere they go. They are part of Ecuador, and a part of our hearts forever. 

Gaby Duque: They are a family in Christ.

Bean Family: From the moment we arrived in Ecuador, the Brennan’s played a significant role in our lives. Noah picked us, and our 12 bags, up from the airport and opened up their home for us to live for the first week. Cate was the one who spent many hours taking us to the hospital when I was going into labor with our son, Quil. We also got the privilege to live life with their kiddos and watched them many nights so Noah and Cate could get away for a date night. They have helped us grow and learn as new parents, and as children of God. We are so incredibly thankful for their friendships and can’t wait for our next game night!  We love you guys, and miss you like crazy!!!   

In August of 2014, I (Erin) came to Ecuador, for the first time, on a short-term missions trip. On that trip, I distinctly remember sitting in Cate and Noah’s house with the team and listening to Noah say the words, “Don’t go home and put this experience on a shelf.” He explained that instead of going home and saying, “Well, that was a nice experience,” that we should allow room in our hearts for God to use this trip to ignite a spark within us. That way, when we return home, we won’t just look back on this as a great experience, but as a time in our lives when we allowed God to move in our lives and a time when we drew closer to him than ever before.  The words Noah spoke that night were life changing for me because I allowed God to do exactly that in my heart. Although it has been hard for everyone here in Ecuador to say goodbye to the Brennans, Noah’s words have been my prayer since they have departed. It is my prayer that the Brennans wouldn’t look back on their time in Ecuador as a “nice experience,” or just put these past eight years on a shelf. Rather, I hope that the ways God moved in, grew, and strengthened their lives and hearts here in Ecuador would be a remembrance that continues to ignite their spirit for the rest of their lives. On behalf of Compassion Connection, we thank you, Brennan Family, for serving whole-heartedly and for allowing the Lord to use you to create non-shelf worthy experiences for those around you. All six of you will be missed greatly, you already are.