Mennonite Shelter for Refugees

This week, we visited a property on the outskirts of Quito where two families that sadly and abruptly fled their home countries have found a place to live. The location was generously lent by a member of the Mennonite Church of Quito and it has two modest but well-provided houses. The current residents made a delicious lunch of fish in coconut sauce (pescado encocado), rice, and fried plantain. They poured their hearts into the dish, and into their testimonies about surviving violence, persecution, exile, and life without knowing where to go. Fortunately, in Quito, they found the Mennonite Church which offered them a roof and means to sustain themselves by cultivating the land where they currently live. In the face of soul-breaking horror, they feel grateful and comforted by the support they have here. During our visit, Alexandra, a leader of the refugee program at the Mennonite Church, invited us to see that God’s work is done through us. Citing the parable of the good Samaritan from Luke 5, she recounted how she questioned God’s intervention in moments of peril and suffering, and realized that she and all of us are His hands and it is our duty to be good Samaritans.

The lives of the families who reside in these homes have been threatened, so they must be very careful about staying out of sight in real life and on the internet. Accordingly, we did not take photos of them, instead, we chose to capture images of their livestock and our pre-trip gathering. Enjoy!

Before we left from Casa de Espiritualidad, people anticipated the testimonies, but they also wanted to pose and look “cool”, “fire” or “lit” or something.