words by jenny
Last weekend, the Covenant missionaries in Ecuador gathered together for a quick little weekend retreat. Coming from all over the country, we headed to a hostería about 20 minutes away from our house for a weekend of rest and connection. We were joined by our regional coordinators, Pia and Eugenio Restrepo, who led times of reflection and devotions for us all. We also had the huge gift of having the Bulgrin family join us from First Covenant Church, Omaha. (FCC Omaha is the church I grew up in and they have been such faithful supporters of our family through every season). Eric, Kari, Connor and Carter came down to help us with childcare during the retreat, which was such a huge help! They were with the kids while we adults met together for our sessions and then they were also available at other times during the day to give us parents a break when we wanted one.
Last fall, FCC Omaha sent a small vision team down to talk about future possibilities and what it could possibly look like to further partnership and connections. Sitting at our picnic table under our avocado tree in our backyard we threw out the idea that having childcare at our retreat would be a huge help and just 6 months later we were so grateful to see the fruits of their further support and care.
The Bulgrins arrived with yummy treats from the US for us to eat and activities for the kids and money collected from the FCC community to pay for our pizza on Friday night. They blew bubbles and played hours and hours of soccer and played make-believe and created with sidewalk chalk. They swam and sat with sleeping little people so we could have a rousing game of Dutch Blitz post bedtime. They loved our small ones well and thus loved us. And because we knew our kids were being so well cared for and having just the best time, we had the time and space to connect and cry and share and grieve and laugh and be present to one another. It was such a gift.