categories: personal, spiritual development
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December 23rd, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

25 comments (+ Add)

Ecuador Trip

My family just returned from Ecuador with Compassion International. This picture shows us in Guayaquil-Isla Trinitaria with several children living in extreme poverty. We’d just visited a family of 7 that lives off about $30 a month. Their home backs up to the river which is filled with waste. The smell was almost unbearable.


The picture below shows my thirteen year old daughter receiving a hand-made dress valued at about one month’s income. Everyone in the room was crying at the people’s generosity. As Compassion’s CEO, Wes Stafford said, “You can’t out-give the poor.”


The third picture shows me with the pastor of the church in Huaycopungo. Under strong persecution, his church had about 15 people. Today he and one other pastor ministers to about 1200 people and 85% of his village knows Christ. He may be small in stature but he is a giant in the Kingdom.


In the final picture, our family met one of the children we sponsor. She is 8 year old Liseth and is the girl in my wife’s arms. I didn’t even try to hold back the tears.


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there are a total of25
  1. Dec 23, 2008 at 10:53 am

    You can’t outgive the poor…so true..

    Isn’t it wierd Craig…

    I have learned more from those poor in the remote places of the Earth, than they have from me…

    Everytime I go, for their encouragement… they help me..

  2. Dec 23, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Oh so true - ditto on Avery’s comments!

    How true it is that we seem to receive more blessings from a mission trip.

    Not holding back the tears looking at the pics of your trip!

  3. Dec 23, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Very cool.

  4. 4txmom4
    Dec 23, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I recently heard our pastor say “These people have nothing, and yet they are happy. If you give them a gift, they share it with everyone.” I think we have a lot to learn from these people we consider “poor.” Because in a lot of ways they’re richer than we are.

  5. Dec 23, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    [...] to recap the trip.  I was mostly interested in the picture of Craig with the local pastor.  Go here and check it out. [...]

  6. Dec 23, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Prayed for you guys a lot! I believe it was life-changing in ways you aren’t even aware of yet. Can’t wait to see how God uses your trip to expand His Kingdom. :)

  7. Dec 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Craig, it is so amazing to see you and your family taking the time to do this. Thank you for being an amazing man of God and having a heart to give so much.

  8. 8Trina
    Dec 23, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Ditto, thank you for being the real deal, a man of actions with his word.

  9. Dec 23, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing that Craig. That is the way I would like my family to spend our holidays.

  10. Dec 24, 2008 at 8:50 am

    That looks like a Christmas Eve ‘blog of the day’ to me! Awesome stuff indeed!

  11. Dec 24, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Amazing! What a BLESSING!

  12. Dec 24, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Great post Craig. Thanks for the authenticity.

  13. Dec 24, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Thanks Craig. Thanks for giving your influence to things this important. It is good to hear about these small village churches making a HUGE impact for the Kingdom of God. Thanks for showing that impacting the Kingdom does not mean having a mega church.

    Thanks. Malcolm

  14. Dec 24, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Thank you for sharing this experience Craig (and Amy). I’d love to see more churches join with Compassion for missions and take trips to see their sponsored kids. We have one in Guatemala. I don’t think we would look at life the same once we’ve been down there.

  15. 15Mike Servello
    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:28 am

    That is so awesome Craig. 85% of his village!?!

    Have a Great Christmas.


  16. 16Derick
    Dec 24, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I spent a year in Ecuador doing some missions work. Started a youth ministry until handing it over to a ‘national’ and I agree with Avery - “I have learned more from those poor in the remote places of the Earth, than they have from me…” I went to serve and to teach, but in the end, I was the one learning
    Thanks Craig for re-earthing lessons learned.

  17. 17Jared B
    Dec 25, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Awesome…simply awesome! That pastor in Huaycopungo is amazing…God bless him! Talk about preaching in not only physically unbearable, but I’m SURE emotionally draining environments! God bless him!

  18. Dec 27, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Wow! What a blessing!!

  19. Dec 29, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Thank you!

  20. Dec 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Awesome! My 18yr old daughter is going to Ecuador in Feb with a group of 20 somethings to run a soccer camp and also help with some building projecst and other ministry efforts. Bless you!

  21. Dec 30, 2008 at 12:59 pm


    Just got back in the office from the Christmas Break and saw this post. How amazing it must have been to share this experience with your entire family. What a blessing for your daughter to receive such a generous gift. Thanks for sharing with us.

  22. Dec 30, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Just got into the office and read this. What an amazing opportunity for you and the family! I am looking to sponsor a kid myself. Would you suggest Compassion International? Are they a good organization to go with? I am open to any suggestions.

  23. Dec 30, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    No words.

  24. Dec 31, 2008 at 11:09 am


  25. Jan 1, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I cried too. How amazing. We have sponsored probably 6 different children in the 24 years we’ve been Compassion sponsors and I hope to one day meet our present child, who is in the Dominican Republic.

    God is drawing my heart to people such as these as well and we’ll be going to Guatemala in June. While I pray we minister to others, I know that in truth it will be MY heart that will be most changed.