Ecuador has always held a special place in my heart. My infatuation with this amazing country goes back many years, to a Sunday evening church service. I don’t recall how old I was, my grade in school, or what I thought to be important at the time, but there is one thing I do remember - the faces. Two missionaries were giving a slideshow presentation about their work in Ecuador. Most Sunday evenings, I would have rather been watching the Wonderful World of Disney on television. I loved that show! And I begged my parents every Sunday night to please let me stay home and watch it. This night, however, they appeased me by saying, “We promise, you will really love the service tonight! It will be much better than the Wonderful World of Disney.” They were right. Torrey and Rose Wickman’s presentation on Ecuador planted a seed that would slowly and patiently ignite my soul, and guide my career path.
I’m sure Torrey and Rose talked about the ways they had been helping communities in Ecuador, the plans they had for the future, and money that still needed to be raised. But what I remember most, are the faces of children. They are etched in my mind. As a young girl, who had never been out of the United States, I couldn’t understand how children in some parts of the world didn’t have access to clean water, or food, or hospitals. They couldn’t watch the Wonderful World of Disney, or ride their bikes down the street to buy a candy bar. Many of the children didn’t even have families. It just didn’t seem fair. So my simple, little girl brain decided right then and there that someday, I would travel to Ecuador, and help these children.
I didn’t know exactly what that meant, of course, but a seed had been planted. And now, 35 years later, I am standing on a mountaintop in Ecuador, shooting a story about how World Vision is helping children and families in a small village in the Andes. And I’m trying to encourage others, during this busy holiday season, to step outside their world too. And step into the eyes of these children. It’s amazing how God can take a church service, a slideshow, or even a moment, and slowly mold it into His greatest masterpiece, which is our lives.
That’s what I think about when I look at these pictures. These are for you, Torrey and Rose! Thank you.