Last week, Crossgate Church sent a group of twenty-one church members down to Conocoto, Ecuador, for eight days. The city of Conocoto lies just outside of the nation's capital, Quito. The team worked with an orphanage there called the Henry Davis Foundation: Houses of Happiness, which currently houses over 120 orphaned children and three American missionary families.
Henry and Dorothy Davis started the orphanage in 1966 for children whose parents were imprisoned. They began with 36 children and one small, run-down shack. They never dreamed that one day their efforts would provide a home, clothing, education, spiritual guidance, and hope for the future for over 1,000 children in the nearly 50 years of the foundation's operation.
The team from Crossgate, with the help of a team from Birmingham, AL, hosted a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program for the children, as well as helped out with maintenance on the campus grounds. The team set off to work in the mornings doing several different projects such as painting, digging ditches, moving top soil, raking leaves, cleaning homes, working with children, leading a Bible study with the house mothers, and much, much more. Then in the afternoon, the team would begin its VBS program where they would have Bible lessons, recreational games, crafts, and snacks for the children.
Shawn Barnard, the Senior Pastor of Crossgate Church, and his family were a few of those who went from the church. "We believe that Crossgate Church will become an epicenter of God's activity from which He will shake the nations for His glory," Shawn said. This has become the vision statement that the church has adopted and puts into action.
Crossgate currently has a team of 12 in Belize hosting another VBS program, and next week, Crossgate will be sending about 20 to Joplin, MO, to help with disaster relief, plus Crossgate will send yet another group to Guatemala later this summer. It all goes back to their vision statement, "That Crossgate Church will become an epicenter of God's activity from which He will shake the nations for His glory."
Middle Left to Right: Ronnie Ritter, Vivian Nicholson, Kim Hawthorne, Kevin Barnard, Dave White, Kristen Barnard
Bottom Left to Right: Rich Arthur, Kathy Ritter, Pastor Shawn Barnard, Jennifer Barnard, Kameron Barnard, Debbie Garner, Linda White