Canadian Teen Lauren Moyer Expected Tears, Found Joy in Ecuador
Most teenagers are focused on themselves and their friends. After all, self-focus is one of the signatures of being a teenager.
But when people from her church in Simcoe, ON, Canada, returned from a humanitarian trip to Ecuador in 2009, Lauren Moyer was inspired. She listened to their stories and wanted to join them on the next trip.
So in 2010, the 17-year-old Moyer became one of the youngest volunteers to go to Quito, Ecuador. For a week in early December, Lauren joined an even larger international team that helped throw Christmas parties in several community centers and the Zambiza Dump.
The teams ventured into impoverished areas of Quito to work with leaders who were passionate, but under-resourced. Lauren and the other volunteers provided the energy and help.
They participated in five Christmas parties in five days, serving thousands of people. In addition to providing games, face and nail painting, and family photos, the volunteers distributed food staples to the adults and gift bags to the children.
“When I first signed up to go, I thought it would be sad,” Lauren said. “I thought I’d be crying a lot. But instead, I’ve experienced real joy.
“Everyone here is so happy and polite,” Lauren said. “They have so little but are so happy. They are less greedy. I volunteer at an after-school program in Simcoe and the kids are never this polite.
“Coming here has helped make me see more clearly people who are in need. I am hoping to change the way I see things in my life. It’s been a lot of fun. I had a great time in Quito.”
by Tim Fausch