Now Thank We All Our God

Here is the third and final Thanksgiving hymn for this week.  Thank You Lord!

Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices,

What wondrous things hath done, In whom His world rejoices;

Who, from the mothers’ arms, Hath blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.


O may this bounteous God Through all our life be near us,

With ever joyful hearts And blessed peace to cheer us;

And keep us in His grace, And guide us when perplexed,

And free us from all ills In this world and the next.


All praise and thanks to God The Father now be given,

The Son, and Him who reigns With them in highest heaven,

The one eternal God, Whom earth and heaven adore;

For thus it was, is now, And shall be evermore.

Come, Ye Thankful People

Here are the lyrics of another famous Thanksgiving hymn.  I love this.

Come, ye thankful people, come, Raise the song of harvest home;

All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin:

God, our Maker, doth provide For our wants to be supplied;

Come To God’s own temple, come, Raise the song of harvest home.


All the world is God’s own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield;

Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrows grown:

First the blade, and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear;

Lord of harvest, grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be.


For the Lord our God shall come And shall take His harvest home;

From His field shall in that day All offenses purge away,

Give His angels charge at last In the fire the tares to cast,

But the fruitful ears to store In His garner evermore.


Even so, Lord, quickly come To Thy final harvest home;

Gather Thou Thy people in, Free from sorrow, free from sin:

There forever purified, In Thy presence to abide;

Come, with all Thine angels, come, Raise the glorious harvest home.

We Gather Together

This week I’m featuring Thanksgiving hymn lyrics.  The first one is probably the most famous hymn for this week’s holiday:


We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing

He chastens and hastens His will to make known;

The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing:

Sing praises to His name–He forgets not His own.


Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,

Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;

So from the beginning the fight we were winning:

Thou, Lord, wast at our side—all glory be Thine.


We all do extol Thee, Thou leader triumphant,

And pray that Thou still our defender wilt be;

Let Thy congregation escape tribulation:

Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!



Glass House

We returned from Otavalo just in time to return the rental car and go to dinner with a neighbor — Jenna — who is on a college exchange to Quito.  We were able to walk from our hotel to an area she knew.  Our first stop was a great Argentinian restaurant (in Ecuador).  2015-09-06 19.40.56_500

2015-09-06 19.40.36_500We shared some great food — fish, steaks, veggies, pesto pasta.

2015-09-06 20.33.12_500

2015-09-07 06.20.12

2015-09-06 21.18.16_500

After this, believe it or not, we went to another restaurant for dessert.  We couldn’t pass up this beautiful glass restaurant.

2015-09-06 21.25.48_500

2015-09-06 21.36.08_500

The menu was really unique — it was written like a story book.

2015-09-06 21.33.25_500

2015-09-06 21.34.10_500

And the desserts?  Well, they were fantastic.  We all shared them and they disappeared very quickly!

2015-09-06 22.07.57_500

2015-09-06 22.07.43_500

What a great evening we had.  It was so great to see Jenna again (the same friend that was studying in Italy when we were there) — and to hear all about her experiences in Ecuador.  And what a great place to end our evening in Quito!

2015-09-06 22.36.17_500





Return to Otavalo

I was eager to see the village of Otavalo again, having been there on a Compassion trip in 2005.  We weren’t sure how to get to the famous outdoor market, but we parked the car and started following people that all seemed to be going the same direction.  We came to the central park and loved seeing families all about, enjoying the great weather.

2015-09-06 15.43.18_500

2015-09-06 15.47.17_500

Chris got permission to take these great portraits.



I later saw this same man standing with a friend outside a church.

2015-09-06 17.12.44_500

We finally came to the market and it truly is an amazing place.

2015-09-06 16.16.34_500

We were just as fascinated with the people as we were with the textiles they sold us.

2015-09-06 16.27.50_500

2015-09-06 16.48.19_500

I bought some small artwork, as I usually do when I’m traveling.

2015-09-06 16.00.18_500

As usual, Chris zeroed in on the adorable children.  When he asked for a photo, three of them (hilariously) got right down on one knee and posed very willingly.


But the best part was getting to see themselves and share a few giggles.

2015-09-06 16.57.55_500




The Equator

Of course a trip to Quito must include a stroll along the equator.  The “Mitad del Mundo” is a beautiful site a few miles north of Quito, and is an important historical scientific site.

2015-09-06 10.22.53_500

Even the benches are beautiful.

2015-09-06 10.22.36_500

2015-09-06 10.28.42_500

You can go to the top of the tower to have a great view.

2015-09-07 06.18.55

2015-09-06 11.48.47_500

It’s fun to pose on the equatorial line, but because of the earth’s wobble, the equatorial line is described as “a strip about 5 kilometers wide that covers the equatorial valley called “Lulubamba”  (and thus, moves within that 5 kilometers).  But you have to take the photos when you’re there, so here they are, and they were lots of fun:

2015-09-07 06.20.03

2015-09-07 06.21.09

2015-09-06 09.29.02

The kids also managed to balance an egg on the end of a nail.  It wasn’t easy.  I couldn’t do it, but both of them were persistent and patient enough to do it.

2015-09-07 06.20.23

2015-09-06 11.08.45_500

We also saw some really cute llamas.

2015-09-07 06.21.35

Then we got back in the car and continued north of Quito towards our destination — Otavalo.  We stopped for the famous “bizochos” biscuits along the way.

2015-09-06 14.47.29_500

2015-09-06 14.48.37_500

Again, a drive across Ecuador is really beautiful.

2015-09-06 14.37.08_500


We passed the beautiful Imbabura volcano as we entered Otavalo.  The other two volcanos in this area are Cotacachi and Mojanda — all really beautiful to see.





A Crater Lake

The drive to Quilotoa Lake was truly beautiful once we got past the Cotopaxi Volcanic ash.

2015-09-05 16.38.05_500

2015-09-05 14.41.25_500

2015-09-05 16.17.53_500

We finally arrived at Quilotoa Lake — a lovely teal crater lake.

2015-09-05 16.13.49_500

There happened to be a rooster strutting around in front of it.

2015-09-05 17.24.46_500

There were a few people hanging around the area, which looked like it had recently been built up for tourism.

2015-09-05 17.37.45_500

There were plenty of souvenirs in the nearby shops.

2015-09-05 17.45.07_500

Soon we were back on the road again, headed back to Quito.

2015-09-05 18.57.49_500

I was excited to see a field full of burros!

2015-09-05 18.20.49_500

Someone was herding some sheep with a dog and a four-wheeler.

2015-09-05 18.26.02_500

It was truly a beautiful day and we were so glad we had braved the active volcano to get out into the mountains!