Thursday, October 1, 2009


I learned a few lessons during this recent trip to Ecuador. First and foremost, I am not made to live upon the mountaintops.

I have been one that longs for mountaintop living – figuratively and literally.

Much like men of old, I figure that the sheer proximity to the heavens would bring me much closer to the face of God. The pristine beauty of the mountains speak of the glory of the Creator. I can’t help but feel His very presence in such places.

In Quito, I learned very quickly I was not made for mountaintop living. Altitude sickness took what little breath was left within. My first night was spent alternating between the bed and the bathroom floor.


Yet and still, morning came and duty called. The reason for our journey was to begin. We were met with a multitude of people at the hospital, anxiously waiting for the clinic to begin and hoping beyond hope that they or their family member would be among the chosen few.


Much like those who were chosen for the surgery, I was one of many who were chosen for this moment. I don’t know why but I know that it was a gift. Foolishly, I may have thought that what I was giving was the gift, however, perspective changes on a mountaintop.

Quito stands proudly at 9252 feet but more importantly, I stood upon high and holy ground. It was as if the very glory of God was revealed. I knew while chosen for such a time as this, mine was not the only life to be changed. Others may have a more tangible expression of our encounter but I left with an indelible mark upon my soul. I have been graced with this visit to the mountaintop but I was definitely not called to remain here.

My life is lived in the valleys between.

© A Sacred Longing 2009

Pics: Alpaca near Otavalo, Ecuador; Op Walk team on Day 1 (I am 2nd row, far right); Walking with a patient in the hospital; Quito, Ecuador with Our Lady of Quito statue on the top of the mountain.


  1. Sweet Denise, Love the pictures and the posts about your trip to Ecuador.

    My daughter did her surgery rotation in Africa this week. The first day she said she almost passed out! Ha! But she is getting the hang of it. She says third world surgery is quite different than here in the states.

    Love to you!

  2. Oh Denise, my heart is touched by your sharing words and photos dear sister. God is using your life in great ways. But of course, would He do any less?!!

    I love you. I'm praying still for your sister in law.

  3. Dear Denise,
    I appreciate this post, so honest, so well written. It touches my heart as it connects with yours.

    I like what you said about living in the valleys between the mountains. How I can relate to that!

    And thank you for taking time to visit my last post and your encouraging comments.

    However, if you have a bit of time, in invite you to re-read the last part of that Sept 30 post. I have re written it and shared more of what I am personally going through.

    I will surely appreciate your prayers at this time.


  4. It sounds like you are just beginning to learn some of the things that God is revealing to you from your trip. I am sure that as you look back and remember the lives that you touched for Jesus, you will see even more how much your life was touched in return. I am excited to hear more about your trip.

  5. Yes, indeed, perspective of giver changes in those situations, doesn't it? Sounds like a very special time, Denise.

    Can't wait to hear more.

  6. What a beautiful post! So many lives touched. Thank you for your very sweet and encouraging comments on my blog..thank you so much.

  7. Wow, Denise I am speechless with heartfelt emotion welling up inside me right now! I've been reading some of your posts from your trips and I am touched that you are able to reach out and minister in such a special way to those suffering with afflictions. What a wonderful gift you are giving them! I can tell by your words that you are overjoyed by this calling....thank you for answering the call! God is so good!!!

  8. Stopped back by to love on you this evening dear sister.

  9. What a beautiful reminder that life is in the climb not in remaining on the mountain!!

  10. My heart lives in the mountains. My feet are fixed in the valleys, and somewhere between the two, I search for the sustaining peace that will keep me moving ahead and looking forward.