Over winter break my friend, McKenna Cook, and I embarked on a journey to Ecuador that we will never forget. Prior to our departure, we were overwhelmed by the love and support from our fellow friends and family. Therefore, upon our arrival from Ecuador, I wrote a thank you note to my supporters expressing my gratitude for their generosity as well as filling them in on all that God did through McKenna and I on the trip.

I am sharing this letter to not only share part of my experience with you, but also to encourage you. I want to encourage you to find what it is that you are truly passionate about and then pursue it whole-heartedly. Nothing in this world can make you feel more satisfied than when you are pursuing what you love most. So, today I encourage you to find what it is you are passionate about (maybe even write it down) and start thinking about how you might pursue it. In my case I went to a foreign country. However, that might not be what you feel lead to do, and that is okay. You can make an impact in the world right here in Winona; even the things that seem small can make the biggest difference. My hope is that you feel encouraged by this, go on to pursue your unique passions, and in the end you can sit down to write a note of all that was done through you. But not just that, I hope you feel overwhelmed by how your unique passion was used to bless someone else.

Erin Kloepping (right) and McKenna Cook (left) climbing the bell towers of a Bascillica in Quito, Ecuador.

 

Dear Friends and Family,

On December 11, 2015, my best friend and I embarked on an adventure to pursue our passions in videography, ministry, travel, and non-profit organizations. I am writing you to express my gratitude for your support of my most recent trip to the beautiful country of Ecuador. Without your prayers and monetary support this trip would not have been possible.

On this trip God used my friend, McKenna, and I to bless the people of Ecuador in ways we never thought possible. To be honest, we did not actually have an itinerary describing what exactly we were going to be doing on this trip before we left the country. In fact, that was actually our plan in itself. On this trip McKenna and I learned a lot about what it looks like to live a life outside of ourselves; being selfless. We wanted to demonstrate that kind of life on this trip by being the hands and feet of Jesus in whatever way we could. It was amazing how full our week quickly became when we just laid down our own plans and offered a hand wherever one was needed.

Our focus on this trip was to capture God’s work in Ecuador through the use of videography. We were blown away by how much of an impact our cameras made in the lives of many missionaries in Ecuador. Currently we are working on editing six videos that we gathered footage for on our trip, and once they are finished they will be shared across many social media platforms to raise support for the missionaries and their organizations there.

McKenna and I did more than just videography work on this trip. We did many different jobs ranging from a product photo shoot of the jewelry that was made by Sandi Youngren, to teaching her how to use Instagram. Sandi Youngren sells beautiful, handcrafted jewelry to bring hope and support to Ecuadorian women in need. Encantadora Jewelry is the name of her business and she has an Etsy site where you can find all of her stunning jewelry for sale. I would encourage you to check out her site at https://www.etsy.com/shop/QueEncantadora or like her Facebook page called Encantadora Jewelry.

I am incredibly grateful for the love and support you gifted me with on this adventure. I definitely left my heart in Ecuador and I cannot wait to return again soon to see all of the wonderful people that I have created lifelong friendships with. Please know that your investment in my experience has been a huge blessing and an answer to prayer in my life, and for that I could never thank you enough.

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Erin Kloepping

Erin was the Blog Manager before she graduated in 2019 with a BA in Communications and minors in Mass Communications and Training and Development. Erin is from Brodhead, WI and her interests include visiting unique coffee shops, collecting all things vintage, traveling and filmmaking.