BY: DIANA CASCANTE
“I had zero intention or idea or thought of living or working here,” says Greg Collord. He was referring to his fist visit to Ecuador in May 1990.
Today Greg Collord is completing he 22nd year at Alliance Academy and plans to leave when the school year ends.
Twenty two years ago, after enjoying lunch with his good friends Randy and Joy Newburn, they took him to AAI’s principal. He did not know if coming to Ecuador was what God was calling him to do.
It was confirmed by the ones he loves: his parents. They knew God had a different reason for this trip.
With this confirmation, his life in Ecuador started with American Airlines’ first flight which brought him to Quito on August 1st 1990.
After this the freshman and sophomores attended his Bible classes. Collord was always making the offer and letting students respond if they were interested in going out of coffee or ice cream.
This is his method of connecting. This is the way he gets to treat his students and love on them.
But why is going to Burger King, like he did with Dave Saavedra when he was a student, so important? Because it is “more informal; there is more talking” and it is a way of “breaking the ice.”
“He truly and legitimately cares about each person. He is willing to listen to
any sort of things that is going on in out lives,” says Matt Bowen, who has known Greg for three years.
“I try to listening mostly, my wish is that they would talk to me,” says Greg Collord.
That is exactly how people feel around him.
“His time with me is intentional with quality time…Greg is wise and I love learning from him, “said Tully Douce, a students who gets lunch with him regularly.
He mentors students who are now at Alliance, but wants to keep friendships with guys who want to stay in contact after graduating.
Their friendships are what make up some of the highlights of his years here, friendships that go as far as 1990.
Even though it’s far more difficult, they Skype, write and try to get together as many times as possible.
He has kept friendships with people like Nathan Marshal, who graduated in 2010. He met Greg his first year in high school.
“I had just come out of middle school and was heading down the wrong path. Thankfully our friendship developed quickly which led to him giving me a helping hand out of the ditch.”
Greg Collord care so much about every person, he wants to reach out and love those around him. He is very purposeful like Marshall said, “He wants to know what’s going on in your mind and in your heart; he wants to help you think through anything.”
He not only loves mentoring kids, he loves to see them grow through different ministries.
“Watching kids who really fell in love with children, especially at Baca Ortiz, hurting children…compassion grew within them,” Collord said, referring to one of the highlights of leading the Campana Cocha Clan.
He sees CSO as a time when students get to “lead, mentor and minister.”
“Watching as people caught fire in Campana Cocha,” and the fire grew into what they will be doing the rest of their lives is something more than noteworthy for him.
Working as the Alumni Director, he opens his office door for students to get tea and coffee on the cold and rainy days, and for rest on weary days, because that “makes people feel good.”
He is very welcoming and open,” said Kyndal Nichols, “After a couple of weeks it seemed like I had known him for a long time.”
In July his mother will be ninety years old, and he will be helping her in California. Apart from that, he will still be the school’s Alumni Director, as well as a mentor for college students.
As Collord prepares to leave he reflects on what he will miss from AAI. When asked this he said he will miss the kids he won’t get to spend time with the next year.
Yet some things he won’t miss are the noise, car alarms, jets flying over and specially being away from family to celebrate the season at home. He certainly won’t miss getting sick his first month here after eating the Fruiti Burguer Bar when he just got here.
As he reflects on the next years, he has a desire for our school and the teachers here.
“I wish that every faculty and staff member could invest the time and effort into mentoring students like a few of us do. That is my number one wish.”
After twenty two years of being part of Alliance’s community, he sat in front of his laptop on his black chair and said, “Within two years most people here won’t even remember who I am. Nobody is all that important.”
But the impact he has made on the kids he has mentored WILL and is having an eternal impact.