Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1) It's rainy and cloudy and chilly today in Quito. I even noticed some fog this morning when we got up. It seems like it rained all night too (but I was sleeping, so I'm not sure).

2) It's good to have Santi back from the coast! Ten days is way too long to not have our husband and daddy around!

3) The two german shepherd dogs (actually puppies still - they will be one in May) on our property do some funny things - including trying to dig up grub worms (strange grubby looking bugs that live under the ground). They also wrestle with each other and growl at each other a lot - I guess that's normal for brothers, right?

4) HCJB recently had it's "spiritual emphasis" days - Jim Allen spoke on grace . . . .I was reminded to show lots of grace to those around me (cars who cut me off, cashiers who make errors, my kids, etc.) . . . .after all, I have been given a huge measure of grace by Jesus!

5) Santi is in the midst of a major change-over in the computer system at HCJB . . . . they are changing everything from Novell to something else (but I can't remember what is it). . . . he's working long hours - pray for him and the whole ISD team.

6) Extreme Response has hosted four teams this month. One team of high school students from Hawaii went to the Philippines to work with a ministry for street people. Santi was just with a team from PA who helped build a school in Pedernales - a coastal town here. And we have a team here in Quito from Omaha, Nebraska, who is helping build classrooms for a local school/church. And finally, we had a team from Canada working on another school project in a very poor neighborhood (Trujillo) near Lima, Peru. We love seeing God do amazing things through these teams!

7) Nathan and Isa actually played together quite nicely this morning. Yesterday, they fought like cats and dogs. Maybe it's all the good sleep they got last night? Maybe they just decided to like each other for a change. Who knows? Hard to read the minds of toddlers! I do wonder how they learn to be so awful sometimes though!

8) I need to do a post on my time in Pacoche, a coastal town where we did the 4-day ministry trip with our high school group. In the meantime, check out my photos on Facebook as I posted a ton of photos. I also need to share about Santi's time in Pedernales with the team from Calvary Church, PA.

9) Lots of cool events coming up in the next few weeks - our good friends, the Wendels, will be coming for a visit. Leader Mundial will host a leadership summit here in Quito for businessmen and ministry partners from around the world! We'll get to see people we haven't seen in a long time!

10) Nathan is pretty much obsessed with Buzz Lightyear right now.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

thank you for your prayers!

(Here's a photo of my shattered car window - read the story below!)

Today, I was reminded once again in a big way of how important our prayer team is to us! We are so grateful for the many people who are committed to praying for us individually, for our family and for our ministries! God is hearing your prayers!!!!

This morning, I was driving my usual 20 - 30 minute drive towards the offices of HCJB and Extreme Response. I planned to drop Nathan and Isa off at the little day care they go to and then go on to the HCJB offices for their first day of spiritual emphasis time with Jim Allen.

I was waiting at a stop light, minding my own business when all of a sudden the front passenger side window shattered! I couldn't figure out what happened as I hadn't seen anything (I actually thought that a rock hit it somehow) . . . but looking in my rearview mirror I saw a man dressed in a black gym suit running away! And it didn't take long for me to realize that someone had attempted to rob us! And there I was sitting in my car, with Nathan and Isa in the back seat in their car seats and my purse and computer sitting in the front seat where I always put it! (you can bet that I will now be putting those items on the floor in the least visible place!)

But God protected us in a big way! Many things to be grateful for:

1) the original owner of my car had put protective laminate sheets on all the windows for just this very thing. this is actually a pretty common occurrence in Quito - in fact, I know of at least three missionary ladies that this has happened to and their purses were snatched right through the window!

2) Praise God for that protective laminate!!!!

3) Praise God that none of us were hurt. I was actually quite shaken up once I realized what had and what could have happened. I've been kind of nervous all week long anyways as Santi is on the coast with a team from PA, working on a project there and I don't really like being home with the kids by myself! But I praise God for His protection (and for all your prayers!)

4) The window was shattered but not broken in so I didn't have to worry about having an open window while driving the rest of the way to the office.

5) ER staff members, Dan Maloy and Nick Carnill, helped me get my stuff (i.e. kids stuff, car seats, etc.) transferred to Santi's car (which was conveniently sitting at ER while Santi is out of town this week). And helped me get my car to the shop so that we can get the window replaced.

6) And I'm grateful that we do indeed have another car that I can use while mine gets fixed.

This is actually the second time within a month that a robbery attempt has been made on my car (which my car really is not a very nice car, but somehow it must be attractive to thieves). About a month ago, someone tried to steal the $3,500 computer that runs my car, but only got away with a $900 sensor! Again, God protected us from any harm!

So . . . the window is being replaced as I type this and you can bet that I asked for them to put another piece of laminate on the window! Turns out the laminate costs just as much as the window - but that doesn't matter - the security is worth it!

So to sum things up - we are blessed by your faithfulness in prayer for us! Please keep it up!!! We need your prayers!

1) Pray for us as Santi doesn't return home until Friday evening with the team.
2) Pray for safety for the team as they work in hot conditions on the coast (check out Santi's Facebook page for some photos of what they are doing!)
3) Pray for traveling mercies for the team as they travel to Quito on Friday
4) Pray for Nathan as he has been talking quite a bit about the "malo" (bad guy) who hit our window and mommy's broken car. Pray that I will transmit God's peace to him so that he's not upset any more!

Again - thank you!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Five on Friday!

I've decided to do a "Five on Friday" series - hopefully this will help me remember to post on our blog at least once a week! So here's my first installment!

1. As you can see in the above photos, Nathan and Isa are working on their skills for playing Ticket to Ride - one of our favorite games! They will be experts by the time they are old enough to play with mommy and daddy!

2. Ruth will be leaving tomorrow morning with our high school group to fly to the coastal city of Manta. . . .from there we have an hour bus ride to a small fishing village called Pacoche. There our group of 25 people (students and leaders) will provide a Kids Bible Club over the long weekend (it's Carnaval weekend here - Monday and Tuesday are holidays). We are expecting around 150 children and moms to show up to the four clubs we will be giving. We're doing a series on The Whole Armor of God and the children will be memorizing the passage from Ephesians 6:10 - 18. Our high school students are very excited about the trip and have done a great job preparing the Bible verses, songs and crafts. They even made a more-than-life-sized soldier for the various pieces of armor. Lots of fun! Santi will be staying home with Nathan and Isabella (his mom is going to come and help too!).

3. Ruth returns from the coast on Tuesday and Santi leaves the following day to drive to the coastal town of Pedernales, where he will spend 10 days with a team from Calvary Church (PA) working on a school construction project with a local church there. Pray that God will stretch the $3,000 in project funds a long way as they try to get as much done as possible! Please pray for this team from March 9 - 19!

4. It's been raining a lot here in Quito - almost every night, all night long, in fact! We're enjoying the cooler temperatures and green grass and our outside plants are growing! And we certainly can't complain - it's not the snow that everyone up north has been experiencing this winter!

5. We are grateful that a robbery attempt on Ruth's car wasn't 100% successful last week! We were at our missionary small group meeting at another friend's home and our car was parked out front along with several others. The robbers were trying to rob that "computer" that basically runs the car - something that is worth at least $3,500 here. They somehow unwired the car alarm (which is why we didn't notice anything going on), and managed to get under the hood and were working on cutting away all the electronics when something (or someone) must have interrupted them. They did get away with a sensor/wires which came out to be a $900 job, but thankfully they left the more expensive items! We are grateful for several things (trying to find the positive in this!): we weren't hurt in the robbery, our car was functional enough to drive down to the HCJB parking lot and then drive to the Chevy dealer down the street the next morning, and that they didn't damage any other things in the car (i.e. windows, alarm system, hood, wiring, etc.).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

HCJB Radio Ministry in Action!

God uses radio ministry around the world to reach people for Him! We are more and more aware of this as Santi continues providing technical support for the HCJB Global radio staff in Quito.

To read more about HCJB Global Voice and what God is doing in radio ministry, please click HERE!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mid - February Update

We are grateful to all of you for praying for us this year! We certainly need it with all the activities and life happenings going on . . . . here's a little update for you today!

Santi is home sick in bed today - we figured it was better that he didn't spread his germs around at the office and perhaps a day of rest will help his body recover more quickly.

Ruth is enjoying getting into the office about four times a week - just two hours or so each time, but it feels good to be more involved. Mostly she has been working on monthly calendars and updates for our staff around the world. And coordinating the crafts for the weekly Kids Club at the dump.

And then we are working on details and preparations for the annual ministry trip with our high school group. This year, our trip will be March 5 - 8. We will travel to a small coastal down called Pacoche (near Manta) and do a Kids Club for approximately 150 children in this community. This is our fourth year going to this village and it's amazing to see how the local church has grown as a result of this Kids Club which is now running on a regular basis every Tuesday afternoon . . . . and another one on Sunday morning with 100 regular attendees! Can you believe that? I'm looking forward to sharing photos after the trip. Santi will be staying home to take care of Nathan & Isabella while I go with the group.

Santi continues to stay busy with technical support for HCJB's radio staff. He enjoys his work as he is able to use his computer skills while also helping people out! He has joined me this year on Wednesday afternoon at the Kids Club at the dump and we have enjoyed doing that ministry together.

Nathan and Isabella are growing up! Nathan is now three and talks all the time. He likes to report to daddy all the things that mommy did during the day! He keeps me on my toes, that's for sure! Isabella is a happy little girl - usually waking up with a smile and she's happiest doing whatever her brother is doing at the time. (that is, if he lets her!). Our normal activities include going to play group at another missionary's house on Wednesday mornings, using water color paints (Nathan does well with this, Isa is still trying to figure it out), playing with PlayDoh, and watching Veggie Tales. They sure keep mommy busy!

We continue to go to the Hogar Betania on Sunday. One dear lady, Rosa, recently passed away. She suffered for a long time after a stroke that she had a couple of years ago. We know that she loved Jesus and is in heaven enjoying seeing Him face to face.

Well, Isa is awake now, so I must close. Thank you for all your prayers, love, concern, words of encouragement and faithful monthly support! We are very grateful!

If you want to see more family photos, be sure to befriend us on Facebook!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Changing Lives - Extreme Response Christmas

We have talked often about how exciting it is in December when we participate in Extreme Response's Christmas Outreach in Ecuador! It's a huge privilege. Many of you pray, give and even come! We want to thank you for being a part of changing lives, one by one.

Here is a glimpse of what it's like . . . .

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another Changed Life

One of our Extreme Response board members, Tim Fausch, is writing a series about Changed Lives . . . how lives around the world are being changed through Extreme Response. Sometimes it's our own lives, those of us who come to serve and minister, that are being changed. And other times, it's the lives of those we want to help.

Here is a photo from our recent Dump Christmas party in December of Santi and a man by the name of John Mason, who lives here in Quito with his family. He is works in a very demanding job but he still wanted his family to be involved in reaching out and their lives have been changed because of it . . . . . to read more of his story, please click HERE!