Catching Our Breath in Ecuador
That is a funny title that could be a pun…as we live at 10,000 feet in the Andes Mountains and are often fighting to fill our lungs with air at this high altitude! But, the “catching our breath” that we are talking about is because of all the good things that God is busy doing here – the things that keep us running and forever needing to stop just to catch our breath.
We have been so busy “doing” that we have neglected to frequently report to you what is going on. We will be sending you updates over the next couple weeks to catch you up on OUR HOME life, OUR CHURCH life, and COTOPAXI TRAINING CENTER.
Today we will concentrate on updating you about OUR HOME and home life.
We moved to the “big city” of Quito three years ago to plant a church (La Fuente – more on that in the next post). We wanted to find a very large house so that we could hold church functions there, have our offices there, take in interns if needed, and have extra rooms for people that may need a place to stay for a while. Oh heavens! We really did not anticipate how full this house would be and how much we would stand back in awe as God used this place for His glory! Here’s a quick summary of the abundant blessings we have already shared in this house:
One of the three Community Groups from the church plant has met here nearly since day one. It has been amazing to hear the testimonies of God’s grace, love, rescuing power, and mercy every week as we gather to share the gospel and our lives together. Just last night, two women from two different back grounds gave testimony to how God had rescued them and given them the truth and given them family through La Fuente. Our “small group” grew to up to 30 people – all crammed into our living room – so we have now established two new leaders who will take half the crowd into another home beginning this week!
Every week the Community Group makes up and packages 300 sandwiches to be taken to one of the government hospitals the next day to show love and care and offer prayer to those who are waiting for desperately needed help. Every week, bags and bags of hand made love goes out from our home and Community to those who are suffering. Our counter tops are scuffed up, there are always crumbs in the cracked floors, and there are mountains of mayo bags in the fridge to remind us of the laughter and united purpose that happens here each week.
We have had five interns and too-many-to-count travelers and temporarily homeless friends pass through our doors and be a part of our community for a few days, weeks, or months. Huge thanks to Matt and Maria Hawn, Joe and Morgan Stein, and Emily Davidson for their months of help and encouragement…even when they had to stay in less-than-homey rooms.
Steve’s office is here, so there is nearly daily traffic in and out as he counsels, encourages, teaches, and instructs. He is also spending huge amounts of time studying for sermons and teachings, and strategizing for leadership training. On top of all that, he is nearly done with his Master’s program, and will graduate in May of 2014.
Sandi’s office/jewelry making studio is here, so that means that there is a constant buzz of creativity going on as she designs jewelry and lays out work for and instructs Leonor, who she has hired because Leonor was in desperate need of income to feed her family. Our home gets turned upside down for photo shoots that Sandi organizes in order to sell the products they make. You can follow Sandi’s cause (helping desperate women in Ecuador) here, and better yet – purchase the jewelry that supports the cause here!
Amie lives here too, and her office space is in the house as well. She keeps busy mainly with the finances…a huge help to a growing ministry!
Amie is now adopting two orphan siblings that were abandoned in the city a couple of years ago. Carin and Yvette are now officially foster children to Amie and she is pursuing official adoption. So we have two grandchildren here with us! Their lively voices and giggles have brought much stress relief to us all. You can follow Amie’s adoption process here.
And we have recently added another family to our household community. Leonor (who works for Sandi’s jewelry business) and her children have moved into a small studio apartment on one floor. They are a part of our daily household and family! We hope to help Leonor and her children on their way to a better life and to be the family to them that they do not have.
So…that’s a picture of our current busy home!
Next post will concentrate on OUR CHURCH: LA FUENTE
See you later this week! Oh, and please excuse our messy website…we are in the process of getting it updated with real working links!