Friday, March 31, 2006

Request for feedback

I know it's been a while since we really had put anything (I guess you all know about the computer problem and we've been super-busy as well.) I finally made up for the sabbatical and put a few posts on today and yesterday.
Now I want to kindly ask that you all would put comments in the comment section...we really enjoy hearing from you. It is kind of boring when we don't hear anything...let us know what you are thinking about the pictures or whatever. We really appreciate it and we look forward to receiving your comments. If you have a question about how to put a comment on, feel free to email us.

My sad futbol (soccer) career

Here are some pictures from a couple of my soccer games. I am playing on an intramural team here at the University. Let's just say that God has made it abundantly clear that God has called me to Himself and to missions, not to soccer.
Here is a rundown of our season...
1st game-8-0, 2nd game-4-3, our best game and a game which we should've tied, 3rd game-4-0, 4th game-10-1, a game in which our goalkeeper didn't show up and even if he had, it wouldn't have been all that pretty. Thankfully, we have one more game left before being put out of our misery. I don't mean to sound so negative because it has been a fun and a great way to meet people. Also, Christine has been a faithful cheerleader.

Here is a picture of me trying my hand at goalkeeper for the last couple of minutes of the game (after about 3 or 4 other teammates tried). Fortunately, they didn't score any more goals on me. However, I accidentally scored a goal for the other team at an earlier point in the game (an own goal). As you can see things went from bad to worse. First, we were losing horribly. Then with each goal, the other team would celebrate in grand fashion. Then, it started pouring down for the last 15 minutes of the game. To top it off, my attitude was not what it needed to be. Eventually, I worked through it with God's help and hopefully learned something. In the words of a great Andrew Peterson song, "Well, I realize that falling down ain't graceful, But I thank the Lord that falling's full of grace."

Greetings from Mitad del Mundo

Mitad del Mundo, that's Middle of the World (the Equator) to the layperson. Anyways, we took a little trip here last Sunday and it was quite nice. They had experiments here and taught us about the culture of the ancient people that lived in the area. One interesting experiment consisted of draining a container of water on the equator and then a few feet south and then north of it. Right on the equator, the water, when drained would go straight down. South of the equator, the swirl of the draining water would go one way and the north, the opposite way (I don't remember which one was which.)

Saturday in the Park

Here are some pictures from a recent trip Parque Carolina (It is one of the largest parks and is really nice) in Quito.

This first picture is from the botanical garden, where they were having a orchid show.

Here are a couple of pictures from a nice horse ride in the park. It was pretty fun, mostly they just walked slowly, trotted some and galloped rarely.

Next, are a couple of pictures of the giant catepillar ride that took around the park.

This one was taken from the giant catepillar.

Watch your step

We still haven't worked out the computer problem yet (I am writing this post from the University). Anyways...just wanted to post an interesting picture.
Sometimes, you might just want to watch your step. As you can see, this manhole is missing its' cover. One misstep and you could fall about 6 feet down, but hopefully the trash at the bottom would break your fall. If anybody spots a missing manhole cover, please call 1-800-praydailyforthehaleys. This manhole is on a sidewalk in our neighborhood, but now there is another one like it in the middle of the road. (Be careful when driving in Primavera.)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

New Post

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are alive and kicking. Christine is on a ladies retreat in Cuenca, which is several hours south of here. I also wanted to inform you all that I found out the reason we haven't been able to post pictures here on our blog (I haven't fixed the problem yet, but I now know that the problem lies with our computer and not our internet connection). Anyways, things have been going well. We sure have a lot of pictures we would like to post. We were finally able to post some from a neighbor's house and that is also where I found the source of our computer problem. I wanted to let you know we have a new post with pictures, it is dated March 19, which is when we started working on it, but weren't able to complete it till now, when we put the pictures on.
I don't know too much to say...we are continuing with studies and getting to know people. Also, I have worked to plant a garden here. That helped it to feel like spring, even though we don't have seasons here (except rainy and dry). We have peppers (bell and chile), tomatoes (only two things that money can't buy, that's true love and homegrown tomatoes-has anybody heard this song "homegrown tomatoes"?) we also have strawberries. All of this is in addition to fruit trees that are in our yard, along with various flowers that we have planted. Hope we can put pictures of the garden on here some time.
By the way, I was kind of disappointed with the response to the last post about favorite albums...please give us some feedback, not just on that post, but in general...we love hearing your comments and thoughts. Email us if you have any questions about how to post comments (
Now I for a random occurrence that you wouldn't think would happen every day...tonight, I ate at a Chifa (a Chinese restaraunt). They have quite a few of these in many places. Well, I spoke in Spanish with the Chinese girl that was working there...don't know why, but it just seemed kind of strange (guess this is representative of the global community in which we live).
Now, to close with a special verse that I read recently-Isaiah 57:15-"For this is what the high and lofty One says-he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly and spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."' The thing that I find amazing about this verse, is that it teaches about the character and position of God-not only is He high, exalted, and Almighty...he is also humble, and will remain with the humble as well. He is our friend, he wants relationship with us-that is what we were created for. Our God is not distant and out of reach, he loves us and he humbled himself by sending his Son to us to rescue us.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Favorite Albums and Update

First, the update...the presentation went pretty well. Thank you all for praying. The main thing was that I finished but had to rush because I was running out of time. There was still a pretty good discussion. I hope more discussions will follow.

Next, is a discussion topic I want to start with you all and it has to do with favorite music or albums. Now, I am letting you know up front that this requires your full participation. The idea behind this is asking everyone their favorite albums (at least one, but up to five) and letting you all know what ours are. The idea comes from Johnny Cash's autobiography "Cash." In it, he talks about what albums he would bring with him if he was stranded on a deserted island. We will start now with albums, then go on to books and movies.
Here are mine (Ben's)-these albums also happen to represent my top five singers/bands...obviously, they come highly recommended.
1. Johnny Cash-'American Recordings'-1994
2. Chris Rice-'Smell the Color 9'-2001
3. Rich Mullins-'Songs', not too far behind would be his 'Jesus Record'
4. U2-"All that you can't leave behind'-2000
5. Keith Green-'The Ministy Years, Volume 2, 1980-82'
bonus-Randy Travis-'Inspirational Journey', 2001.

1. U2-'Best of 1990-2000'
2. Ace of Base-'The Sign'
3. Artur Rubenstein-'The Chopin Collection, The Nocturnes'
4. Dido-'No Angel'
Please respond to this and let us know what you think of our favorite albums. Just click on the comments section at the bottom of this entry and then write your name and comment and then click enter.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

No pictures & prayer requests

This is just a quick note to let everyone know that although we have internet, there is a problem that we cannot post pictures here on our website. We hope this problem will be worked out and then we will be able to post pictures on the blog again.
*Next, I have 2 important prayer requests. The first thing I am asking you all to pray for is that I have a speech in one of my Spanish classes this next Wednesday, March 22. I am basically going to try to give the basics of Bible history with an emphasis on the life of Jesus. Just pray that God will help me write this out and then deliver it. Also, pray for the people that will be hearing this. By the way, it will all be in Spanish and will be at 12:30 pm eastern stand. time (11:30 central stand. time) on Wednesday, March 22.
*Secondly, today, March 21 a good friend of ours is having his birthday. Pray that God will bless and watch over him and his family. His name is Angel and we have also started a Bible study with him and his family recently.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Our Home-by Christine

We are getting settled in our lovely house. We really appreciate your prayers for us! We wanted to show you some of the features of our new home.
Blue gas canisters: one for the stove, one for the hot water. (When we have water.) Some homes have a special cabinet for the one by the stove. But we get to see ours in all its blazing blue glory.

Glass shard-lined wall: the ultimate in security. This is truly the most common barrier around houses. That and scary, half-starved dogs.

Tobacco plant: growing wild in the back yard (No, we haven't dried it and smoked it.)

Washer: we do have an electric one outside, too! This is the traditional way to wash clothes but I haven't done it.

Dryer: we do also have a clothesline (which is handy anytime but rainy season – now until June)!

Ode to Texas: we wanted Ben to feel as at home as possible.


We wanted to assemble a list of some things that are different from the United States so that you can catch a glimpse of what life is like here. We have divided this into three categories.

1. Things you can buy in a plastic bag
(like a glorified sandwich baggie)
mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup
jelly, jam, marmalade
milk (good for 48 hours)
cream (good for nearly a week)
chips (homemade potato and banana)
peanut butter

2. Things that do not require refrigeration
milk (in cardboard box, good for 5 years unopened)
margarine (if you do refrigerate it, it becomes impossible to use)
fried hog heads and deflated carcasses for sale on the side of the road (refer to photo several postings ago)

3. Things to do from the back of a vehicle
sell homemade pastries, turnovers, tamales
sell vegetables, fruits, fish heads
sell pirated copies of CDs or DVDs
pick up and deliver dry cleaning (driving around neighborhood playing annoying music for publicity)
buy old scrap metal (driving around neighborhood with megaphone announcement for publicity)
trade in/out blue gas canisters (driving around neighborhood honking for publicity)
haul 7 people around (especially old ladies and small children)
move furniture (precariously tied in with old ropes)
haul trash and trash collectors
transport flowers and gardening supplies
throw water at pedestrians during Carnaval (sort of like Mardi Gras)
sell soft-serve ice cream cones for 25 cents

We have Internet-and there was much rejoicing!

Here's a little Robert Browning with a little personal adaptation...
God is in his heaven
all's right with the world
and we finally have internet

I can hardly believe that we have it. That means we will be able to do a little more with the blog and with emails. The technician was supposed to come on Thursday, but didn't all day. Then, he came right on time on Friday. I guess that's the way it goes. We are just glad to have it now. I guess this is all for now about the internet, but we do hope to add some more pictures and updates.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Well, the rainy season is in full swing now. A Forrest Gump quote comes to mind-"We got all kinds of rain. Stinging rain, big old fat rain, and rain that seemed to come right up from the bottom." I don't know if I've ever seen so much rain in all of my life, except maybe during rainy seasons in Uganda-and even then, I think we are getting more here all at once.
Next, are some song lyrics I've been wanting to share...they deal both with South America and the rain. I just thought the song was kind of interesting. I wish there was a way I could put it on here. I may try to do that later on.
The Land of the Free-Andrew Peterson
Little Elba how’s the sun in South America? does it shine upon the faces of the poor? do they see in it the brilliance of the place that’s been prepared and dwell upon the hope of what’s in store?
Or are they just like me? do they only see an opportunity to complain about the heat?
Little Elba, how’s the rain in South America? Does it fall upon the rooftops of the sick? Do they thank the Lord for coming up with such a great idea and dream about a place beyond all this? Or are they just like us? do they gripe and fuss about the rain and mud when they’ve had too much?
‘Cause I’m just a little jealous of the nothing that you have, unfettered by the wealth of a world that we pretend is gonna last, they say God blessed us with plenty, I say you’re blessed with poverty ‘cause you never stop to wonder whether earth is just a little better than the Land of the Free
well, I’m weary of the spoils of my ambition and I’m shackled by the comfort of my couch, I wish I had the courage to deny these of myself and start to store my treasure in the clouds
‘Cause this is not my home I do not belong where the antelope and the buffalo roam, and I’m just a little jealous of the freedom that you have, unfettered by the wealth of a world that we pretend is gonna last, they say God blessed us with plenty I say you’re blessed with poverty ‘cause you never stop to wonder whether earth is just a little better than the Land of the Free.
so I hope you’re safe and dry in South America ‘cause I’m feeling pretty good in Tennessee, may you never be so happy you forget about your home...Your home in the Land of the Free.

Just a thought about some lyrics from this song...a couple of days ago we were out in this small town having a meeting with some church leaders. We were just having casual conversation, talking about the weather. I said that it was raining (demasiado) or too much. He then went on to tell me that the corn really needs the rain and that we should be thanking God for all the rain that we are getting. Now that put things in perspective! Here I am complaining about having to walk out in the rain cause it gets me wet and there are crops that are depending on the rain for their survival. By the way, the reference to the land of the free is not just to America, especially in the last line.
Here is a picture of a rainy and foggy day in Quito that I took a while back.
Now a scripture verse about rain...
(Psalm 147:8)-He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Random Pictures

These are just some random pictures that I've been wanting to put on. This first one is of some boys that we saw on the way to Cuicocha during Carnival. The university we are attending is having a photography contest and I'm thinking about putting this one in. The category of the contest is "Ecuadorian Reality."What do y'all think?
This is a picture that I took in a town here in the valley. The name of the town is Yaroqui. Just thought this picture was kind of a cool.

Here a couple of pieces of America in Ecuador.

*Urgent prayer request...I am asking that everyone would pray for some friends that we met yesterday. Their names are Ramiro and Eleanor. Ramiro has cancer and the situation is not looking good right now. He is at home now and his wife, Eleanor, has been caring for him. Pray for complete healing and that they will be drawn close to God in this time. We are hoping to see them again tomorrow.
Hope you are continuing to pray for us. Feel free to leave any comments or email us any time.


These first three pictures are from a crater area that we went to on the way to Pacto. Pacto is about two hours northwest of Quito and we went there a couple of weeks ago. How do you like the fuzzy horse-like creature? I think he's a donkey, but I'm not sure.
The next two pictures were taken in Pacto. The one on the right is my tribute to Uganda, as it is a photo of banana and coffee trees (2 of the main ag. products of Uganda)
Here is a picture of a waterfall that we hiked to.
Amos 5:24-But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Terraza/Ilalo Pictures

Here is a picture from our terraza, or roof. It is a flat area on top of the house. We hope to put some chairs, a table, and a grill up there. The house has some really nice views of the surrounding mountains as these pictures demonstrate.

Here is a picture of 'Ilalo,' a mountain that isn't too far from our house. I (Ben) am hoping to climb it sometime soon. I will try to put pictures and a report on the blog after I do it. (This picture was also taken from our terraza.)
This is another picture of 'Ilalo' that was taken on a cloudier day on the way down into the valley from Quito. The picture also shows the town of Cumbaya, just before the mountain. It is really awesome to see the clouds so close. That is why one of my nicknames for Ecuador is 'the land of the clouds.' This sight brought to mind the following verses...(Psalm 104:31-33)-May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


(Psalm 36.5-6)-Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
(Isaiah 2.3)-Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Mt. Cotopaxi-I had posted another picture of her a couple entries back, but this picture was clearer and a bit nicer. What is amazing is the way that we saw it, I guess it was kind of like last time, a tremendous surprise. We saw it one day on a stretch of road going back to Quito. A stretch of road we had passed on dozens of times and had never seen Cotopaxi at all, and then there it was, a pleasant surprise. The moutain is about 30 miles away from Quito. The elevation of Cotopaxi is 5,897 m or 19,347 ft., by the way, the white stuff on top of the moutain is snow. (Click on picture to enlarge).

Monday, March 06, 2006


This is a picture from when we went to Cuicocha last week. We went with the Calvert family and had a really good time. By the way, Cuicocha means lake of the edible guinea pigs. We didn't get to indulge in the tasty rodent treat on this trip, but I (Ben) hope to another time. We did eat trout and fries at a restaraunt overlooking the lake. We also went on a small hike and to a arts & crafts market. One of the highlights was that an indigenous band came to play their music. It is really beautiful and I hope to figure out a way to put a link to one of their songs somewhere on the blog.

Here is a picture of the band... Have to leave for now, we are being kicked out of the computer lab here at school. I hope to add some more pictures later.