Monday, May 29, 2006


This is just a quick note to let you know that the time with the volunteers is going really well. I will try to post more info and pictures later on. Just keep praying for the us, the volunteers and the people they will be coming into contact with. Thanks again and God bless.
Now, I'd like to put a quote from 'Through the Gates of Splendor' by Elisabeth Elliot (a book about the 5 missionaries that were martyred by the Waorani). This is a book that I have been reading recently and it comes highly recommended.
This quote comes from Pete Fleming, who was one of the 5 guys, and is from a letter that he wrote shortly before sailing (don't we have it nice now, not having to sail!) to Ecuador. "Remember the last few verses of 1 Corinthians 3: 'For all things are yours...and you are Christ's; and Christ is God's.' Throughout all our personality we are God's, and since God has made our whole selves, there is great joy in realizing who is our Creator. This realization is to permeate every area and level of life. In appreciation of beauty, mountains, music, poetry, knowledge, people, science-even in the tang of an apple-God is there, to reflect the joy of His presence in the believer who will realize God's purposes in all things."

Friday, May 26, 2006

Different pictures

Here are some different pictures that I wanted to share...
The first one is of the group of church leaders and members that have been meeting in Las Palmeras every Monday night for the last three months or so. We have gone over the book of Acts and talked about starting churches and Bible studies. It has been a great opportunity to know the people there and we look forward to working with them in the future.

This next picture was taken out at Las Palmeras after the Bible study there. We heard a sheep baa-ing and then it ran in the church and then this boy picked it up and they went away. Just thought this picture was kind of interesting.
This last picture was taken of the birthday girl on her special day. Thank you all for emails/e-cards and greeting.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Yaroqui & La Merced

Now for some pictures and prayer requests for 2 other towns that the volunteers will be going to.
I don't have too many pictures from La Merced, but here is one. This lady and her son (Mercedes and Santiago) live there and are involved with the La Merced church start. They also live and work at the Baptist camp that is there on the edge of the town.
Pray specifically for the church that will be starting in La Merced. Their first service will be this next Sunday, May 28. Pray that the church will have a strong foundation in the Word of God and will be Spirit-filled. Pray that they will reach out to the community with the love of Christ and pray that strong disciples of Christ will be made. The volunteers will be in La Merced on May 28, will take part in the service there and then have a kids carnival afterwards and then come back to La Merced on Wed., May 31. Pray specifically for these places and the volunteers on these days.
Now for Yaroqui ...
Here are a couple of pictures from Yaroqui. One is a nice one with Mt. Cotopaxi in the background and the other one was taken at a school where the volunteers will host the kids carnival. Pray that the volunteers visit will go smoothly. Pray that home Bible studies will be started. Mostly, pray that God will go before us and behind us, but mostly with us.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Alangasi is another one of the towns that the volunteers will be coming to see and work in. They will be going there on Friday, June 2. Now, for some pictures and prayer requests. By the way, we posted more pictures of Alangasi on February 25, so you are welcome to check those out. We have found a local Christian church there and plan on working with them. There was a lady that hooked us up with a place to have the kids carnival. We met her mother who became one of the first believers in the area and faced some persecution, especially early on. People piled rocks in front of her shop and threatened to burn her house down. She has a pretty amazing testimony.
Here is a picture of the town square with the Catholic church.
Here is a picture of a mother with her child in a store.
Here is a picture of Luis with his child in a bakery that I got some sweets at.

Here is a picture of the site where the volunteers are going to host the kids festival.

Prayer Requests

I would say in general, the prayer requests mentioned in the last post about Guangopolo would be about the same. Just pray that God's word would be spread, believed and followed. Pray that contacts could be made for home Bible studies that would be started after the volunteers leave. Pray that we will see God's hand move in amazing ways and bring great changes to this town. Other towns the volunteers will be going to will be Yaroqui and La Merced. You all can pray the same things for these areas. I hope to put pictures of these places on soon.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Christine!

I just want to wish Christine a happy birthday and let everyone know that this is her special day. Please pray for her, our marriage and our ministry on this special day. We would greatly appreciate it. Thank you and God bless.


Hello everyone once again. Now I would like to post some pictures from one of the towns that the volunteer team will be coming to next week from May 28-June 2. The 1st town I will be sharing about is Guangopolo which is located at the base of Mt. Ilalo and it takes about 20-30 minutes to get there from our house, depending on how many cows are in the road. It is a nice little town that we have spent a bit of time in. We have talked with the locals and they have told us quite a few legends and stories associated with Ilalo. The place was formerly a craft center for something known as 'cedazos.' These were juice strainers or flour sifters that were made out of woven horse hair. This used to be quite a big industry but now there is only one family that is still making these and other crafts made out of woven horse hair. The volunteers will be going there on Tuesday, May 30. They will be visiting the people there and then having a carnival for the kids in the afternoon. Now, for the pictures and prayer requests...
Here is an aerial view of the town of Guangopolo that was taken from the top of Mt. Ilalo. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see the spires of the Catholic church. Here is a picture of a view of Ilalo from town.

Here is a picture of the plaza or town square along with the Catholic church.
Here is a picture of one of the houses that is on the town square.

Here is a picture of the soccer field where the volunteers are going to host the kids carnival.

Here is a picture of our friend, Maribel. We met her last Friday at the cedazo place, where they make crafts from woven horse hair.
Here is a picture of the Christian Church. We have met the people here and plan on working with them.

Prayer Requests
1. Pray for the people in Guangopolo that are living their lives in fear. People fear spirits that live on the mountain, fear financial difficulties, fear health problems with limited medical care and fear not doing enough to appease God or the Virgin. Pray that they would find peace, freedom and joy in a relationship with God.
2. Along with this idea, pray that the people in Guangopolo would be able to have a living and vital relationship with God instead of following a religion. The idea here is that religion is man's effort at trying to reach God, but a relationship with God is when God reaches out to us and we respond.
3. Pray against barriers that have kept people from hearing the good news about Jesus.
4. Pray for the families of Guangopolo, that they would be united with the love of God. Pray against the problems that are common to many areas of Ecuador: alcoholism, adultery, men having to leave to find work elsewhere, desintegration of the family.
5. Pray for our new friend, Maribel and her family. One day last week, we had been praying that God would lead us to people who are seeking Him. While visiting a cedazo and handicrafts shop, I asked her if she knew of any stories associated with Mt. Ilalo. She went on to tell us several. After that, she admitted that she had been crying when we arrived and wondering if there were any point to life since she has been through so many problems. She said she was grateful to God for sending us to buy a couple of things because then she had enough money to buy her son a small birthday cake. We told her that our entering her shop demonstrates that God really cares about her situation. Maribel said that she is trying to understand God and would like to have hope. Christine spent more than an hour talking with her and listening. Please pray that everything we talked about will soon make sense to her so she can experience God's hope.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Wildlife Refuge

While we were in Shell, we went to a wildlife refuge and here are a couple of pictures from my time there. I still hope to put some more pictures on later.
No, this is not a picture of the 'Crocodile Hunter' and I'm not a member of the 1st Upright Holiness Snake-handling church of Cut Shin, Kentucky (an actual town). Yes, it is a boa constrictor. No, I didn't get hurt, it was a little weird, though.
Here was the pet monkey of the wildlife refuge. She was really funny, her name is Rebecca. Here is a picture of her dancing, jumping around and generally terrorizing this rooster. It was really quite funny. She also did summersaults and followed us around and let us hold her. Guess this is all for now but I hope to post more later on. Please keep praying for us and the way that God will work in our lives and in the lives of the Ecuadorian people.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Trip to Shell

Now I would like to post some pictures and an update about my (Ben) trip to Shell this last weekend. I went with my supervisor Phil and his son, and another co-worker Frank Lamca and his three sons. Shell is southeast of Banos and is at the gateway to the Amazon basin. We had a nice drive down there. We ended up going to Nate Saint's house. He is one of 5 missionaries that were martyred by the Waorani indigenous people group back in the 50's. We also went to the airstrip where they took off and we met some missionaries that are working there now. They took us on a tour of the hangar, explained about some of the work that is being done now, and took us on a tour of the house.
Here is a picture of us with the house. Touring the area really inspired me to read the account of what happened (Through the Gates of Splendor) which was written by one of the men's wives that survived. Here is a basic account of what I know of what happened. There is a indigenous people group known as the Waorani. They were known as a warring nomadic tribe that had never heard about Jesus or the good news about him. There were 5 young missionaries and their families that moved to the area and learned about the Waorani culture. They tried to make contact with the group but were killed in the end. The amazing thing is that the story did not end there. Family members of those that were martyred went back to the tribe and continued to share the message. Many of the members believed and shared the message with others. Even some of the men that killed the missionaries went to ask for forgiveness for what they had done. What an amazing story of redemption, grace, and forgiveness. Now, I would like to put some lyrics from a song that talks about these events.
'No Greater Love' by Steven Curtis Chapman
Man of courage with your message of peace, What is that look in your eyes?, Why have you come to this faraway place? What is this story you would lay down your life to tell? What can of love can this be? chorus-There is no greater love than this, There is no greater gift that can ever be given, To be willing to die so another might live, There is no greater love than this
Broken hearted from all you have lost, How can you sing through your tears? What is this music that can bear such a cost? What is this fire that grows stronger against the wind? What kind of flame can this be?
This is the love that God showed the world, When he gave us His Son, So we could know His love forever, Beyond the gates of splendor

at the end of the song there is some chanting which is done by Mincaye who is one of the men who killed the missionaries-here is a translation of his song-'The Creation/Heaven Song'-God, creating from nothing, has made all the things around us. While our hearts are beating and we are alive, let's all believe. Believe without being afraid. I also to God's place am going. We believers are going to God's place. Let us all believe that. How can it be that we will go? If we are clean in our hearts, the let's be out of here. We, the believing ones, shall go up to God's place. All of us believers who are still living, we will be saying to ourselves, 'we want to go up to God's place.'
John 15:13-'Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.'
Here is a picture of a basket that the missionaries used to lower gifts to the Waorani as they were establishing contact with them. There are also some headphones they used and a Life article that was published after their death. I saw that 2 of the men were 28 just as I am now. All of them had families and children as well. What a sacrifice but also what a great story of redemption. The same as Jesus dying on the cross for us. It seemed to be a defeat but in the end was victory.

I will try to put some more pictures from the trip on next time.

Friday, May 12, 2006

It is finished!

The title of this blog is what I sent in a text message to Christine after my last final exam. My academic career is officially over, thank God. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to study Spanish here. I have really learned a lot but I will be glad to have more time to focus on work and everything else.
Well, I posted a picture of the flooded road in one of the last posts but that was nothing compared to what we went through yesterday. Sorry I don't have a picture to post here-1. We didn't have a camera with us, 2. We were to busy praying and just trying to get through. The water was rushing down this hill in a flash flood and was at least 2-3 feet deep. It filled the road, was overflowing on the sidewalks and going into the shops on the side of the road. We saw cars stalled out and floating away a bit. Fortunately, God carried us through.
Today, I was riding the bus home and I saw something very interesting. I really wish I had an actual photo to post of what I saw. I guess I will learn that I should carry a camera with me at all times. Anyways, I saw a small shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Quinche (one of the many Virgins of Ecuador) with the Divino Nino (the divine baby Jesus). The shrine was built into the front of the bus and at the bottom of this little shrine there was a small light bulb that would light up every time the driver hit the brakes. Just picture a statue of the picture on the left in a little box with a light bulb. On another bus, I saw a picture of a bikinied babe right by a picture of the Holy Family!

our friend

At about 1:30 on Wednesday night our friend Ramiro passed away. Please be in prayer for his wife and his family. Pray that they would have peace and comfort in this time. His wife is staying with us now. Pray for her as she cleans the house and gets ready to leave (she is from the UK and is planning on going back there.) Thank God Ramiro was ready and at peace with his Maker. We all can be ready as well, praise God.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

late night

Ok, it's late I should be studying (I have a final in language class on fri.-guess the grade doesn't really count, but I do want to learn and do my best) or sleeping. I was just looking through different blogs and now I want to post one here.
First, I want to share a couple of language blunders that I made today. We were at a travel agent's office and I asked how much a 'volante' or steering wheel to the U.S. would cost instead of a 'vuelo' or flight. Next, I guess Spanish and English blended in my head to create 'excusa me,' a spanishcized version of 'excuse me.' I should have said 'con permiso.' I guess you learn the most by mistakes that are made.
Next, are some interesting pictures that we have taken in the last few days...
These first two are from a roadside cuy (roasted guinea pig) eating establishment. How do you like the cuy rotisserie (spelling?) ferris wheel? Here I am eating my first bite of cuy...yum, yum. I guess it was ok. Can't say it tasted like chicken. It was kind of greasy but edible. I definitely have had worse.
Don't Drink & WALK!!!
As this picture indicates, alcoholism is a problem in Ecuador. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common scene, especially out in the smaller towns and rural areas. Along with guys that have fallen down like this, you can see guys just stumbling alongside the road. The following is a long story made early Saturday morning, we saw a guy passed out in the middle of the road in front of our house. He had busted his head on the ground when he fell. I and Angel (our shopkeeper neighbor) proceeded to move him out of the road.
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?-A line from a Creedence Clearwater Revival song that we heard today (on an easy listening station that we have found in Quito) while driving in another downpour. You should have seen this one turned a busy intersection into a flowing river that left stalled-out cars in its' wake. Fortunately, we made it through, but quite slowly. The heavy rainstorm also caused some small landslides that we had to drive through on the way to where we were going. As I finish, I want you to know that I was able to study while these pictures were uploaded onto the blog.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pictures and Prayer Requests

The following are pictures that we took a while back on the way down to Banos. Above the clouds, is the city of Quito. Above Quito, is Pichincha which has snow on it. We were really surprised to see it because Pichincha rarely has snow on it.
The next two pictures are from a small town that is known for its' ice cream. Isn't this a scary looking trash can? (Jan, this one is for you!)

This sign has a list of the different flavors of ice cream...some of them are quite normal, like strawberry or chocolate, but how would you like to try aguacate or avocado flavored ice cream? I opted for the strawberry instead. It was really great. Maybe I'll be adventerous next time and try the avocado.
Here's just a cool looking picture of the Ecuadorian flag. I had to take quite a few pictures to get this one just right.

*Now, I would like to share a special prayer concerns our special friends Ramiro and Eleanor. We have shared about them before and we ask that you would pray for them again. As of now, Ramiro's condition has worsened and it looks like he doesn't have much time left. Pray that he would have peace in this time and wouldn't be in too much pain. Pray that Eleanor would have strength as she continues to care for her husband. The one miracle occurred of his stomach reconnecting to his intestines but some tumors came back on his liver and he is also getting over a case of pneumonia. Again, just pray for more miracles-physical and spiritual.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Trivial Trivia Game

Test your knowledge of useless facts from the Haleys' adventures in Ecuador

1. True or False
Christine and Ben were involved in a drive-by foam-spraying incident in the street during a small town fiesta.

(True: Apparently it is an act of admiration, not aggression.)

2. True or False
Ben and Christine uses dishwashing liquid to do the dishes.

(False: While dishwashing liquid is available, it is cheaper to buy gritty paste in exciting neon colors to do the dishes.)

3. True or False
Ben bought Christine 6 dozen roses and a dozen carnations on Valentine's Day evening for $20.

(False: It was actually only $7!)

4. True or False
Ben and Christine buy milk only in a plastic bag.

(False: We also buy it in a cardboard box.)

5. Fill-in-the-blank
Ben's ____________ was stolen when our vehicle was broken into.


6. Multiple Choice
Which of the following items are necessary for almost any trip leaving the house?
a. Umbrella
b. Sunscreen
c. Hat
d. Coins
e. Jacket

(All of the above. It could rain at any moment, we wear sunscreen all the time, hats frequently, carry a jacket and you never know when you will have to pay a $0.16 or $0.43 toll.)

7. True or False
Christine and Ben find it difficult to sleep in past 7:15am ever.

(True. But it's probably a good thing since some neighbor's house alarm goes off every morning at 7:20am for whatever reason.)

8. Fill-in-the-blank.
Why does one policeman always turn on his siren for two seconds as he rounds each of the three corners near our house? ______________________

(Any theory is an acceptable answer. We think it is either (1) a power trip or (2) to notify burglars as to his location so they stop burgling until he passes by.)

9. True or False
Baking soda is found in the grocery store aisle next to flour, baking soda and other baking items.

(False. It is actually located in the cleaning products aisle.)

10. True or False
The Haleys boil or filter all their water.

(False. We have a water filter, but the water and/or electricity goes off frequently enough or the water pressure is too low to rely on it. We buy a big blue 10-liter jug of water to drink.)

11. True or False
The sweetest little indigenous woman we know frequently wears a Metallica stocking cap embroidered with a marijuana leaf while her pastor husband wears a "Dirty Cash Offshore Racing" jacket from the United States.

(True: Of course, we couldn't come up with something like this. In a church we have visited, they also have "Welcome" written by a large cross and the Michelin man painted on the wall.)

12. True or False
Christine made embarrasingly glue-like spaghetti for 20 hungry people.

(True: FYI, it is hard to get water to boil at 13,000 ft elevation. Also, remind yourself not to save 50 cents by buying Ecuadorian spaghetti -- just splurge on the Italian kind!)

13. Multiple Choice
Ben and Christine celebrated Cinco de Mayo by preparing tacos for supper:
a. while wearing giant sombreros
b. while listening to mariachi music
c. by candlelight

(C: The lights went off in the middle of the meal preparation. Clean up was a little difficult.)

14. Multiple Choice
Which of the following have we seen in places where food is prepared?
a. The cook cuddling a fuzzy puppy.
b. A hair dryer being used in meat preparation.
c. A dog licking a grill where meat had been roasted.

(All of the above. By the way, we didn't eat at the last two places.)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

No pictures today and por que (why?)

Today I just wanted to share some thought-provoking lyrics from a song that I really like. I really first listened to and appreciated this song on a trip to Southeast Asia last year. I'll write a couple of thoughts within the song (in parentheses).
3 x 5 lyrics, by John Mayer
I'm writing you to catch you up on places I've been, You held this letter probably got excited, but there's nothing else inside it, didn't have a camera by my side this time, hoping I would see the world through both my eyes, maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to lose my way with words, Today skies are painted colors of a cowboy's cliche', And strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway (This part really describes Ecuador, especially the mountainous part we live in.) Didn't have a camera by my side this time, Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes, Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to lose my way but let me say You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes, it brought me back to life (if you look to another Son, he can bring you back to life as well), You'll be with me next time I go outside, just no more 3x5's, Guess you had to be there, Guess you had to be with me, Today I finally overcame tryin' to fit the world inside a picture frame (that's the purpose of this blog some times, but not today...I love photography, am not a professional by any means, but sometimes it is better to put the camera down and just take everything in!), Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to lose my way but let me say, You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes, it brought me back to life, You'll be with me next time I go outside, just no more 3x5's