Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Although we didn't get a white Christmas, while my family was here we got a white Dec. 14. This was up at Cotopaxi, which I have posted pictures of before. A ice storm moved in really quickly. I won't go into all the details but it was a bit scary, but we made it down ok. This first one is of a snowman that I built on top of the truck with the ice that was on there. The other one is of the truck in the storm, you can see the ice/sleet falling. The third one is of me and my sister with a snow patch from an earlier storm. Our goal was to reach that patch and just as soon as we did, it started sleeting and we ended up seeing more ice than we wanted.

This next picture is from our Christmas celebration. My sister graduated from UT and my brother in law, Matt graduated from A&M. They have a running bet that the loser has to wear the winner's shirt at all family Christmas celebrations. Well, the Ags won this year, so Becca finally had to put on the Aggie shirt.
The last one here is of us visiting a school where Christine and I help out. It is run by good friends, Dave and Ana. Guess this is all for now, after a Christmas poem. I know I have a lot more pictures from when my family was here to post, so stay tuned.

Journey of the Magi- T.S. Eliot
"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
hat this was folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation,
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky.
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all the way for
Birth or Death ? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Family picture and christmas song lyrics

Hello everyone once again and Merry Christmas! Sorry for the delay in posting. We were quite busy with them and now have a lot of catching up to do. We really had a great time together and were so glad they were able to come. I took them to the airport early Wed. morning and we were sure sad to see them go.
This first picture is of the family (minus me) on the way to Pappallacta, a area of hot springs. The mountain/volcano behind them is Antisana.
As I close I want to put lyrics from a favorite Chris Rice song. It is a Christmas song but not a traditional one. I ask you to read these and reflect on them, on how Jesus was born and came into our world.
Welcome To Our World-Chris Rice (Deep Enough to Dream album)
Tears are falling, hearts are breaking, How we need to hear from God, You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting, Welcome Holy Child, Welcome Holy Child
Hope that you don’t mind our manger, How I wish we would have known, But long-awaited Holy Stranger, Make yourself at home, Please make yourself at home
Bring your peace into our violence, Bid our hungry souls be filled, Word now breaking Heaven’s silence, Welcome to our world, Welcome to our world
Fragile finger sent to heal us, Tender brow prepared for thorn, Tiny heart whose blood will save us, Unto us is born, Unto us is born
So wrap our injured flesh around you, Breathe our air and walk our sod, Rob our sin and make us holy, Perfect Son of God, Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world
Clumsy Fly Music (ASCAP)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmastime in Ecuador and my Family is here

The first couple of pictures are of my family that has made it to Ecuador. We've been having fun. The first picture here was taken at the equator.
The second one was taken at our house.
The rest of the pictures have to do with Christmastime in Ecuador. The first one is of our tree and nativity set (made of clay pottery).
The next two are of our Poinsettia bush. We planted this when we first arrived and it is really blooming for the Christmas season. Here, it is called 'estrella de Panama' or star of Panama.
The last one here is of what I call 'a Christmas shack.' Christmas is celebrated in a big way here and they have many of these types of shops that sell all types of decorations from lights to ornaments, etc. My favorite is the musical Christmas cards. Guess this is all for now. I hope to post some more family pictures later on.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

more Tena pictures and the family is on the way!

Here's a few pictures from Tena (near jungle) that I haven't put on yet. Before I put these on, I want to say that my family is coming to Ecuador to visit (parents, sister, brother-in-law). Needless to say, we are pretty excited and have been getting ready for them the last few days. We are about to pick them up at the airport in a couple of hours. Please be praying for our time together, that it will be sweet and won't fly by.
This first one is of a armadillo hole. I didn't get to see one but being from Texas, thought I should put this on.
This is of a waterfall that I saw there. There were many waterfalls there and I went swimming in a couple of the pools. The water was very cold and refreshing.
Here's a picture of one of the fish we caught. We were using nets. We really didn't have a whole lot of luck but it was good to get out.

This is from a cacao tree (where chocolate comes from). The next one is a cinnamon tree (behind the banana tree) and you guessed it, cinnamon comes from this one. My friend gave me a small limb and I've been chewing on the bark a bit and it is pretty good, a bit like big red gum, but not so chewy.
This is Ecuador, jungle and mountains all in the same day. The last one here is of snow up in the high mountains. I saw this on the way back going through the high mountains, elevation approx. 14,000 ft.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bullfight and various

The first couple of pictures here are from a bullfight that we recently went to. The bullfights are a part of the Quito celebrations that are going on now. They are celebrating the founding of Quito with this and events like it.
Here's a picture of the matador and one of the bulls. We saw about 3 different matadors with their helpers and 6 bulls. It's something I've always wanted to see and I'm glad I did it once but I don't think I would go to one again. The bullfights are pretty violent. On one hand, you have the tradition, the music and culture. But on the other, it is pretty bloody and the bull doesn't have much of a chance. I will probably try to put some more pictures on from the bullfight.

Psalm 43:3, 5b-"Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell...put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."
The following are various pictures I wanted to share. The next two were taken one evening before a Bible study at a church out in the country. They are of a couple of mountains that are in the area. The first one is Ilalo and the 2nd one is Pasochoa, both of which I have hiked.
The last picture here is one of the many Ecuadorian flower shops. I guess we've mentioned this before but you can get 25 roses for $1 and we bought rose bushes for $1.50 each. I guess husbands that are in trouble have it pretty easy here. Guess this is all for now. We want to thank everyone again for praying for us and for giving us encouragement. Please keep it up.

Friday, December 01, 2006

December 1, World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day, a day to raise awareness about the AIDS crisis throughout the world. This is what I want to do and especially to raise awareness for prayer about this epidemic. Here are some statistics that I found on The hardest hit areas have been sub-Saharan African and India. The problem has been rapidly spreading in China as well.
-Over 40 million people around the world are living with HIV or AIDS
-Just under 14,000 new cases of HIV infections occur every single day
-95 per cent of all AIDS cases occur in the world's poorest countries
-Over 4 million people were infected with HIV in 2006
-3 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2006 - that's more than 8,000 deaths a day
Some Prayer Requests related to HIV/AIDS in the world-
-Pray for healing, salvation, support, and compassion in the midst of this disease.
-Pray for those who need the resources of prevention, education, treatment, and care.
-Pray that a cure for AIDS will be found.
-Pray that people will not be silent concerning the cause of AIDS and the need for Christ to help change lives.
-Pray that people that are suffering and dying of AIDS will have God's comfort and peace on their lives.
-Pray that God's Word, Spirit, and salvation provided for mankind would spread faster than this disease.
Here are some websites for some organizations that are involved with HIV/AIDS. Feel free to contact them to find out more and get involved. I have also written my thesis in seminary about HIV/AIDS in Africa. If you would like to receive and read this, feel free to email me.