Sunday, January 28, 2007

i normally don't know how to title these posts...

I don't have any pictures to share now, but I do have a link to an interesting story involving an Ecuadorian soccer player. There are some pictures in the story, though. It's kind of a feel-good story and is quite interesting. You can find it by clicking on the following link- -"A South American footballer playing in the English Premiership is spending his high salary not on fast cars and big houses, but on rebuilding an entire community where he grew up."
The next thing I want to share about is about driving in Ecuador, Quito in particular. I've written about this before but had a couple of observations and wanted to share them as well. There's a philosophical question that normally asks-'if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it-does it make a sound?' Along these lines, after a couple of observations, I have this question-'will a Quiteno Taxi driver still cut you off, even if there is no traffic?' The answer to this is yes, as I have found this to be the case on two occasions. The stories now follow-
The first one happened when I was driving my family to the airport very early in the morning. There was hardly any traffic at all. So I pulled up to a red light and stopped. Then a taxi pulled up to the left of me. Just when the light turned green, I turned, but first a taxi driver went right in front of me, cutting me off. You should've seen it. There was no reason to do it at all, he could've waited and went behind me, as there as no traffic at all. The other story happened just yesterday when I was taking a friend to the airport, again, early in the morning with not much traffic. Well, I made a turn at a traffic light going onto the main road that goes into Quito from where we live. Just as I did that, a taxi passes me, not on my right side where there were no cars at all...but on my left side, going into the middle of the road and into the oncoming lane (fortunately there was no traffic coming from the other way). Again, there was no reason for him to do this but I think in both cases they did it just because they could or they did it out of habit. Again, these incidents happened when there was not much should see it at about rush hour. I will close with a bumper sticker I would like to get designed- 'Mi senal no significa-apurate!'-in English-'My blinker does not mean you need to speed up!' If you don't get it, maybe I can explain it a bit more later on. I guess I'm sharing this as a reminder of our need for prayer as we drive the roads of Ecuador, especially in Quito.
I will close with a favorite Scripture verse I was reminded of recently-1 Samuel 12:24-"But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you."
The nation of Israel received these words from the prophet Samuel as they received King Saul. They were kind of a warning or a reminder that they shouldn't forget that God was their king, first and foremost. These are words to remember up till now...that we should respect or honor God, that is what it means to fear God. It doesn't only mean that we should be afraid of him, but again, that we should respect him. We should also remember all the ways that God has blessed us, like the old hymn-'Count your blessings.'

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Random stuff

Here's a picture of the place where the sell fireworks and masks for the new year's celebration. This picture really belongs on the last post but it wouldn't go on till now. I haven't taken many photos recently, so I don't have much to put on today. I hope to put something on in the next few days.
For now, I just want to give an update and prayer request. Last time I asked everyone to pray for the Bible study start in Tingo. Well, we have someone to teach it (Jose and Ruth) and that is really exciting. There were a couple of ladies that showed up. We had hoped more would show up but it was a good opportunity. Just be praying as the Bible study starts up and continues. We are looking at God's plan for the family by studying different stories from the Bible. Please pray for this opportunity...
Another prayer request is for an Ecuadorian worker in an Asian country. She is back in Ecuador visiting and we heard her presentation about her life and work. It was quite interesting. I just want to ask that you will pray for J and her walk with the Father and for the work that she and her friends are doing.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

New Years Trip to Ibarra

The following pictures are from New Years time and our new years trip to Ibarra. I will explain what some of the different pictures are. The first one is of a place where they sold fireworks and masks for the 'Ano Viejos.' (for some reason the first picture isn't working and being put on here, I will try to put it on later). Ano viejo means the old year, and these are figures that they make and then burn at the turn of the year at midnight. They do this to symbolize burning all the bad things from the old year, so good things can come in the new year. They will usually make figures out of wood chips, styrofoam or other materials and the put clothes and a mask on them. The masks are usually of famous people that made news in the previous year. They are usually political figures or other well known characters. Another part of the new years tradition, are the viudas or widows. These are guys that dress up as women and go in the streets to ask for money. They do this as their husband, the old man from the old year are going to be burned. The second picture illustrates this.
The third picture is of a nice sunset that we saw on the way to Ibarra. Ibarra is a town that is about two hours north of here and is where our friend Carmen is from. She still has a lot of family up there and that is who we visited.
This picture is of the 'ano viejo' of Fidel Castro. The written paper is his 'will.' It says, 'To my dear Cuban brothers, the time has come. Behave for my brother Raul but for Bush, you can give him a stick.' Following is a picture of the 'ano viejos' being burned at midnight.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tena Anniversary/Birthday trip

Here are some pictures from a recent trip that we took to Tena, down in the eastern part of Ecuador. We went there on Dec. 27 to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday (Dec. 29). It was a great trip and the Tena area is really one of our favorite parts of Ecuador. The first picture is of Christine and our guide and friend, Humberto on a boat ride on the Napo River. The Napo River is one of the Amazon River's main tributaries. We took a nice boat ride on the river and stopped by a zoo and a cultural museum on the way. The next picture was taken at the end of the trip, looking at the sunset and the river.
The last picture was taken on a hike that we went on to see different waterfalls. It was really quite nice but very muddy. It had rained a lot the day before. Besides the boat ride, we also drove around a bit and went swimming. All in all, it was a great trip.
As I close, I would like to share a really important prayer request. Recently, there were some volunteers that came and put on a Christmas program and meal in Tingo, one of the towns we work in. Well, there was a good response and we found many people that are interested in having a Bible study. Please pray for this group as we get started. Pray that people will come and learn about the promises and the presence of God and make these things a reality in their lives.
The last thing I want to share is a verse that contains a promise about the power of God's word. Romans 15:4- "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Last family pictures

Here's a picture of my family with the Azcaubsi group (Ramon's family). We went there on one Sunday to a service and visit out there. It was really nice and a highlight of the trip.
Here's a picture of Dad driving a hard bargain at the market up in Otavalo.
Here's a picture of a couple of Otavalena ladies with their babies. The Otavalenos are another indigenous group and have a famous market in their town.
Here's a last picture from the time that my family was here. This was taken in the Plaza Grande in Quito. Again, we had a great time together and I'm glad that they were able to come.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Sorry it's been a while again since posting anything. We've been doing well, just busy and a bit off schedule. I think we are getting back in the swing of things now. Now, I'd like to post some more pictures from when the family was here. Within the next few days, I will try to post pictures from recent trips. Christine and I went a couple of days after Christmas to Tena to celebrate our 3rd anniversary and my 29th birthday. We also went to Ibarra for New Years with some friends.
The first picture here is from Saquisili market. This area is heavily indigenous and the photo here is of some indigenous people at the market.
This one is of the family and Cotopaxi on the way back from Riobamba/Alausi after our attempt at the train ride (is a long story and didn't work out-maybe next time).
This one is of Mt. Ilinizas, an extinct volcano. As with many of the pictures I take here, this simply doesn't do
the scene any justice at all.
The next two pictures are from the Teleferico or cable car that goes up outside of Quito on the side of Mt. Pichincha, giving a great view of Quito. The first picture shows what will happen if you get in the way of the cable car whilst boarding. The second picture is from up top with a great view of Quito in the background.
As I close I just want to wish everyone a happy new year. I will pray for blessings in the coming year for all of you, especially that you may know the presence and reality of God. Happy new year! Speaking of closing the year out, that reminds me that we will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary in Ecuador. We arrived last 12:00 am on Jan. 3rd. Thanks for praying for us in the time we've been here. We ask that you continue to remember us and pray for us. Thanks again.