Friday, June 29, 2007

last Sunday

The following pictures are from a couple of different events we went to last Sunday. The first two are a from a celebration service from a church that we visit. They are the church I was telling you all about that were celebrating their anniversary. They had different musical and dance groups there. These two pictures represent both. There was great music and we enjoyed our time there. They had bands that played traditional folklore Christian music.

The following pictures are from another town's fiestas that we went to later the same day. They had a parade and a dance contest. Most of the pictures are from the parade/dance contest. These are just a few of them. I will post more later on. As I close I want to encourage you all to pray for the different towns that are having their fiestas, festivals. In some ways these are interesting cultural events that celebrate the culture through music and dance. However, there's another side of it that involves drunkenness and many other problems. I ask you all to pray for these different towns and the problems they are facing. The sad thing is that many of these festivals are done in the names of different saints, such as St. Peter or St John. You can imagine that these true saints of the Bible would feel dishonored that these things are taking place in their names. As I close, I want to share a couple of passages of Scripture, a couple from 1 Peter.
1 Peter 2:9-10-'But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.'
1 Peter 2:24-'He (Jesus) himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.'

Friday, June 22, 2007

Somewhere over the rainbow...

Here are a couple of pictures of a rainbow that we saw from our house a couple of weeks ago. It was so amazing to see. I had never seen one so low or bright. It was quite amazing. Now, I'd like to share a promise from God's word regarding the rainbow-Genesis 9:12-17-"And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."
The following are different pictures that we've taken recently. The next one is here to introduce our fish to you, Gandhi (the orange one) and Tigre (the multi-color one). I've been wanting to introduce them for some time and have finally done it. We've had these fish for a while now, since last October. We didn't start out real well with fish (about 5 of them died inside of two weeks) but these have worked out really well. I think we posted some pictures of some of the ones that died but had never posted ones of these. We have shells, coral and volcanic rocks that we have picked up in Ecuador and we were in Colombia.
The next two pictures are of Christine, Leo and Ingrid. These are the friends that we met on our Colombia trip. They've been doing well and we've been able to spend quite a bit of time w/ them. These pictures were taken last Sunday at a restaraunt we went to together. We've started a Bible study with them and Leo's mom and Leo has begun to teach me the guitar a bit.
This is a picture of Abner and his older sister, whose name I can't remember. We met them at one of the Baptist churches we have visited in the Valle de los Chillos. Here's a picture of the kids eating some whipped egg white cream stuff. Lil' Abner wasn't too happy on this one. His sister had put some of the cream stuff on his face on purpose before this picture was taken and he wasn't too happy about that. I ask you to pray for us as we work with this church. They have a desire to reach out to the community and pray that they will be able to do this. We are going to see about bringing some volunteers to their area, so we ask you to pray about this work. The name of this church is Iglesia Bautista de San Jose de Conococto. They are celebrating their 18th anniversary tomorrow with a party and special service.
The last picture is of us with a good friend Jose Chillambo. We met Jose down on our visit to Guayaquil several months ago. He came up to Quito to visit family and we had a chance to hang out last Friday. He has worked on a church planting team in Guayaquil but now is preparing for mission service in Peru. I ask that you all pray for him, that God will bless and use him. Guess this is all till next time.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Quinche volunteer pics

These pictures were taken in El Quinche when the volunteers were here. I've mentioned El Quinche before, that it is a pilgrimage site dedicated to the Virgin Mary of El Quinche. The team prayerwalked and visited with people. Here are pictures from the day. The first three here were taken in the market area.
This second one was taken at a place where the volunteers tasted some guinea pig. We got to visiting with the lady that was working there and found out that she is Christian (her name is Graciela). Christine and I visited her and her family last Thursday. She's going through a rough situation now and we ask that you pray for her. She has two kids and her husband recently left her. She also has a sick mother. We found that her daughter is involved in a Compassion International project and we saw a picture/card from her sponsors and that was pretty cool because we are sponsoring a boy in Uganda.
These last two pictures were taken around the Quinche Cathedral.
The last one here is of a priest blessing someone's car with 'holy' water. "O Lord, may all 4 cylinders run properly and smoothly..." This is quite a common practice. On the way to Quinche on the weekends, we'll see quite a few cars with ribbons on them and that means they have been blessed. I guess this is all for now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

mas fotos de colombia

Here's the final round of pics from Colombia, the first one illustrates the hotel where we stayed. The next two are of the walls that went around the historic city center, that at one time helped protect gold from pirates.

The next three are scenes of daily life (a guy painting, a street market and a protest) that I took on the last day there while in pursuit of a soccer jersey from Colombia
Now, a word about the protest-word was that schoolkids were protesting because the teachers were on strike because they hadn't been paid. I just couldn't imagine that happening in the States, more the part of the kids striking than teachers not being paid. This one was one of the last ones taken us of at the beach.
This is a picture of the volunteer team that came a couple of weeks ago. We already mentioned some of their work and the things they did. We had a great time with them and were glad they came.
As I close I want to share some words from a Psalm that I read in my devotional today.

Psalm 73:23-28-'Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.'
As I close, I want to share a prayer request for Antonio and Geoconda. I know we mentioned them in our last newsletter but to remind you, Antonio has cancer and his situation doesn't look real good. He has begun chemo and has gone down a bit. We are praying for a miracle and ask that you all would as well.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Cartagena and Christine┬┤s bday

Well, we have quite a few pictures here. I guess we're making up for lost time. There are some more from our time in Colombia. As you can see, we took a lot of pictures while there. I think we just have one more round to go. This first picture was taken in the historic center of the city to show some of the different colors of the buildings there. These buildings were so beautiful, especially along with the bouganvillea and other flowers.
The next one was taken at a supermarket there where I picked up some Colombian coffee. The guy at the checkout has on a hat that is very popular in Colombia. We'd see these hats everywhere and I guess Colombia is known for them.
Here's a picture of a sunset we saw there from the balcony of our hotel room.
The next couple of pictures are from the 'Juan Valdez' coffee shop and store, what turned out to be a highlight of the trip. I had a cup of Colombian's finest and bought some as well to take home. I have to say it is some of the best coffee I've had in my life. I wish this blog had a way you could sample the coffee or at least smell it. The second picture, while not real flattering, was supposed to be an action shot of me drinking Juan Valdez coffee.
The rest of the pictures were taken back here in the valley. This first one is of Christine with some of our beautiful roses which are all in bloom these days.
The rest of these pictures were taken of the the volunteer team from Oklahoma that came a couple of weeks ago. We had a great time with them and they did some great work. It was good to know them and we were encouraged by working with them. They spent most of their time out in Tingo at the La Fuente project out there.
The first one is of leading music with the kids which turned out to be a favorite of the kids. The guy playing the guitar in the picture is Perry, another missionary and co-worker. Here's Christine with a little friend we met that day.
It was Christine's birthday on May 21 and we celebrated in grand fashion as the next couple of pictures indicate.
This was something that the kids made for Christine.
The last one here was taken the night of her bday when we went out on a hot date at a nice restaraunt.
Guess this is all for now, will have to show more pictures from the volunteer's time here and one more round of Colombia pictures. Take care and God bless.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Uefa Champions League Final

I know all of you aren't football/soccer fans but I thought this was a great picture. I also didn't like the result of this match but again, I thought this was a great picture. The guy with the Jesus shirt on (Kaka from Brazil) is a believer and one of the greatest soccer players in the world). Liverpool (my favorite team) lost to AC Milan 2-1 in this European final. They played well, I thought better overall but there were some unfortunate calls by the referees-one being not letting them play full time. That's the way it goes. I'm still glad Liverpool made it and made a good showing. YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE!

Friday, June 01, 2007

more pictures

Here are some more pictures from Cartagena and some from the conference we had a few weeks ago. The first one has some members of the Guacho family that attended the church planting conference that was held a few weeks ago.
The next one is of me and some friends that we met and spent time with while in Santo Domingo back in March.

The rest of the pictures are from Cartagena. Here's one of Christine and friends, Ingrid and Leonardo. We were at the main tourist market in Cartagena. This market is in what used to be the main prison or dungeon there.
Here's the drive-thru sign at the McDonald's there. We have McDonald's here in Ecuador as well but I just thought this was an interesting picture.

Here's a picture of a nice sunset taken from the balcony at our hotel.

The older looking ship is a model of a slave carrying ship. This was taken from the boat on the way out to Baru, an island that we went to. Here's a picture of the beach we were at. It was really kind of a paradise. I remember thinking how special this place was and how it almost seemed like heaven. Then something happened that reminded me that it wasn't heaven. It was really a horrible tragedy, one we've already mentioned in the prayer newsletter that we just sent out. There was a young couple on their honeymoon and they went out to scuba dive with a another couple and an instructor. Well, an accident happened with the husband and he didn't come back up. They brought him to the beach and tried CPR and then brought him to the hospital back in Cartagena, but he ended up dying. It was quite shocking for us as we had gotten to know Karla and Julio. It was also shocking because we had never been around this kind of tragedy before. We just ask again that you would pray for Karla and their families.
Here are some more pictures from that day. Here is one of of us playing beach volleyball. I also played some beach soccer.
Here's one of me and Leonardo snorkeling. That was pretty amazing and the first time I had ever done that. We weren't even at a reef or anything but we could see fish and we saw a starfish. We saw what must of been thousands of these small minnow type fish and they were just beautiful. We were swimming for a good distance but kept seeing them underneath us. Like I said, there must have been thousands of them. The last one is of me and Leonardo kayaking, which was pretty interesting. There's also a picture of the boat that we rode out to the island. I think I have a few more pictures from Cartagena and then some others from here I'll try to put on next time. Guess this is all for now.