Tuesday, July 31, 2007

san lorenzo, part 3 & juan valdez

Here are some pictures from San Javier, which was our 2nd full day down in San Lorenzo.
This was taken at a African palm oil plantation on the way to the clinic. This is one of the main crops there in the area.

the sprawling metropolis of San Javier de Cachavi!

Here's a son, father and burro going to work...w/ banana trees in the background.
There was this picture of the flying nun in the clinic we worked at.

Here's Elizabeth, who was the dental hygeniest.

Kind of like my hometown of McDade, TX-the train doesn't go through any more. The train went through quite regularly and shipped lumber from the area until a few years ago. A lot of these towns on the old train line are really struggling. There is talk of reopening the train line for tourism and maybe shipping but I guess we'll see.
Here's Christine and Brad, one of the volunteers we worked with. They were attending a young woman and her kids.
This is Charles, a volunteer, who took and printed pictures for the people at the clinic. He was playing this guitar (that was missing two or three strings) at lunch break to an amazed fan.
an almond tree, these weren't in season so we didn't get to try any.
a coconut tree...in most of the towns we went to, people gave us coconut juice which we drank direct from the coconut. it was pretty good but not something you'd want every day.
This kid hooked me up with his homemade toy of a truck, after giving him a hat that the volunteers had brought. The body of the truck was a oil bottle and the wheels were made of bottle caps. So the next time your kid whines about needing new toys from the store, give them a oil bottle, bottle caps and a string.
Here's a large river we saw on the way there and back to San Lorenzo. Being close to the ocean, there are quite a few rivers that go through the area. here's the bridge...
and now a funny Juan Valdez ad I found on the internet.
Guess this is all for now, hope to put on some more pictures from San Lorenzo on Fri. Just keep praying daily for the Haleys.

Friday, July 27, 2007

San Lorenzo, part 2

Here are some more pictures from our time in San Lorenzo. These pictures are from our first day at Selva Alegre.
The first one is of Donnie (one of the volunteers) and of Christine translating. You can see some of the cute kids in the next couple of pics. There were so many there. In the third picture, you can see the mom there has a picture of the Divine Child image on it, it's a child Jesus in a little pink dress. I'm not real sure on the story behind this one but I do know it is from Colombia and it is one of the more popular images. My main thought on it is that Jesus didn't stay a child; he went on to grow up, die on the cross and rise again. Anyways, it was interesting to see the image on a camo shirt.
Here's a picture of another volunteer, Brenda with a patient. She let me listen to a patient's heart for the first time and I was also able to look into a patient's ear. Pretty amazing to see how God created us with such detail. The next few pics were taken on a walk around town and down to the river during our lunch break. It was really interesting to see people washing their clothes at the river and carrying stuff on their heads; it really reminded me of my time in Africa. Do you see Zaccheus up in the tree.
Here's a really cool picture I took in San Lorenzo down by the main dock. I'm still not sure how the color turned out so cool on this one but I hope you enjoy it and put it in some kind of photo contest for me.

The last couple of pics are kind of random and taken before the S. Lorenzo trip but I just wanted to share them. Here's our friend

Ramon with a calf of his. I don't think I got a picture of it but the calf ended up going in the kitchen.
Here's a picture of a kid making Ecuadorian homemade copper pot ice cream. One thing I love about Ecuador is the ice cream we have here. With this ice cream, they make different fruit flavors that are just awesome. I wish you all could sample a cone via this blog. Guess this is all for now. Take care and God bless.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

San Lorenzo, part 1

Well, we had a nice trip to San Lorenzo and we have quite a few pictures to show from it. We had a good time there and it was a great opportunity that we were a part of. Now, for a description of the following pictures.
These first three pictures are from our friend, Jose's village. We had a picture posted of him a few posts back. He is originally from the San Lorenzo area but has been a part of the work in Guayaquil for the last few years. He is now getting ready for mission service in Peru. The third picture there is of turkeys, which we don't see a whole lot.
I took this one in San Lorenzo.
This is of Christine and Esmeralda. Her family ran a bakery right next to the hotel we stayed at. Her family have been in San Lorenzo for a year, since fleeing their homeland of Colombia because of the unrest there.
The next several pictures are from last Sun. night in San Lorenzo of a procession/fiesta dedicated to the Virgin of El Carmen. Last week was her feast day and it was celebrated in grand fashion. Jose and I were walking by the Catholic church down to the dock and we heard all these drums and singing. So, we went in and saw what was going on. A bit later people were leaving the church and getting in a truck full of people that were singing for the Virgin. It was quite strange, and even dark. San Lorenzo is predominantly inhabitated by Afro-Ecuadorians, that is descendants of Africans that came several hundred years ago. Their descendants were actually free, they had landed on the northern Ecuadorian coast as a result of shipwreck. They have kept several elements of their African culture and that was very evident last Sunday night. They had drums, shakers and call and response singing to the Virgin of El Carmen. They had two statues of the Virgin in these boxes and there were people rocking them. I asked them what they were doing and they said they were making the Virgin dance. As I saw this, this made me think of a verse from Jeremiah that I had read recently, (Jeremiah 10:5-6)-"Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good. No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power."
They ended up bringing the statues in and setting them up in this altar in someone's home. Their was more singing, eating and drinking. We were able to talk to some people and it was all interesting but we left pretty early. These pictures were from the first Sunday. I will have some from the clinic and the rest of the trip later on.
As I close I ask you all to pray that the truth would be revealed to the people there and that they wouldn't be deceived by false images and traditions.
I forgot to mention this earlier but we have a volunteer team in this week. Actually, they're about to leave but just pray for them as they finish up and pray for the people they worked with.

Friday, July 13, 2007

awestar, july 4th, etc...

Here are some recent pictures. We just got back from our meeting w/ other missionaries and that went quite well. Now, we're getting ready for our trip to San Lorenzo with a medical team. We'll be leaving tomorrow and returning on Fri. Please be in prayer for this trip, that everything goes well but mostly that we'll shine God's light and truth.

This picture is from the last day at La Fuente. This is the school where we've helped in Tingo. The kids will have the summer off, with a vacation Bible school in a few wks and then return next fall.
The next three pictures are from our July 4th celebration, which was great. We went to the Lamca's house and had a cookout and best of all, the flaming potato contest. What can you do when you don't have fireworks on July 4th? You have the flaming potato contest. Basically, we cut potatos in half and then stuffed matches in the shape of different designs. Then you light them...
The next few pictures are from when Awestar drama team was here and working with us. This first picture is of them in Iguinaro. This is the area we had written about in our last newsletter. They have very few believers but now a Bible study will be opening up. Actually, we'll be meeting for the 1st time today. Ramon will be leading the lesson, so we ask you all to pray for him and the family we'll be meeting. After Iguinaro, we had some extra time so unplanned, the team was able to do a performance in El Quinche. This was just amazing that we were able to get permission on the spot. Praise God for that.
These last two are of the team doing their stuff in Ascaubsi, which is where Ramon's family lives and a church meets there. The team did the performance on the roof of the house with dust blowing everywhere and the sun shining brightly. Here's Christine translating the meaning of the drama, which was an allegory about a good king and his son. The picture here was t
aken at Ramon's family's farm of a newborn guinea pig.
The last picture is of Al Meredith, pastor of Wedgwood Baptist Church, Ft Worth, TX. We were really blessed by him and his teaching at our meeting this last week. Will have to share some insights that I learned there later on. Check out http://www.wedgwoodbc.org/ to have a chance to listen to some of his preaching/teaching. You will be encouraged.
As I close, I ask you to continue to pray for us. We'll be out this next week, I hope to share more pictures next weekend.

Friday, July 06, 2007

more pictures

here are some more pictures from the fiesta in La Esperanza. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory. the second one is of the Reina or Queen of the fiesta or town. Kind of like the Watermelon Queen in my hometown of McDade. The rest of the pictures of different dance performances.

You´ve heard the saying that art imitates life´ well, these next two pictures show this in the dance as the men drink, get drunk, fall down and the women pick them up to take them home. As I mentioned in the last entry that this is far too often real and a very big problem in many areas of Ecuador.

The last two pictures are of me and Jose baptizing a couple of new believers, Leidi, in the first picture and Tannia in the second one. I will write more of their testimony later on but now I ask you to
pray for them and their families. I ask especially for you to shine the light to their husbands who are not believers yet.