Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New trip to San Lorenzo to help Colombian refugees

Well, here's our pictures from our latest trip to San Lorenzo to help with some Colombian refugees that are crossing over. We left on Mon. and came back today.
The first couple of pictures are of our police escort. I'm not sure how necessary it was on the way there but I'm glad we had it any way, especially when were in town. We stayed in Ibarra about halfway there and went to San Lorenzo on Tuesday with our police friends. We picked up some supplies in Ibarra and met the governor of Imbabura province as well. If you've read about the situation in San Lorenzo, it is that since last Friday about 1600 Colombians had entered San Lorenzo town, which had pretty well overwhelmed this city. They didn't have many supplies or food. We went to assess the situation and bring what we could, which turned out to be 100 blankets, 20 cases of powdered milk (makes 960 liters), 800 pounds of peas and 1100 pounds of potatoes. Our neighbor Angel and family provided a bag of clothes and 3 bags of food. We also had a case of medicine left by a volunteer team. Now, a plug for the IMB Disaster relief fund, which provides for emergencies like this one or the earthquake that just happened in Peru. -Here's a link for the Disaster relief and world hunger fund, click on this link to find out info about it and see how you can help out as can also call (800) 999-3113 or e-mail You can also make a donation by check payable to the International Mission Board and designate your gift on the memo line of your check. Mail to:International Mission Board, World Hunger & Relief Ministries, PO Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230. Thank you for all this and God bless!
By the time we had gotten there, the situation had settled down some with some returning to Colomb. and others going to Ibarra, but there were still 1100 people there.
Here's the storehouse where stuff was brought. Want some fresh meat?

Here's Edwin bringing in the sheaves...everybody sing now! These are peas.
Here's Frank talking to the Police. We had an opportunity to share with them as well. We were able to leave them with New Testaments and some gospel material. The police dept here often gets a bad wrap but they really helped us on this trip. Their slogan of 'mas que un amigo/more than a friend' turned out to be true.
Here's Pastor German (who worked with us last month with the medical team in S. Lorenzo, he turned out to be another great help. He hooked us up with all the contacts we needed even before we went and went with us once we got there.) There's also Joselito (a pastor from Quito that accompanied us) and Edwin (another IMB missionary).
Here's Frank talking to Mayor Gustavo of San Lorenzo, who turned out to be a nice guy and a great help. We were able to visit with him a while and leave a copy of 'The Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren. This is a book that I would really recommend, Christine and I are reading it now. If you look in the background, you can see a picture of Jesus, with the words from John 14:6-'I am the way, the truth and the life...'
Here's Frank doing a interview for a radio station. He was able to share the reason why we went, which is we were doing what Jesus would do if he were here, sharing with people in need.

The next 3 pictures were taken where the refugees are staying. We were able to visit 2 out of the 8 places where they are staying. We were also able to pass out New Testaments, gospel materials and materials for kids at these places and visit the people there. We were able to leave some more materials with Pastor German to give out at the other centers later on.
I had a pretty good visit with these guys, Joel and Alvaro, l-r. I ask you to pray for them and other refugees in the situation that they are in. Pray that God will bless them and provide for them. Most of all, pray that they will know the love of God (especially in understanding Scripture and gospel materials that were left behind.) We also ask you to pray for wisdom for the police and leaders who are handling this situation.
Here's a picture of our team minus me (Ben) and Pastor German, Frank, Edwin, Christine, Joselito, l-r. If you want to see more pics from our trip and read more info, check out teammate Frank's blog-

Friday, August 24, 2007

volunteer pics, prayer requests and a new trip to S. Lorenzo

Just a quick update and prayer request related to a trip we'll be going on today or tomorrow...
There's been over a 1000 Colombian refugees that have come over the Ecuador border at San Lorenzo. We were there just a few weeks ago. Well, it looks like we'll be going there today or tomorrow to bring some supplies and see what is going on. Please pray for safety and that we'll be a blessing to the people there. Here's a link to the story about the situation...
here are some more pictures from when the volunteers were here from Weatherford, Oklahoma.
listening to the Bible story for Vacation bible school at Salvador Celi.

3 of our students...

one fat rooster...

the closing program, where many of the children´s parents came.

The next two pictures were taken from the Teleferico (cable car) that takes you up Mt. Pichincha in Quito and gives you a great view of Quito. The most interesting thing is that you are several thousand feet above the airport and you can see planes fly in. If you look close, you can see a picture of a plane flying in. The mountains will be in the background where the plane is.
Here's a picture of the team...thanks Emmanuel Baptist of Weatherford, Oklahoma!
Here's a picture of the flags for Quito city and Ecuador. Not sure why, but I really like taking pics of flags. The red and blue one is for Quito and the yellow, blue and red one is for Ecuador. This was taken up at the equator, where we took the group as well.

Here is Geoconda (with baby Zamira), Antonio and Jose. We´ve told you all about Antonio and Jose before and asked you to pray for them. Antonio is sick with cancer and the situation doesn't look real good. They have 3 other kids that are visiting some family down on the coast. Jose also helps us a lot on visits and Bible studies. Jose used to work at the Baptist camp but just recently lost his job there. We ask you to pray that he will find a job (we ask the same for other friends that are looking for work as well-Leo, Cesar, Manuel and Rosa). Also, pray for Jose and his ministry. He really has a servant's heart and is a great help. Lastly, pray for God to bring health and healing to Antonio's body. We also ask you to pray for unity between Geoconda and Antonio in their marriage. They are getting along a lot better now but were having some pretty serious problems in their marriage. Guess this is all for now. Again, please pray about these things. We hope to be sending out a newsletter as soon as possible. I know we are behind on that but you can be looking for that in the next week or so.

Friday, August 17, 2007

San Lorenzo, part 7 and okla vol team

Here are the last of the pictures from our San Lorenzo trip and the first of some pics of a volunteer team that came to this area a couple of weeks ago.
This is Pastor German with his family. He really helped us so much and we thank God for him. I ask you all to pray for him, his family and ministry.

Here's another picture of Kevin, but this one is with his mom, who is deaf. I ask you to pray for them as well.
Here's Jose Chillambo teaching the Bible by using 'power bands.' Pray for him as well, I heard he left this week for his mission service in Peru.
Here's Brad, Gary (who is the administrator for the Baptist Mission in Ecuador), with some patients. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of him with his wife. They helped translate and were a big blessing.
This is Donnie with a guy that had a serious leg wound that they fixed up.
Here's Christine with a special little friend-aren't these kids so cute, this one looks like a little baby doll!!
Here's a picture of the team, minus Elizabeth-the dental hygienest, Gary and Julie. They had to leave early because Elizabeth wasn't feeling well. Thanks for everyone who went...each one did their part and made it a success.
We saw Mt. Cayambe on the way home...only in Ecuador can you see ocean, forest and snow capped mountains in the same day.
The following pictures were taken the week after our San Lorenzo trip. They were a team from Immanuel Baptist Church in Weatherford, Oklahoma. They were a great team, did some great work and we had a great time with them. They came to help with a couple of Vacation Bible schools in the southern part of our valley. Here's some pictures from one of the VBS'.
Here's the kids playing soccer...

doing crafts...

And here's a kid with a chili bowl/John Denver '70's haircut. He's showing off his power band and he's with co-worker Perry Walker. These 'power bands' are used to teach truths from the Bible. They have different colored beads that represent different truths from the Bible, black-for our sin against God, red-for the blood that Jesus gave to forgive us, white-is for purity/holiness, blue-is for the water of baptism, and green-is for growth in our spiritual lives. Guess this is all for now. I have more pictures from this team that I'll be sharing later on.

Monday, August 13, 2007

San Lorenzo, part 5

This one is from El Progreso.
Here is Kevin, a kid who works with his mom at the restaraunt we ate at. He is a really good kid and always has a smile on his face. The team ended up giving him a soccer ball on the last day.
The following pictures were taken on our way to Tambillo or in Tambillo. Tambillo is a town that can only be reached by boat. There's not even a road that reaches the town. The 3rd picture here is of a guy standing up in a dugout canoe. This is the way these guys get around. Here's Jose and Pastor German on the way. There's a mangrove forest in the background.
Here's yet another mangrove forest...this is what we saw all the way to Tambillo.
Here are the facilities upon arrival in Tambillo. All they had was a hole in the cement and it was bombs away into the water...needless to say, Tambillo doesn't have great beaches.
Here's some shots taken in and around Tambillo.
Fixing the nets.
Some kids playing soccer on the field where Neicer Reasco grew up playing. Neicer is from Tambillo and is now a famous soccer player. He plays for the Ecuadorian national team and for Sao Paulo, Brazil is his club team, a big step up from Tambillo.

The following were some shots taken at the clinic...

This guy (can't remember his name) was born about a month before him. He has two wives and several children. He said the wives know about each other and that everybody gets along. I'm sure that is what he has to say, I'm sure the wives have a different story. Anyways, he was a really nice guy and interesting to meet.

We met this lady and her kids and helped them in the clinic. Again, can't remember her name but I ask you all to pray for her. Her baby had a charm around its' ankle (these charms are believed to protect them from the evil eye, which is believed to cause sickness, etc.) Well, I asked her about it and was then a bit forward and suggested that God could do a bit of a better job of taking care of her child than a charm could. I left it at that and as Donnie saw the charm, he saw that it was too tight around the ankle and he suggested that they loosen it up to help with circulation and keep it clean. This is when the lady said she had decided to remove it. Again, I just ask you to pray for her and her family and that God will protect them and they will seek him.

You decide-devil or angel???

This one was taken at the dock in San Lorenzo.

Some guys playing checkers on the street in S. Lorenzo.

no need for explanation here...
a mural that was painted in the meeting room at our hotel.

As I close, I just want to share a short devotional based on a reading from Hebrews that I did the other day...4 recommendations for the Christian life, 4 lettuces or let us'-
Hebrews 10:22-25- Intro.-because we have a great high priest over the house of God (Jesus) 1. let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith... 2. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 3. Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 4. Let us not give up meeting together...but let us encourage one another more as you see the Day approaching. Let us now meditate on these things and moreso put them into practice.