Thursday, November 27, 2008

more Ecuador pics and Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some pics from our last visit to the church in Ascazubi (Ramon's group). As many of you know, this was a special group to us. We met them early on and worked with them throughout our time in Ecuador. These pictures are from the going-away service. I've still maintained contact with Ramon and he and the group seem to be doing well. I ask you to continue to pray for them. Here's the group singing.
Here's them praying for us.
This is the way that most Ecuadorian women carry their babies. They showed this to Christine and she did it that day.
Here's Christine in traditional indigenous dress from the Cayambe region of Ecuador. Here's me with Ramon, also known as my right arm. He was a great friend and partner in the ministry.
Here's some recent pictures, with the last two being from today- Thanksgiving. Here's Christine reading to Evan. Evan loves looking at the pictures in books.
Here's a couple of Evan in his swing. I think these were taken on his 6 month birthday, which was the other day (on the 25th). It's hard to believe how quick he is growing up. Here's Evan hanging out with his great-Grandpa today.
Here's Evan joining in on the Thanksgiving celebration by eating some sweet potatoes. You can see his bib that says, 'I'm stuffed.' I have some videos of Evan to close out but I want to update you on the ministry here. I'm starting officially with the church tomorrow. I have been doing stuff the last few weeks but start officially tomorrow. I'm asking you all to pray for direction and guidance as we start up. We are having a meeting at the supporting church (Frederick Blvd Baptist) this Sunday, so I ask you all to pray for this as well.
Here's Evan in his swing...
Evan in his Johnny Jump-up...
Evan continuing the family tradition of eating sweet taters at Thanksgiving. He was complaining that his didn't have marshmallows, brown sugar and pecans. I know Thanksgiving is almost over but I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving anyway. We do have a lot to be thankful for and we have a great God that makes it all possible. It is so great to know Him, serve Him and be taken care of by Him. The Lord has provided for us in so many ways, especially here recently. Here's a favorite verse that talks about thanksgiving in a way. Philippians 4:6-7-"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

more recent pics, ecuador pics and a couple of videos

here's some pics from ecuador and some recent ones from around here and a couple of recent videos. Here's some of Evan, me and Evan, our house and there's one of Evan with his cousin Audrey. Things have been going pretty well. We continue to settle in and get going with the ministry. We went to a conference last weekend and that was good. It was our first night away from Evan, so that was kind of tough but it went well.

These last five are some pictures from Ecuador. The first one is of me and a friend Henry. He is a neighbor that we met towards the end of our time there. He was going through quite a rough time. Now, he came to the US and is in New Jersey. There's also one of Evan and Carmen and a couple from the Bible studies at Emma and Luis'. I ask you to pray for these folks. They were good friends and we are beginning to think of Ecuador more and miss it. The last one here is of the last soccer game I went to in Ecuador. It was against Bolivia and this picture was taken after a penalty was made. Ecuador won the game.
Here's Evan with Ana, who is a friend from North Kansas City. Ana and her husband Eduardo have come up here to St. Joseph to help us start with the Hispanic ministry here. They are a tremendous blessing and have helped out a lot. They started coming up here last summer, even before we got here to get to know people and to start Bible studies. Here she is with Evan...we can tell that Evan likes to hear Spanish as he seems to get excited when he does. I ask you to pray for the ministry and especially for Ana and Eduardo.
Here's Evan in his walker.
Psalm 73:23-28-
"Yet I am always with You;
You hold my right hand.
You guide me with Your counsel,
and afterwards You will take me up in glory.
Whom do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
Those far from You will certainly perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, God's presence is my good.
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do."

Here's a passage of Scripture that I read recently that was meaningful to me. I wanted to share it with you all. Guess this is all for now. Take care and God bless.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ecuador pics and a video of Evan

I still have quite a few pics from Ecuador to show and more to go. Here are some and I also have a video of Evan at the bottom.
These first two were taken on one of the last days that Ramon and I went out for the agricultural project. We were vaccinating his in-law's sheep. You can see the beautiful mountain view. I miss the mountains and I know I'll miss them more as time goes on.
They had their corn out and I got this one that I like.
Here's Evan saying goodbye to his buddy Matthew. Matthew is another missionary kid that was born last February.
The last two pics were taken of a couple of churches that we worked with. This first one is the church at Guangopolo, which is pastored by Mario Iza.
The 2nd church here is Luz del Valle (Light of the Valley) and is pastored by Hernan Paez and Ramiro (sorry I can't remember his last name). I ask you to pray for these churches in particular. I ask you to pray that they would grow in faith, love and in wisdom.
As I close, I have a update and a prayer request related to it. It is rather sad news and kind of surprising. I know that I had mentioned Antonio and Geoconda before and asked you to pray for them. They were both believers that Jose and I visited and worked with. Well, Antonio had cancer and we were praying for healing for him. When I first met Antonio he was bed-ridden. After some time, he got better and seemed really well as I was leaving Ecuador. Shortly after returning to the US, we heard that he was getting bad and it looked like he didn't have much time to live. Well, I received news not too long ago that he passed on. I ask you to pray for his family. He has left 4 children and his wife behind. As I close I want to share a verse that he shared with me, a verse that was special to him. Psalm 27:4- "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple." We know that Antonio is now dwelling in the Lord's house and beholding the Lord's beauty in a way we can't even imagine.
Here's a recent video of Evan. You can see that he's a little ticklish.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fall in Missouri and some pics from Ecuador

I'm going to start out with some more pics from the agricultural project in Ecuador and then will close with some fall pics from here.
Here's part of a family with their little lamb...Maria had a little lamb. These pics were taken up in Chumillos, which is a community that has a church and we did the ag project there a couple of times.
I've put pics of these on before. They are called chochos and they look like bluebonnets but produce this bean that the people eat. Here's a Quichua (Indian) lady with her bull. You can see that she is wearing the Quichua traditional dress.
We visited with and helped this young man and his family during the project. I was able to ride this horse bareback and that was the first time I had ever done that. It was quite interesting.
Here's the team, a little bleary eyed, after a long day. Ramon is on the right. There is Gabriel with a couple of guys that came from his home area to help out. As I close these pics, I ask you all to pray for the people in Chumillos and specifically for Ramon as he continues to minister in the northern part of the valley. I called him last week and he seems to be doing well. He has started meeting with a group in Iguinaro, which is another community where we worked. I also ask you to pray for Gabriel and the areas where he is working.
Enjoy a fall in Missouri. We enjoyed the weather in Ecuador, which was springlike year-round but it was kind of monotonous and we missed the seasons some. It's nice to be back here for fall and especially to see all the brilliant colors in the trees.
These first two were taken at a park that is quite close to our house. It is known as Hyde Park. We went there with Jan, my mother-in-law and had a really good time. We also ate at a place right by that is baseball-themed, that has ice cream, bbq and burgers.

This third one was taken at 'The Bluffs', which is a nature preseve that is not too far out of town. It just takes about 10-15 minutes to get to from our house. I'm real excited about this place because I love to get out in nature. There are trails to hike on here and it is quite beautiful.
Here's Evan on the trail at the Bluffs.
Here's Mr. Whitebeard, who was eating rice cereal. It seems that more is staying out than going on...guess that's the way it is with a 5 month old. He seems to be getting something cause he is growing quite a bit.
Some more pics of Evan...

Psalm 118:8-9-It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in princes.

I won't write too much about this but I think this is a passage of scripture that is very relevant for our country right now. I want to start off by saying that I know we have an obligation to be good citizens and I know that God has instituted all authority (as it says in Romans 13 and Jesus told us to give to Caesar the things that are his and to God the things that are his). I also know that we live in a great nation. By putting these verses, I'm just emphasizing the fact that whatever happens in our government and in our nation, our ultimate authority is God. A similar idea was shared by a pastor friend before the election who shared that many times we put too much hope in one person in their office (ie. the President) and not enough in God or what the church should do in their role of transforming society. Our ultimate hope and faith should be in God, who is all-powerful and whose kingdom is eternal...not in a leader that may only rule a few years and in a nation that is not eternal. And our ultimate responsibility is to honor and live for Christ, representing him and transforming society in his name and with his power.