Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An eventful beginning

Our 5hr trip slowly turned into a 7hr, 10hr and then 33hr trip. We were flying the day the hurricane was going through Houston so we couldn't fly out of DFW to catch our flight into Houston to Quito. So we waited around at DFW for a couple of hours and then waited a couple of more hours on the plane that was not allowed to fly out. All of this w/ a baby and 4yr old who hasn't had their naps. We finally got into Houston and by this time had missed our flight so at midnight we were checking into a hotel. The next day we had to start the whole process again out of the Houston airport at 6a.m. Thanks to God we arrived safely into our apartment in Quito at midnight.

Really it wasn't as bad as I make it sound. The worst part of it was uncontrollable crying from our baby. And at times I wanted to join him. Under the circumstances they really did great! God was good in answering our prayers for us not to get stuck in a foreign country w/ all our luggage and kids. I really think this was His way of answering it. I would rather get layed over in the middle of the night in the U.S. than in a foreign country any time.

Our second day in Quito I was stopped by some tv reporters for an interview. I told them I had just arrived and had no idea what they were asking and declined the interview. They persisted so I gave in. The question was a political question about the president. I had no idea what they were talking about but I said " no I didn't agree" As soon as I said that they looked at each other in shock that I said no. As I walked away I began to wonder if I made a dumb mistake by answering. Images of the president hunting me down for answering against him began to take over. Next time I will keep my ignorance to myself instead of broadcasting it to the world.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Adios, Amigos!

We are heading out tomorrow, July 24th!
This bittersweet day is finally upon us. We walk forth in the grace, strength and guidance of our Lord but we do not walk alone we walk surrounded by friends and family as they shower us with their prayers and blessings. I can't even begin to explain how great it feels to not go alone as a family. Thank you for walking with us!

Big prayer request for tomorrow-
Quito is surrounded by mountains and at night it gets very cloudy and windy therefore making our landing conditions hard. We are landing at midnight and there is a big possibility that they won't land our plane in the Quito airport but in another city which means we will need to spend a night there and catch a plane the next day. So please pray that we are able to land in Quito. It will be chaotic to land in another city that we don't know with 6 very large pieces of luggage, a stroller, 2 kids, and 3 carry ons trying to find a hotel in the middle of the night and a taxi that will have room for all of our stuff.

How to contact us:
Our cell # is no longer any good.

Also, please don't send any support checks to our Ft. worth address send them directly to RCE, PO Box 4528, Wheaton, IL 60189 made out to RCE with only our account #3928 on it not our names. Thanks so0000 much!
Keep in touch!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Come Let us rejoice in who He is Ps. 66:6

I want to share the following so that you can rejoice and give Him the glory with us. This is the first topic of many to come:
Support Raising
The "S" word we didn't want anything to do with this word when we were looking into going as missionaries. We thought this was not for us. Well, God had other plans.
God put on our hearts Alliance Academy Int'l. A perfect fit for our family but guess what? We had to raise support, $2,500 a mth. Read on as we share His provisions for us:
-We began by sending out over 100 letters to friends and family. After a month into it we still had not heard from anyone. Though it was a slow start the Lord knew what He was doing and 2.5 months later we are at full support!
-After our estate sale was over this couple comes the next day and said "God had put us on their mind and they felt like they needed to come back and pray for us." Here's God bringing people along to encourage us.
-Our church was one of the first to come along our side and decide to support us not just finacially but also with moral support. The Body of Christ unites with us.
-This lady who has no idea who we are randomly comes across that we still needed support and she felt like the Lord was leading her to give. God working in the hearts of total strangers.
-We presented at a church of about 50 people we felt bad asking them to support us since they were so small and probably didn't have the budget to. Well to this day they are our highest supporters. God works in the unexpected!
-So many of our wonderful friends and family have given sacrificially of their time and money to help us get to Ecuador so we could spread the Gospel to students! This has been humbling and amazing to see His people at different stages of life: young, single, old, married, divorced, poor, rich, christian and non-christian (yes he even uses the non-christian to answer our prayers).... The body of Christ coming together is an amazing thing to see in action.

This journey has been hard as He has had to strip us of our illusion of control, our pride in our independence, our illusion that we have it all together and the hardest our illusion that we totally trust in Him. But He has been so merciful, compassionate as He works in us- a work in progress molding us as people after His own heart not our own desires. Though it has been hard I wouldn't trade it for the sweet times we have had with the Lord individually and as a family!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A miracle waiting to happen!

Moses has been our companion throughout this journey of becoming missionaries. Recently, I was reminded of how the Lord guided Moses through the desert as they were exiting Egypt. Now picture this with me: You're heading out with thousands of people into the desert, your goal: the promised land. He leads you towards a massive body of water and there is no bridge, no boat waiting to help you get over it. As you approach it you begin to hear in the background horses, chariots and masses of soldiers coming towards you. You're thinking - we're going to die. We are cornered. Moses looks in front of him and he sees the massive sea and then he looks behind him and he sees the soldeirs coming at them, but when he looks up he hears the Lord. The Lord tells him to "go forth". Can you imagine what it took to take the first step into that parted sea? But can you imagine how tragic it would have been if they would not have taken that first step. They would have missed seeing God's amazing power!

We are taking a step of faith by heading over to Ecuador with our house still on the market. We believe that God will open doors and right now we just need to be obedient and "go forth," even though things are not lining up as we wished. To be honest, it's a bit nerve racking, but we believe. Many of you may be thinking we're crazy, this is foolish, you still have to use your brains even though you have faith, young people just don't think things through. Well, you may be right about some of those things, but you know, as I think back to the miracles the Lord has performed in my life there is always a pattern: it was the impossible, He made it possible, He got the glory and I needed to take that step of faith to discover it. So we go forth! So go forth with us as you pray for us because we need it - we leave JULY 24th!

Please pray for a miracle for our house to be sold/rented. A miracle of reconciliation for Mari's family. Please pray that we would not rely on our own understanding but that we trust in Him for all that we do.

clarification about our newsletter

For those of you have had a chance to read our recent newsletter, we wanted to let you know that it is Mari's family that we mentioned needing special prayer.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Meet our Team!

This is part of our team that we will be working with in Ecuador. The directors of the school, David and Lois Wells, are the first couple on the left. Then in between Ben and me is the elementary school principal Mr. Driscoll and his family (their boys are Indonesian) and the rest are couples and some lovely single girls.

Part of our Pre-Field Orientation Training fun was visiting with our future co-workers. We were in classes all day and then would meet at our house for games in the evening.
The people there were just like us, getting ready to embark a whole new world as missionaries. We were a smorgasbord of ages, cultures, languages and lifestyles. It was fun to interact with everyone and hear how the Lord brought them to this point in their life.

This is our small group. We split up into small groups throughout the week and had a bible study time. Everyone here is going to either Ecuador or Morocco.

Here is Ethan with his new little friends from class: Tavin and John who will be serving in China.
Everyday our meals were in the cafeteria with about 150 people. We realized that Ethan is definetly an extravert. He would go around to different tables asking people their names and conversing with them. He would leave our table and say, "I'll be back. I need to go say hi to my new friends." This sweet couple, Cameron and Elisa, are going to serve in Tawain and are one of the couples Ethan befriended. We got to know them as a result of our child's extraversion. We were known as Ethan's parents by many for the past two weeks.