Sunday, June 27, 2010

Looking back.... Pressing forward. Two years completed!

I just happened to find a prayer card picture of our family that we made the summer of '08 when we first embarked on this journey (last picture in the row above).  I was so amazed to see how little our boys were.  Aiden was just learning to walk and talk.  Now he is running, jumping, speaking in two languages and in pre-school.  Ethan was only 4 and so little.  Now he is 6yrs old, finished his first year of Kinder and growing. (First 2 pic. are recent this year)   We had no idea what life was like here in Quito if they had clothing stores, how accessible they were etc...  We bought some clothes for the boys that were 1 or 2 sizes too big just in case.  I was just cleaning out their closet and saw how much our boys have grown quickly leaving that clothes behind. 
There are many missionaries who embark this similar journey not knowing where they are going but knowing that God is with them.  Many missionaries get to their location and ministry and are miserable there but having sold everything, raised support and made a time commitment- they just stick to it.  We are so blessed to be able to say that this has not been our experience.  Yes, of course we have had our share of hardships but nothing that would make us want to pack our bags and leave or count the days til our commitment is over.  This place of ministry has been a great fit for our family.  Our school is considered one of the top schools here in Quito even though its a missionary school.  So Ethan is getting a wonderful education, Aiden was offered a scholarship at an excellent preschool, Ben loves his job teaching 6th graders, mentoring and discipling students who have never heard the gospel, to be able to reach out to street children as a family and I love the variety of work in my counseling position. 
Our constant struggle is looking back at our life, family and friends that we left in the states but the Lord gives us strength to press forward and to be content in the present.  We count our blessings as we look back at 2 great years of ministry completed here in Quito.  You are part of those blessings we count because as you know it would not have been possible without you.

Driving Restrictions, Electricity Restrictions, Schedule restrictions - Whats next?

Ecuador just began a new form of traffic control "Pico Placa"  Through out the week certain lic. plate #'s are restricted from driving.  If caught driving on those days you are fined, your car is taken from you ......  I still have not gotten used to this new law in our life so I completely forgot that it was Tues. and I couldn't drive.  I only had a 5min drive down to work and thankfully there were no cops out patroling. I would have hated to get fined and our car taken away for a 5min drive.  I think this restriction is here to stay. 

For what seemed like an eternity we had electricity rations.  It probably lasted for 5 months but throughout the day certain neighborhoods would have power outages for 4-5hrs at a time.  Some neighborhoods had it happen twice a day.  This restriction was much harder to deal with for our family.  Though it did provide some opportunities for creative entertaining and dining in the evenings.  We set up a tent and had marshmallows one evening, we would play games by candle light and then after a month of it we were out of ideas.  Maybe this was the time we got pregnant, just kidding.  I know that there are many missionaries out there who have to live w/o normal electricity in their lives and we are thankful ours was only a temporary solution to water shortage in this country.

The Ministry of Education which is in control of public and private education in this country has made it really hard on our school to function as we normally do with our school schedule.  They have made us modify our school calendar making the year forever long and shortening our Christmas break to start the 23rd of Dec.  This makes it hard on missionaries as I am sure nationals.  For missionaries it effects our furloughs, our support raising time and much more.  Our school is required to abide so here we go ending school on June 25th and starting up mid August.  Thankfully we are not traveling this summer but it makes for a short summer when your trying to visit supporters, family and get some rest time in there.  I am sure before long we will all get used to this schedule its just always hard at the beginning of unpleasant changes.