Hello, everyone! Guten Tag!
We were blessed with an amazing August this year. First of all, we were able to help with a Christian global workers conference in … Germany! We had a wonderful time exploring our first European country. The first 10 days of our time there was spent in a little village in central Germany that is used for World Cup ski jumping in the winter.
The scenery was beautiful and we had some limited time to explore, but our main job was to care for babies age 0-16 months old. Our childcare days ranged from 5-8 hours a day of holding, changing and entertaining babies and we had such a good time! The team of people we worked with were amazing and such a blessing to these families. We felt very privileged to be a part of this group.
After the conference, we bravely rented a car and drove through the beautiful German countryside to the town of Hameln (Hamlin in English). Esther has a first cousin who lives and works there and it was wonderful to meet for the first time in our lives (that we remember), recall family stories, spend time together and explore the old town of Hameln. My cousin’s job is in tourism and one thing he gets to do is be the Pied Piper. It was so fun to get a personal tour of Hameln from the Pied Piper himself!
And of all things, Hameln likes to decorate with rats!
We spent one day driving around the nearby towns with our special tour guide (not in costume!) and had some wonderful views of castles and churches along with a history lesson of each. Here is our favorite castle we visited:
This castle is the location of the first Lutheran church built in Germany from the ground up! Inside the castle we even had the privilege of viewing a Gutenberg Bible!
You might be wondering why this was so interesting? Well, this October marks the 500th anniversary of when Martin Luther nailed those 95 theses onto the church door – the birth of the reformation! As you can imagine, there will be a number of celebrations in Germany for this event – not excluding at this location.
We are only sharing a very small sample of photos of our time in Germany and what we saw. If you have Facebook, you are welcome to view more photos posted on Esther’s wall and Lydia’s wall. One of the definite highlights was getting to spend time with our daughter Lydia on this trip. We are so thankful for the gifts of the airplane tickets through the organization Lydia worked for two years ago, and some other special gifts that helped make this trip possible and something we will always remember we did the year of our 30th wedding anniversary.
Our time ended in Frankfurt, a tremendous melting pot of so many peoples – many of them refugees from middle eastern countries. We got to visit one of the oldest zoos in Europe and stayed in an Airbnb that had an amazing view of the city.
The three of us then parted ways: Lydia to the west coast where she would finish preparing for her trek to Mexico for the school year; Esther’s return to Ecuador to continue a new school year for Aaron and Andy Rogers (with an amazing helper teacher, Sarah); and Ron to Michigan to spend some time with his dad and our daughter Julia. Ron was able to stay and help out for a week and then his sister Sheri and her youngest son Peter came to care for Dad the second week of Rick and Sue’s time off as full-time caregivers.
Where is everyone now? Ron is back in Ecuador, hit the ground running with a pile of projects. Lydia made it safely to northern Mexico, west of Chihuahua where she will be teaching her students for a second year. Julia just traveled to the Spokane, WA area and is living with her brother Ethan and sis-in-law Leanne. She is waiting to hear about a job. Sarah and Aaron are here in Ecuador, Aaron just started his 12th grade year; and Isaac just started up his sophomore year at Pensacola Christian College in Florida!
Some current projects and things coming up for the month of September:
- Ron just finished two days of Christian music recording in our studio here by a Shuar family from the jungle. The family has a long trip home today.
- Saturday we are hosting a Homeschool Family Picnic here on our property that gives North American and Ecuadorian homeschool families a way to meet, fellowship and network together.
- Ron has at least one jungle trip to Cofan villages planned this month with the first one around September 11-13.
- Our calendar is full of friends and family coming and going from the States, some needing hospitality for a season here in our home.
- Sunday school classes and Bible study classes will be starting or are already up and running. Our next Homeschool Teen Fellowship meeting is October 8th.
Thank you for your prayers!