I guess it’s been longer than I thought since we sent out our last update! April looks like it was my last blog post and now it’s November! I guess time flies when you are busy having fun!
Since it’s been THAT long since we wrote last, I’ll mention that we were in the States for a short time in the summer welcoming a new grandbaby and traveling around a bit to see friends, supporters and family.
We are also happy to announce that in July while we were in Alamagordo, NM, visiting White Sands National Monument, our son Isaac got engaged to Yvonne Maher! They are planning a June 4, 2022 wedding in Michigan in Yvonne’s hometown. We are so happy to have Yvonne join our family.
Ron and I returned back to Ecuador the end of July and Sarah joined us in September. We jumped right back into ministry, so we will give you a rundown of what our week looks like.
Sunday will find us at our church meeting in person. Esther and Sarah both have children’s classes and Ron does a class for the teens. The last two months we were meeting many Sunday afternoons and during the week with our youth as we prepared for a ministry trip to a tiny little town on the coast called Pacoche (more on this later).
Mondays are usually catch-up days for us as we do our best to not schedule things outside of the house. Sometimes it is housework or yardwork that needs to be done, or just catching up on notes and letters on the computer. There is always study and preparation for the Bible studies that happen through out the week as well.
Tuesdays Esther has had a Zoom Bible study in the afternoon with the women in her family in the States. We have been studying different books of the Bible using Kay Arthur’s New Inductive studies. It has truly been a precious time for everyone from Esther’s mom to daughters, sisters and nieces coming on for a lively discussion every week. We took a short break for the month of October, but we will starting back up again in November on the book of Numbers. Ron has a Zoom Bible study in Spanish in the evenings with friends tuning in from a 15 minute away drive to the jungle villages. They have been studying the book of Revelation together. Ron usually has an elder’s meeting at church in the mornings as well.
Wednesday we welcome two missionary children in and Sarah homeschools them in the mornings to help out their family. Then in the afternoons their mom arrives as well as several other missionary women, some with children and some not, and we host a women’s Bible study in English. Sarah helps with the childcare for the young mothers and sometimes has as many as nine children to look after. This study has been on the life of Elijah and has been such a blessing! Ron sometimes meets with the church board (a requirement for churches in Ecuador) in the mornings.
Thursday Ron often has a breakfast Bible study with other business people who attend our church at a bagel shop in Quito. They recently just started meeting in person again. Different ones take turns leading this study, so they get a great variety of subjects to discuss. Thursday afternoon and evenings we often have Zoom calls with our family. It has been a great blessing being able to keep up when we live so far away.
Every other Friday we host our Homeschool Teen Fellowship group. This group has grown so much over this past year and we usually have about 40 kids that attend. Ron and Sarah spend hours discussing activities and preparing the lesson. Esther works on the food as we feed dinner to those attending. This group is one of our highlights for the week!
Saturday can be mixed. Sometimes Ron has a Men’s Breakfast at church, sometimes we have another meeting and sometimes it’s another day to prepare for classes and Bible study.
A lot of weeks are like what we wrote above, except for the two weeks a month Ron gets down to the jungle villages for several days. He goes to encourage the church leaders, visit the Cofan people and teach the children about God’s Word.
This past weekend, we worked for about eight weeks to prepare fifteen kids from our Sunday and Friday group to go on a ministry trip to a tiny little town called Pacoche. We have some other missionary friends that work with a youth group there, Pete and Jen Emery. Many of our youth are gifted musically and many of them like doing skits and drama. They also have a lot of practice doing our Friday night activities, so we worked with them to put together a one day retreat for the youth in Pacoche. All of them worked on testimonies and many of them shared. It was a beautiful time! We just returned from the trip last night and our weekend went so well! We had many praying for this trip and we saw God working – in both the youth of Pacoche and ours. The kids (and Ron and Sarah) worked so hard and did a great job – may God have the glory!
December: please pray for the coming Cofan Church Leader’s Training that will be around December 5th – 9th. Pray for the teachers traveling in and for those that will be traveling to attend the sessions in Dureno. Thanks!