Thank you for your prayers these past months. We had an unexpected trip back to the States in September. Esther went up first to help care for her mother and was there in time to help make the decision to put her into hospice. (Ron and Sarah came up a few weeks later.) Mom was diagnosed with a type of leukemia and instead of undergoing aggressive treatment, chose to live out her days peacefully. She was with us exactly nineteen days from the time of her diagnosis and decision. It was a challenging time, but precious to spend with extended family as we cared for her in her last days before she went Home on September 28th. She loved the Lord from the time of eight years old and served Him faithfully, using her gifts of music, cooking, hospitality, and teaching God’s Word – touching many lives. She will be missed, but we look forward to being together someday once again.
Our kids that live in Washington State were all able to come and visit during my mom’s time in the Hospice House. Once we had her at home, our son Isaac and his wife Yvonne from Florida were able to visit.
Ron, Esther and Sarah returned to Ecuador on October 12th and the first thing on our calendar was Homeschool Teen Fellowship on the 14th! Our group has continued to grow and most of our meetings we have between 40 – 50 teens attending! One specially planned meeting September 16th was “Night of the Arts” and we had several parents come and lend some of their skills in leading workshops. The kids were able to choose between a drawing/sketching class, painting, drama, photography and worship/music team. It was greatly enjoyed by all and we had a LOT of good feedback.
Many of you have been praying for Ecuador with the unrest during the summer months against the present government. Some progress was made in the talks between in the indigenous and the government, and there has been no return to strikes. But we have no guarantee that things will continue to be peaceful, so we continue to pray for the peace of Ecuador. Crime is on the rise, like it is in most places, and we decided to upgrade our security by the purchase of a new gate at the top of our property. We do appreciate your prayers for our health and safety.
Ron was able to take some Fathers and Sons out for a campout in August in the Pululahua Crater. It was one of the highlights of summer!
Another highlight in August was taking our resident Cofan family – Nataly, Diana, Diego, Hugo and Shamir – to the local zoo before school started back up. They live here on property in the housing we have available and have been such a blessing to us (and it’s fun having kids full time on the property again!). Pray for Nataly and Diana as they raise their older sister’s three boys. Pray for their extended family to come to the Lord.
The church youth group is also doing well and we have a ministry trip planned for them to visit the community of Uyuchul in the hills north of Quito. Our youth will be putting on a day retreat for the youth of this community on November 12th. Also, a parent is coming alongside our group to help them serve the church in a Christmas program! Please pray for our group as they put these events together to serve the Lord.
We have asked for prayer for groups coming this past summer to help with the Sinangue church expansion project. Some work was done and more funds raised for a new roof. Ron was able to make the purchase for the last of the materials and a friend was able to take them down to the village this past week. Ron tentatively has some workdays planned for the church November 14th – 16th. Please pray for the church leaders in Sinangue. Leuterio, who had been fighting cancer for months, finally went to be with the Lord. Ramon has had some struggles with his health and the others also need our prayers.
Continue prayer for the Cofan Old Testament translation project. Pray for the translation team as they go over the work they have done in Exodus and Leviticus making corrections. Also pray for some upcoming meetings with a representative from SIL/Wycliffe that is coming to meet about the project in Quito on November 3rd and in Lago Agrio with the translation team on November 5th. Ron hopes to be able to attend the meetings. He’s so thankful for the help of others as he works on the Paratext computer program refining the Cofan grammar.
Sarah has her teen girls’ Bible study in full swing on Monday afternoons and Esther has her ladies Bible study up and running on Tuesday afternoons. They are both studying about spiritual disciplines from God’s Word.
We always look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving here in Ecuador and usually host a large group of friends on Thanksgiving Day. We are also looking forward to our daughter Lydia, who works in Samachique, Mexico, to come and visit us at Christmas as well as Ron’s brother Rick and family coming to visit in the days after Christmas and New Years.
Our calendar and hearts are full as we serve the Lord here in Ecuador. We are humbled by the faithful prayers and support that each of you bless us with. Thank you!
Photo at the top: Ron was able to see a Spectacled Bear in the wild up near Papallacta back in early September.