Happy New Year 2023! It’s hard to believe that another year has passed and we have started a new one. This past year has had us see many joys but also experience some sorrows. As always, we have so much to be thankful for and give our Lord and Savior Jesus all the glory.
A quick rundown of November and December 2022 looked like this:
- Ron met with a representative of SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics/Wycliffe) on November 2rd and then again on November 4th with the Cofan translation team. The meetings went well and our team was invited to attend another Paratext course November 28th – December 2nd. Three of five of the team were able to attend which ended up being a great refresher course for them.
- November 12th our church youth were able to minister to a little village in the mountains north of Quito named Uyuchul. It was a great experience for them leading the time with the teens of that area. They gave testimonies, lead in games and activities and shared a lunch.
- Ron then headed down to the Cofan village of Sinangue November 14th – 16th to help get the church community started on putting on their new roof. They are so grateful for the gifts that were given by several groups and work teams for the new material. Already it has made a great difference by muffling the loud jungle rains during the church services, insulate from the hot sun, and allowed the expansion of the church building to now be included under the same roof!
- Our family has annually hosted a Thanksgiving celebration in our home since we have moved to this property twenty years ago. It has been a wonderful blessing to us to take a time of thanking the Lord for all His many blessings along with our friends here in Ecuador.
- Ron was able to make a trip December 5th – 9th to Sinangue, Dovuno and Dureno for some special Christmas meetings with the children and adults. As always, it was a time filled with fun and reflection of Christ’s first coming.
- Our Homeschool Teen Fellowship meetings continued during this time, every other Friday in our home. Our last meeting in 2022 was our annual Christmas party on December 16th. We had about 50 teens attend and had a great time with some fun seasonal activities, sharing a special meal together and time of devotions and prayer together.
- Ron, Esther and Sarah were overjoyed to welcome Lydia for the holidays! She arrived December 19th and returns to Samachique, Mexico and her work teaching missionary kids on January 6th. It has been four years since she has been in Ecuador and three years since we spent Christmas together in the States. We have been able to make many special memories together including a beach trip December 26th – 29th together on the Ecuadorian coast.
Here is a quick rundown of what the coming months look like and what you can Pray for in 2023:
- Our Bible studies continue from last year. Two new ones started up on Monday afternoons. Sarah is leading a teen girl study and Ron a teen boy study. They meet from 3:30 – 5:30. Tuesday afternoons Esther continues her women’s Bible study with Sarah helping with childcare since several young mothers attend. We also all continue to help teach various ages of Sunday school classes at our church and Ron and Sarah help lead the youth group on Sunday. We actually have great teams of people that we work with at our church for these classes. Working with children and youth are things we LOVE to do!
- Our Homeschool Teen Fellowship group that we host in our home is another group close to our hearts. It continues to grow and it’s a good thing we have plenty of space in our home and a big yard for all the activities. We plan to have our fundraiser early in March for the annual retreat scheduled for late in March. We hope to take the teens to the beach this year! Pray for the details to come together. So much planning goes into these events and we are blessed to have a wonderful team of parents helping us this year – something we really need with as large as the group is growing.
- The Cofan Church Leaders Courses will continue in 2023. They are on the calendar for January 23rd – 27th, April 24th – 28th, and September 25th – 29th.
- The Cofan Old Testament translation project also will continue. Thanks to a special gift given by a church that supported Ron’s parents, all the years they worked on the New Testament translation for the Cofan, we were able to gift some money monthly to the five people that have been working so hard on the Old Testament translation. God is so good and faithful to provide! We are trusting Him to provide for 2023 as well. Inquiries have gone to an organization called the Seed Company that help with funding for translation projects. We appreciate your prayers as we move ahead with this and for Leoncio, Osmar, Enma, Martin and Wilson as they translate God’s Word into the Cofan language. ( https://seedcompany.com/ )
- We also ask for special prayer for an interesting situation we are in with our mission service, Christian Missions in Many Lands (CMML). We need to find another “home” church in the States in order to stay with this organization. We have written a few letters to some churches, but have only had response back from one so far. It’s a little discouraging, but we know our Lord knows all about it and will guide us as we move ahead in this search. If the Lord closes the door in this direction, we will need to find another mission service. Thank you ahead of time for your prayers.
- January 17th marks thirty-three years since we first followed God’s call to come to Ecuador to work with the Cofan people. The first eleven years were spent in the jungle village of Dureno, living and working with the people, youth and children. The past almost twenty-one years have been spent here living near Mitad del Mundo serving the youth and children of this area and continuing to work with the churches and people in the Cofan villages in the northeastern jungles of Ecuador. God has been so faithful over the years as we raised our six children and did the work set before us. Praise the Lord!