It’s hard to believe that Christmas 2016 is finished and we have already entered a new year. We have been so blessed by your prayers and interest in the work we have a part of here in this beautiful country. Thank you for the notes of encouragement and gifts of support this past year that has helped us in the work the Lord has laid before us. We continue to follow and trust Him to lead us as we serve.
Since our last blog post, we were privileged to host a wonderful Christmas party for our local homeschool group. This group is such a blessing to us! It has been amazing to see it grow – especially with Ecuadorian parents wanted to nurture their children with the tool of homeschooling! Here are a few highlights of this time we had together Saturday December 16th. We had a record amount of people attend (over 90!) and needless to say it is one of the most anticipated annual events for those in this group.
Our daughter Lydia (working with Mexico Medical Missions in the northwest part of Mexico homeschooling a missionary family) and our son Isaac (attending Pensacola Christian College in Florida) arrived in Ecuador for the holidays right before our homeschool gathering, so it was fun for them to see many of their friends.
It was wonderful to have five of our kids home for Christmas. Our son Ethan and wife Leanne continue to work in the Congo with a missionary family, homeschooling their three kids and helping with other ministry opportunities. We missed them very much, but are so thankful for this opportunity that the Lord has given them.
One amazing development we have observed over the years is how media has allowed us to communicate to those we love. When we first came to Ecuador in 1990, it took a “snail mail” letter about a month to travel from the jungle to the United States and another month for any answer to that letter to return back to us. Now, we can easily talk by video to anyone around the world. What joy to speak to Ethan and Leanne in Africa on Christmas Day, and Esther’s family in Oregon on Christmas Eve!
Right after Christmas, we have had the joy of hosting some of Sarah and Julia’s Emmaus Bible College and Phantom Ranch Bible Camp friends! We’ve had fun showing them around Ecuador, hiking, and presently Ron has them down in the jungle exploring. They will finish this week with us returning to the States on Friday. Maybe we will be able to post some photos of their adventures in the next post.
Last, we will post a new family photo for you all taken the last day of 2016. We look forward to seeing what God has for all of us this new year of 2017!
- Lydia returning to Mexico on January 5th to continue her work. It is not unusual to see some of the cartel driving around their area, so safety is an issue. Pray especially for one of her little students, Carolina.
- Ron as he continues to work with the church leaders and the children in the Cofan villages of Sinangue, Dovuno and Dureno.
- Isaac as he returns to PCC January 20th and continues with his studies. He has a campus job, but finances are looking tight this next semester.
- Alex, a little boy from Sinangue that was badly burned in December. At first the doctors gave his family no hope for his recovery, but many of you have been praying and there has been steady improvements – enough that he was sent home earlier this week!
- Jhonas and his mom from the Secoya community downriver from Dureno. They just got back up to Quito yesterday and we are praying Celinda will have her hip replacement surgery VERY soon.
- For Ron and Esther as Bible studies and homeschool activities start up again after the holidays. Homeschool Teen Fellowship starts this Friday January 6 and the ladies Bible study starts up next Tuesday January 10th. The ladies will be studying the book of Daniel. Ron’s various studies and discipleship start up again next week as well.