The first month of Ecuador has been phenomenal. I've had a great time so far adjusting to living in this third world country. Even though I grew up here there is a lot that was taken care of for me and now I'm having to figure it out for myself. I guess that's what happens when you become an adult. Spanish is coming back to me little by little, but I had not realized how much I had lost. Communication with the people is usually pretty easy though.
This past week was Spiritual Emphasis Week at the Alliance Academy. This is put on by the Chaplain's Office staff (Adam DeVries and Loren Holland). Dan Gilder from Ohio was our speaker and did an amazing job. Michio Ozaki led our worship time each day and also did an incredible job. Michio is actually an Alliance Academy alumni from years past and has an amazing gift for music and worship. We were very blessed to have him this Spiritual Emphasis. The student response has been good, but we were praying for better. Part of the vision for this semester's Spiritual Emphasis was to give the students ways to encounter God other than through the chapel service each day. To do this we created encounter spaces where they could meet with God in different ways. I will attempt to attach a video I made that shows kids how and where they could do so.
Please continue to pray for the students as the population is in a balance between not caring at all about God and those who are very arrogant and think they know all there is about Christianity. God is at work, thank you for your prayers and concern as the chaplains and counseling team tackle some difficult challenges in reaching the kids.
This week I am interviewing students who want to be on the school worship teams. This is a hard thing to do as I have never done it before. I served on the worship teams when I was at Alliance and have some concept of how they work, but need prayer for wisdom.
This past Sunday was the first youth group meeting for the senior high at English Fellowship Church. I have been delegated the responsibility and the privilege to head this ministry up. Again I was in the youth group as a high schooler and now am in charge of it for the next 5 months until a full time youth pastor arrives. Pray that I can develop good one on one relationships with the kids. Nearly 30 came on Sunday night which was much more than I expected. As a sort of interim youth pastor pray that I can prepare the way for Dave Gardeen the to-be youth pastor while having a positive godly impact on the youth.
I share an apartment with three guys who are here doing a study abroad program through Youth World and their school in California, Eternity Bible College. They are great guys and we have done well together thus far. They are helping me out at the youth group as well as involving themselves in various ministries around Quito that Youth World is involved in.
There is a youth pastor that works across the street from the Alliance selling artisan things. In the past I have helped some of his youth to get school supplies. Recently he has asked if I could supply a pair of backpacks for their schooling. And I said "of course". So if any of you would like to give toward helping some of his youth out you are welcome to give through IT or directly to me. The information for that is at the right of the blog.
Forgive me as I do not have any pictures up. Some how I managed to leave all of my rechargeable batteries in the US and have no battery for my camera, but I will get them up soon. Thank you for your patience. And thank you all who have given to allow me to be here. May God bless you in immeasurable ways.