Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 is all done

Two months now have gone by since my last update. Unbelievable! I hope all of you are enjoying the holidays. Most important news first: Engagement: On December 12, 2008 I asked Alaina Bare, my girlfriend of 4years and nearly 8months, to my wife. There is a video production coming on YouTube if I can get it to upload. The video is a documentary of the whole thing. I flew to the US and went to Jackson, TN where she is studying to surprise her as well as ask for her hand. And, praise the Lord, she said, “YES, I’d love to (be your wife)!” More details on our engagement in future posts. We are planning right now to have the wedding June 6, 2009 in Jackson, TN at her church. Many are welcome and save the dates and invitations will happen soon. I hope. Pray for effective and informative premarital counseling for Alaina and me here in Ecuador as we meet with different couples to discuss and learn about different topics. Adam and Sara DeVries have agreed to walk us through this process. Thanks. Ministry: Chaplaincy: The semester ended well with much anticipation for the vacation. I know that Adam and I were ready for the vacation time. While projects were being completed and last minute tasks accomplished, I feared people lost sight of Christ’s coming. When things are crazy it is so easy to just “do stuff”. As the worship leader for the school I have been exploring ways to be the best leader I can, while better leading students and faculty in worshiping and encountering their Creator. One of the Bible teachers here, Dave Saavedra, has agreed to mentor me through this process. In fact next fall I may be teaching a class on Worship – history, philosophy, controversy as well as personal and corporate worship leadership. This will be a huge step for me as I would be given a temporary teaching licenses to teach something I will self educate myself in. Therefore, this coming semester will consist of educating myself as well as taking practical musical classes in voice, and guitar. There is the potential of added costs for better material with which to improve my ministry here. More on that in the upcoming months. Jungle Trip: Just this past week I went with the Bare family on a ministry adventure to the Shuar people. The tribes we visited were almost on the southern Ecuador/Peru border. Fortunately we were able to fly from Quito to Loja on a commercial plane, but then had a full day of driving mostly on very bumpy dirt roads. After our second day of travel we stayed in some cabins on the Nagariza River just over the ridge from Northern Peru. The following day we traveled by canoe up and down the river sharing the Christmas story and giving candy bags to the children of the villages. It was a wonderful trip! The only down side was leaving my basketball shorts behind by accident.   Check out Facebook for pictures! Life: Friends: This month of December my best friend and long time ministry partner Trevor Schmidt has come to live here in Quito for at least three months. I am thrilled that we will be working together again. Pray for him as he will be beginning some masters courses from Liberty while assisting me with the Youth Group and Chaplain’s Office. Needs: Personnel: Please pray for the upcoming semester and future as we are desperately in need of quality help. If you feel called to be an intern or even full time missionary, let me know and I would love to help you through that process. Pray for Dave Gardeen, who is coming to be the full-time Youth Pastor at EFC as he raises support. Also for Ashley Ruffner who is having trouble raising support to come and be a full-time chaplain at the Alliance Academy. Personal: Please keep me in prayer as I explore the topic and depth of Worship. Pray for Alaina and me as we learn about being married and how to prepare for that. The coming summer we will be traveling around the US speaking and raising support to go full-time with International Teams. Next Fall we hope to return to Ecuador and continue working as chaplains/teachers here. Thank you all for your support and prayers. They are invaluable to the work and the quality of work here in Ecuador. Everyone is feeling to economic strain. The whole world seems to be tied to the economy of the US and even here in Ecuador things have gotten tighter. God rules still! I know what He has called me to, do you? Does your “God” change when circumstances do? Are you comfortable, may be too comfortable to witness His greatness through difficult times when your only choice is to trust Him? I hope so. He has come! Merry Christmas -Loren Holland