Friday, January 23, 2009

Extended Hearts

     When I was in High School I began a relationship with an artisan vendor named Carlos Remache who sold things across the street from the school here in Ecuador. During high school I got to know him through buying Ecuadorian gifts from him to give others. Once he asked me if I could help him with getting some back backs from some boys in his community about three hours north of Quito. At the time I was happy to help him out though I didn't even know him that well. The backpacks were for two boys whom he has been discipling for several years now. When he asked me to help the boys with the two gifts the boys were in early primary school. Now they are beginning secondary. Last semester my friend told me the boys had worn the backpacks out from years of use and were very much in need of new ones. Again I was happy to help him as I have many supporters who have freely given so that I can freely give to those in need here in Ecuador. As you have given know that two boys here in Ecuador as well as a Quichua Alliance Pastor, Carlos Remache are receiving blessings that they could never afford.
This first picture show one of the boys, Juan Carlos, on the left kneeling and Carlos Remache on the right standing over them.  The bottom photo is the second boy, Luis Humberto, with one of his backpack.
     Carlos Remache just finished his title in biblical studies to be an Alliance Pastor for his town.  He already has missionary dreams and visions of his own to reach his people.  Continue to keep him and his wife and sons in your prayers.  From time to time I help them out with other expenses such as medicines, bus fares, etc.  He is hoping to get into the Alliance Quichua seminary that meets at the school as soon as the Lord permits.
    Thank you all for playing a part in helping out the brothers who are doing such a great work in their own country.  
May the Lord Bless and keep you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Home, Almost Home

This next semester I am living with the Weir family.  They are long friends of my family from back in our Shell days.  It is so nice to have some home cooking again.  Already I'm finding more energy to complete my daily tasks.
It has been only a few days since Alaina went back to the US.  Having her here in country was so nice.  Spending everyday together was wonderful as we tackled natural tendencies and family differences while preparing for marriage, etc.  So very good!  She has started her student teaching in Jackson and seems confident in what she's doing.  She has already broken up at least one fight.  Pay for her as she learns the ropes of teaching high school and middle school over the next 4 weeks.  Afterwards she will go to Costa Rica and teach at an international school called Country Day School for 8 weeks.  She will then return and have a couple of weeks before graduation May 23.  Two weeks later we get married, June 6.  We are both so excited to get there.  Pray that we can stay focused on the work God has for us right now and be patient for His timing.  In the mean time we are reading books such as, The Most Important Year in a Man's/Woman's Live, Love and Respect and This Momentary Marriage.  Each are books that have been recommended to us to prepare for marriage and so far they have been great!  Those along with some audio sermons by various pastors and teachers will be our curriculum for the next 4 months.
Planning a honeymoon is tough stuff when you don't have much money.  If anyone has any suggestions of places I am open.  Perhaps you know someone who would love to help out financially, that would be great too!  We are looking at the Caribbean, but haven't found anything inside of our budget yet.
The plan for the summer is to travel across the US while visiting supporters and speaking in churches.  The budget I have now as a single missionary will change as there will be two of us.  Therefore, we will be praying that the Lord moves hearts to give toward His work here in Ecuador.  In late September we hope to return to Ecuador and continue on.  Both Alaina and I will be working in the chaplains office.  I will continue as the Worship Director for Alliance and she will volunteer as needed.  More than anything we will seek to know and love each other while doing the work of missionaries.
I've noticed that my primary focus must be on learning to love my wife as Christ loved the church.  That is one of the greatest ways to show the glory of God wherever He calls us.  Family is such a wonderful design as it represents and is God working in and through relationships.  People sharpening each other through conflicts and loving each other through difficulties.  I truly cannot wait until we can be TOGETHER.  By the time we are married we will have been together for over 5 years.  Almost 4 of which have been long distance.  We love each other very much and are so glad to have waited this long.  Thank you all who have played a part in our growth.
As marriage approaches, pray that planning for the upcoming school year will be one where we can focus on loving one another.  We have lofty dreams of what we will do together, Lord willing.  Thank you all for your prayers and support since I have been here in Ecuador.  Please do not stop mentioning me and Alaina in your prayers.