Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blankets to warm the Oppressed

We threw away a traditional Christmas party option this year for my Girls small group who are learning about Injustice. We decided instead to DO something for those who are oppressed this Christmas. Last night we all plopped on the floor and started making blankets for the women who were rescued from the Brothels here in Ecuador. It was totally a God thing how this project began. This year there is a new French teacher here at Alliance named Jess. We have been hanging out a lot and she was telling me how she wants to make blankets for the poor. Then I was talking with my friend Desire who moved here from Holland to work with the girls who are rescued from prostitution. We have had Desire over to speak to my small group about what is going on here in Ecuador with the sex industry. Recently she told me that the home these girls live in are looking for blankets. I connected the dots and decided this would be a great project for my small group girls. So we had Jess over teaching my small group how to make the blankets and we had Desire and her Fiance over helping us as well. Most of the girls in the rescued home are between 12 and 18 years old. A lot of them also already have children. Please be praying for this Saturday. We will have a Christmas party for the girls and give them the blankets we made them! Pray that my small group will share Christ's love in practical ways to these other girls who are their same age but completely different life experiences. About a month ago Loren and I went on a field trip to Mindo with the 7th graders from the school! It is a town about 2 hours from Quito that is known for its nature. Beautiful butterflies and birds that you can't find anywhere else in the world. Here is a slideshow of us getting to zip line in the jungle with our students! This is when we went on a 5 hour hike to a waterfall with the students. One of our favorite quotes we heard from a student that day was: "I have never walked this long in my whole life, have you?" haha! We have more updates to share with you soon, stay tuned!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

God Of Second Chances W/ Danny

I found this video on my friends' facebook page! It is super amazing about a homeless guy who came up to this man while filming for his new music video!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Being Wife & Mom

Helpful Resources:

Our journey through high risk pregnancy:

Quito Celebration

Let me introduce you to Celebrations we just went through here in Quito. The quotes are from "Every year, on the 6th of December, QuiteƱos celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of their city and Ecuadorian capital. San Francisco de Quito, as it is officially named, was founded in 1534 by the Roman Catholic Spanish conquistadors on the ruins of the Inca capital Kitu." "The main focus of the week long event is the Feria de Toros Jesus del Gran Poder which is held at the Plaza Monumental de Toros. The bullfights go on every afternoon, rain or shine, for eight days, culminating on December 6th. The festival in Quito is arguably the most important and traditional bullfighting affair of the Americas." I want you to glance again at the name of the Bullfighter... Jesus del Gran Poder... if you know a little bit of Spanish you will see that translated his name is "Jesus of great power". Wow- if you ask me that is one confident bullfighter!! This year Loren and I didn't go to any of the bullfights- but we have been before. It is quite the adventure with drunks in the stands and men killing bulls in a dancing form. That is the reason for the celebrations and these are some ways how they celebrate! ~Going to the bullfights ~Riding a chiva The Chiva rides around the city while people dance to techno music and blow a whistle. We had Monday off because of the holiday- so we went to some old Catholic Cathedrals downtown with our friends. In the picture is our friend Lauren who is now our next door neighbor since we moved into our new place. She is the elementary Chaplain at AAI. Ashley is also with us and she works with us in the Chaplains office. Ricky- who is not in the picture 'cause he is taking it, was there as well. We ended the lovely day by eating at "Vista Hermosa" (Beautiful View) downtown and this was our view of the city, truly hermosa!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

International Living

Embrace The Difference:


Mentor Advice:

God-Full Thoughts:

Mosaic Happenings:

Monday, November 15, 2010

we love our job

Friday Nov. 5th: I (Alaina) had a sleep over with my small group. It was a good time of hanging out, eating, learning about human trafficking, and some sleeping. We got watch a movie called 'Human Trafficking' which shows what is happening today in the sex slave industry. We also got to invite over my friend Desire who is from Holland and has moved here in hopes to start a girls home for victims of forced prostitution. We got to spend time hearing her story and talking with her about what is going on right here in our own Ecuador, and what we could do as a group to help! We are excited about that possibility in the future. At midnight we got to skype with my friend Holly who lives in Greece and is working with prostitutes there. Her blog is the following if you are interested: We meet every other Tuesday night- so you can be praying for those times! Friday the 12th we had a half day at school that the Chaplains planned. It was a great day for the students to hang out and interact differently with each other and other teachers than they do normally at school. First of all we had a pancake breakfast for everyone. That included all high school and middle school! This picture is of the line to receive the pancakes! They were worth the wait though! The coffee shop was booming as the students came by and got to order Latte's and Frape's to go with their pancakes! It was a blast to have the students and teachers so chill and in a hang out mode. We got to spend some quality time hanging out and talking with students about how they were really doing in life. We also got to play ping-pong, fuse-ball, pool, soccer,& basketball with the students if we wanted to for a little while. Chapel was soon after the hang out time we had. We all went to the Chapel and watched the documentary "Beyond the Gates of Splendor". It is about the 5 missionaries who were speared to death here in Ecuador reaching the Waorani people. If you look at our blog back to this summer you can see pictures and hear how we got a chance to live with the Wao for 3 weeks. After we showed the documentary we had a panel of men who spoke. We had a man speak who is named Dr. Wally Swanson. He has been doing ministry here in Ecuador for 50 YEARS! He was around here when the Missionaries were killed and went into the Waorani tribe when there was a huge Polio outbreak and helped cure them. Chet Williams who is a missionary here with our mission working with the Wao we interviewed about current events in the tribe. (Chet was also Loren's dorm dad when he was in high school at Alliance!) Also on the panel of discussion we had Miniweh who is the grandson of one of the Waorani men who killed the 5 missionaries. Talk about redemption and God turning a bad situation in the eyes of men into good! Here is the grandson of these murderers testifying to God's grace, forgiveness, and a desire to share that with all people! Hallelujah! Our God is amazing! Here is a photo of Jake (our team leader), Dr. Wally, Miniweh, Chet, Loren, and I.

Friday, October 29, 2010

'Copy of your passport please'... here you go... 'NO- we need a black and white copy- NOT a color one...come back...again' -Ecuador Procedures

Let me tell you a story about how to attain your License in Ecuador: Step 1: Must get your blood type test done. Loren and I went to get this done at the Police Hospital. While we walked into the building the News crew was outside filming the bullet holes in the wall from when the President was captured and held there a few weeks before. We go to a window and pay $2.60 each then proceed to the lab where they will prick our thumb. The medical facility there looked like a storage warehouse- not a 'clean medical lab'. We went inside and the man told us to hold out our thumb. He pulled out this small razor blade and sliced the thumb. That produced blood enough for him to put it on the glass plate. He told us to then go and sit down. We sat about 5 minutes when he called me (Alaina) back in. They had to re-do my test and squeezed my healing thumb for more blood. Loren on the other hand did not have to do this extra testing... Then they came back with our results. They were excited to tell me I had A positive blood type. I looked at it and said- last I checked I had A negative blood. We asked them to re-do my test again. So I gave them some more drops from my throbbing thumb. The first test they did (just by a man looking at my blood in the light) he said "I can't tell". Then they put some more drops into a test tube and told me to go sit down. They came back 2 minutes later and said- You do have A negative blood type! I looked at them not really sure if I was relieved or not. Let us just say I made sure to call my mom and confirm my blood type with a more reliable source than what they said! Step 2: Must attain your Ecuador Police record. The next day from the blood type test we hopped in a taxi and went to a different Police place near the market. As soon as we got their it had closed 20 minutes before at 4 in the afternoon. We just knew that would happen- so we went to a Venezuelan restaurant and ate an arrepa (if you don't know what that is please come visit us, we will show you!!). The next day bright and early we went down to the police station. On the wall we read the day before "all you need to get your police record is your Censo." We brought multiple copies of our passports, copies of our censos, our actual censos, and a $20. We got up to the front of the line and she saw the information we had and said- we need your actual Passport, not just a copy. And exactly $5 each- not $20. We just turned around and walked out. Attempt 2 failure. And they said on their window WHAT! So- the third day we got there as soon as they opened. We walked up to the front and actually gave us our Police records- and did not need a copy of one single thing! It really just depends on who your teller is. Isn't that comforting. Those are all the steps we have taken so far- the process will take I am guessing a few months- if not longer... oh the days where we lived in the states and you could renew your license all in one day! We would love to update you on the next adventure with actually getting our license here. Our next step is to take the written test (all in Spanish). We must first wait for some paperwork to come back- we will let you know when we get our license...Some day... <3 Alaina

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I am currently doing a Bible study with some great teenage girls about the International Justice Mission. We are all learning a lot right now about the injustice in the world. I would love to share with you guys some links I have come across preparing for our Bible study. For those of you who live in TN and beyond- this is a GREAT resource I want you to check out about the human trafficking going on in TN and in the world. It is put on by our mission organization we are with International Teams. I am so proud of them!! Here are some other resources if you are interested about Human Trafficking and what you can do to help or share with others!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

In Joy and Sorrow

Greetings Everyone, I can't believe we haven't updated anything since August 23rd. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away. In that amount of time we found out we were pregnant with our first child! The joy of telling everyone and having a community of believers around us rejoicing was probably the highlight of my life so far. Last Thursday we found out that the baby had died. How could we not be blown away? Doctors and friends have comforted us and given welcomed counsel. A good friend and mentor encouraged the question, "What could God want from us?" As I wrestle with this question along with all the sorrow that rolls like sea billows, He has assured me that He is doing what is best for His Name. Alaina and I have found our delight in Him, nothing this world offers could every satisfy as He has. No matter what He gives or takes away, in eternity, just to know that He is mine and I am His is enough. Thank you all for your prayers. We look forward to begin trying for a child again ASAP! -Loren and Alaina

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer time closing while coffee shop opening!!

We are in the process of renovating the coffee shop yet again! Now we are expanding it so it is bigger! We also had a group of youth who helped paint it as well! They did such a good job! This summer we have gotten to continue our youth group at our house. One week we went bowling. Another week we went to a real Chinese restaurant where the menu's were in Chinese too! Thankfully a student was with us who could read what was on the menu! The students have asked us to continue the youth group time into the school year! Pray we can find a good night to meet and students will encounter GOD! I love all the fresh fruits and vegetables I can have here year round. I also am enjoying the juicer we are borrowing from my parents because we can make fresh juice drinks!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Living Waorani Style 2

Loren got to play in the river a game the team made up that was a mix between soccer and american football. Looked like so much fun! We had soccer tournaments that were going on with all the Waorani tribes represented at the Conference. Loren and I were on the Gringo-pare girls and guys teams.

During the week they found a lethal snake. If this thing bites you they said you would be dead in 20 minutes

. It was only by God's protection that the Wao killed it before it harmed anyone!

The Waorani men and youth broke up into their Bible study classes.


These women are literally racing to their Bible class destination to gain a prize. The whole time they were running by I heard them giggling and trying to keep their babies in the sling! Many of the young mothers I talked to who have one or two children are about 19 years old. If you see the lady in all blue: her ear lobes are all stretched out from the old tribal style. The new generation does not practice that anymore.


These children

are listening intently to the Bible story. Some of the younger ones do not know Spanish and only Wao. While others understand Spanish better and don't know much Wao. This proved to be quite the challenge to little ones' attention span as the teacher would have to give the lesson in both languages! The reason some children know Spanish better is because of school. Their schooling is all in spanish while their home life is all in Wao. Talk about third culture kids, you can even find them way out in the jungle. Loren and I can relate to how they feel with living in two languages growing up.



The greatest part about the conference was the 49 people who got baptized! Loren got to help baptize people. It was a great testimony of God's work!

I took this photo of this precious Waorani girl named Naida on Dan's (works at Youth World with us) great camera! Thank you to the US team and Dan for these great photos! It really captures the timid personality that most Waorani people have when you first meet them. Give them a few minutes, hours, or days to warm up to you and you won't want to leave! I enjoyed learning about their culture. Every tribe I have been around (Venezuelan tribes and others here in Ecuador) I have noticed how unique God has created them. One thing I love about the Waorani are their patience. Food might be right in front of them but they don't grab and run, they wait with hungry stomachs until the food is given to them.

Thank you for those who pray for us, in whatever ministry we find ourselves in!


Living Waorani Style 1

For the past two weeks we were in Waorani land! We had the opportunity to help put on a Bible conference in the community of Nuneno.
Reynaldo and his wife Blanca ran the whole family Conference in the jungle.
The Williams family are missionaries with Youth World and invited us to go with them. We are so thankful!
This is the team from Rancho Baptist Church in California who helped us in the jungle.
Traveling to the Waorani village.
We got to hike through the jungle while Nanto showed us what all the plants are used for!
Everything from diapers to red die to what they make baskets out of. Nanto is the leader of the community Nuneno where we stayed for 10 days.
Loren got got to spend many hours talking with him and hearing his many great stories.
We braided many
heads during the week because they saw how the US team wore braids.
The one in the middle with the grey shirt is
Dana. She also works with Youth World and is a wonderful leader.
We would have a service in the morning with all the people and one at night. Telling everyone about the love of God. Loren helped translate for the conference. The message went from English to Spanish to Waorani.
I asked a 5 year old girl what was her favorite
thing to do. She answered "washing clothes". I asked her sister who was 7 what her favorite thing was and she said "cooking". What would a 5 and 7 year old say to that question in your hometown?
During the week we not only fed ourselves but also all of the Waorani who were in Nuneno for the conference. After every meal we would wash all the dishes in the river.
Cecelia (wonderful
Christian woman who
cooked for
200+ people breakfast, lunch, and dinner all week!) and Kasey (Youth World Intern who is a wonderful example of Jesus with skin on) working in the kitchen.
Cooking fresh meat that was just hunted. When you worked the kitchen you cut up many Platanos (a type of banana), potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and yucca.