Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Past School Years Blessings

Today was the last day of our school year. We have watched as our students grew both academically and spiritually. Not only have our students grown taller but have also grown in their faith in Christ.

On the last Friday of the each month we had a Parents Night Out for our team members so that they would be able to have a date night. The children were able to fellowship with each other and have happy mommies and daddies when they were picked up.

One of the opportunities I had this year was putting together a mission orientation for our Mks. They learned about the culture and ways they could minister along side their parents. I was able to practice my Spanish, teaching a class  on a few Sundays to our young ones in our church family and Nolan and I shared our testimony with the Alpha and Omega group of young adults.

Blessed with friends who serve with us

And with making new friends

Blessed with laundry because it meant that the building we manage is ministering to people.

Thank you for your prayer and support for us during this past year. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

                                What is in Your Hand

Sunday our pastor shared about Moses. He shared that Moses had three life divisions in his life. 

The first forty were spent in a Palace. He was taught by great teachers. Learned how to rule a country and had everything he could wish for. He spent the next forty years learning humility in the desert as a shepherd taking care of sheep and raising a new family. He spent the last forty years leading the Israelites out of Egypt.  

As Nolan and I discussed the message while waiting for our pizza, I thought of my life. The first half were my childhood experiences, marriage, raising our family, leading a church, homeschooling, working in a local school with great mentors who taught me more than I would have learned in university. They were all preparation for my second half of life.

 Moses sometimes felt he was inadequate for the job God had for him. At the burning bush, God asked Moses, "What is in your  hand?" and Moses replied that he had a staff in it. (Exodus 4:2) With that staff Moses had beat back wolves as he shepherded sheep, but now he would do miraculous things with it. God used the staff in Moses' hand to lead the people out of Egypt. 

Looking back, I can see the tools that God has given me in my hand. When I feel inadequate in the work God has given me in my second division of life I need to remember God has given me the tools. He has prepared me for the work I do. 

What is in your hand? 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

This is a blog post I shared over seven years ago. Heidi Dog gave so many people joy. Love you Heidi Dog. You taught me how to love and how to accept things I had not chosen.

Does God speak thru dogs

Sounds like a weird question but today I was wondering about it. The last three or so weeks I have been asking why why why. Today as I was trying to get all the dog hairs off the couch I started thinking about how much I had detested heidi dog. When Becca had her I didn't like her. It wasn't just Heidi I have never been a dog person. They take up time, eat, poop and cost money. Kind of like kids huh!

I am not going there today, but as I got to thinking I remembered the day Becca and family dropped her off before leaving for Ecuador. I had been praying God would find Heidi another home. She licked everything. She is a huge tank and sheds, eats stuffed lambs, men's shoes, kitchen utensils and takes time to take care off. Having a dog was not on my agenda.

Picking up the dog hair it dawned on me. God brings dogs into our lives that we don't want, things that aren't on our agenda' Moving, responsibilities, job loss, sickness ect.

I had asked God to help me learn to love Heidi when she came. The day the kids packed into their car to leave back to Illinois I saw tears on Marcus face, a boy who normally didn't show much emotion for things, he had tears in his eyes because he was leaving his dog. How could I not love a dog that my grandson loved. At that moment God gave me a different feeling for her.

Heidi has helped me see God's creation every morning on our walks. Walks were something that weren't on my agenda. She greets me at the door when I come home. When I am sad she looks at me as if she knows how I am feeling and lays down at me feet as if to give comfort. She guards the bathroom door when I take a bath. Heidi has helped me lose the 2o pounds I didn't need.

Today Heidi showed me that God brings things into our lives that we don't want and that don't fit our agenda but they are good for us. God gives us what's best. Dear God help me to remember that what you bring into my life is going to be good even if I don't see the benefit of it in my life at the time. Change my heart. Help me to see and understand that you only want the best for me.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Weekend in Gonzo

This last weekend Nolan and I had the opportunity to visit with a teammate in  Gonzanama which is a two hour bus ride from Loja. For the last several years I have wanted to visit a fellow believer that I had heard about from several others. Chandra took us out to the area that the family lived.We  traveled on a narrow  dirt road that was supposed to be two lanes. I think it was two lanes for two donkeys.

When we got out of the truck, we started the climb up to the house. Halfway up the path was a donkey that I was tempted to try to ride the rest of the way up the hill on.

 We were met by a sweet sister in Christ and her two grandsons. The boys were excited to see us and showed us their climbing skills and their chasing the pig skills while their grandmother cooked us a wonderful lunch of Repe soup and cecina. 

These little piggies needed some food so the boys were sent out to cut some grass for them. The boys showed us their machete skills. Cuys are a delicacy here in Ecuador. 

It was such a privilege to meet this dear sister and her family. Nolan lead in a short message after lunch and we headed back down the hill. 

Sunday morning we were able to worship with the Gonzanama Church. It was good to see new faces there. Thank you for praying for us as we minister here in Loja. Pray for the church in Gonzanama that it will become strong. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A good Start

 Nolan and I had a great time visiting in the States. We visited with  family and friends in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas and Pennsylvania. We attended two family reunions, survived a cave expedition and a dogfight with a raccoon.

We were able to watch the Total Eclipse together as a family which was totally awesome.As a family we played the Breakout game together in which the kids were all kidnapped and did not escape and the grownups all died in a volcano eruption.

It was a great time of visiting with churches to share our work. One of the churches stocked me up with M@ms. I will not need a supply for awhile.  One of the memorable experiences was when a pastor came to me and said, This has never happened before in my ministry." He handed me a envelope from one of the children in the church. I carry the envelope in my Bible.

When we returned we had a few days to organize our classroom and get started with the 2017-18 school year.

We are excited to be back home and with our students.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Nolan and I attended a missionary retreat sponsored by Dallas Bay Baptist Church in Tenn. We were treated like royalty. They ministered to us both physically and spiritually. It was good to be able to rest and relax before we head to the States. We will be on the road most of the month of July. 

It is the end of the school year. All the books are packed away. It is a sad time for many of us. Some of our students are going back to their home countries, but they consider Ecuador as their home now. They will be there for a year before returning. The transition can be difficult. Sometimes it is difficult for me and I am only in the States for a few months. 

Pray for them. Five of our students will be on home assignment next year and we will have five or six new students attending the next school year.

I have not posted much in the last few months but here are some photos of the work we have been doing. We worked with the kids of the OMS team during their retreat. Each month we did a Kids Club for the MKs. and a once a month Parents Night Out. 

Class of 2016-17

OMS Retreat

Kids Clubs

                                          School Field-trips

                                         After School Tutoring

Saturday, October 29, 2016

This past summer Nolan and I took a short trip to the Gatlinburg area. While there we decided to go exploring. There are many footpaths in the Great Smokey Mountains National Forrest and we stopped at the side of the road to walk one of them. After a steep walk up a hill we found an old cemetery. As I am walking through it reading the names of the people I wondered what their stories were. These were stones from the 1800's to early 1900's most of the people are now forgotten just their names on headstones.

Many years ago a pastors wife said that she believed that one day I would be surrounded by children and that I would have an impact on many lives. I pray that when the time comes and my life story is forgotten and all that is left is my name on a headstone, the children I have touched with the love of Jesus will keep on passing that love to others.

Continue to pray for Nolan and I as we work with the MK children in Loja. Nolan is teaching four high school students. Pray for our new teacher Miss Jensen as she teaches the middle school and for me as I work with second grade and work with the children during Kids Club and Parents Night out.