Saturday, November 26, 2011

Compare and contrasts in Loja

In writing this post I feel like the student who has been told to compare and contrast a subject and the subject has more contrast than comparisons. At this point I can think of only a few comparisons. Both countries love sports. One loves fut ball or soccer the other football. Both can be dangerous games, when the spectators get riled. Both have political parties which can also be dangerous when the spectators get riled. The people in both countries need to know the Gospel.

In Loja the people love fiestas or celebrations. There is one going on most weekends. They have a fascination with fireworks especially late at night any night. I am not talking about small fireworks but the kind you may see at a fourth for July celebration. I think all the schools in Loja have marching bands and the main instrument is the drum. You are able to tell what school a child goes to as all are required to wear uniforms. There are shops on every corner that make the uniforms.

As you walk down the narrow sidewalks you will see girls walking arm and arm, mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, I have seen many young men walking arm and arm with their mothers or grandmothers. Friendship, affection and respect are shown in many ways here. Meal time is not a rushed affair. Almuerzo or lunch is a time of fellowship with friends and family. In Loja businesses and schools close from 1 to 3 for Almuerzo and siesta.

You may be on your way to a meeting but a family member or friend sees you on the street it is only polite to stop and fellowship with each other. I think we might have a custom like this but it is only done in Walmart or the grocery aisles on a Friday nite or Saturday in the States. This may explain why all meetings start late. It is not polite to show up to a invitation to a party or dinner on time. When you do show up you greet all with a kiss. You greet everyone in the room individually. This can make the meet and greet time at church a little lengthy. You speak in a different pronoun to those who are not family and friends to show respect.

In the States when you greet or you are greeted, it is usually short and sweet. Hi how are you, Fine and you We need to get together for lunch sometime. Good to see you bye. Let's get together for lunch sometime.

In Loja Hola! than you air-kiss on cheek, Como Esta? Buen y usted? Bien. Where are you from. How do you like it here in Loja? Where does your family live? How is your family? Where are you working now? Come join us for lunch. After lunch or 20 or more minutes later you say ciau and the other may say, The party is at my house tonight see you there.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It has been almost a month since my last post. In the month we have finished five weeks of school. Blown up a volcano, tried to make an earthquake, and tried to kill a killer spider. I have learned that Terry can go three months without a haircut. I can live with one set of towels and a set of sheets. I refuse to pay 79.00 for a set of sheets. We have learned that rice and potatoes go together as a meal. Terry can learn to play the bass guitar, and be in a praise band. My dear sweet classical husband is learning to color outside the lines.

Becca and I spotted sweet corn in the store and thought we had gone to heaven. It was like we had found gold. No, we didn't buy all of it because the corn was very expensive. We also found blueberries, we bought them out. Becca had three containers and I had two. The stores here don't stock much and when they are out, it may be a while before you see it back on the shelves. Someone had said that you almost never see blueberries in the store.

School is going well. We are enjoying the ministry here. Terry is taking opportunities to minister in Bible studies, English classes and preaching. This Sunday he will be preaching without an interpreter. I have learned the art of taking trash out and getting the cans back in. I take that back. I just ran down to get the cans and I almost fell into a hole in the sidewalk that had to have been dug the last two hours. I don't understand why I don't see more people in casts here.

I would like to introduce you to a future teacher. It has been such a joy to watch as the students grow in their faith and in learning.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Loja Mk Academy

Rebecca teaching art class

Basketball game using a trashcan as the goal

Expressive reading

Sharing Time
as in what do you have to eat that I might like
Some may be wondering why I haven't posted in almost two months. I now know why Becca doesn't post much on her blog. I will not ever get on to her again for not posting more. We are up 7,000 feet and your brain just doesn't work well this high. The air makes you really forgetful and you can't remember your password. You spend so much time chasing trashmen and climbing four flights of stairs that you can't use the keyboard. Your blog site is in spanish and you can't read the directions. You have lost so much weight that there isn't enough pressure in your fingertips to push down the keys. Our internet comes and goes, mostly goes.

We are into our fourth week of school and the students have settled in. We have a first grader, two second graders, two fourth graders and a sixth grader. Our students are Ecuadorian Irish, Ecuadorian American, and American. It truly is a one room school. Terry and I love it here. My language skills are getting better but I need to get out more and use them. It is harder to do now that we are teaching.

We live in the same building as the school so we don't have far to travel. Most schools in Loja are only for a half day. They are able to have two sessions of classes that way. Our school is from 9 to 1. We than go to El Sendero for almuerzo with the grandkids. After lunch we have our spanish lessons. Terry helps with the English ministry on Sunday nights and Tuesday nites he has a Bible study. He is also learning to play bass guitar for church services. I have been working with Becca in her class of children on Sunday. I mostly sit, listen and smile at the kids.

We also manage the LMC. That is the building we live in and the school is in. It is like a hostel. We have people coming and going. Many of the missionaries who live out of the area come for a few nites when they are in town. We also put up mission teams who are working in the area. When I was younger my dream was to be a missionary, a teacher and sometimes I thought I would like to run a bed and breakfast. God has blessed me by letting me live my dreams.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Learning Curve

I am learning how to use the microwave and phone. All of the instructions and buttons are in Spanish.

I am learning that you can live with dust. There are no screens here and windows and doors are left open which means dust comes in with every breeze. I have given up the dust fight.

I have learned that tile floors are cold in the morning and when they are wet they can kill you.

I have learned that if you break a finger you can splint it with toothpicks or a half of a clothes pin because no one has any splints. (I didn't break my finger- I learned from Becka's experience.)

I have learned that the disco bar around the corner shuts down at 5 in the morning. Ear plugs are wonderful.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blue Light Special

An hour before we were to leave for Illinois, I decided to checked to make sure we had all the paperwork needed. Some how I had overlooked that we would need airfare before we got the visas. The Ecuadorian government wants to be sure that we don't over stay our welcome. It was Saturday and I knew there was no way that we would be able to get good airfare and a travel agency would be closed.

I had spoken with someone from a mission travel agency several months ago but felt that I would be able to get airfare at a lower price on my own so I didn't get back to them. I called them, they were open until 12:00 it was 11:00 and they were able to get us airfare at a lower price and within a half hour.

On our way to get our visas in Chicago, we stopped and visited with our former church in Galesburg and spent some time with our son and his family. All went smoothly at the Ecuadorian Consulate. We had been told it could take several hours to several days to get them. After handing the paperwork to the office person, he said to come back in an hour. We were surprised to find that the fee was lower than we were told and upon looking at the visa it said two years. We thought we were only able to get a one year visa. They didn't even ask if we had return airfare back home. It was like a blue light special at the consulate. I think the people watching were wondering why the gringa had tears in her eyes.

Sitting in the waiting area were several families all speaking Spanish and looking at the gringos. I felt so out of place. I thought to myself, next year I will be able to understand a little of what they are saying. The experience gave me more compassion for people I encounter who don't speak English.

Praise God Heidi has a home. We have been able to purchase our medical insurance and the airfare. We will be getting the last of our shots next week. Pray that the house rents soon and that we are able to get last minute things done

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Things Are Moving Fast

This past month I would lie in bed and wonder "Is this for real? God do you really want us to go to Ecuador?"

Then I would get up and I would start thinking of things I needed to do to make it possible for us to go.

Well God said, "I guess you need a rest from doing MY job." And then he let me have a few days in the hospital to rest. The doctors told me I could not lift anything for six weeks. God took me out of control and is showing Terry and me that HE can and will handle all the things that need to be done.

He truly is Jehovah Jirah.

One by one, God has proven that He will provide what we need.

We may have a renter for the house and Heidi has a new home. A family in Louisiana has decided to make her part of their family. These were two of our biggest concerns.

We had a garage sale last week and made enough to cover my visa. I told Terry that he was going to have to have to have a sale for himself to cover his own visa, but this past Wednesday a gift was given to us that would cover his visa. God is so good.

We will be traveling to Chicago on Monday to pick up our visas.

Pray for us.
Pray that we have all the paperwork that we need and that the officials will look kindly on us. Pray that we will be able to get our monthly support and our airfare.
Pray that the small mission church we attend will grow and that someone will come to help with the music and children's Sunday school.

We want to thank everyone who has given us support both financial and in prayer. If God lays it on your heart to give monthly support or one time support you can go to there is a tab at the top for donating.
Also please let us know if you will be a prayer advocate for us.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Moving Mountains

I feel like we are moving mountains. Mountains of belongings but also mountains of faith. We have packed a few containers of stuff and stored them. In my study time I have seen that Jesus didn't have a lot of stuff to contend with, so he was free to minister when the time came. He didn't have a lot of worldly positions to hold him back. He was free to do the work God sent him to do.

My prayer is that we will be able to free ourselves of the stuff both material and psychological, that keeps us from being free to do what God wants us to do.

This is going to be a great learning time for me. Last week we found that in order to get our passports we must go to to Chicago. We had hoped to be able to mail the visas in. We need to buy our airline tickets soon. Without the visa we must wait. I felt like we moved one step back, and on my time schedule this wasn't going to work. I have to remember God's schedule isn't mine.

I have also found this week that God's ways are not my ways either. I had been trying to figure out how we were going to be able to pay for the airfare after we got the visas and our medical insurance. I have been praying for God's provision but still trying to work it out on my own.

Tonight God showed me that he can handle the provision, that I need to stand back and just have faith. We were given a gift that will take care of our medical and evacuation insurance. Praise God, He is Jehovah Jirah. God can take care of the visa situation, airfare, and the other needs we will have. I need to trust His provision.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

One Step Closer

Today Terry and I were accepted by Gateway Global Outreach. They will help us as we work toward getting all the things done that need to be accomplished before we leave in July. We met with the Board of Global Outreach and two other missionary couples who will be leaving for Uganda soon. We are excited to see how God is moving in our Lives as well as the lives or the two other families.

We will be teaching in a MK (missionary children) school in the city of Loja, Ecuador and working at El Sendero, a coffee house that ministers to University students and teens.

Please be in prayer for us as we sort out stuff. It is amazing how much stuff we don't need. We will be needing prayer partners to pray for us daily or weekly. We also need financial partners.

There is so much to do. Heidi still doesn't have a home and we need to rent the house. I have thought about renting the house furnished. They would have a house with a dog, furniture, and food in the pantry. Things that I thought were necessary in order to live seem like so much stuff now. I am finding that the stuff I have has controlled me in some ways.

I have spent so much time accumulating it and moving it around from place to place. It is hard to part with it. I have let it take up too much physical space in my life. You know the saying "Life Happens"; well sometimes Stuff happens, and it gets in the way of Life.