"And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."
Ecuadorians do a lot of walking. An article in a local newspaper reported that only 22% of Riobambeños have a car, so they must utilize public transportation or walk. While we do have a car, we often find ourselves doing a lot of walking - to the frutería, to the park, to catch a bus, to buy bread. Just as we walk a lot in a physical sense, we are always walking in a spiritual sense. In every season of life, we must walk in everyday faithfulness. Many people have an exceptional view of missions, thinking it consists of always doing big and exciting things for God. While it is true that there are exceptional moments, they always begin in ordinary moments, which lead to big and seemingly exceptional things. However, we must first walk faithfully and steadily in the mundane. Sometimes that looks like reviewing a Spanish grammar book to continue growing in the language, or reading the Bible aloud in Spanish to help our pronunciation. Sometimes it means listening to nationals talk about their history in order to understand how they think. Please pray for us to be faithful in seemingly mundane tasks, so we can be effective and walk worthy of our calling as missionaries to Ecuador.
The past two months have felt like a blur for our family. While continuing with regularly “scheduled” ministries, there are always unexpected things that come up. Sometimes we start a week, or even a day, with a plan, but then everything is turned upside down. The nationals do not schedule or plan, so we often find ourselves having to readjust our plans according to theirs. This certainly requires a great deal of flexibility, and we are thankful for God’s help in this! Last month, our national co-worker’s father passed away. In Ecuador, they do not embalm bodies, so funerals take place within a day or two of the deceased’s passing. This meant Jeff had to drop everything to travel to Quito for a funeral. Simon was sick, so Lisa remained home with the boys. We’ve all been dealing with sickness for the past three weeks. We are thankful that we all seem to be on the mend!
Last weekend, Lisa was able to help plan and organize a baby shower for a lady in our church. She was able to share some biblical principles for bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Praise God that His Word gives clear instruction and direction for parents! It was a fun event, and it was encouraging to see the ladies of the church step up and help with the preparations.
This weekend we will be traveling to the States to complete some paperwork for Titus. Initially, Lisa was going to travel alone with the boys, but the Lord worked it out for Jeff to be able to go along. While the purpose of this trip is personal, we do have the opportunity to provide an update at one of our supporting churches. We look forward to visiting with all of our supporters next year when we begin our furlough. We are in the early planning stages for our first furlough, and after this trip, we plan to begin contacting our supporters regarding scheduling. Please pray that we can complete Titus’ paperwork smoothly.
We continue to pray for God’s direction for future ministry. At the beginning of May, we had planned a trip to La Troncal with the Woodfin family. However, due to the rainy season, part of the road fell away, and we were unable to travel. Lord-willing, we will make a trip once the rain stops and the roads are safe for travel. In the meantime, we continue to serve in Riobamba through the weekly Bible studies and building relationships with those around us.
Saturdays have become very full days for us. Between Bible Institute, ladies' meetings, Sunday prep, and soccer, Saturdays tend to be a juggling act. Jeff continues to help with teaching the Acts class in the Bible Institute. The students continue to be faithful, and we can see God working in their lives through the studies - praise God! The Saturday night soccer outreach continues to flourish, and there is a good group of guys who attend, both believers and unbelievers. Jeff often stays until midnight talking with them. A few of them desire to start a Bible study. This is the purpose of the soccer ministry - to start Bible studies. Again, praise God!
The Double Scoop:
Simon officially finished preschool last month! While our emphasis was more on habits and character growth, we are thankful for the educational progress he has made this year. He is excited to start kindergarten in the fall! Titus continues to be his laid-back self. It is fun to see his little personality develop. He really enjoys listening to music and playing with his big brother. Thankful for our boys!
Praise and Prayer:
Praise: Fruit in ministry
Praise: Recovery from illnesses
Praise: Trip to the States
Pray: Walking worthy
Pray: Direction for future ministry
Pray: Development of Bible studies