Friday, July 22, 2011

Summing it all up

How can I explain to you what God has done in my heart the last five weeks? Words and stories can't to justice to who God is and how is working in my life.
Before I left for this trip, I had mixed emotions about leaving. I did want to see people, but I didn't want to go by myself. The last time I traveled by myself, God taught me a lot, but it was very trying. In my mind I assumed that this trip might be the same. However, there was a peace at the same time because I knew this is where God wanted me for the summer.
God truly worked above and beyond my thoughts. I loved every minute of my time in Ecuador. Sure I had my trying times with Spanish, but I loved speaking it and learning. I love the people there. I love the culture. I loved it more than I thought I would. I went without my family this time, but I never felt lonely. The people there are my family too. When I had to's never been harder to leave.
What does all of this mean? Well, I am not sure exactly. Right now I am praying about the possibility of going back. Many things would have to fall into place, but that's why I am praying. Though it's hard to explain everything that God has done up to this point, I can tell you that it has all been a work of God. This trip, the desire to return, everything, was the work of God; I didn't have any hand in it. I had no idea I would come away with this desire after the summer. Before I left, I was praying that God would simply mold my heart into what He wants; I am still praying that.
That's where I will leave things for now. Feel free to ask me about the trip if you see me around. If you would pray with me, that I would follow what God wants me to do, I would greatly appreciate it; my life is His.

11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 1:11-12

Monday, July 18, 2011


Sorry I haven't written lately; I didn't take my computer to Cuenca with me. However, I am now back in Quito, so let me tell you about the week.
I love Cuenca with all my heart. My friends there are my family, and I love the city. What did I do all week? I spent time with the people I already miss terribly. Both Sunday afternoons, I went to a friend's family's house for lunch. I love how the whole family gets together for lunch and simply spend time together. During the week, we would go visit my friend Cristina because she has a cafe that just opened-pretty sure we went there everyday :) We would walk around downtown (one of my favorite things to do), or go out to eat. One night we bought pizza from Pizza Hut (on Tuesday because that was my dad's tradition when I lived here) and took it to Turi. Turi is a church up on a hill that overlooks the whole city. We sat there, took pictures, and ate pizza-good memories.
God definitely answered prayer as well. I have 5 friends that I consider close friends, and I was able to see them all, and we were able to have some really good conversations. I wish I could be around more, but I am so very thankful for the time God gave me with them. I now know how to pray for them, and I hope it won't be too long until I get to see them again.
Today has been a more relaxed day, but I think we are going out tonight! Cris's Mom is here to watch the boys.
I'll be honest, there are a lot of thoughts going through my mind right now, but one day at a time. I am going to try to enjoy the last day and a half I have here. I will write again soon.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Evangelism explosion- in Spanish

Today I did something a little different. I went with Jorge and some others from his church to an event on lessons on evangelism. The speaker was the vice president of Evangelism Explosion for Latin America. I vaguely remembered the group from my dad's class on evangelism ( it was my freshman it's been a little while :) Also, the speaker was puertorican, so he talked faster and had a different accent. My brain definitely hurt at the end of it all. However, it was good to listen to him, to strategies of evangelism, and of the stories he had from past experiences. As I listened, it all made me miss my dad. Evangelism is so close to his heart. I think one of the biggest things that my dad has said in reference to evangelism that has stuck with me is this- a life persistent in evangelism can only stem from a heart that is deep in love with God. I pray I can be more like my dad, who has the biggest heart for the lost I know.

Tonight I helped babysit! Actually, I did have fun. Jorge and Cris have a small group they try to meet with every week, but between the 4 couples, there are six kids! All of them are under the age of three too. I took the oldest three upstairs to play for a while. Bubbles were my savior-kept them entertained :) I can't ever repay Jorge and Cris for all they have done for me, but I was thankful to help out a little tonight.

Tomorrow I fly to Cuenca. I am looking forward to seeing my friends/family there. I have one week there...I would really ask that you pray for this week. I don't know how God wants to use it exactly, but I hope and pray there are opportunities to talk and encourage friends. I don't get to see them very often, but there are dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Prayers for my Spanish are always appreciated too :) Gracias Amigos

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zip Line of Mindo

Zip lines- my experience of zip lines has purely been at IRBC ( a camp I was able to serve at for a summer). That was from the top of the climbing wall to a close by hill. Today I experienced a completely different way to do zip line. We drove to a town called Mindo-almost two hours from where we live. It's about 1,000 meters lower in altitude, which makes for a warmer climate. We met up with Pastor Glen and Sherri (the missionaries from Ruth's church). They were there with a group from the states, so I was able to hang out with that group for a little bit and go on the zip lines. I think that was the second time I have really been able to use my English since I've been here! Kind of nice :) We put on our harnesses and helmets, and then we were off! You go down one zip line, and then you walk/hike a little to the next one. With the group of 15, it took us about an hour and a half to two hours to get through the course. If there is a guide to go with you, you can choose to do the butterfly or the superman. I did the butterfly (upside down with your feet straight up in the air and hands spread apart). The guide goes with you and swings you from side to side. Ha it was pretty fun. I talked to one of the guides a little, and he told me it's even better when it's raining-you go twice as fast! I might have to come back :) The only down side of the whole thing was some nasty bug bites on my leg, but well worth the trip! Thankful to God for the experiences He is giving me.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Extravaganza!

Today in the USA is a national holiday. In Quito, Ecuador, it is a normal Monday-well for most anyways, but I will get to that :)
Today I went to Isaac's (Cris and Jorge's 2year old son) day camp for summer. This was the first day, so things were a little crazy. I ended helping up with the 4year olds, and there were about 20 kids in our group. We definitely had our crazy moments, but it's actually another great way to work on my Spanish (humbling too). The camp is only for the morning, so that's nice too; I will be there all week.
We came home and ate lunch like normal. After, I did a little reading; I'm reading Johnny Tremain to teach in one of my classes this fall. In my mind, it was the most patriotic thing I could do. Then I went with Cris and the boys to do some errands. I always enjoy spending time with Cris, and at the end of our errands, we stopped at a cafe/ice cream place where we sat outside for a while drinking coffee/eating ice cream (Galapagos coffee is strong but really good!). I really enjoy my friendship with Cris-she's like an older sister. Isaac played on a play horse near by; ok I played with him on it too. What can I say, I like to be a kid sometimes too :)
I was really thankful for how the day had gone. When we got home, Isaac and I played some futbol in the house. No, no we did not break anything. I started helping Cris with supper, and Jorge went to go get a couple things from the store. My friend Andres came over too, and I thought we were just eating supper together. After a little while, Cris asked me to come into the dinning room to help her with something, and then.... SURPRISE! The room was decorated with red,white, and blue balloon, brownies with American flags in them, and candles that were mini sparklers! It was simply fantastic! Cris even had a 4th of July tshirt she made me put on for the occasion. Oh, and she made the little American flags herself! She printed off the flags from the internet, and then taped them on tooth picks! She is so thoughtful. We ate supper and brownies, but there was still one more surprise to come. They had bought some actually fireworks!! The packet was about 5-10 fireworks, but they were great! I really do love fireworks, and I was kind of sad I was missing the holiday. God gave me such a blessing today! I am so very thankful for my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ here in Ecuador. Today was a God-given great day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ibarra Trip

Sorry it's been a little since I've written. Wednesday afternoon we left for a little trip. Those who went on the trip were Cris and Jorge, their two boys, Ruth, and Cris's Grandma. We had a great time! We went to a town called Ibarra-that's were Cris is from. However, we made plenty of stops on the way. We went in two cars, and I was in the back seat of the truck; the ride was a little bumpy, but well worth it. We stopped to eat at a restaurant called El Cafe de la Vaca (the cafe of the cow). It's a fun, old rustic place, and the food was really good too. Then we drove to a town called Otavalo, where Cris's mom was waiting for us. We went to the market and did some shopping- and I bartered ! :) Then we went to Ibarra because that's where we were staying for the night. We all had some coffee and bread together, and we also had a cake for Ruth's birthday. After the little ones went to sleep, Jorge, Cris, Ruth, and I went to see Ibarra at night. We had a blast! Cris was showing us all this different places, and we took pictures and talked a lot. At certain points, we were all laughing our heads off at things- ha I guess I can't really explain it, but we had a good time.
Ruth and I shared a room, which was a huge blessing. We had some time to talk and pray together before we went to bed- I am so thankful for her encouragement and godly example.
In the morning we ate breakfast together, and then we went to see Ibarra by day. We saw some beautiful sights, and ate a lot of food! I told Ruth it was ok though because it was in celebration for her birthday. We ate empanadas (fried bread with a meat mixture inside) with some coffee, and then went to try some ice cream! It was really more like a sorbet. The ice cream was made from pure juice- and some of the fruits they had were ones I never heard of, but it all tasted great. It was fun to watch the process of them making the ice cream. They had these big, wooden bowls full of ice and salt. Then they had a copper pan inside the ice where they would put the juice. They had a gigantic wooden spoon they used to stir the juice like crazy! And in ten minutes, the ice cream was ready.
We traveled to another town to eat lunch- yep more food. We didn't stay there too long because there was this festival going on, the festival of San Juan. It's basically these two different neighborhoods of people who have this tradition of dancing and then eventually fighting. Thankfully they hadn't started the fighting when we were there, and we left before it started (the police were out in the center of town watching too).
After some more driving we stopped in Cayambe for biscochos. It's kind of like biscotti, but not quite. It's not sweet, but with coffee it's great! After all of that, we finally headed home. I must admit I felt like I needed to run 5 miles by the end of the day, but food is part of the experience right? Thanks again for all your prayers; I'll write again soon.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crazy Cars& Comforting Conversation

Ha yes I went for the alliteration with my title. I am an English major after all :) Tonight my story will be short, but I wanted to share with you how God has encouraged me. This afternoon I went with Jorge and Cris on a drive to the southern part of the city. In a thirty/forty minute drive, I could see the difference. This part of the city is definitely poorer. All the houses and building are square and cement- no roofs in the way we normal think of roofs. We were going to the south because of a work errand, but the road we needed was closed. Jorge didn't know exactly what to do, so we went on some back roads and ended up going on the autopista (their interstate). However, we were going into on-coming traffic!! We were not the only ones, and Cris and I were just laughing at the situation. One car tried to make it over the median but got stuck. Our route ended up passing a bunch of traffic, and as we passed those waiting, Jorge yelled "Perdidores!" which means "losers!" He was totally joking, and it was only loud enough for Cris and me to hear, but it was hilarious!
The whole time, Cris and Jorge and I just talked. They truly are like an older brother and sister to me. In our conversation, we came to the conclusion that we both love our countries, but we also like each other's countries. We are content to be where God wants us, but we would be content to move if He wanted us too as well. All around it was an encouraging, and slightly adventurous ride :)
Oh and a praise. I have been writing in a journal in Spanish every day, and Cris has been checking it. Today she told me I am getting better. Praise God! She definitely still makes corrections in my writing, but so did my mom when she checked my papers in college. Let's face it, I am not a master at grammar in either language, but I do try :)
Oh and one last note. For supper tonight we ate hot dogs Quituian style. You put the normal toppings, but what makes it special are crushed chips and pineapple marmalade (or jelly). It's amazing! So if you are looking for a new way to eat hot dogs, give it a whirl :)