He has shown you, oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: to walk justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Saturday, February 4, 2012

January happenings

I figure it's time for an Ecuador update for all of you. I've been back exactly 1 month now, yet I must say that it feels like much longer! So much has been going on, that if I included it all, you'd never finish reading my email. Basically we've had big activities every weekend, with little activities all week. For example... 6th grade class retreat.

We took the kids to camp, and then out on a boat to see the dolphins. We saw quite a few, swam in a bay off an island, and also had some good conversations with our graduating students. Pray that our students turn to the Lord, rather than away from Him, during their middle/high school years.

Then it was off to the mountains with the school staff to celebrate almost the end of classes. The crisp mountain air, ancient Inca ruins, and good times together were a great way to end the school year. Our school work is not done however, as we continue to plan and make big decisions for the upcoming school year. It's a great privilege and responsibility to be part of this work, and is completely sustained by God and many of your generous donations. So thank you very much, from all of us at Hope of Bastion School!!

Two wonderful friends got married the next weekend! We had a great time sharing their day with them at their camp wedding, on the beach. Ceremony-food-beach... great time! 2 weeks later, they're about the happiest couple that I've ever met! It's been nice to have them as an encouragement when we get hit with disappointing news. The day before their wedding, one of the girls that I have been investing in for the past 2 years told me that she's pregnant. So sad to see her follow the footsteps of her sisters, and not God's plan for her life. I know it's not too late for her to make good decisions with her life, but everything's going to be a whole lot harder now.

Our students graduated this week and Eddison played his saxophone for the event. Today we finished up the process of getting him a scholarship to a really good high school that has a band and orchestra. I'm so excited for this kid!! The other picture is of our lovely Lenny, who's mom tragically died a year ago, and was missed at her graduation.

Please pray for us as we're off to camp on Sunday for a week of teens. I'll be counseling for that week. After that, I'm heading to the jungle community of Onzole, where I'll be helping my friend Nikki translate for a work/camp team that's coming down from Canada. After that, I'll go right into VBS that we're still in the process of putting together. Our VBS will end with an exciting event...

Operation Christmas Child!! Yes, a little late for Christmas, but the boxes just came in, and we're going to use them to jump start a new ministry in "Block 8", a poorer and highly drug influenced community about 20 minutes (walking) away from our church & school. Picking up the boxes was a story in itself, picking them up in a sketchy part of town with bad directions, loading them into a truck with no way to tie them on so a neighbor on a bike bought us rope, driving home in the pouring rain at 30 mph, becky noticing the break lights through the downpour and mentioning it to the driver so that he too might slow down, and finally becky breaking off the truck's windshield wipers and her and the driver manually sticking the wiper out the window to give it a swipe, effectively preventing a crash. Good work! We got our 110 boxes safely stored away without too much wet-ness.

If you're still with me, thanks for reading! Please pray for camp season and our Block 8 VBS. A team from NJ will be coming to join us for March kids' camp and I'm very excited about that!! I'll be doing the messages that week and the next and appreciate your prayers for that as well!! Pray that kids will trust Jesus as their Savior and that others who already know Him will be motivated to live lives pleasing to God.

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