I’ve been having technology issues and little time to resolve them. My phone went berserk after overheating while charging. I had to reset to factory settings and lost all my saved data. I’m still working on recovering full functionality. For example, the screen rotation doesn’t work so I have to manually flip all my horizontal photos. And typing is tedious because the “keys” tend to stick. Even so, it’s a necessary instrument day in and day out. And right now, it’s my only source for internet.
So many things have happened since my last update! In April IAM held their annual board meeting in Ecuador for the first time ever and we were able to share with them our strategic plan for the next 3 years. It was such a great time to meet new friends and catch up with old ones.
Jeff Phillips and his wife went to Chile on the same missionary team as my parents back in the 70s. It was a blessing to catch up with him and his son, Gabe.
School started at the end of April and the teachers at Centinela school were not happy that I was no longer going to teach. You may remember, I had a conversation back in January with Jose and Lupe where we all agreed that working with small children is not my vocation and I would focus on mission work (churches, leadership training, administrative processes, teams, etc.) full time and they would hire an English teacher. Well, they weren’t able to find one, so the teachers got together and came up with a proposition: they would teach English from the text book, just like they used to, and I would come in one morning a week and go over pronunciation. I reminded them that we had all agreed back in January that it was better for me to move on, but I admired their initiative to come up with a solution. In fact, I loved it so much I agreed that I would be there when I could. So far, that’s only been a handful of times.
We’ve been blessed with so many great short term teams this summer! With each one I remind myself of my friend, Amy, in a flower garden, “Oh, THESE are my favorite!” And it’s true every single time.
We’ve built houses. In fact, Paola and I are now dry wall experts. It’s true! Just ask Jeremy. He’s our construction project boss and even requests us on special projects. He says it’s because we are free labor, but we know better.
We’ve played with and entertained kids.
We’ve shoveled dirt to level out a parking lot that tends to flood into lake proportions during the rainy season.
We’ve begun the structure for the church building in San Vicente, our newest church plant.
We’ve had beach baptisms with beautiful sunsets.
We even explored waterfalls in a rainforest.
And said many “good byes”, hoping they are actually “see you soon”. It’s such a great adventure when you follow God wherever he leads.
Another change is that I have moved into my own place. It’s much close to the office and, most importantly, the mall. 😉
I’ve been moving in as I have time. My bookshelf and desk are still at José and Lupe’s house, which I still have keys to. Perish the thought that I wouldn’t be able to just drop by on my own. They have been very understanding about me needing my own place. Two years is a long time to “visit” even when you are made to feel as part of the family.
I better sign off so I can be ready to travel with our medical team that arrived today. We’re going to offer a week of free clinics in San Vicente. I’m a bit nervous to translate medical terms. I’m thankful for wordreference.com!
But first, a food photo. I haven’t really tried any new foods, but I did learn to make an Ecuadorian dish! Karen, the pastor’s wife in San Vicente who had just given birth and was supposed to rest told me what to do and I made “sango de camarón” (shrimp stew, for lack of a better word). The shrimp are cheap, but require cleaning, shelling and deveining. The stew part has tomato, onion, green pepper, and garlic simmered into a thin paste to which one adds liquified green plantain. Boil till it thickens, add the shrimp and cook till they are pink. Et voila!
I am so excited to see what God does with our team this week! And one of my favorite interns (yes, they are each my favorites), Jamie is coming back for a month. She arrives in a few hours. She practices her Spanish with Paola, who practices her English with Jamie.