Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ecclesiastes MINTS course

Last Saturday I taught an 8 hour seminary course on the book of Ecclesiastes.  I thank the Lord for the opportunity to study this book and learn what some of the previously confusing passages mean.  It is well worth the effort to study this often neglected biblical book.  As part of the day we broke into groups and dramatized sections of Ecclesiastes 10.  What joy to see the students put their understanding to life!  Please pray for us as we meet for the following three Saturdays to review the reading and written assignments.

Remembering Miss Essie

Our dear friend from Guam, Mrs. Essie Minot, died on Thursday, January 23, 2014, having lived over 101 years.  We hold cherished memories of chatting with her after services at Bayview Baptist Church, Mongmong, Guam, where she was a founding member.  She treated us with tales of her life, including babysitting, with her husband Alfred, General Douglas and Mrs. MacArthur's dog following World War 2.  She did the accounting of her own business, by hand, until well into her nineties.  Although she will be missed by her friends and family, she is jumping for joy in heaven now, and we thank God for her life and testimony.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Joel el Buen Siervo

We are proud of Joel for his successful completion of the first part of a discipleship course at our church.  The course is called el Buen Siervo (the Good Servant) and comes in different parts.  This course is required for serving in any church ministry and also for church membership.  It outlines the basic doctrines of the Bible and also includes evangelism, homiletics and service in the upper levels.

Here is a smiling Joel with his diploma.  Part 2 begins tomorrow morning.  Each level lasts 12 weeks and is taught in one-hour sessions between the 8 and 11 o´clock services.  There are also homework assignments for each day of the week, and Joel faithfully completes them each day, even if it means going to bed late or getting up early to do them.  Way to go, Joel!

Happy 8th Birthday, Amelia!

As we prepare for Jacob and Elias' 2nd birthday on January 28, we recap the celebration of Amelia's 8th birthday on December 19, 2013.

We gave Amelia a couple of presents at breakfast.

 Joel made her a nice card.

Then a couple nights later, we had a bigger celebration with family and friends.

Elias liked the ice cream sandwiches.  The adults did, too.

Cousin Cloe liked playing with the Veggie Tales manger scene.

Amelia enjoyed her presents.

Here I am with Marisol's brothers Hugo and Wilo.
Happy Birthday, Amelia, until December 19, 2014!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy 2014

As we make our way through the first month of 2014, let's explore an Ecuadorian custom.   Each December 31, Ecuadorians make a figure that represents the old year, in this case, 2013.

One can buy the figures and the masks along the street in special stands or also in the market.

Some of the masks represent well-known politicians or other celebrities.

This family had a Smurf on the top of their car.

People come out in droves to see the "años viejos" (old year figures) and to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Some children block the streets and ask for money or sweets.

Here is one of the figures.

Many men dress up as widows to ask passersby for money.

Here is one of the old year figures display, which can be quite elaborate. At midnight people burn the figures to demonstrate that the old year has passed, and the new has begun.
Last year our friends Chuck, Reneé, and Michael were visiting us here in Ecuador.  We sure had fun celebrating with and being crazy with them.


This year our family celebrated with sparklers which we had bought last year.  It was a bit challenging to light them!!!!

Then we watched a video together as a family.  We made it almost to 12 but not quite!  We must be getting old!

Missionary Retreat 2013

In October 2013 the Liebenzell Mission team in Ecuador had a couple days of fun and fellowship during a missionary retreat.  We spent the first day at the field leader Rainer's house and received teaching from Martin, the Germany mission director of ministries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Some of the German volunteers and national workers' children helped to entertain the children during the meetings.

Then for days 2 and 3 of the retreat we went to the hot springs of Chachimbiro.  Jacob and Elias check out the furniture on the balcony.

Joel and Jacob in a quiet moment.  They love each other so.

Amelia enjoying the hot springs which flow down from the nearby volcanic mountain.  Notice the greenish color, due to sulphur content.

Joel in the water.

Getting ready to sing in one of the group meetings.

Martin, national worker Cipriano, and missionary Andreas.

Ready for action Elías.

The missionaries that sing together stay together!

Another teaching session with Germany missionary director, also named Martin, and Kevin as translator.

Two little cuties in the pool.

Amelia and Liana on the slide.

Joel making a splash!

Joel and Jacob with Marisol's cousins Paty and Caro and Marisol's sister Negui.

Game Night as led by the German Impact Team.  What great fun we had laughing and playing!

Jacob and Noemí, another missionary kid

A nice picture of the courtyard of the Hacienda Chachimbiro, where the retreat was held.

Fun in the pool for all!

A group picture of LME.

After arriving back to Ibarra, my boss called me and asked me to translate a leadership meeting by Martin Auch, the Mission Director of Liebenzell Mission International that night.  Although tired from the retreat and nervous about translating, the meeting was a blessing to all, including the translator.