Sunday, June 28, 2009

And We're Off

We fly out today around 5:00. Please be in prayer for:

*Our time in Quito buying supplies
*Baron (our dog): that he can get out of customs quickly and for as little money as possible
*Travel to Shell on 7/3

Saturday, June 27, 2009

These are our wonderful friends, Lauri and Kenny Dennis. They were kind enough to not only keep our dog for 3 weeks while we were at MTI, but they also taught us how to play Rock Band! Yep, we are hooked and its a good thing we are leaving the country or we would have to get an entire gaming system just to fulfill my husbands addiction to the guitar.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Building a Box is harder than you think...

My wonderful husband spent all day Saturday building a wooden crate for the large items we are sending to Ecuador. We aren't taking any furniture, but we are taking our bikes, vacuum cleaner and such. The Texas heat was out in full force and with not a cloud in the sky, it was a scorcher, but he persisted and viola!, we have a fully functioning, very sturdy crate.
We then spent Monday filling it, and I mean FILLING it. My packing skills were put to the test to try and get everything we had left in the crate, but for the most part we made it fit. I have visions of opening it and everything falling out on us, but at least its all in there.
Yesterday we took all of our freight to Conway Shipping here in Waco and they sent it out to Houston for us.
**Please pray that it will all get to Ecuador and do so in a timely manner**

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

OK, so I heard a story one time where these sailors got a new tattoo every time they crossed the equator. So that got me thinking about our family. What would my children look like if every time we crossed the equator we all got tattoos? Considering the equator runs through Ecuador and ever time we go to Quito (the capital) we could cross over from the southern to northern hemisphere we could be pretty well inked by the time we come home to visit the first time! Wouldn't that be a wonderful way for the children to greet their grandparents? Can't you picture Sebastiao with a "I love Mom" tattoo on his little bicep or Bella with a skull and cross bones on her forearm.
Maybe we need to think of something else to do every time we cross from one hemisphere to another. Got any suggestions?

Addendum: OK, so my good friend Lena took this post as a challenge and came up with this for us

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Power of A Praying People

Yesterday was our last Sunday at our home church and they had a sending service for us. It was wonderful to have such wonderful people commit to praying for us (we definitely need it.) My parents and a wonderful friend, Mary Alder also got to attend and made it even more special. We are grateful for a church family that is so truly committed to missions and are willing to support us both financially and through prayer. We look forward to seeing some of you guys in Ecuador soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

While in Colorado Springs we saw the most amazing rainbow. We weren't able to get the picture since we were driving down the road, but a friend snapped this one and sent it to us. The rainbow is not only double, but you could see where it touched down on both ends! It led to a discussion in our car about how amazing it must have been to be Noah and his family and see the very first rainbow ever, and know it was meant for you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Well, we made it back to Waco. Our last 10 days are almost completely planned out already. We have to find time in there somewhere to say goodbyes....hmmm. We have actually accomplished a few things today. We will have access to propane tanks and water jugs when we get to shell so Hank Hill would be proud and since I think he was modeled after my father, it really means a lot! I have plenty more pictures from MTI that I need to post, but bed calls.

Monday, June 15, 2009

On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again. Well, we are currently in Wichita Kansas trying to get out of our hotel room, but the beds are very comfortable and the children are much quieter with the TV on than they are fighting in the backseat. So.... We are on our way to Jay Ok today to say goodbyes to Joe's family there. Please pray for us on the road today. There are supposed to be some bad storms. We are very grateful for God's provisions. He is wonderful!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Well, we left MTI yesterday and are spending a few days in CS before heading back home by way of Oklahoma. We get to spend a few days with Joe's family there. The entire MTI experience was more intimate than I can really share in this format right now. I am still processing how to impliment the tools learned and truly want it to be more than an experience. It wasn't the "mountain top experience" you often get at retreat and such. It was more like they let you climb the mountain and then fall off. Then once you were at the bottom you got kicked and told to climb back up. I know that sounds cruel, but for some of us that is what it takes to learn and change.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sunday we took the children fishing along 2 other families here at MTI, the Browns and the Blanks. No one really caught anything, but Sebastiao got the closest. His fish stayed on right up to the banks before he wiggled off the hook. Bella just had a good time "flying" around the shore line.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saturday we drove up to Pikes Peak with our new wonderful friend Lena. It was a wonderful drive, but little were we prepared for the arctic temperatures at the top. It was 34 degrees and with the windchill had to been at least in the 20s. To make matters worse, Joe was wearing shorts and 30 seconds out of the car, Sebastiao started playing in the snow. After only about 10 minutes out of the car, we were ready to head back down. At least the pictures turned out well. Oh, and we had our dog, Baron with us. The crazy thing is that he is probably the only one who would have enjoyed the weather and we left him in the car so he wouldn't get muddy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wow, what a week this has been. Today we were supposed to find people from our small groups and share what we appreciated about them AND one "growth area." I wasn't real excited about this concept, nor do I believe that after 3 weeks with a person I am entitled to make this call. One by one, people from my group found me out.....yeah, sounds like fun huh? Actually it wasn't as bad as predicted, but then again, no one else followed the rules either. We all just told great things about each other and then shared areas of prayer. I know it isn't what was assigned, but in the end, I think it accomplished the same thing, or at least that is what I am choosing to believe.
Ok so this past week I saw this video and just fell in love. I think the greatest thing about the video (other than the amazing way it was put together) is that it makes you just uncomfortable enough to say, "what am I doing? How am I allowing God to use me?" Please leave comments and let me know what you think.

I know I have only been posting our fun outings while here at MTI, but most of the class time has been so intense and thought provoking that unless you are interested, I didn't want to wear you down with missionary training. Of the 2 1/2 weeks we have been here, I have had second thoughts about our calling at least 2-3 times a week. Not so much, is God calling me, but can He really do something good through ME! I fear doing more harm than good in light of cultural changes. The only thing worse than not going is going and turning them off to Christ by my actions.
I have learned so much, not just about the culture I am going to, but about myself: Who I am, What my values are, What my tendencies are when I am up against a wall and how that will impact my ministry in Ecuador.
Some of the things I have liked learning and other have been just down right ugly things that have been hard to swallow. But at the end of the day, God knew exactly who I was and what I was coming into this and chose me anyway. I know that who I am and what I am is not what He will be using, but who I am in Him and through Him is exactly what He will use for His good.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Here at MTI there is a train track about 150 yards from the building. The kids (along with Joe and I ) have had a wonderful time putting coins on the track and waiting for the train to smash them. Here are some of the pictures.

During the day and late night the trains run about every 15-30 minutes. However, when we went out to on this adventure, there was not a train for over 2 hours.... so the children had plenty of time for adventure. They found old railroad parts and claimed them as their loot. They founded a large dirt pile as their kingdom and stockpiled their treasures there.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Flight changes

Well, we have had to change our flight by one day. Customs for animals in Quito won't be open on the weekend for us to get Baron (our dog) cleared, so we had to change our flight to Sunday, June 28th. The airline can't guarantee that he can get on our flight until the day of the flight. We know it might seem like a small thing to some of you, but please pray that the big guy will make it on our flight and all will go well getting through customs.