Friday, January 29, 2010


Even way out here in the Oriente we found a ballet class for Bella. She wasn't too sure the classes were a good idea at first, but her friend Mikaela started on the same day, so she decided to give it a try. After the first 20 minutes, she fell in love and now all we talk about is ballet, when classes are, and if Mikaela will be there. Here are a few pictures of her in class. If you can't find her, Bella is the really pale one!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I know that Joe is late on offering hospital news, and believe you me, I keep reminding him he needs to update ya'll. But in the mean time, I will fill you in the best I can. One of our family practice doctors, Becky Brice will be leaving this week. She is with HCJB through Samaritans Purse and has been here for 2 years. She will be leaving this week to get married in Quito and then returning to the states for a few years to work and raise support to return to mission service. With Becky leaving, Joe becomes the senior family practice doctor after only 7 months here. Fortunately we just had one new family practice doctor who started right after Christmas and will have 3 new family practice doctors coming this summer. It will be wonderful to have a fully staffed hospital, and maybe the kids and I will get to see Joe more often.
This past Friday, we took the day and ventured out east toward the jungle. Many of Joe's patients live out towards a town called Macas which is about 130 kilometers away. The road to Macas has kilometer markers and his patients use these markers as their address. So, if you get off of the bus at kilometer marker 15 and then walk to your house, your address is "Macas Road Kilometer 15." The drive to Macas was amazingly beautiful and we truly enjoyed our day. No day would be complete without Joe seeing a patient he knows, and sure enough he saw more than one either walking along the road in rubber boots wielding machetes or getting off the bus heading home. It was wonderful to hear his stories about who each person was, who they were related to, and what he had seen them for. I hope you enjoy some pictures from our day.
This picture is of a family doing their laundry!

Monday, January 25, 2010


A few weeks ago I had a party for my friend Viena Hildago who recently began selling Tupperware. Tupperware is actually very popular (although very expensive) here in Ecuador. Here is Viena displaying the aguacate (avocado) storage container - what you don't have a storage container just for avocados? I can get you one if you are interested. We had a wondeful night and Viena made lots of sales, but best yet we had a great time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Truly Grateful

I don't think we say Thank You enough to all of you for supporting us. Yesterday we received our Giving Report for December and I have to say we were truly blessed. We receive reports on the gifts and pledges we have received after the current month has ended. December found many of you EXTREMELY generous, and we thank you for that. As a result we have been able to give from our ministry fund to HCJB relief efforts in Haiti. We are truly honored that you have chosen to be a part of our ministry and are willing to entrust us with your hard earned money. Thank you!
I will leave you with a few more pictures from Haiti and the work being done there. Please continue to pray for our friends working there and their safe return.

This next picture is of a massive grave they had to dig at the hospital for all of the dead who have had noone to claim their bodies. They presume these entire families must have all died in the tragedy. Please pray for perserverance amidst such complete devastation.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti Relief

Please pray for our friends and fellow missionaries who left quickly last week for disaster relief in Haiti. 2 Physicians from Shell, Dr. Eckehart Wolff a surgeon and Dr. Paul Barton and anestesiologist along with 2 family physicians from Quito, Dr. Mark Nelson and Dr. Steve Nelson. Our prayers are very personal for them because they are all 4 close personal friends, plus the next disaster it could be Joe's turn to travel. I have posted a few pictures that show them at work. Specifically please pray for
-rest and the energy to keep going amid horrid conditions
-Clean water
-the right words to say and translators
-the ability to show God's love through this tragedy
-safety and quick return to their families here in Ecuador

This picture show just how crowded the hosptial is. This is a hall way where several patient are laying down and 3 of our doctors are in consultations. Left to right- Dr Wolff (green shirt), Dr. Steve Nelson (blue cap), and Dr. Mark Nelson (striped shirt).

These 2 pictures show Drs Wolff and Barton in the OR. Dr. Barton is the taller man in the background and Dr. Wolff is on the left.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Exciting Times

We knew it was inevitable and would eventually happen.... we had our first snake IN THE HOUSE! Yep, we were all sitting around after dinner in the living room and from under the chair where Joe was sitting out crawled (what we think is) a coral snake. In Ecuador coral snakes don't follow the same patterns as in the U.S.A. The "yellow on black friend of Jack" doesn't mean anything. If it has colorful stripes, you better beware- not that I would have been any more excited had it been nonvenomous.
I originally posted these pictures on FaceBook, but there I didn't tell the whole story. I know in the pictures it looks huge, but in reality it was about 12-14 inches long and only about 1/2 inch wide. Not very big, but large enough that we are trying to figure out how he got in the house and how to stop others from entering.
To top it all of, right now the hospital is completelly out of anti-venin.... I think the Lord put this snake in our house so I would remember to pray that they get anti-venin quickly!

Monday, January 11, 2010

God's Little Details

I hope this picture does the bug justice. This was an amazing bug Sebastiao found at the zoo. His feet were the most amazing blue color and the green was almost metalic. We are always amazed by God's attention to detail here in Ecuador.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ultima Dia Antes Escuela

School started yesterday after a long and wonderful Christmas break. To celebrate our last day together we went to a local zoo in Tarque. It isn't large but is beautiful and has some wonderful animals and a paddle boat that Sebastiao can't wait to get into (someday).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Spring time Christmas Tree

Well we have another first here in Ecuador. Our Christmas tree has begun to have new growth. After over a month of sitting in a bucket of water surrounded by rocks the tree has decided it is happy and is growing. When we took down the Christmas decorations we just couldn't bear to throw it out so the tree is now sitting on the back patio continuing to spread the holiday spirit. I just have to remember to water it....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Please Pray

Please pray for the LaBouef Family. Sharon LaBouef is Isabella's preschool teacher. The LaBouefs have been missionaries in Shell for a number of years. They raised their family here and now have 2 grown children who still live in Ecuador. One of their grandsons, Joshua, who is 2 yrs old almost drowned Saturday and is in ICU in Quito. Please pray for the family and more importantly for little Joshua.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Family Time

While Joe's parents were here we got to visit La Casa del Arbol. basically a HUGE treehouse. They also have some caverns there that they have done some beautiful mosaic work on. Here is a picture of Joe's parents with the children and then one that shows just how much the monkeys loved Calvin's head! There are also several version of the family picture which include the monkey climbing all over everyone.... monkeys can be such camera hogs.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Praise God! We Have A Car!

Yes, Praise God we finally have a car and I dont' think any of us is as excited as Bella. She told everyone we were going to Quito to get a car and we all sure hoped she was correct. We were fortunate enough to find a 2005 Explorere in just one day and complete the transaction (much more involved than in the states) the next day. We figured that if our explorere in the states could take us over 200,000 miles, it might just do the same down here.
The first picture below is a picture of our explorer and yes, that is a monkey sitting on the hood. Don't worry that isn't a normal occurrence- we don't live that remote. We went to a big tree house that is close by and this was one of their pets. He was very cute until he started swinging from our antenna. Fortunatly Joe's dad came to the rescue. The monkey preferred licking his dad's head to swinging on our car - Thanks again Calvin!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Joe's parents were kind enough to visit us for the holidays. Fortunately they arrived in Quito the day before and in Shell the day of Sebastiao's school Christmas program. We were all excited to see them and even more pleased that they got to enjoy the wonderful night of singing. The children worked so hard on the program and the teachers did an amazing job getting it all put together. Sebastiao sang a trio with the other 2 second grade boys. I have put it here for you to enjoy. Just for those of you who were wondering, yes, this is the entire school with exception of the kindergarten class who served as the nativity scene (but there are 7 kindergateners so that makes a difference in numbers!)