3 More Weeks … and still loving it!
We have been putting our noses to the grindstone with Spanish lessons but it is really paying off. We can have good conversations, understand a good portion of the sermons and the kids are talking with other kids REALLY WELL. We did take one day off to visit a nearby town where they make all the handcrafted items. It was good to get out of the city for a short time.
Here are a few photos of some of the fun things we’ve been up to:
We have spent a lot of time looking for a vehicle. Unfortunately used cars are very expensive here … more than we planned for. It is really odd because new cars do not lose their value quickly the way they do in the US. For example, you can purchase a NEW double cab pickup truck for $20,000 but one that is 5-7 years old still costs around $17,000. Also, used vehicles are difficult to find and are frequently stolen vehicles being sold so you have to be really careful. We are learning a LOT about the market here!We are so thankful for God’s continued blessings on our family. We are all still healthy and are eating more local foods. The kids are very content with life here and never seem to be homesick. We make many new friends each week and are learning our way around well. We thank God for all these “little” blessings each day.
Bobby has begun working in the seminary a little as time away from Spanish lessons will allow. He is primarily working with students in the Transcultural Studies program (Missions). This group of 15 students all have a passion and calling to be missionaries in various parts of the world such as Turkey, Malasia, India, etc. Right now, Bobby is helping them to articulate their passion for the place to which they are called and put that into the form of a flyer to share with others. Many of them will finish the academic portion of their studies this semester and will be going off to various countries to begin their ministries.
We have visited most of the indigenous churches in Quito. They all have such overwhelming needs. These churches are the poorest, yet they are so full of the joy and hope of our Lord. They all have primitive settings but they give all they have to serve God. We learn so much from them.One great need they all share is for deeper discipleship of their children. Most of the teachers spend their time with the children singing. That is wonderful, but they all recognize the need for deeper teaching of the children, yet they don’t have confidence in their selves to find a solution.
Here are some photos and video of one Sunday school:
In all the churches, the children always sing a “solo” at the end of service:
Here they are singing “I’m in the Lord’s Army” & “God’s Not Dead”:
The overseer of the indigenous churches has asked me to conduct a children’s ministry training seminar for all the churches in Quito. This will be sometime in March. I am very excited to share everything that I have learned in my years of ministry and to encourage those who work with children here that they CAN lead the children to that deeper level of knowledge that they all desire.
Please remember us in prayer as we prepare for this with the meager supplies we were able to bring. Those of you in Children’s ministry… please send me any suggestions you may have. It is my desire to put together a basic curriculum outline that they can use (in SPANISH!… yikes!). But I know that with a little encouragement and the help of a simple guideline, these people can turn their passion for God into a marvelous ministry that will make a lasting impact on these children.
One of the churches we have visited the most is in a neighborhood of Quito called San Roque. San Roque is pretty much the “hood” of Quito. When we tell others we are going there, they give us that concerned look just like people in Atlanta used to give us about our working at City of Refuge. But the church people there are so precious! They are very hard-working, simple people with a fierce devotion to God and their church.
Last Sunday, the church installed their new pastor who is a seminary student from Cuba. We have become good friends with Orelvis (the new pastor) in part because he speaks English! He has a real passion for this church and a huge vision. We attended this celebration which was very elaborate.
The people of the church prepared a huge feast with 70 Cuy (guinea pig – the highest delicacy among the indigenous people). We had all been anticipating this event – the eating of Cuy. Jonathan was SO excited but the rest of us we pretty nervous. Jonathan LOVED it and the rest of us survived. There was lots of traditional dancing and many other special activities. Traditionally, they give a Llama to the new pastor. However, since this pastor lives in an apartment, they gave him a stuffed one as a symbol.
Here are some photos & video of the event:
That’s enough of an update for now. Thank you again for your prayers and support. We are thankful each day for the opportunity to be here and to share what we have with those around us.
Love,Bobby, Tamitha, Jonathan & Jordan