I keep thinking about water a lot in my devotion time lately. We always have to be so careful with the water here because of the parasites and bacteria. The dishes have to be completely dry before using them; the fruits and vegetables must be soaked in a special solution before eating; simple things like cooking or even brushing our teeth must be done with bottled water. All of these are small things, but they are important habits to change. One mistake means a day of violent sickness for one of us.
Isn’t it funny that something as life-giving as water can become extremely dangerous simply because of what is IN it. The water here LOOKS like pure water, but once you taste it … soon you feel the sickening results. The fruit it bears is definitely NO GOOD! We have to be careful as Christians to make sure we are taking in pure water… the living water of Christ. I pray that the water flowing through us is the true life-giving water of Christ so we may bear good fruit so that all may see His glory. We have to stay connected to the source and not be deceived by imitations or tempted to drink from other fountains. We have to stay in His word daily.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 says “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.”
Speaking of water, we are nearing the end of rainy season, but the rain has caused a lot of damage here. There are mudslides everywhere; flooding near the coast and here in Quito we just had a major road collapse due to so much rain. This collapse occurred at a major intersection called “The Trebol”. As a result it now takes 2 to 3 times longer than normal to get into Quito. It will take several months to fix this problem because a huge chunk of the road has completely fallen into the river!
The day after this happened, Bobby was on the bus as normal heading to Spanish class and we had not heard about the accident yet. The bus was crammed full of people and Bobby had given up his seat and was standing. The traffic was insane as everyone tried to find a different way into the city. He ended up standing in a crowded bus with no ventilation for a couple hours before he finally passed out. He was obviously out for a while because when he came to someone had put him into a seat, he had 3 ladies fussing over him (fanning him, etc.) and there was a medical person who had happened to be on the bus who had already placed several acupuncture needles into his arms. When he came to, he was obviously confused and still feeling woozy. As he tried to bend his head down, the medical guy kept pushing him back upright and finally pounded on Bobby’s chest and said in broken English… “I a-help-a you!”. It’s a really funny story to tell now but obviously wasn’t so funny at the time. He was on some strong medications for an ear infection at the time so we figure that contributed to the fainting.
This has been a really fun month for me because my mom came to visit. We had a wonderful time. It was difficult to let her go, but I am so grateful for the time we had together. Here we all are celebrating my birthday:
As you can see in the photo, we broke down and let the kids get puppies. It’s a hassle, but it has been really good for them to have a special friend. Funny though, as soon as we got the puppies, we began to meet kids who live nearby and now they have several local friends too. I guess the puppies are good helpers to break through the language and cultural barriers to help Jonathan & Jordan make friends.
Bobby went to Chicago for a conference on Urban Missions which he really enjoyed. He got to visit with his parents also (they drove up there to see him). The kids and I had a good and safe week here in Ecuador alone.
We do have one thing we’d really like you all to pray about. Ever since we got here Bobby has had some trouble with his ear. First it was a clogged up ear then it led to an infection, and then the doctors said he had nerve problems then another doctor said that was wrong it was still an infection, etc. We thought we had sought out the best doctors here but it turns out he was still a victim of the poor medical system in a 3rd world country.
While in Chicago, we arranged for him to visit a specialist there to hopefully get to the bottom of this problem. Well the doctor diagnosed him with permanent hearing loss as a direct result from the ear drops prescribed him by the doctors here. These drops are considered toxic in persons with a ruptured ear drum and are no longer used AT ALL in most developed countries. The toxic reaction from this drug will cause his current symptoms to increase over the next 2 months as his body gets rid of the toxins. Then after that, there will be some permanent level of hearing problems in this ear. There is no way to predict how much or what (i.e. ringing, hearing loss, sound confusion, etc.).
We all know that God is fully able and capable of working a miracle here. Please join us in prayer for this.
Bobby has begun teaching regular classes at the seminary. It is still a big struggle with the language and he uses a student interpreter most of the time, but he is really enjoying it. This is truly his calling. The students all seem to enjoy learning from him too. It is amazing to see that things we’ve studied for years in church, Sunday school, etc. are still so new to these students. They soak it all up and are eager to go out and use it in the kingdom.
We will be in the US for several weeks this summer. We will be itinerating to finish raising our budget for the next year. Please let us know if your church or group would be interested in hearing about our ministry. We need to schedule visiting various churches and groups between June 22 and Aug. 1 so please let us know if you are interested.
Thanks for all your prayers and support!
Bobby, Tamitha, Jonathan & Jordan