Time To Go Home Already?
The last few weeks have kept us very busy as we have settled into a bit of a routine (if that is possible with our lifestyle). We are now getting ready to head back to the US for 2 months. It is amazing how fast these first 6 months have flown by!
We arrive in Atlanta next Friday (20th) and will enjoy seeing our family and friends! We have scheduled to speak at several churches and are working in a couple kids crusades so we will be traveling a lot. We hope to see most of you during our time home. Bobby will spend the final 3 weeks of our trip beginning his doctoral studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. Please pray for us as we travel home and to all the different locations this summer. We posted a calendar of events on our website for anyone interested in knowing where we will be.
So … here is the recap of what we’ve been up to lately:
First of all, we have to report how we were blown away by the humongous yard sale that was sponsored by the Harvest New Beginnings Sunday School class. They raised over $5,000 for our mission fund. We can’t thank you guys enough for all of your hard work!
Since January, we have done a lot of traveling throughout Ecuador. We have visited countless churches all while trying to get an understanding of the needs here. One church that we visited several times just really captured our hearts more than the others. I guess it is just more “us”. The San Roque Church of God (officially named “Jesus el buen consejo” which means Jesus, the good counselor) is located in the heart of one of the most crime ridden, poverty filled, and desperate neighborhoods in all of Quito. It’s the type of neighborhood where people advise you NOT to go. For those of you who knew our neighborhood in Atlanta, you will understand then why this is the neighborhood for us! This is the place where the need is tremendous.
The church here has been established for about 4 years and is a wonderful group of people who are sold out for Christ. They are hungry to learn more about Him and to bring others to know Him. It is amazing to see what God is doing in their lives. These are all people who have moved from their mountain villages to the city in hopes of better opportunities for survival. They are hard working, dedicated people who are struggling to get by. They are incredibly joyful in the midst of persecution and abandonment from their families for leaving Catholicism. These are people who would give all they have for the cause of the Gospel.
We are thrilled to have found a “home” church here to work with and worship with during the times we are not traveling. Here are some photos of our new church:
Dia del Niño
Ecuador has a holiday similar to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. but it is all about children. We celebrated our first Dia del Niño working with the ministry to the shoe shine boys that our missionary friends operate. Every year, this ministry organizes a “Changing Places” type of event where volunteers go to work in the place of the children who are normally working. At the end of the day, the volunteers give the children the money they have earned by working in their place. So while the volunteers shine shoes or sell gum and candy, the children get to truly be KIDS for the day. This year, we took the kids to a camp where they could swim, play soccer and other fun games. Then we took them to see a movie in the theater. For many of them, this was their first time inside a movie theater or even the mall!
This was a wonderful day full of blessings for everyone as it gives the volunteer a chance to see the world from the other side while allowing these children to experience one day of freedom.
Here are some photos:
Urban Missions Class
During May, Bobby taught a class on Urban Missions at the seminary. He really enjoyed this as he got to take the students on “field trips” to experience urban ministry hands-on. The students seem to have gotten a lot from the class also.
Many of the students will be leaving for their in-field experience this summer. Some are going to Columbia, Turkey, Morocco, Mozambique, etc. Please, remember them in your prayers.
So that’s a quick update on us. On a day-to-day note, we spent a LOT of time trying to get our drivers’ licenses and finally completed all the tasks for that. We had to take a driver’s education course complete with 28 hours of driving with an instructor in those funny little cars with 2 sets of pedals. We had to take a written exam which was all in Spanish! But, thankfully, with many hours of cramming with the help of our Spanish instructor, we passed with flying colors and are now legal!
Jonathan and Jordan have made tons of new friends and love every minute of life here. Once again, we can say that God truly has His hand upon our family and we know we are following after His call.
Please drop us an email or give us a call while we are in the States. We will have our old cell phone numbers again: Bobby 256-238-3242 and Tamitha 256-452-1093.
Thanks for all your prayers and support!
Bobby, Tamitha, Jonathan & Jordan