Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from down South! WAY down South. Indeed it is so far down South that the accent has turned into a different language altogether. Chendo! (translated: just kidding). Much has transpired since I connected with you last. Let me start begin with this last Sunday.
I would like to tell you a bit about the Duran family that I met this the first Sunday. They live in a small what we would consider a suburb of Cuenca really close to the place where I was born. It's in a small valley leading out of the main city with lush green eucalyptus trees outlining the edges. I was invited out to their house this last Sunday for a noon meal and evening. When I say family I mean it in a broad extended sense with the Grandmother, grown children and grandchildren, etc. Of course I had the food that before had only been found in my Ecuadorian memories: guinea pig, crab, empenathas, (a deep fried sweet bread with cheese in the center), etc., but that was only the atmosphere and not the important part of the time.
Next to this families house is a small (very small) church that has been there for many years. In fact if I have my facts straight, it was this same building that I probably went to when I was just a few months old. What is incredible to see is that through all these years the family has stayed strong in the Lord, many of them continuing to worship in that same church even though they only have a pastor come by about once a month. I don't mean to paint of picture of perfection in this family, but to see the Lord continue to work in their lives and how faithful the Lord has been was incredible. In a small circle we slowly sang: "Great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see, all I have needed thy hand has provided. Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me!" And as we finished the song and ended with a paryer I thought, "how true, Grande Senior es tu Fidelidad!"
This last week I also visited an outlying area called Cannar, where many of the people are of Inca decent called Quechuas. I was invited along to help celebrate the opening of a new school. What is exciting to see in their midst is the faith and leadership there is amongst them. They still wear many of the same clothes, and speak the same language but the joy that the Lord gives them is really contagious. They are so generous as well: over two hundred guinea pigs for the celebration along with enough food to serve twice as many people who were there.
By this time you are probably wondering what else I am doing other than getting fat on guinea pig. :) Let me fill you in. In the school here there are some wonderful opportunities to work and minister with the children in the school. Both the grade school and the high school have English classes which is ONE area that I can be of limited assistance. I've been juggling around with the teachers and have found times when I can visit their classrooms introduce myself and teach them a few songs in English. I'm really searching right now for songs that not only will the children find enjoyable at each different age level but which also have a Christian message as well.
Furthermore, I also have a Bible class that I will be helping out with several times a week, helping out a man named German tell stories to the children. Please pray that these times with the children challenged by my lack of the language but enhanced by a novelty that comes when anyone is from a far away place, would be times of Spiritual awakening in their lives. You can also thank the Lord for the many believers down here, like German, the Ulloas (the family I'm staying with), and others who are not only shinning lights in this city but also an encouragement to people like me who cross their path.
I have included below some small pictures a few of the events that have passed before the camera lens of my life. I'm trying to keep the pictures small so that it is not a problem, but do let me know if it is. The first is the bus I rode in. Second, a picture of the plane. Third, a picture of the family I visited on Sunday. Fourth, a good thing to eat (guinea pig). Five, a picture of one of the ladies from Cannar.
'Till next time…
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