Entries for month: October 2009

Precious Feet...


Romans 10:15 (KJV)

And how shall they preach, except they be sent?

as it is written,

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Quito Remate Find Makeover

As I was preparing to move, I took a load of old clothes to the local Remate or consignment store in Quito.  As I walked in I saw a large piece of furniture in the isle.  When I asked if I could buy it, the lady replied it wasn't for sale yet.  When pushed a little farther, she agreed to sell it to me after the price was worked out with the owner.  Needless to say, this baby became mine for $35.



I unloaded it into our carport and Chet came home and the look on his face said it all.  "What is THAT?"  I immediately reassured him I had a vision of what it could become.  He left without a response as any good husband would.  I went to work...



After a LOT of sanding off old stickers, removing the broken and mismatched hardware, and buffing off any carvings or scratches...I painted it with a matte black paint-3 coats.


I gently sanded the edges of each piece to give it a worn, used look...



Then I used a rub-on lacquer lustre finish and finally the polished silver hardware.  Now...the big question is where will this baby end up in the new house?


Psalm 90:17 (New International Version)


 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
       establish the work of our hands for us—

       yes, establish the work of our hands.


In The Mind of A Missionary

We have settled into a new routine in our new location of Shell Mera, Ecuador.  Around us, the sounds of many birds, the squeaks of our squirrel monkey JoCu, and wildlife mix with civilization.  Beginning around 7:30am, the sounds of small aircraft circle over our house as they head into deeper parts of this Amazon Rain forest, providing services to the remote villages in the jungle.  At times, rolling thunder builds until God's arrows and power are demonstrated in the pouring drops of rain that fall all around mixed with cracking thunder and flashes of light.  Sometimes power is knocked out for a time. I have begun to see why the people of Shell walk with an umbrella as a walking stick.  It gives shade from the beating of intense sun living on the equator as well as reprieve from the downpour of jungle rain.  It is a necessity here, although when without, I have seen many cut large "umbrella" sized leaves from the surrounding jungle greens that work just the same. 

This lifestyle is quite different than the past 5 years in the capital city of Quito in the Andes Mountains.  Only about 4 hours away by car, the pace of life has shifted from fast moving cars, busses, and people to lingering on porch steps, gatherings at the town park at dusk, simple living.  I have enjoyed the process of slowing down and yet life with 3 kids is busy anywhere...in California, in Quito and in the jungle of the Pastaza.  In addition to sending our third child off to Kindergarten, my responsibilities have grown to include using my background in teaching at the orphanage of Casa de Fe weekly.  As acting "Directora" of the school, I find joy in building up the lives of these precious kids and providing tools to three young women in teaching positions at the new school this year.  My hope is to use my gifts to form a foundation for this school to use for years to come...for His glory.

As I write, I thank God for the fact that Chet is out in the remote village of Tiweno visiting Waorani friends, for a week, building relationships with leaders, ministering through the deep love he has for these people.  How precious to know God has enabled us to fly out on those MAF planes to the places He calls us to.  Jungle life has given us the bridge to these partnerships we have longed to frequent.  This new reality is both exciting and demanding. 

We celebrate this past Summer packed full of ministering as a family, alongside teams, to so many partnerships in many remote places.  Milk chocolate muddy rivers break through the dense green canopy of foliage.  We traveled these chocolate highways by motorized canoes to thatched houses, simple wooden structures which act as home for a brief season of life.  The mesh netting provided a "safe" barrier to the many creatures all around.  The lives of so many flood my mind, so many colors, so many different tongues praising God in unison-indescribable!  Hard work, dripping sweat, teaching, playing, visiting homes, soccer in knee high mud, cooking, signing, kayaking down river with the Wao, serving God with all we've got, bathing in brown milk, leaving the milky water by way of sticky, smooth clay, hearing testimonies of God's profound touch on many lives-His people all over the world...Amazing summer indeed.

Can it be Fall already?  Here in the jungle there is no signs of leaves of orange, brown, red or yellow.  It is all green.  The Amazon Rain forest is indeed a wonder to behold.  Weather rarely changes here...maybe rain, more rain, less rain.  The skies each morning and evening show the only cuts of color into this green world bringing reds, yellows, purples and pinks into the vast array of shades of green, too many to name.  Yes, I know it is Fall.  School has begun.  Holidays are fast approaching.  Missionaries bring out dried orange leaves, ceramic pumpkins, and candles to adorn their homes in familiar display.  I wish I had brought some of those.  Maybe I will decorate early for Christmas to set the mood...Well Chet might not like that as Christmas music in October was too much last year.  I love things remembered...I love things new.  What a life to enjoy both. 

The Seven Habits find their way to Shell

This year as Director of the Casa de Fe School, my dream is to bring vision, direction, and encouragement to PattiSue's goal of educating these precious kids for the long term.  With so many ideas of school "rules", along with the unique backgrounds of each of these kids, my hopes are of providing lasting morals, values, and rules to live by that Casa de Fe can carry for years to come.  Having received the Seven habits of Highly Effective People a couple of years ago in a seminar by Leader Mundial here in Quito, I found the tools that match my heart's desire in my own life and ministry.  Chet and I have since used this in our home as well as personally with great success.  As I struggled to find a set standard that all the children could live up to while enabling them as precious sons and daughters of the King, I decided to incorporate the Seven Habits AS our school and classroom rules.  My vision is to ingrain into each child the idea that they are created unique and special by Almighty God and that He has a great purpose for their lives.  This is and will be quite a challenge given the tragic and abusive history for most here at Casa de Fe.  Nonetheless, Our God is a Great Big God who can see this through in spite of us people who can get in the way of that message.  Please pray with me that this sticks in the hearts of every child.

One way I get to encourage the growth seen in the kids, as well as use positive reinforcement, is to give out awards each Friday to students chosen that have demonstrated these habits in their lives in real ways.  What an honor to see the faces (sometimes hear the groans) of joy as they receive their awards in front of the school.  Way to go kids!