First Local Run Medical Clinic
Feb21

First Local Run Medical Clinic

In September, I was sitting in church trying to pay attention to the message, but the truth is a huge conviction came over me.  I had a ton of medical stuff including unexpired medications sitting in my office and I had still yet to use them.  A long time before this, I had talked about and wanted to do medical clinics using local physicians, but this had never come to volition.  Unfortunately, there have been many times where I have not followed my convictions.  I have not listened to the still calm voice inside of me and chosen to ignore it.  This time, I did not.  I waited in line for my Pastor and I told him that if he could find a physician, I had the equipment and meds to do a medical clinic within the church. A while later my Pastor came back to me and said he could not find anyone.  I was discouraged and had no idea what to do with what I felt God was telling me.  I got busy with my work and time went by.  The medications sat and haunted me.  After Christmas, Pastor walked directly up to me after service and introduced me to one of the church members.  Through Eric, pastor had found possibly a couple of physicians willing to make this outreach possible. After that, things happened fast.  Yesterday, the Carcelen Church opened its doors to the first evangelism event medical clinic.  Of course there were some hiccups, but overall it was an amazing experience for all.  Though there was no advertising done before hand, all we needed was a loud speaker resulting in around 100 patients.  We not only had two physicians, but also a counselor, four nurses, an orthodontist student and dentist as well.  It took a lot of people to make the event work and I was blessed  to practice my nursing skills in the triage while church members ran the show. I have no idea of the seeds that were planted yesterday, but I know God has a plan.  Overall, I think it was obvious to the community that the church was their to serve, listen and to love them.  There are a lot of people who made this possible.  My church back home donated Bibles, in which we handed out several, the short term teams who have come in the past and donated medicines and medical equipment, the medical team that included locals as well as missionaries, church members and Extreme missionaries who saw it through,a pastor who believed in what God was telling me, and most of all God for His grace, love and provisions....

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Short Term Project, Long Term Impact
Nov03

Short Term Project, Long Term Impact

When returning from a short term mission’s trip, many people ask us about what we did for the community we visited.  All of our one or two weeks of crazy God experiences is summed up into one category: works.  Especially as North Americans, we focus on this concept of physical, tangible projects.  I am guilty of this every day in my work.   I often find myself focusing on time and getting things done instead of the people and the relationships around me. During this past short term project, we were tasked with three projects, two being too large to accomplish in the six work days that were available to us.  One of the most impossible tasks was to start the construction on new children’s Sunday school classrooms for the rural church of Tangalí.  As one walks to the back of the sanctuary where the construction has progressed, the sight is daunting.  Teenagers and old men alike, North American and South American alike scale the 60 degree incline with wheelbarrows and buckets filled with rocks, cement, rebar and dirt. A few days later we find ourselves in the Church of Gualsaqui doing the same work, but without the incline.  The concrete block wall goes up smoother, a classroom and soon to be bread store are painted.  Sure we accomplished all of these great construction deeds for the church and the gratefulness that shown on their face and in their words blessed us.  When people from the outside wonder about the short term team, they think about those construction jobs we worked. What was really the most impactful I believe for most of the team, did not necessarily occur while shifting sand, shoveling cement, or painting.  For most of us, I think it was dancing around like a child during an evangelism event, making a connection with a laughing child who did not share the same language, hearing the dreams and goals of the local pastors over a shared meal, connecting with a local brother or sister in Christ,  a conversation with one of the 40/40 missionaries or maybe hearing the testimony of a house of prayer or leader of the Ibarra church plant. I do not want to belittle the work that was accomplished over the past two weeks.  We pray the construction will help produce fruits for the three churches of Quichinche, Tangalí and Gualsaqui for years to come.  That the classrooms that were created or improved upon, the walls that were built, the sanctuary that was expanded on will all hold a physical, tangible purpose in the Kingdom of God.  In all of that, what will hold the...

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Miracles, Turkey and More from Ambato, Ecuador
Dec01

Miracles, Turkey and More from Ambato, Ecuador

Breaking Boards Some Extreme Family Church in Ambato “Anxiety” Prayer time before church “Money” “Open Door” TURKEY! Krista making gravy This Thanksgiving we were blessed to get to know a group of short term missionaries from Colorado, North Dakota and New York.  We spent the morning in prayer and preparation.  This was a wonderful experience to receive a message in English and to be able to worship without having to translate in our heads. In the afternoon, we split into two groups.  Justin and I went to a local public hospital where we handed out drinks, popcorn, prayer, hugs and more.  It was a huge step for myself to go out and approach total strangers while speaking Spanish.  For both of us, everything was changed just by seeing those people eager and wanting to be prayed for.  It was also amazing to be with both short term missionaries, 40/40 missionaries and local leaders from the church who were new believers themselves, all who were more than willing to step outside their comfort zones, strike up conversations with total strangers and ask questions such as “can I pray for you.”  We ran out of cups and bags of popcorn pretty quickly, but there seemed to be an endless supply of people who were eager to receive God’s message of love. That night, we had a wonderful turkey dinner.  It had everything that we have had in the states and was prepared by the local cluster coordinator in Ambato as well as some locals.  On Saturday, we were able to be a part of another ministry in which we went to a local park and university and spread the message that God could break through our sins, problems and addictions.  For our illustration we had boards that people could break (karate style) with their fists.  Before they stepped up to break the boards, we would have conversations about things in their life they wanted God to help them get rid of and how only God could help us do this.  If they wanted to continue with this they could take a board and write on it what they wanted out of their lives.  Being able to share God and my testimony in Spanish was a huge step and realization for both of us how far we have come in learning the language. Though our prayers were short, it meant so much to be able to pray for others in their own language. Examples of things written on the signs included: money, drugs, alcohol, fear, lack of faith, relational problems and more.  I have no idea the amount of people we prayed for...

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Getting out of the Norm (Ministry Week)
Nov10

Getting out of the Norm (Ministry Week)

This week, I was blessed to be able to go to Santa Domingo, Ecuador and serve and meet our brothers and sisters serving in Christ there.  Santa Domingo is a large city in Ecuador that is about three hours away.  The NILIs (Spanish students) were going Wednesday-Sunday as part of their “ministry week” and I was blessed to be able to tag along.  Our adventure began with setting up scaffolding and painting the second story of a local church.   I think the six of us girls were quite underestimated in this venture, but we managed to paint nearly the entire church in one day.  We returned the second morning to do some finishing touches and give one side a second coat.  We were fortunate to have the pastor’s family with us which included two local guys that you will see in the pictures.  It was a great opportunity to get to know my brothers and sisters in Christ in a different part of Ecuador as well as practice my Spanish. We were also able to take part in a “minga” or group work day at the church where we mixed cement and laid the floor for a new youth room in the church.  I wish I thought ahead to take some before and after pictures but you will all have take my word for it that it was a lot of work.  That day we worked side by side with church members and it was a great experience to serve there and take a break from classes.   In between working with the local Nazarene church there, we also were able to spend some time with some local missionaries with the Methodist church in Santa Domingo.  On our free evenings we helped put together some Christmas gifts for the local children there. We were also able to do some Children’s ministries.  We were able to venture to a poorer community outside the city that was completely different than anything I have ever experienced before.  We worked with mothers in the community to serve the children lunch.  It was through the “loaves and fishes project” where children from this community were able to come eat lunch a couple of times a week.  We were told that this was possibly the only food the children would see during the week.  It was an amazing experience to serve the children as well as sing, dance and play with the children afterwards.  It was astounding to see the children’s reactions to the music and just how joyful they were at singing “Tanto Tanto” and “Jesus es mi Superheroe”.    Besides the children’s ministries...

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Día De Muerto
Nov03

Día De Muerto

As a lot of you have probably read on facebook, Justin was blessed to be able to surprise his sister Mekaela and attend her state volleyball competition. So this past week I have been flying solo here in Quito.  It has been a fun week with a lot of Spanish as always, but the fun part is that this weekend was Día de Muerto (Day of the Dead).   The celebration began with a parade in the Centro Histórico.  On Saturday, some of the seminary students as well as English students went to the Director’s house to make Colada Morada and Gua Gua de Pan.  These are both traditional things to have during this time and they are both delicious.   To give a little bit of an update about our mission here in South America. We have one more month of Spanish school here and then we begin actually working.  NILI has been very patient and accommodating here and allowed us to pick up extra classes during the week when we need them and share with us many cultural opportunities such as experiencing this weekend with the people here.  Besides the cultural events that we have been able to take part in, we have also been attending “ministry Mondays” as they call it here and have participated things such as puppet shows at an orphanage. This next week you can pray for me as I am going with four other Spanish students to “ministry week”.  We will be in Santa Domingo, Ecuador and doing children’s ministry, painting and whatever else.  (Uncle Jack if you are reading this I am totally bringing your puppets)  Due to logistics and missing a couple of classes last week, Justin will be staying here.  Please keep us all in your prayers as well travel and are with the people of Santa Domingo.   Below are photos of this...

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No Hablo Español
Sep20

No Hablo Español

Yesterday marked one week since we have been in Ecuador.  This week has been a whirlwind and feels like a month.  We started Spanish classes on Monday and our vocabulary has grown immensely.  There are waves of frustration and excitement as we are continually learning Spanish.  We thought we were going to be receiving individual one one one lessons, but like many things on the mission field, you have to be flexible to do whatever.  We entered into a class that had already been learning for three weeks and in order to catch up, we have a tutoring session in the evenings.  This has been a new and exciting challenge for us and sometimes a little overwhelming, so keep us in your prayers about Spanish school.  Even though we cannot quite understand everything that is going on in class (la profesora no habla íngles – the professor does not speak English) we still feel like we are learning very quickly.   If you are wondering what we do in our spare time, the answer is study and do the homework. We go to our first class from 8:30 in the morning until 12:30 and then we have a break before our tutoring session at 4:30.  On Fridays the class goes on field trips, so we went on our first field trip today and went to two local markets, which was amazing.  We were able to see all sorts of fruits and vegetables that we had never seen before. We also were able to buy tons of fresh fruits and vegetables.   The picture below is of the first market we went to.  According to the professor it was to expensive to buy anything so we waited  until we were at the huge outdoor market.  Sorry we do not have any pictures of the outdoor market because we were to busy purchasing fruits and...

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