Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Alliance Academy International - Academia Alianza Internacional

We are moving to Quito so I can teach at Alliance Academy International and so that our kids can go there. So, what exactly is Alliance Academy International like? Check out this video to get a good introduction:

Vamos a mudarnos a Quito porque yo voy a enseñar el la Academia Alianza Internacional y para que nuestros hijos puedan estudiar allá. ¿Cómo es la escuela alianza? Mire este video para que entender un poco mejor:

Monday, May 30, 2016

A New Start

On Sunday we celebrated three baptisms with our church. Vianney, Ángel y Atziri marked a new starting line for themselves as they publicly declared their allegiance to Jesus. This baptism was extra special because one year ago, we were baptizing Leno in the same river and now this year, he was baptizing the disciples that he and his wife Jaque have been making. Jaque and Leno led the baptisms more than Naty and I which is exactly what we are hoping can keep happening as we guide them and others to take over the leadership of our church when we go to Ecuador.

We know that we need to move on, but we also know God will keep leading his church here. May his kingdom come and his will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Feliz Cumpleaños Luna!

Esta noche estuvimos con nuestros amigos Goyo y Hortencia celebrando el primer añito de su segunda hija, Luna. Comida riquísima y diversión al full con el payaso Postachito!

Y también bailando "No Rompes Más Mi Pobre Corazón" y "El Payaso del Rodeo"



Poco a Poco

Little by little we've started the sell off. We had a yard sale today and it went very well.

We sold lots of stuff, but there's still a lot to sell. I think we'll have another yard sale next Saturday too!

Here is our accountant checking up on the sales!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Belleville Last Weekend

Last Friday through Sunday we made a quick trip to Dion's hometown of Belleville, Pennsylvania. We left Columbus mid-morning Friday and went straight to Greenwood Furnace State Park to have supper with Naty's host-mom Phyllis Yoder and her sisters at the campground. Dion had a challenging MTB ride while the rest of the family made s'mores around the fire.

 On Saturday we visited an Amish fundraiser auction and had a delicious lunch. I don't think I ever saw so many Amish people together for one event! They are raising money to build a clinic that will specialize in treating diseases common among the Amish.

In the afternoon we visited Dion's grandma Hostetler and reminisced about raising kids and impact based discipline that makes a difference! AKA spanking... It's hard to think of Grandma giving spankings now, but it used to happen! We know our family's better for it now.

Later that afternoon, we visited my friend Michael's dairy farm and Marcus learned how to milk!

It may sound crazy, but it was fun to be around some cows again. It's been a long time since I worked on a farm, but there is something about it that I miss.

We finished up Saturday evening, making memories with a Venezuelan arepa meal at the Yoders, the family Naty lived with when she came to Belleville in 1998.

On Sunday, we went to church at Locust Grove in the morning and then had "poor man's steak" and mashed potatoes, one of my favorite meals, at my Dad and Mom's house for lunch.

We drove through lots of rain to get back home to Columbus late Sunday night, but the best part of the drive was talking with our realtor and setting up a contract to sell our house!

We have a buyer now and if all goes well, we should be closing the sale at the end of July right before we leave to Ecuador! God is GOOD!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

the Circles of Life

Almost 20 years ago I went to Guayaquil, Ecuador on a REACH short term missions team for my first cross-cultural experience and I met some amazingly wonderful people while I was there. 

This is a picture from January 1997 at the Malecón in Guayaquil. 

This past week, we had several of those same friends to our house with their families for dinner. I think it makes us all feel a little old, but most of all it really makes us happy to have great friends that are as close as family. Thank you Kauffmans and Wanty-Lozadas! Your friendships over the years have meant so much. Now we can't wait to host you again in Quito. 

Peacheys, Briceños, Kauffmans, Wantys and Lozadas. 



Our house is listed!

We moved in to 5953 Wellbrid Drive thinking we would be there for a long time into the future, but about a year and a half later, we are selling it!

Our plans were to finish the basement for Naty's parents to move in with us, but as they processed the idea more, they came to the conclusion that they are not ready to move to Ohio.

When we knew God was calling us to move to Ecuador, we considered keeping this house to rent it out until we come back, but we didn't sense peace with that idea. So, we are selling our house because we are not exactly sure if we will come back to Columbus after our time in Ecuador or not. We've embraced a life of pilgrimage and the journey may lead us to other places in the future. For now, we are called to Quito and we going to be faithful taking those steps.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Housing Progress

On Friday, we finally made a decision for where we will be living in Quito. Alliance Academy International and others who live in Quito had sent us apartments and houses to look at. We found one we think we like, but it's hard to pick a house that you've never seen in person! We are in the process of establishing a contract for it. Our contract will only be for one year, so we will have the option to move next year if it's not what we want. 

On Saturday our realtor came to take pictures of our house so we can list it soon. We are planning to list it this week and offer showings starting on Friday and then have an open house on Sunday. Our realtors thinks we will likely have several offers by the beginning of next week. She said that right now, there isn't a single house in our development of 799 houses that is actively for sale. They are all under contract or sold! It doesn't sound like it will be long til ours sells too. She also said we will likely be able to set the possession date that we want so that we can stay in our house as until we leave. 

Thanks for praying that we could find a place to live, now pray with us that we can sell our house smoothly.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Team and Leadership Development

Last night and today I've had the privilege of learning from David Watson, a missionary who mas made disciples who planted 100,000+ churches and baptized 4,000,000 believers. He's challenged me so much to keep learning. One thing he said was, "Everyone keeps training until they're the Pope." We joked that even the Pope needs training too. 

Two key principles I learned are redefinitions. Team is an environment where we learn from each other. Team is more about process than performance. Another thing I learned is that a leader is someone who makes leaders. Success as a leader isn't about what I do, it's about what the people I work with do. Leading people means we need to coach and mentor them. Coaching is helping others improve specific skills and mentoring is based on building capacity in others. Again, this is focused on process, not performance. Perfection is not the goal, improvement is. We have so much to learn!


Monday, May 9, 2016

¡Bienvenidos! ~ Welcome!

We are starting a new blog as we start a new season of our lives. This picture is from July 2014, our first time to Quito, Ecuador as a family. Now, we are making plans to move there in July of this year. As James tells us in his letter, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." We have heard his call on our lives to live as pilgrims and move when he tells us to "go" and stay when he says, "stay."

We've stayed in Columbus for almost 12 years. Now, we see have sensed the King's call to go to Quito to live, serve and share in the community around Alliance Academy International. AAI has been living out it's core values of eternity, excellence and community to train children to be globally competent disciples of Jesus since 1928.

Naty visited this international Christian school in January and sensed in her spirit that God may be calling us to go there with our family. After a month-long process of applications, interviews, prayer and discernment. We came to the conclusion that yes, God is calling us to go and we are trusting him and others in the Kingdom to provide.

Dion will be serving as a second grade teacher at Alliance and this will provide free tuition for Gabriela and Marcus to study there in 9th grade and 7th grade. Naty will be a full-time mom for the first year while she prays and investigates what jobs or business opportunities she can develop.

AAI will also provide reimbursement for some of our living expenses such as rent and utilities, but we need to find people like you to sponsor us financially to provide for all of our needs. You can help us go by giving tax deductible contributions through Resourcing Christian Education, the missions agency that is facilitating our service.

We are very excited about this new assignment for several reasons:
  • We will be living and working in Latin America where our kids can connect to their Latino roots and Naty and Dion can make disciples and mobilize Latinos for global missions.
  • The school community is very international and very Jesus centered. This past year there were students from 43 different countries and about half of the 550+ K-12 student body are not-yet-believers, but receive Bible instruction every day. Dion can't wait to work with students and parents in this international Kingdom centered environment!
  • We will be able to connect more closely with the Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Ecuatoriana (IEME) churches that we have been walking with over the past five years as Latin American Missions Partnership (LAMP) representatives for Rosedale Mennonite Missions (RMM).
  • We will be closer to other nations in Latin America where we have connections and would like to keep training others to be Contagious Disciple Makers and plant simple churches similar to the work we have started in Columbus, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
  • We will also be closer to Naty's family in Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Brazil.
Pray right now that God would lead, guide and direct our steps for each of the many decisions we need to make on this journey. We are pilgrims putting one foot in front of the other.

¡Bienvenidos al peregrinaje! ~ Welcome to the pilgrimage!