Saturday, November 19, 2016

"I Want a Puppy!"

That's what Gaby has been saying for the past month.

Aside from missing Coffee, our faithful friend for fourteen years, some friends of ours had a litter of puppies. Naty and I talked about it and talked with our landlords and decided to get Gaby a puppy for her birthday which is coming next month. We were planning to give Gaby a trip to Africa for her 15th birthday, but with a longer school year and short summer vacation as well as no spring break here in Ecuador, we weren't sure when she was going to be able to go. She said that she would rather have a puppy now and go to Africa as a high school graduation gift. So, now we have Thea!

In other news...

Last night was the awards ceremony for the Alliance Volleyball teams. Both Gaby and Marcus won the "Barnabas Encourager Award" for each of their JV volleyball teams. We are very proud of them! This weekend we have been enjoying to fall play at the school.

Monday, November 14, 2016

We're in mid-November already?

Thanksgiving is coming soon! I can hardly believe how fast time keeps going. It's been a long time since I've shared anything on this blog, so here goes with a quick update.

 Back in October Marcus and Gaby both ended up their volleyball seasons in second place for their local high school league. It was disappointing to loose in the championship matches, but both teams did very well.

This coming weekend we will have the volleyball awards banquets for both teams. 

This past Saturday I finally made it on my bike to the top of the antenna hill behind our house, a 3,000+ feet climb.

We got a car! Naty made a trip to Guayaquil to buy a 2006 Toyota Rav4 from a family in one of the Mennonite churches there that is moving to the US. We had to do some minor repairs, but we hope that this car can serve us for many years to come.

Thankfully, both Naty and I got our Ecuadorian driver's licenses as well!

November 2, 3 and 4 were national holidays here in Ecuador, so we used that time to make a trip to Manta. With all the traffic it took us 10 1/2 hours to make a 7 hour trip! One highlight we spending a day at the beach with the Murphy family, some of our ministry partners at Alliance Academy.

From the beach, we went to the IEME Mennonite churches national retreat, where we got to visit with all of our friends from the churches here. An extra special treat was spending the two days with our friends Pablo and Judi Kauffman and DeLynn, Gloria and Carmelinda Hoover who were the speakers for the event. 

Last week we went out for sushi to celebrate Marcus' upcoming birthday. On November 17 he will turn 13 years old!

On Friday night we hosted about 15 youth at our house. Our family and another missionary family with their children at Alliance started a youth group for fun, food, Bible study and prayer for our kids and their friends. We had a great time and look forward to meeting again in December.

Yesterday morning was a very sad time of saying goodbye to a member of the church that we have decided to join here in Quito. Juan Pablo Rocha, a Colombian refugee, died of Pneumonia on Friday night. We didn't get to know him well, but we won't forget his contagious smile and generous spirit. It is so hard to see someone so young, with so much to give already passed on from this world to eternity. 

Naty continues to connect with others involved in global missions. Last night we hosted four young ladies who are in the Corrientes missions training program here in Quito. Over the next few months they will be moving to Niger, Eritrea, Djibouti and Greece to serve in missions.