The beginning of school year 2017-18 has been very busy for our whole family but it has also meant more stability and picking up where we left off with many relationships and projects that we keep working to develop.
Naty is working with this group of women to lead the Entre Nosotras women's group at our school. They are studying Keep Your Love On
by Danny Silk. This has already been life changing for several ladies in the group.
We keep going to Nono once a month to lead others in connecting with God, but also to connect with Him more ourselves in such a beautiful place. We pray that God would draw more people in this town to Himself. There is not a Jesus centered church in Nono yet and we pray that God will call out the people there who will plant a church.
I hurt my knee back in September and couldn't run for about a month. It was good on this day though because I got to take my beautiful wife out for lunch after on of my doctor's appointments!
Every other Friday night I make lots of pizza for this youth group that we are leading with another couple. The group is mostly made up of AAI students as well as some others from the community. We are studying the scriptures to find Jesus in the Old Testament.
Our family took an overnight get-away to Cuicocha lake at the beginning of October. This lake was formed by a massive volcanic eruption about 3,000 years ago. The volcano has been dormant ever since, but you can still see bubbles of gas coming up from the volcano in the middle of the lake.
October 9 was Guayaquil Day holiday so I had the chance to go for a 20 km 7 hour hike with some friends. Our goal was to go from my house to the top of Rucu Pichincha, (the mountain peak behind me in the picture) but major lightning and a hail storm made us turn around.
We have had several opportunities to keep mobilizing mission workers here in Quito. We led a missions sending service at this church in southern Quito. I preached about being witnesses in Jerusalem AND Judea AND Samaria AND to the ends of the earth. So many churches here focus on growing their on congregations and reaching their neighborhood and going "to the ends of Quito" but to obey Jesus' commission we must go much farther.
We prayed to commission the brother in the red shirt as he goes to Spain to study as serve as a witness to Muslim immigrants in Barcelona.
November 13 and 14 we hosted four people at our house and Naty helped organize to host 400 people at HCJB for the "United in the Mission" conference. It was a great time to connect with other churches and agencies in Ecuador who are working to send missionaries to unreached areas around the world.
We keep meeting monthly with Rosedale Mennonite Missions' LAMP (Latin American Missions Partnership) team via video conference. We are very excited about a couple in Costa Rica who is taking solid steps to move to Spain.
We keep gathering with the Quito Mennonite Church on Sunday mornings. Our church works a lot with immigrants and refugees. There seem to be more refugees arriving in Ecuador now that their were a year ago. It has bee great to gather to worship with people from so many countries. We have even had people from Iraq and Afghanistan join us for our worship services. Here I am helping to facilitate a meeting to start a men's group for the church.
This past Sunday we had a family night at the movies to watch this Christian film that was produced by HCJB. Some of the scenes in the movie were recorded just a few blocks from our house!
This week is Spiritual Emphasis Week for the entire elementary school at AAI. I'm helping to present some skits and tomorrow another teacher and I will lead worship for our Family Night with parents and other family members. Many families who send their children to our school are not yet followers of Jesus, so I am very thankful for this opportunity to share with them.