Apr 2021 – Newsletter

Supreme Offering

Our ministry area lawn and playing field have never looked better, it is thick, lush green and beautiful,,,,,,also lonely and sad. Weekly maintenance includes hours of trimming, mowing and watering when no kids have come for over a year to run, play and roll on it seems a waste. We keep it up as a poured out  ‘drink offering’ to the Lord. Numbers 15:5.Likewise, one Saturday evening Inez came to the gate with a big bouquet of flowers as an offering for the Lord’s Sunday table. It was odd since we were still not meeting for worship due to pandemic but I put them on the table in the empty tempel. JUST FOR JESUS she said. Once again ‘as a poured out drink offering’ just as Paul taught in Philippians 2:17-18. May each of us continue to honor God and rejoice together in sacrificial service,,,,JUST FOR JESUS!

“Aquí, no más”

This is a phrase we have heard all over Ecuador since day 1. It always puzzled and frustrated me since it was the answer when I asked ‘how are you?’ “Aquí, no más” means “just here” which is not the answer to the common greeting of ‘how are you? not ‘where are you?’. I never understood UNTIL last year which has spilled into this year. I now understand and feel ‘aquí, no más’,,,,,,,,I wish I never understood as I am sure many of you also know this strange new form of being. Let us share a few photos from this place God has gifted us with comparing ‘how we feel’ with ‘what we believe’ during this challenging time of life and ministry. Thank you for all the support to hold us up and stand with us, we love you.

Out of Our Sight

Difficult, challenging, hard, heart-breaking, unbelievable, limiting, sad, loss and lonely are just a few ways to describe this season we are presently wading through in a country which has gone back to third world status. It’s gonna be okay, WE are gonna be okay. “For if God is for us, who can stand against us.” We also see great opportunity for the gospel and find ourselves in more serious intercession for the world, near and far. One constant prayer(and hope) is that our kids and youth, all who have set foot at Door of Hope will  grow as Jesus did in Lk 2:40 ” continued to grow and to become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him“..also as in Eph. 4:15 “..let us grow in every way into Him who is the head – Christ“. , 2P 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”. Thank you all for joining us to hold them up in prayer as they grow up out of our sight and arms but never out of God’s reach.

We are still here

Ministry has taken on a new look here at the Door of Hope since our return in September. We have struggled trying to do what we want to do and what we can do. So what we have been able to do is get caught up on a lot of things that had been on the ‘some day we would like to do list’.

We had started in person worship services in October but that was suspended when we needed to return to the US for a family emergency. We restarted the in person worship in January but just before Easter the goverment here declared another health emergency for an increase in COVID-19 cases. So we are back to virtual worship services again.

We built a irrigation reservoir that holds enough water to keep everything green. Also dug a new well that keeps the reservoir full with an abundance of water.

New block walls around the property for increased security, safety and dust control.

Maintenance on the playground. In the process to replace rotted posts and repainting the wood structure.

Trimming trees that have gotten so tall that we cannot reach the avocados to harvest, several that needed to be pruned for their health and removal of a few old almost dead trees.

We will soon tile the patio ministry area. The main reason for this is to be ready when we can meet again with tile that can be cleaned and sanitized better than concrete.

Installed security cameras for safety and security.

We have continued the weekly maintenance of the grounds as well as weeding and maintaining the flower and vegetable gardens.

We have even had time to build and install the upper kitchen cabinets in our house. It has only taken ten years since we moved in.

In some ways all of this seems to be work in vain as we cannot have folks here to enjoy it. But we have looked at it as this is for God and His glory. Someday in the near future we will be back to receiving folks and they will be able to experience this place and feel the presence of God through His creation.
It is hard to express our gratitude to your faithfulness in partnering with us in ministry. We are so grateful for your continued support and prayers. We would love to hear from you so if you have the time send us a message or email. We realize these are hard times for all but we know that our hope is not in the material things but in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ our living hope.

Dec 2020 – Newsletter

Christmas greetings from the Door of Hope. 

We want to say thank you for your faithfulness and partnership in ministry. This year has been like no other to say the least. We started this year with so many plans as to what we would be doing in ministry only to discover that all those plans would be changed. The vision of what ministry would look like this year has taken a radical change after experiencing the great loss of Erick’s passing with deep impact on so many as well as the worldwide, local and personal effects of the pandemic. What future ministry at The Door of Hope will look like is unknown at this point and to be honest with you, all this is a little unsettling for us. We are certain that God is not finished in this place but how we fit into what He is doing here is still unknown. We are praying and interceding for all those touched by Door of Hope because what God has started, He will not abandon.

We returned home after spending seven months in the US to find that what we knew has changed to the unknown. It was like coming home and finding so much is now unfamiliar. It is almost like starting from where we were 15 years ago. We are still trying to figure out what it is God is doing and how we can join Him in this process to transform lives with His eternal hope.

I (Tim) have been studying the Christmas story recently for the messages for December. I discovered that Joseph and Mary had many plans for their lives as they prepared themselves for their marriage. Just as all young couples dream and wonder what the future holds, they were no different. But in a flash their lives were turned upside down, each of them having an encounter with the angel Gabriel. They must have been surprised and a bit confused at the situation they found themselves in. Here they are not even married and yet Mary was pregnant and in their culture the shame and embarrassment that came with this situation. Yet I am sure no matter how hard they tried to explain that God had chosen them, no one understood them. It was something that only a few of God’s chosen at the time could fully comprehend. Every time that Gabriel appeared, one of the first things he said was “do not be afraid”. So many times in our lives we find things changing and one of the first things we do is become afraid. Afraid of the unknown, the where and the how. I think that fear is a common reaction. But for the believer it should be clear that fear does not come from God, it is just not in His nature. The only place fear comes from is the enemy. Over 25 years ago Daina and I knelt at the alter and told God that we were His to send us wherever He wanted and to do whatever he wanted. That hasn’t changed so we step into this New Year with our hopes and dreams in the hands of the ONE who holds it all in His hands.

    “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”        Hebrews 10:23

May all your hopes and dreams for this next year be in His hands as well. As the angel Gabriel told Jospeh and Mary “Do Not Be Afraid”. God is in control, He always has been and He always will be. He is doing something and wants us all to join Him, of that I am sure. May God bless you and keep you in the hollow of His hand.

A very merry CHRISTmas to you followed by a CHRIST filled 2021

Tim and Daina Datwyler

Nov 2020 – Newsletter

Thankfulness in the midst of uncertainty 

Thanksgiving greetings to all our family and friends. At the writing of this greeting I am reminded that about this time last year we all began to hear of this virus that was developing in a distant land far away. I don’t think any of us believed that it would become a pandemic. With that in mind it has changed our whole manner of life. I was thinking this morning of what would be my description of what being thankful looks like this year. Many of you I know have had a really difficult year. But in spite of how bad this year may have been God is still God and that alone is enough for us to give Him thanks. 

Many people have asked if Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in Ecuador. The short answer is no. Few countries in the world set aside a day to give God thanks for what he has done. I was reminded the other day that the celebration of Thanksgiving Day is a holiday that originated in United States at a time of great strife and troubled times. The president at the time was Abraham Lincoln and he made the following proclamation. 

Proclamation of Thanksgiving

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the

blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added. . .No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens, And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony , tranquility and Union.”

President Abraham Lincoln

Daina and I have so much to be thankful for. In March when we could not return to Ecuador we really did not know what to do but God had a plan. In the midst of this our worship leader, friend and youth leader Erick succumbed to colorectal cancer. He went home to be with the Lord while we were in the US. We couldn’t even be with him to say goodbye. We were devastated because this was not how we thought things would go.  But God was still in control as He always is. We had the generous gift from a great member of our support team loan us a car for as long as we needed it. A now new members of our support team loaned us their basement apartment for as long as we needed. God has always provided for us and has never failed us. 

Later in August Kevin came down with COVID-19. He, Esther and James all contracted the virus but Kevin had it so bad he had to be hospitalized. Fortunately because even in the middle of this God still had a plan and was in control as He always is. Kevin spent 5 days in the hospital and 3 of those days in critical condition. Because of prayer partners like each of you and many others around the world God heard those prayers and Kevin, Esther and James all recovered. Daina and I have not contracted COVID-19 and we give thanks to God for that. We have done a lot of traveling this year and God continues to keep us healthy. All praise and thanks to God. 

As Daina and I returned home to Ecuador we encountered a very different place than we left. Schools as they are in many places are not meeting in person. So we don’t see very many children on the streets. Many business have closed due to the lack of business. We started meeting in person for worship services but very few are coming for two reasons. Having our doors closed for seven months didn’t help and folks became accustomed to watch a message online instead of in person. The other is there is still the fear that someone could get the virus at a gathering. Both semi valid reasons but it is very disheartening to know where we were as a ministry and church and to be almost at ground zero.But praise and thanks to God that He is willing to start a new the ministry at Door of Hope again.

Being confident this very thing, that He who begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.   Philippians 1:6   

For the first time in our married life Daina and I are not spending Thanksgiving together. Daina is in Ecuador and I am in Reno, NV. I flew back a week ago to help my in laws. My father in law is in the hospital battling with the side effects of chemotherapy. He is fighting his second battle with lung cancer. The first was managed with a laser surgery but this time the required treatment was chemotherapy. Anyway I came back to help them as he tries to transition to home care. He is still in the hospital but should be transferring to a VA rehabilitation center where he will receive the occupational therapy he needs to come home. All praise and thanks to God for providing the care needed in this situation.

All in all I would have to say this year has been a tough one and for many more it’s been a devastating year. But we live in a fallen world and there is a lot of evil out there. Remember there is always something for us to give thanks to God. Even if we are in want or plenty, even if we are with shelter or without, even if we are sick or healthy. We still need to Give Thanks to God from whom all blessings flow. Thank you all for being so faithful with your giving and your prayers. We thank God for each one of you.

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with Thanksgiving. Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God and the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:1-3

Sep 2020 – Newsletter

First of all Praise God for his work in your life during this crazy time that we, together while apart, experience this novel corona virus pandemic. Thank you for your faithfulness, love and kindness. Thank you for praying Kevin well, he is recovering. THANK YOU just Thank you, each of you and our sweet Jesus. 

As we prepare to return to Ecuador TODAY!!! Sept. 11, we contemplate these 6 months in ‘exile’. Returning should be just like riding a bike so I ask if riding a bike is the same now as when you first learned? I remember riding a simple bike with a banana seat, then I got to ride one with hand brakes. My grandfather even let me ride his folding bike a couple times. Then a 3 speed added to the adventure and fun even though it was bigger than me. I don’t know about you but the first few times I rode a 10 speed it didn’t go smoothly, the gears crunched, my pant leg got stuck in the gears and I almost forgot to look where I was going. Shifting gears is not always an easy thing.

This has been a challenging time all around the globe and we just better get used to it, make adjustments and glorify God through it all. I like the term “shifting gears” because it describes the process we are discovering, it doesn’t always go smoothly but we better pay attention as the wheels keep moving. God is on the move more than ever and it is thrilling and somewhat terrifying as we maneuver the obstacles to lead others to the real PRIZE. Thank you for all you do. 

God has been an amazing provider during these 6 months in ‘exile’. We get to return to a somewhat ‘destabilized’ Ecuador on Sept. 12th.Things and life will not be the same as when we left but we know God goes before us and with us as we search for opportunities to reflect His light. Please continue to pray 

  •  1. Travel and adjustment
  • 2. Those who have held it all together (while apart) at our home. We asked our friends to take care of everything for 8 days and they are still doing it. The Lanchimbas rock!
  • 3. Kellyann and Rodrigo with charge of 3 campuses and new DS duties as they figure out how to school and raise 5 kids 7 month -14yrs.
  • 4. Daina’s parents as they face health issues for Jim with advanced COPD and cancer.
  • 5. Amanda and Eli in MX
  • 6. Kevin who tested positive for covid and then spent 5 days in hospital, pray for Esther and James. Not sure when we will be together again and NOT the farewell we planned. James starts kindergarden and Esther still cannot get driver license with Social security offices on limited services. 
  • 7. Joe and Eulouise W. for inviting us into their life and giving a wonderful place to stay.

May we suggest you go visit a state park near you. We enjoyed many days and miles in north Georgia state parks as we waited out this craziness. Medicine for the weary (and bored) soul.

 Time runs fast as we stand still and we are very, very thankful.
4Hisglory, Daina and Tim