Whats in a Box?
In October and November many of you fill a box or 2 or 10+ through Samaritan’s Purse ministry, carefully selecting each item to bless each child who will excitedly open it in March to discover new treasures. Several of
you even track where your box goes. Door of Hope recently had a party which culminated with gifting 160 boxes.
These kids who have so little to call their own now have a box of blessed treasures. How do I know the items are blessed? Because I know the full hearts who filled them and prayed for the children to be blessed. THANK YOU! Not many of you know all that is in each and every box. Besides the soap and washcloth, toothbrush and paste, hair bows, bouncy balls, books, crayons, candy, clothes, toys and stuffed animals come the most important and life giving gifts. Hope, love, a hug from far away, connection with God’s family, prayers, smiles, joy, the emotion of inviting a friend to meet Jesus, sharing the blessing with their mom and dad, a fun party and making new friends are a few of the extra benefits stuffed with each box you send. Each child goes to their humble home with the Good News, a full tummy, full arms and full hearts.
What’s more is they return the following Saturday with more friends to begin the Great Adventure Bible course taught completely by our student leaders for 12 weeks. In June we will finish with a graduation ceremony we will celebrate with their families. Each child will leave with a mind and heart full of new Bible knowledge, a Bible, a diploma and for many new life in Jesus. You now know that the box YOU so thoughtfully filled is so much more than you filled it with. Every box is an excellent investment for the Kingdom. May God be glorified and honored with each offering and sacrifice.
December was filled with excitement from clowns and confetti, gifts, candy, games and candles lighting the night. A small work team from Ootelwah UMC, TN helped finish many pending projects for the workshop. We held a Christmas party for our Compassion International school children and had a great time celebrating, eating and making Santa Kabobs. Our Christmas party with our staff was one of the big highlights for us because we got to spend time serving them and just treating them as the valuable servants they are. Our Christmas Eve celebration was pretty big this year with 200+ folks. Children, youth and adults celebrating the birth of our King, closing with a candlelight service. All in all we seemed to be very busy in December having the privilege to serve King Jesus here in Ecuador.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. Hebrews 4:16
As we invest in all the kids God has gifted us with one of our goals is to help them learn to speak, to confidently speak up. Critical thinking is not a forte in the schools so we have to teach them the process. First to listen and think, decide
on opinion then order what to say so they can stand
up and speak up. We found out they are expected to ‘just do it’ in about 10th grade for project presentations. Many are so terrified they fail due to fear. We became aware of this need a few years ago when one of our student leaders shared her experience as an exuberant praise to God.
Nancy excitedly told us how one of her teachers congratulated her for a fine job in her oral presentation. This same teacher found her later to ask her what had happened because 3 months earlier she was frozen with fear and could only say 5 words in front of the class. Nancy was surprised that the change was so drastic so she began to think about what happened to enable her. The conclusion she told her teacher was how she overcame her fear while studying to be a Sunday School teacher at her church, Puerta de Esperanza. Half of the course is to study, make a lesson plan and present each part in front of the other aspiring teachers. 4 presentations in 4 weeks and she was changed without even noticing UNTIL her teacher noticed. This was the beginning of a struggling student becoming a competitive confident young lady.
Now you can see why this is one of our goals in ministry with our kids. We begin with our 3-5 yr olds with a weekly ‘ circle of friends’ where we all take turns standing up and sharing with the group. The timid ones now share something more than one whispered word, in fact they have trouble waiting their turn to speak up. And yes, the teachers at the elementary school notice which kids are ours. Thank you for your partnership in raising up a new generation of world changers who can and will speak up.
Blessings from above
“He causes his sun to shine on the evil and good and send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:45
Even God’s children attempt to control his surroundings but the certainty is he cannot control the weather, only our Creator can do such a powerful thing. We praise Him for sending abundant rains which we have not seen in 5 years. Door of Hope now has about half the avocado trees it once had. Once a week irrigation water was not enough to save many of the trees and the water table on the well could not keep up with thirsty trees planted in sandy soil. Rejoice with us for the rain! We are working hard removing the dead trees, fertilizing and drastic pruning of the survivors and praying. We sell the harvest twice a year to fund improvement for ministry. Please pray that the sale income will increase because we need a couple more classrooms with the increase in attendance each week. We will be planting a variety of new trees as well as using some of the new open spaces for garden areas for the kids to plant, harvest, eat and give away to needy families. Rain, beautiful rain,,,,a gift from above.
Amazing love,,,how can it be….? We thank God for his abundant love evidenced by all of you. Be it kind words of encouragement, coming to see first hand, inviting us to visit you, meeting a special need, your prayers which hold us up, asking about our family or your continued financial support, in all this we are amazed. Our lives could not be spent serving others without YOU. We do confess that we are occasionally stuck in a maze until we recognize this amazing life carved out by His amazing love. Door of Hope would be just a dream if God had not called us all to offer Him a sacrifice for His glory by His grace. Thank you, each and every one for hearing His voice to honor Him in so many wonderful ways so we can sit humbly at Jesus’ feet amazed everyday
at what He is doing in us, through us and all around us here in Chaquibamba, Ecuador. Amazing love, how can it be……..
Truck and Body
As many of you know we have had numerous problems for the past two years with our truck. We use this truck almost everyday for ministry. It is our sole means of transportation of the supplies for ministry as well as a bus to move children. In January of last year the en- gine blew up and left us without transportation for about 3 months. I rebuilt the engine and eventually got it running and even passed the annual emission testing for Ecuador.
Since then we have had to repair the truck numerous times and now are faced with doing so again.
We have been so blessed by the above and beyond giving from supporting churches. These churches through their faithful prayer and open hearts have made sacrifices to help the Door of Hope.
We are in the process of purchasing another car but it will not be ready until mid June.
Just as the truck has been a constant challenge, my body since last January has been in revolt. Around December of 2015 I started feeling kinda run down, not having energy and just generally exhausted. Finally I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Several months later I began to return to normal. Thanks to so many who prayed for God to heal me.
This past November I began to feel poorly again. I could not keep the food that I was eating in. I was eating and about as fast as I would eat it would leave. I was trying several home remedies but to no avail. I finally went to the doctor who diagnosed me with salmonela. I began treatment with antibiotics and began to feel better. Then in two weeks back in the same condition if not worse than before. when I returned to the doctor he diagnosed me as having giardiasis. Again with the antibiotics but this time I was cured. In the process I lost about 20 pounds. Although I probably needed to lose a little, 20 pounds was a bit much. I have finally got my appetite back and am now beginning to regain some of that weight back as well as regaining energy and stamina.
Lessons learned from these experiences:
God is in control and never believe that anything depends only on ME.
Its only a truck and it only has so much life in it.
I (we) are here by Gods will and not by ours.
We could not be here if it were not for all of you faithfully praying and supporting us in the good times and the bad.
Train up and send out others to serve the Lord. They will do far more and greater things then we could ever do.
Thank you one and all for lifting us, me and the truck up in your prayers.