Dustan, I, and the kids are spending the week in Gonzonama walking with Amanda through her ministries here.
We spent Tuesday traveling by car for 20 minutes, and then on foot down the side of a mountain. The views were magnificent, but the way was not easy. The path was narrow and rutted from erosion, and incredibly steep. Once we reached our destination we were greeted by a woman named Alba. A believer for many years, she studied and worshipped on her own, until she had a chance meeting with a missionary. Now Amanda and her missions partner, Chandra travel to visit with Alba and her husband Luis twice a month.
When the rains are not too bad.
Luis desperately wants a Christian male to study the Bible with. There are none.
On Wednesday I visited in Chandra's home as women came in to be weighed, measured, and learn a lesson in healthy eating. The people of Ecuador have some of the highest heart disease rates in the world. Chandra is doing her part in combatting that. She teaches the women how to exercise, teaches them a cooking lesson, and then teaches them how much God loves them.
On Thursday, I went with Chandra to the small pueblo of Portete. They have finally (after 4 years) gained permission to use the community center to use for a women's craft club. This was the first one. No children were allowed. TEN children came. Twenty-nine women came. Two men came. Two boys came. I stepped in to modify a craft for the children and Chandra explained that next week they will not be allowed to come because she does not have anyone to help her. No one was happy.
Thursday night I attended a women's Bible study in Gonzonama that was lead by a Christian woman from this small village. Macarena is her name, and she recently lost her teenage son to suicide. Her faith is holding strong in a situation that I am sure would bring my own to its knees.
Tonight we will travel back to Portete to worship with the Pinta family. I met the Pinta family three years ago when I first came to Ecuador on a visit. I worshipped with them then in their small concrete home and my heart was humbled over and over again. I came back to the states and told their story numerous times. Their story inspired Dustan and I to return as missionaries.
My Challenge: Pray. For more missionaries. Continue to be amazed by what God is doing here.
Your Challenge: Pray. For more missionaries. You? Your son? Your daughter? Be a part of what God is doing right where you are. And maybe... step outside the lines.