I am really terrible about taking photos since becoming a missionary. Mostly because I want to live inside every moment and I found it difficult to do that behind a camera. However, I am beginning to recognize that the members of our team who do not live here can't "live in every moment" the same way I can, and that those people (you) deserve to see what God is doing here in Ecuador.
So this week I made it a point to take a snapshot as I went about my week so you could get a feeling of what God, and you, and I have been up to here in Loja.
Last Saturday I took a bus out to Zamora where I left an intern missionary from Guatemala. M is a lovely girl and the church in Zamora is one of the most beautiful congregations I have ever met. They took us on a tour of the town where we passed a lovely park and an impromptu ball game broke out. It was such a joy filled game that the community began to join in. I came home with sore ribs from laughing so much! (I was also grateful to get home after the bus broke down and I had to hitchhike back to Loja- It was a crazy day!)
Hours were spent on blocking a script that will be presented twice at the end of the year. It follows the promise of Christ through all the Old Testament stories, ending with His glorious birth and the fulfillment of every promise made. It's a complicated script but really fun to direct. Eventually I had to cut out little squares of paper to represent each of my nine kids just so I could keep track of where they all were during the presentation.
I was invited to play tennis. I don't play well and all my balls went into the bush where I had to search for them. I was attacked by a thorn bush. Incentive to learn to play better.
Spent an hour unjamming my stapler. This item is essential to my life and when it doesn't work well... let's just say that it was a test of patience I almost did not pass :)
Our SIM Ecuador team is broken into small groups so that we can care for each other and more efficiently accomplish our goals. My team is focused on church edification and this week we had to say goodbye to two of our members as they return back to their respective countries. Will is returning to South Korea and Mark to Australia. They were an essential part of our team and we already miss them.
This is the first Iguana I have seen in Loja. I saw it in the park at Catamayo where I also enjoyed the scorching sun of that city. One of the street vendors tried to sell this little guy some water and caramel popcorn. Haha!
While in Catamayo we welcomed some team members home from the USA. It has been over a year since they left for their home assignment and 3 of the youth we work with were anxious to see them again, so we hauled ourselves out to the airport for an impromptu greeting complete with silly hats and a confeti cannon.
We finished our discipleship manual but the formatting is taking FOREVER. Thanks to Weston who is learning how to use Adobe indesign it is over halfway formatted. Meanwhile, we have already started to teach the course so I met one of our missionaries at a local park to drop of this week's lesson.
I decided that this week would be a fabulous week to inventory, wash, and organize all the drama costumes and supplies. Two of my members came to help but wow, was that a task. Hours of hand washing, line drying, and ironing but the end result was super encouraging.
Here it is! We have some damaged supplies that need to be taken care of still and all the scripts are still being formatted and organized but at least half of the job was completed.
Oh, and King Nabu finally got a much needed bath and haircut. Whew. He was smelling pretty bad.
This coming week is wonderfully full of God's work and I will try to get some pictures to share with you. But, meanwhile, here is what next week looks like so you can better pray for our ministries.
Today (Sunday)- I will be teaching the youth Sunday School class as well as directing the Alfa a Omega rehearsal which will double as a welcome back party for Sheryl.
Monday- Prayer time with my prayer partner , tennis, mentoring a missionary intern, helping a missionary find an apartment, getting planning done for the week's ministries, and girl's basketball where I give the devotion.
Tuesday- I will be teaching through a missions manual and an evangelism course to two interns who will be staying with us overnight before returning to their fields. The Impacto Mundial meeting takes place in the evening.
Wednesday- Discipleship in the morning and then meetings.
Thursday- Discipleship in the morning, lunch at our home with half of Loja (a lot of our youth come and hang out on Thursdays), and basketball in the afternoon.
Friday- This is my day off- pray I guard it well.
Saturday- Planning for the weekend ministries, youth group, and women's group.