Family Reunion in Ecuador

Early last year we started thinking about having a special celebration this summer for our 40th wedding anniversary, bringing as many as possible of our offspring to Ecuador for a week. (We blogged about our 40 years of marriage here.)

So in in July and August, stretching over parts of four weeks, we had three sons, two daughters, two daughters-in-law, and two grandsons here. We were only missing the two sons-in-law and one son and his family. We managed to find beds, pads, and pillows enough to squeeze everyone in our apartment, and we did a bit of traveling too.

1 Family

The first week we had three early arrivals. One son and daughter-in-law hiked the four-day Quilotoa Trek and spent a night close to Cotapaxi. (We’ve blogged twice about Quilotoa, here and here.) Our middle daughter, who stayed for three and a half weeks, hung out with us. She and I (Jody) visited an art museum of Ecuador’s most famous painter, Oswaldo Guayasamin. We all did a guided walking tour of Quito and spent a great morning in Nayón, a nearby village with dozens of plant nurseries.

We were all together for only the second week, spending four nights in Quito and three nights in an AirBnB in Turucu, an indigenous village about two hours away from Quito. Our hosts welcomed all eleven of us into their home, fed us wonderful food, and suggested great places to visit. They had ducks, chickens, cows, and an orchard with exotic fruits. Some of us hiked around Laguna Cuicochi (a crater lake) while others took a boat ride on the lake. We enjoyed bathing in some hot springs, visited the Otavalo artisan market and the Peguche waterfall, and even saw an impromptu night soccer game across the street.

(For any of these photo mosaics, if you click on one  you can scroll through the photos one by one. That’s on a computer, at least; I’m not sure what happens on a cell phone.)

Our days in Quito we did a bit of sightseeing, some rode Ciclo Paseo with Scott, some climbed Ruku Pichincha, and we played a lot of games. Every night for three and a half weeks Scott did a crossword with whomever would join him.

During the third week our numbers were down to eight and we spent three nights in the cloud forest village of Mindo. We had wonderful views, birding, butterflies, great food, and ziplining. On our way there we visited Tulipe, pre-Colombian ruins of the Yumbo people. On our way back to Quito we stopped at the Equator. And to end the week we visited Quito’s Botanical Gardens.

Five more left us and we were down to one daughter. Scott and I went back to work while she relaxed one day, came to work with me one day, and did some more touristing with me on my day off. Then she left and the house was way too quiet, echoing with memories of games, good food, great sights, and a blessed family time.

 

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April 2018 Newsletter

(Want to read the print version? Click here.)

Happy Easter (two weeks late)! We hope your Easter was a time of celebration with fellow believers and family.

We’re both in the midst of a busy season at work. Scott is working on audit preparation, the financial statements, and the implementation of a new accounting system.   Until mid-May Jody will be the only one in the Missionary Personnel Office; her co-worker, Pat, retired in mid-February.  Her boss, DeNise, is recovering from hip replacement surgery in the U.S.; thankfully she can help some by email.

We continue to see increasing friendliness from our neighbors, which is an encouragement.  Everyone knows us, of course, because we’re so different (riding a unicycle to work, for example).  But generally people have been very cautious, averting their eyes when we meet on the street.  But after three years of us always greeting them, some people are actually greeting us first.

We’re also seeing improvement in our Spanish; Scott led a Bible study on finances this week (in Spanish) and received applause at the end.

Thank you for helping us spread the good news that Jesus has conquered death and opened the way to the Father. He is risen!

Ministry Focus: Misión Abordo (Mission Aboard)

Misión Abordo is a twelve-year-old annual event combining missionary training with medical outreach in remote Peruvian communities. Four from our office participated in March as ministry and training facilitators. The medical team had members from Peru, Cuba, Ecuador, Great Britain, and the United States.

Both teams boarded the riverboat Evangelista along with 38 others, including the boat crew, other national missionaries, and conference participants from Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, and Romania. Mornings involved training in the biblical basis for missions and cross-cultural missions while the afternoons were spent putting the training to good use in five river communities.

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How to pray for us:

  • That we would be a light in our neighborhood
  • That we would be a help and an encouragement at work
  • Thank God for those partnering with us in prayer and finances
  • Thank God for our good health

Recent Blog Posts (click to read)

 

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Shoulder Surgery – One Year Later

One year ago on April 4, I (Jody) had rotator cuff surgery in our mission’s hospital here in Quito. I’m still improving in my range of motion and freedom from pain and I’m happy I had the surgery.

I blogged quite a bit about the surgery. You can find those blogs by choosing the tag “surgery” if you’re interested in reviewing my adventure.

In my last surgery blog three months after the surgery, I mentioned I was thinking about returning to the surgeon and asking for more physical therapy. I did have that appointment and he recommended I do less exercises and give myself more time to heal. That’s what I did, and it seems to have turned out fine.

Shortly after my surgery, our hospital changed from a non-profit hospital to a for-profit hospital. It still has strong ties with Reach Beyond, our mission organization, and still continues the same Christian mission it has for the last 60-plus years.

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Sunrise, Sunset in Quito (Revisited)

When we were in Costa Rica at language school, we blogged about the different times of sunrises and sunsets throughout the year in Costa Rica, Eugene (where most of our family lives), and Quito. You can read that post here.

We knew when we moved to Quito there would be little change in day length throughout the year. What we didn’t realize was that sunrises and sunsets would shift earlier and later throughout the year, seemingly unrelated to the solstices and equinoxes.

So, for those of you who enjoy random trivia, here’s what happens. Data once again is from timeanddate.com. You can find their cool, clickable graph for Quito here.

Quito Sunrise & Sunset at the Solstice and Equinox

Date Sunrise Sunset Day Length
Dec 21 6:08 a.m. 6:16 p.m. 12 hrs, 8 min.
Mar 21 6:18 a.m. 6:24 p.m. 12 hrs, 6 min.
June 21 6:13 a.m. 6:19 p.m. 12 hrs, 6 min.
Sept 21 6:04 a.m. 6:10 p.m. 12 hrs, 6 min.

Quito Earliest & Latest Sunrises & Sunsets

Date Sunrise Sunset Day Length
Feb 4-21 6:24 a.m. 6:31 p.m. 12 hrs, 7 min.
May 4-22 6:07 a.m. 6:13 p.m. 12 hrs, 6 min.
Jul 17-Aug 3 6:17 a.m. 6:23 p.m. 12 hrs, 6 min.
Nov 1-7 5:53 a.m. 6:01 p.m. 12 hrs, 8 min.

So, roughly every three months the sunrise/sunset shifts earlier or later:

  • 17 or 18 minutes earlier between February and May
  • 10 minutes later between May and July
  • about 23 minutes earlier between August and November
  • 30 or 31 minutes later between November and February

It’s not a big change, but is very noticeable if you usually ride your unicycle home from work about 6:30 p.m.  What’s in the daylight in February is pitch black in November. And when you’re not expecting the changes (because you live on the Equator), it’s kind of weird.

We don’t know why the pattern is so variable. Maybe the bulge in the earth at the Equator is a factor? If  you figure it out, let us know.

Just for fun, here’s the sun rising behind Cayambe one morning. It’s one of our snow-capped volcanoes.

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40 Years Married

1978

March 18, 2018 marked our 40th wedding anniversary. We had a busy weekend, offering hospitality to a family of five, including a fun and energetic seven-year-old. While it wasn’t a romantic weekend get-away, it was somehow oddly appropriate since hospitality has been a continuing theme throughout our marriage. (We do plan a weekend away in a week or two.)

Since it was a Sunday, we also went to church, reflecting another significant theme in our lives.

That we still are enjoying adventures together after 40 years is a testament to God’s faithfulness and grace. We are very blessed and thankful.

Here are some photos of us and our family through the years.

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December 2017 Newsletter

Want to read the print version? Click here.

Recently we were asked, “How did you end up as missionaries?” About 15 years ago, one of Scott’s bosses came back from a trip to Spain where he helped a mission organization with an audit. His comment that there was a great need for accountants on the mission field was a eye-opener to us. In our minds missionaries were preachers, church planters, or maybe doctors and nurses.

We started dreaming about “going somewhere and doing something for missions,” and in His time God led us here to Quito and Reach Beyond.

Have you ever had a dream to go somewhere and do something for missions? Mission organizations need IT people, mechanics, carpenters, painters, secretaries, HR people, counselors, and almost any profession you can imagine.

If God has been nudging you to be one of His workers in His harvest field, we’d love to chat with you about our experience.

Have a very blessed Christmas season celebrating Jesus’ journey to earth’s mission field.

Praying for Us

Thank God for our supporters, whom He’s using to provide for us. We’ve lost three supporters in the last six months, but God has prompted others to start giving. It’s amazing to be on the receiving end of sacrificial giving.

Pray for strength, health, encouragement, grace, and wisdom for us. The next several months will be very busy for Scott, with a new accounting system, year-end accounting, audit preparation, and financial statements. Our region had some big changes this year, and the accounting is even more complicated than usual. Jody’s boss is on HMA (furlough) and may take a medical leave and her one co-worker is retiring in February, so she is heading into a busy season too.

Photos of Our Year

Some of our co-workers at our Christmas party last week

Near the top of Cuenca’s New Cathedral

Cajas National Park: such a cold day!

Scott with our youngest grandchild

New on the Blog (click to read)

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Microbusiness/Microempresa #1: Francisco

 

2016-07-14 08.21.14

This is Francisco (a Colombian) and he is one of the friendliest people on the way to work. He gets up at 3:15 a.m. to prepare tamales and sells them from his pickup on the street in front of where Jody and I (Scott) work.  People sit down at his tailgate or at a small table and chairs that he sets up.  If it rains, he adds a tarp and umbrella to keep his customers dry.

Este es Francisco (un colombiano) – él es uno de las personas más amigables en mi (Scott’s) ruta a trabajo.  Se levanta a las tres y cuarto en la madrugada para preparar tamales y los vende desde su camioneta en la calle frente del lugar donde Jody y yo trabajamos.  Sus consumidores se sientan en la tapa trasera or en una mesa y sillas que él pone en la calle.  En caso de lluvia, añade una carpa y paraguas para mantener a sus consumidores secos.

 

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