March 2023 Newsletter

Home Ministry Assignment

We will be in Oregon May 13 through July 20 and in Colorado Springs May 4-13 and July 20-24. Please let us know if you would like to connect for a visit; that’s what we’re coming for! Also, if you are in Eugene or Springfield, let us know if you need a house sitter for part of that time or have a spare guest room we could use (or rent).

Bible Study (from Jody)

Last week my turn came to lead our church small group Bible study.  Although my Spanish is serviceable, it is a challenge to talk to a group of native Spanish speakers on a complicated subject (in this case, the Trinity), so Scott says I can be excused for being nervous. But the weather was horrible, which cut the group size in half (that made it more comfortable for me). And God answered my prayers to not have any moments when I couldn’t find Spanish words to express myself. The group was very supportive and appreciative. Scott’s turn is still to come.


As related in previous newsletters, we are still Reach Beyond missionaries, but we are now “assigned” to work with “Fundación Voz y Manos — Ecuador,” which was created three years ago to carry on several of the ministries of Reach Beyond and its partner Ecuadorian organizations.  In January, the Voz y Manos national and missionary staff had a weeklong organizational skills development seminar led by two missionaries with years of experience.  They helped us to identify core values for Voz y Manos and to formulate a vision statement (where we want to go) and a mission statement (what we do). Other topics discussed were the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, challenges for the different ministries, and different leadership styles. It was wonderful to all be together as we learned new concepts and skills, talked in small groups, and shared ideas. It was a fruitful and encouraging time.

The photo above of our trainers and almost our whole team includes eight nationalities, withi people from Northern Ireland, Peru, USA, Austria, Ecuador, Switzerland, Paraguay, and Germany. (We were missing our missionary from Chile.)

The photos below show a few of our brainstorming sessions.

Executive Director

Scott continues as interim executive director of Voz y Manos. Some have joked to us that in the missionary world, “interim” means “permanent.” But a search committee is working to find a long-term replacement. Please pray that God would guide them to His choice for Voz y Manos.

Praise for:

  • A wonderful (if chilly) month with family in Oregon over Christmas and New Year’s  — our first Christmas with family in six years.
  • Our January seminar and the team-building that is continuing
  • An encouraging women’s retreat Jody got to attend in February
  • The third anniversary of Voz y Manos and what God has done in that time (despite the pandemic)
  • New missionaries in the pipeline for Voz y Manos

Pray for:

  • A long-term executive director for Voz y Manos
  • Our upcoming home ministry assignment: that we use our time wisely and that we can encourage and bless those who have encouraged and blessed us
  • Political stability and an improved economy for Ecuador
  • God’s grace and healing for our various health issues
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September 2022 Newsletter

We were in the United States on home ministry assignment during the months of May and June.  On June 13, indigenous and other discontented groups instituted a national strike that paralyzed Ecuador for 18 days (such strikes are not uncommon, but this was the longest one in history).  Demands included a reduction and freeze of fuel prices, better healthcare, improved educational opportunities, a ban on mining and oil drilling in indigenous territories, among others.  There were marches, violence, and property damage ($2 million in Quito).

Quito is particularly vulnerable to road blockages because it is in a high Andean valley with only four main access roads.  After a couple of weeks, the city began to run low on food and other essentials.

The strike had personal consequence for our missionary coworkers in the small community of Shell.  Here is an excerpt from their newsletter:

“It is day 9 of a National Strike as I am writing this letter.  What that means for us is that road blocks placed by demonstrators prevent any movement in or out of Shell except by air.  Currently, we are seeing shortages of propane gas tanks for cooking/ hot water in homes, drinking water, and gasoline.  Our kids are back to virtual classes. The four mile bike ride to school past demonstrators in full face masks wielding clubs and spears made the return to online classes a happy option.”

A few days before our return to Ecuador, mediation by the Catholic church resulted in a 90 day moratorium and Quito appeared almost normal upon our return.  Everyone is praying that negotiations with the government are successful and that there isn’t a new strike at the end of September.

Scott continues in his role as interim executive director of Voz y Manos Ecuador.  It isn’t uncommon for him to come home and say “I didn’t do any accounting today.” He is learning new skills and enjoys the challenge, but he will be relieved (double meaning intended) when a new executive director is found.

An unexpected consequence of being the executive director is that he is traveling to Cuba for 10 days in October to represent Voz y Manos at the 25th anniversary of Apoyo Cuba, a partner ministry providing training for pastors and other church leaders.

Before agreeing to go, he asked Jody if she wanted to go to Cuba.  It took her about five seconds to say “yes.” We fly to Havana and take a public mini-bus the length of the country (500 miles and 14-18 hours!) to Santiago de Cuba for the celebration.  We aren’t doing that for fun — the only practical way for us to get to Cuba is via Panama City to “La Habana.” And getting back to Ecuador means reversing our path.

On a personal note, Scott hopes to have cataract surgery in early October.

May grace and peace be with you all.

Scott and Jody

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March 2022 Newsletter

The evening of January 31 Quito had a large and destructive mudslide about a mile south of our home. Twenty-eight people died and over fifty were injured. Radio HCJB-EC organized a donation site outside our offices, and our church was involved in providing meals and supplies for those affected. Mudslides are common in the Andes due to the steep, sometimes unstable hillsides and frequent heavy rains. But this one was especially destructive as it came down the mountain and roared through a steep busy street, damaging two urban communities. This YouTube video is a compilation of cell phone videos and this is a shorter video with narration.

Interim Executive Director of Voz y Manos
In January, Scott became the interim executive director of Voz y Manos. Our previous executive director, an interim volunteer, was in the U.S. with his wife when she got COVID, was hospitalized, and died. His plans are now uncertain, so Scott was asked to step in until a permanent executive director can be found. As the only Voz y Manos board member who is full-time in Quito, he was a logical choice. It means one more “hat” for him to wear, along with Voz y Manos director of finance, Voz y Manos board member, and Reach Beyond board member.

90th anniversary
In December our mission celebrated 90 years of God’s faithfulness. HCJB (which later became Reach Beyond) made its first radio broadcast on Christmas Eve, 1931. One of the songs played and sung during that broadcast was, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” The Spanish version, “O, Tu Fidelidad,” was a theme song during the anniversary celebrations as we remembered God’s faithfulness and looked to the future. To hear one of the performances, use this link to the Sesión Solemne and go to about 2:38:25 (the last five minutes). The first minute has photos of the original 1931 broadcast.

Home Ministry Assignment (HMA)
Lord willing, we will be in the U.S. on HMA April 28 through July 4 , 2022. We will mostly be in Oregon, with a trip to the Seattle area. Please let us know if you would like to connect with us.

HMA Housing: If you know of a missionary apartment, house-sitting opportunity, or short-term rental in the Eugene area, please let us know. We would love having our own space since Scott will need to work remotely a few hours each day. But a large bedroom with room for him to leave his work station set up would meet our needs too.

Contacting Us: Once we are in the U.S., we will have the same cell numbers we had in 2021. Our computer phone (541-359-7633) will just be a message phone in Ecuador, and any previous cell numbers are no longer ours.

  • Scott – 541-606-7430
  • Jody – 458-205-4186

Praise & Prayer:

  • Thank God that our needs are met, and many of our wants too.
  • Thank God that He is always with us and, “Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” (Romans 14:8b)
  • Thank God for His plans for us and His promise of guidance.  
  • Ask God to guide the leadership of Voz y Manos to find His choice for a long-term executive director.
  • Pray for those affected by the January 31 mudslide, especially that God would comfort, provide, and draw people to Himself.
  • Pray that we would be flexible and faithful whatever happens on our HMA.
  • Pray for a home base (or home bases) for us in the Eugene area during our HMA.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us,

Scott & Jody Arnold

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Christmas 2021

This is our Norfolk Pine which has been our living Christmas tree since our first Christmas here in 2014.

Here it is in 2014!

Little did we know when Scott carried it home under his arm that one day it would be almost touching our ceiling.

It may be that, like our Christmas tree, you can see growth in your life the last year or so. Or maybe you are thankful just to have survived a very hard season. Whatever your circumstances, may you know that Jesus, the baby in the manger and our savior, is walking beside you with comfort, strength, guidance, and love.

Merry Christmas 2021 and a very blessed New Year,

Scott & Jody

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October 2021 Newsletter

“Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will do this and that.” James 4:15

Back in Quito

After eleven weeks in the U.S., we returned to Quito September 23. We’re still adjusting to the altitude, but otherwise our life is back to “normal.”

When we made our airline reservations in March it looked like the COVID situation in Oregon would be pretty good by summer.  We got our first dose of vaccine in the Miami airport and our second in Eugene. But the Delta variant caused COVID to surge and some of our plans were upended. An early August exposure to COVID landed us in quarantine and cancelled Jody’s trip to California. In late August a four day stay in the Portland area was canceled after our host got COVID a few days before. In early September the memorial service for Jody’s mom had to be pushed to next year when one of Jody’s siblings got COVID.

But we did make it to Washington State and to Colorado. We had outside meetings with many friends in the Eugene area and had more time than expected with family. During our August quarantine Jody borrowed some quilting supplies and made two Christmas wall hangings. And Scott and a friend battled forest fire smoke to do another Crater Lake ride.

As Christians we know that we shouldn’t assume that our plans are going to happen, but are to say, “If the Lord wills … ” This summer was a good reminder to hold our plans lightly, that our plans are not necessarily God’s plans, and that there are always things for which we can be thankful.

Some of you may be wondering, “How long will you be in Ecuador?”

We don’t yet have plans for when we will move back to the United States. However, barring something unforeseen, we’ve agreed that in a year or two we will have that discussion and our best guess is three to five years. Scott likes to say that he wants to work himself out of a job and our shared hope is that we do our part to leave “Voz y Manos” in good hands and poised and ready for all that God has planned for Ecuador.

Here are some photos of our time in the U.S. (Pike’s Peak, Colorado; Scott’s ride at Crater Lake; and Jody’s quarantine quilts

Praise and Prayer

Praise God for the conversations we had with friends and supporters. We were encouraged by people’s faith and perseverance during the last two years.

Praise God that we stayed healthy and for how God adjusted our plans during our stay.

Ask God to care and protect our family, especially our kids and grandkids. Pray for good health for all, as some are having severe health challenges.

Ask God to guide us in our short-term and long-term plans and that we would be flexible and willing to follow Him and be His voice and hands in Ecuador.

Thank You

Thank you for partnering with us on this journey. We appreciate your encouragement, support, and prayers.

New Blog Post: ¿Para Qué?

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¿Para Qué?

A fun thing about learning a new language is the richness that can come from that language’s more expansive or descriptive use of common words. For example, the English question, “Why?” is expressed in Spanish with two common phrases: “¿Por qué?” and “¿Para qué?”

The distinction between the two is that “¿Por qué?” looks to the past, asking, “What caused this to happen?” But “¿Para qué?” looks to the future, asking ,“For what purpose did this happen (or is this happening)? ”

Recently in our church small group meeting (by Zoom and in Spanish), one of the members shared a teaching entitled, ¿Para qué? He talked about how we in Ecuador are going through a hard time now with the pandemic. (In our group of ten or so families, two have lost immediate family members to COVID-19 and others have lost extended family members or close friends.)

In times of great suffering and pain, it’s natural to ask, “Why?” But he encouraged us to not get stuck on “¿Por qué?,” but instead ask “¿Para qué?” Focus on the future and on God’s purposes for the situation. We won’t understand everything, but we will be asking the right question.

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July 2021 Newsletter

Home Ministry Assignment

Our Best Ever Airport Welcome

We are here in Eugene, Oregon and are in the U.S. until September 22.  Besides time in Oregon, we’ll be traveling to Washington (state) and Colorado. Jody’s also visiting southern California.

We are having two outdoor, drop-in get-togethers in Eugene (stay as short or as long as you wish); contact us to find out the location and to let us know you plan to come:

  • Saturday, July 31, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Monday, September 6, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Labor Day)

We also have time and would enjoy meeting with you individually. Here’s our schedule:

  • Eugene, OR – now until August 4 for both of us (outdoor meetings only)
  • Eugene, OR – August 5-10 for Scott (outdoor meetings only)
  • Thousand Oaks, CA – August 5-10 (Jody)
  • Seattle, WA area – August 11-16
  • Portland, OR area – August 17-22
  • Colorado Springs, CO – August 23-September 5
  • Eugene, OR – September 6-21

Contact us at:

  • Jody: 458-205-4186,
  • Scott: 541-606-7430

Voz y Manos

We are Reach Beyond missionaries but you probably didn’t know we are working directly with an Ecuadorian organization named Fundación Voz y Manos – Ecuador (“Voz y Manos”).  In the missionary world we say that we are “seconded” (pronounced “secúnded”) to Voz y Manos.  In non-missionary language you can think of it as being loaned to another organization.  “Secondment” is a formal agreement where the “seconding” organization (in this case Reach Beyond) receives donations designated for the missionary, provides support, and has all of the legal obligations that attach to an employer.  The receiving organization (in this case Voz y Manos) supervises and directs the missionary but has no financial obligations.

“Seconding” is common in the mission world (all of the Voz y Manos missionaries are “seconded in” from other organizations).  Missionaries can serve where their skills are needed even if their sending organization has no office there.  It promotes cooperation between organizations, saves administrative costs, and supports the work of foreign mission organizations.

Our Ecuadorian organization is called Voz y Manos (Voice and Hands) because it strives to be both the voice and hands of Jesus:  preaching the gospel and helping people with their physical needs.  It, and other “offspring” of Reach Beyond, continue a 90 year legacy in Ecuador of outreach through healthcare (a hospital and clinics), media (radio and Internet), training Latin American pastors, equipping Latin American missionaries to go to other parts of the world, community development (clean water and sanitation projects), and education.

So don’t be surprised when we talk about Voz y Manos, as that is the organization we now work most closely with.  But we are still Reach Beyond missionaries; Reach Beyond receives donations on our behalf and is “loaning us” to Voz y Manos because that is the best way for us to serve in Ecuador.

How to Pray

  • Praise God for Ecuador’s presidential election in April and the peaceful change of government in May.
  • Praise God for safe travel and getting our first COVID-19 vaccine (in the Miami airport).
  • Pray for our time with family and friends, that we would be a blessing and encouragement.
  • Pray that we would use this time in the U.S. wisely.
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April 2021 Newsletter

First, many blessings to you this weekend as you celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection. He is risen!

A Wonderful Answer to Prayer

Radio HCJB Ecuador is a partner ministry, one of many ministries which used to be part of our mission and have transitioned to Ecuadorian leadership. In February they shared this wonderful news:

YAY!! Yesterday [February 11] HCJB Ecuador received official communication from the government that a concession has been granted for 15 years for the radio frequency 89.3FM Quito and its repeaters. This is an answer to our prayers of the last 10 years at least, and is the culmination of a process that has lasted the last 8.5 years and included lots of faith, working, waiting, praying, doubting and crying. Thanks for journeying with us on this adventure.”

Radio HCJB Ecuador

Partnership in Action

Since September our mission has helped provide medical care to refugees here in Quito. The story starts with Pan de Vida, a ministry we highlighted in our July 2020 newsletter. Ministering to impoverished families with food and job training, Pan de Vida had increasing numbers of refugees (mostly Venezuelan) with urgent medical needs.

(Photo from Pan de Vida’s Facebook page)

About half a block away is La Y Family Clinic, another Ecuadorian ministry started by our mission. With the help of our mission’s doctor, an agreement was reached. Pan de Vida would screen those needing medical care, La Y would provide the services, and our mission would pay 90% of the cost of each visit (capped at $3,000 per month). And when a doctor appointment is $20, $3,000 per month goes a long way. (Want to help with this partnership? Note on your gift:  “Latin America (30100) refugee ministry”.)

LA Y Family Clinic

How Are We Doing?

Our lives have settled into a manageable pandemic routine. The first three months were the worst ─ confined to our apartment (because we were over 65) and dependent on younger friends to bring groceries and supplies. Quito had a 2:00 p.m. curfew and those with cars could only drive one day per week.

Beginning in the summer, grocery store trips and outdoor exercise were permitted, the curfew was moved to 7:00 p.m., most people could drive three days per week, and some in-office work was permitted. Scott began going to the office three days a week. We’re both back in the office now, although it took Jody until her laptop died in early November to make the shift. We discovered Jody enjoys working from home while Scott definitely does not!

Summer Hopes: We’re planning a Home Ministry Assignment (HMA) July 7 through September 22. We hope to get to Colorado the last week in August for the training we tried to attend in 2019 and 2020. We’ll have time to connect with Colorado friends and we’ll have extended time in Oregon and Washington to see friends and family. Vaccinations are happening slowly in Ecuador so we are resigned to not being vaccinated until we arrive in Oregon.

If you know of a missionary apartment or short-term rental in the Eugene area, please let us know. Scott will continue working part-time and it would be great to have our own space. (UPDATE: We have a place to stay!)

How to Pray for Us

Thank God for:

  • HCJB Ecuador being granted its license for another 15 years
  • the Reach Beyond/Pan de Vida/La Y partnership*
  • continued good health and provision

Ask God:

  • for a place for us to stay in the Eugene area (prayer already answered)
  • that poorer countries get enough vaccines (and that the distribution is efficient and fair)
  • for God’s will to be done in Ecuador’s presidential election on April 11 (This February article provides a good overview:

New Blog Posts:

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Getting Stuff to Quito

“You should blog about getting things to Ecuador,” one of our daughters said recently. “People can’t imagine not using the mail.”

The Ecuadorian mail has been notoriously unreliable in our time here, with mail taking two, three, or four months to arrive. Checks and credit cards are routinely stolen. Packages have shown up two or three years later (fi they show up at all). But since COVID-19 arrived in March 2020, the mails have almost stopped functioning.

This daughter, who receives our U.S. mail, knows what she’s talking about. Most mail she just scans to us, like our Oregon election ballots (Oregon is awesome for easy voting from overseas) or our Christmas cards and letters. But sometimes a scan isn’t sufficient and we have to get creative.

A good example is a credit card we applied for last April. It was mailed to our daughter and she gave us the number and security code over the phone so we could start using it (it was an airline credit card and we needed to charge a certain amount within three months in order to get the bonus miles).

So far so good. But we also needed the card here. So, in May she mailed it to our mission’s U.S. office in Colorado so the next person coming to Quito could bring it down. Only, because of COVID-19, no one was coming. “Hold on to it,” we told our office, “We may be in Oregon in July and you can mail it back to Oregon.” But we cancelled our trip to the U.S. and the missionary who had planned to travel from Colorado to Quito in August had to cancel his trip.

Meanwhile, co-workers from Shell were in Texas in August for three weeks. “Could you bring down a credit card for us?” we asked. “Sure,” they said. So the U.S. office mailed the card to Texas and our co-workers took it with them to their home in Shell (five hours from Quito). In September, another missionary came up from Shell to Quito and brought it to us. Success!

Not so successful was our attempt to repair Jody’s laptop, which started having problems in November. The CPU fan was not working, and a replacement couldn’t be found in Ecuador. So, Scott ordered one (yay, Amazon!) which went to Colorado. But the missionary who was coming to Quito in early December got COVID and postponed his trip.

What to do? We had missionaries in California who were returning January 3. So the package was mailed to them and they brought it to Quito. Sadly, it didn’t solve the problem. Our IT guy thought maybe a new motherboard might be the answer. Missionaries in Oregon were returning to Quito soon and were willing to bring it. So Amazon helped again and the motherboard came in early February.

When this still didn’t solve the problem, Jody’s laptop was declared officially dead. Scott brought home a loaner from the office and Jody is now set up on that laptop. Lord willing, we’ll be in the U.S. this summer and will buy and bring back a new laptop. (It’s a bit more challenging to find someone to bring back a laptop, as people can only bring one laptop into the country duty-free and most people are bringing their own.)

The bright side? Our occasional need to get something here that we can’t bring ourselves certainly builds patience, helps us not take for granted what we have, and sometimes shows us what we can do without.

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Choosing Joy

I (Jody) have been listening to audiobooks from Oregon’s on-line library while doing daily exercise in our apartment. Recently I somewhat randomly selected Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough by Kay Warren. I was halfway through the book before I realized Kay is married to Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, a book I really benefitted from ten or so years ago.

Warren reads her own book and is an animated and engaging reader. She’s very open about her personal weaknesses and marital challenges and offers many constructive suggestions. I appreciate her definition of joy (see below) and her emphasis that joy is a choice rather than an emotion. Happiness depends on our circumstances; joy is a choice whatever our circumstances.

Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.

On her web page,, she mentions the suicide of their son Matthew shortly after she wrote the first edition (which is the one I listened to). She says, “I really believe that God allowed me to write Choose Joy before Matthew died to prepare me for what was ahead, so that when he died, I would have the tools I desperately needed to survive and even thrive during one of my life’s most tragic losses.” (Read the entire blog here.)

I was encouraged and challenged by this book and would highly recommend it.

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