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Last weekend we heard a great story of God’s faithfulness. We were invited to Sunday dinner by a couple who served as missionaries here between 1978 and 2001. After 15 years in the U.S., they retired and have returned to Quito as long-term volunteers.
One of the major events in their 20+ years here was launching the ambitious, $3.1 million remodeling of our VozAndes Quito Hospital in 1984. Built in the mid-1950’s, the hospital was serving well but becoming increasingly outdated. Project Life increased the number of beds from 54 to 74, expanded the emergency room, laboratories, waiting room, and other areas of the hospital, all while keeping the hospital functioning. Project Life stretched out over ten years rather than the four or five years originally planned.
At one point during the first third of the project, donations ran low and construction was going to have to stop until more funds came in. In those years people came from the U.S. on tours to visit all of our ministries in Ecuador. Our friend (the then-administrator of the hospital) was showing a group of visitors through the construction site. It was lunch time and the Ecuadorian construction workers were sitting together off to one side. They were praying and one of the visitors asked him what they were praying about.
Our friend assumed that they were praying for money to be donated so they could keep their jobs. But, as he went closer and listened, he heard them pray for the people coming into the emergency room, the families of the patients, the doctors and nurses helping the patients, and that people would hear the good news of Jesus. The construction workers had caught the vision of the hospital, to facilitate not just physical healing but spiritual healing as well.
Our friend said he was so choked up he could hardly share with the visitors what he had heard. (And he still gets choked up telling the story today.)
When the visitors returned to the U.S., one of them made a substantial donation which allowed the construction to continue. “From that point we never looked back,” our friend said. Small but consistent donations came in until Project Life was finished.
Hospital VozAndes Quito still operates today. It’s now partly owned by a group of Ecuadorian Christian doctors, although our mission is still the majority owner. We are still seeking to combine physical care with spiritual care – to be a place of ministry and prayer.
Want to read more about Project Life? Here’s an article about Carl Ewing, an architect who was key in the expansion.
We spent Christmas day with friends and then took four days of vacation at the coast. It was hot, about what you’d expect at sea level on the equator. The new year has continued to be very busy at work. Scott is overseeing implementing a new accounting system, two year-end audits, and the beginning of a new Ecuadorian organization. Jody’s boss is in the U.S. recovering from a knee replacement so things are busy in missionary personnel too.
We’re preparing for our first long home ministry assignment (HMA or furlough) this summer and fall, four months spent mostly in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. We are looking forward to what God has planned for that time and hope to see many of you.
How to Pray for Us
- Praise: for our good health and the faithfulness of our support team
- Pray: for the upcoming HMA, the preparation, planning, lodging, and scheduling
Thank you for your interest, prayers, and financial support. We are very thankful for the opportunity to serve here.