Update (December 2021)
We passed seven years in Ecuador in August 2021. A lot has changed since our last update. We are now loaned by Reach Beyond to Voz y Manos, a new Ecuadorian organization which has assumed leadership of the local ministries of Reach Beyond. Along with being Director of Finance, Scott is now on the Reach Beyond Board as well as the Voz y Manos Board. Getting a new organization up and running has been a huge project and a very satisfying one.
Jody’s work has expanded beyond missionary personnel to all Voz y Manos personnel. She continues to work 25 hours per week so she has time and energy to hold down the fort at home.
COVID-19 has been a challenge for us, as it has for the entire world. Our administrative work hasn’t changed much, but Voz y Manos ministries have changed tremendously throughout the last 21 months. Ecuador has generally had more restrictive biosecurity protocols than the U.S., and we’re still wearing masks outdoors as well as indoors. The first three months of the pandemic were the worst, as we were locked down in our apartment because of our age.
We are very thankful to be able to serve here.
Update (March 2019)
We’ve been in Quito 4 1/2 years and almost 5 1/2 with Reach Beyond. We enjoy our work, the team we work with, the Ecuadorian people, and this beautiful country. Only God knows how long He will have us here; for now, Quito is home, our new normal.
God continues to be amazingly faithful, especially with financial provision. While some on our support team have stopped their donations, others have joined unsolicited. And if you are on our prayer team, we mostly don’t know who you are but Thank You! God hears your prayers and blesses us through them.
We continue to manage pretty well without a car, Scott does a lot of hiking and unicycling and Jody cooks, bakes, quilts, and reads, along with walking three miles or so a day to and from work. We’ve been blessed to stay in the same beautiful and peaceful apartment for more than four years, and really enjoy the mountain views in both directions.
We’re hoping to take a four-month Home Ministry Assignment (furlough) this summer, spending most of our time in Oregon, with trips to Washington state and Colorado.
Update (February 2017)
We’ve been in Quito for 2-1/2 years, arriving August 15, 2014. We’ve finished our first three-year term with Reach Beyond and are open to staying as long as God wants. For now, God has planted our hearts here.
We are still amazed at the support team God has put together for us: at this point: 51 individuals, couples, or families who donate regularly to Reach Beyond on our behalf and also an unknown number of others who pray for us regularly. We are blessed to be here.
Update (May 2014)
We’re in Costa Rica at language school, living with a Costa Rican couple. Our lives are full of study, but we’re squeezing in unicycling (Scott) and quilting (Jody) We arrived January 2 and plan to leave for Ecuador around August 16 to begin working with Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global). God is continuing to prepare and change us for what He knows is ahead.
Update (February 2013)
After no moves in 32 years, 2012 held three moves for us. We’re now living with friends, our house is rented and for sale, and almost all our belongings are sold, passed on, or stored. Lord willing, our goal is to leave Oregon in the summer of 2013. It is exciting to see God building our support team (both financial and prayer) and also changing and preparing us for what is ahead.
Original Story (April 2012)
Up to Now
While Jody became a Christian at an early age, Scott didn’t become a Christian until his mid-twenties after returning from serving with the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa. We met and married shortly thereafter and settled in Springfield, Oregon where we raised and home-schooled five “kids,” now ages 20 to 30. We’ve lived in the same house for almost 33 years, Scott has worked as a CPA for the same firm for 31 years, and we’ve been attending the same church for 27 years.
About ten years ago, we began dreaming about going somewhere and doing something for missions. We wanted to “finish well,” by somehow using the experience and skills God has given us to help spread God’s love outside the United States.
When Scott turned 60 we began searching in earnest for a new direction. Scott found finishers.org (the web page of Finishers Project, which helps match Christian mission organizations with people who want to serve) and posted his resume. We attended a Finishers’ Forum (a missions conference for older people) and began talking with representatives from several mission organizations.
Over several months God sharpened our vague dream and pointed us toward serving long-term with HCJB Global. They are active throughout the world and have their regional office for Latin America in Quito, Ecuador. In January 2012 we visited Ecuador to learn firsthand about HCJB Global’s ministries there. We traveled to the coast and the Amazon jungle, but most of our time was spent high in the Andes volunteering in Quito.
After returning to Oregon we accepted HCJB Global’s invitation to serve in Quito. Scott will use his accounting experience and help in their finance department while Jody will use her clerical and life experiences helping in their personnel department.
We are missionary appointees beginning to share our plans with others. We’re believing that God will lead us to those whom He is preparing as prayer and financial ministry partners.
What an adventure for two stick-in-the-mud, never-make-changes people! After decades of stability, God is changing almost everything: country, home, jobs, church, language, and friends.
We need a team of ministry partners who will support HCJB Global and thereby allow us to serve in Quito, Ecuador. After HCJB Global has pledges for 100% of our support, we’ll be permitted to move to the field.
Our first several months will be in Spanish language school, probably in San Jose, Costa Rica. Then we’ll move to Quito, rent an apartment or house, and start our service with HCJB Global. We hope to serve in Quito for three to ten years.
And yes, we’re taking our hobbies to Ecuador: unicycling (Scott) and quilting (Jody).