I write to you today with a mixture of joy and sorrow. You can try and prepare your hearts for things to come but then certain events and situations you can never prepare for. Yesterday started with discouragement and heavy hearts. Crystal and I have been looking for a place to live in Quito, but it has been difficult. We took a walk to the Dunamis foundation yesterday and had the chance to meet a group that has been serving at the foundation for the last week. They have been doing some great work and spending time with the current group of girls. We have prepared our hearts, the best we could, to love and encourage the girls who have been pulled out of sex trafficking but this group caught us off guard. There were 7 girls, all of which have a mental handicap and are considered special needs. 4 of the girls have babies. I stayed outside with the men working on a small construction project while Crystal interacted with the girls. The heaviness of their situation is more than anyone can bare, please be praying for them. The whole situation is completely heart breaking.
After we left the center God gave us many divine appointments throughout the day. Our kind Spanish teacher we met a couple of months ago brought us to a house close to the foundation where we met two grandmotherly ladies who are so excited about the possibility for us to move in with them. They told us that if we stayed there we would be family. They showed us a beautiful apartment that we could use in the back of the property. Each time they showed us a room, or a feature, one of the sweet ladies would take me by the arm or Crystal by the hand to show us the next thing they wanted us to see. Crystal and I have been praying specifically for housing that is close to work and to live with an Ecuadorian family, the Lord has provided abundantly and we are so encouraged to be moving in this weekend with our new, sweet family! Praise God!
On the way back from viewing the house our teacher’s mother asked if she could prepare a meal for us. When she inquired, she was not aware that it was Crystal’s birthday. After we joyfully accepted their offer, I shared with the family that it was my wife's birthday- immediate smiles and singing of Feliz Cumpleanous filled the car and the next 5 hours was a complete gift from God. They brought us to their home where Crystal and I sat in the living room while the mother and a relative prepared some delicious Ecuadorian food, encouraging us to rest. A soccer game came on tv so 74 year old Mario and I cheered on Germany while he taught us different words in spanish. Later they brought out a cake for Crystal and we all sang to her in Spanish. Later Crystal would tell me that her birthday was wonderful. For me, all I wanted for the day was for her to have a happy birthday, but I could not give her what she deserves (gifts, dinner, etc.) but God is so good that he put together a whole party for her!
We are going to start working full time next week, Crystal with the girls mentioned above, and me with the construction side of things.
Please continue to pray for:
The Dunamis girls and their infants.
The Dunamis staff, as some have struggled with health and it has been a very blessed, busy season with several teams coming to serve.
That the Lord would continue to provide financially for the girls new home.
That Crystal and I may continue to seek the Lord for his provisions and that we may have grace with one another and patience with ourselves as we adjust to a new environment, culture, service, and language.
This has been a challenging time but also a time that the Lord has been faithful, provided, and blessed us abundantly. We are so thankful to be on this journey with you and please do send any prayer requests or questions our way!