How we love you all and are excited to share what is going on down here in Ecuador. Around Christmas time A.T.’s father, Tom came down to work on the plumbing of the house. A.T. and Tom were able to finish the underground drains for the whole house in a few days. We were also able to do some traveling around Quito and Ecuador, showing Tom some of the amazing aspects of this country and its rich culture. Some of the highlights of his visit for us was the time we got to share together, working, exploring, and listening to his words of wisdom. Tom visited Ecuador to minister with his abilities in plumbing, but we also discovered that we really were encouraged by his insight and jovial presence.
The house is coming along wonderfully! We ran out of money for the third time but in the grace and goodness of God, he provided once again. This has been a continued aspect of faith here, we see the funds for the project reaching $0, we pray, and God provides. How amazing this experience has been. Last week the roof installation has begun and will finish this week. In about another two weeks we should see walls and roof on the building! This is so good.
Crystal is continually humbled and grateful for the time the Lord has given her with the girls and staff of Dunamis. Last month Dunamis had a Christmas party for the Girls. I (A.T.) really want to share with you Crystals reflection during this time:
Dunamis celebrated the birth of Jesus, our savior with the girls. It was a beautiful day filled with decorating Christmas cookies, sharing a meal together, listening together and learning about how Jesus came to this earth, to us- as a baby, completely vulnerable. How God became man to save and reconcile the world. It was a festive and joyful day, the girls were given gifts and the staff and volunteers were so grateful to celebrate Jesus with the girls and to love them genuinely and fully. God’s hand was absolutely present and powerful, as the time with the girls felt like a large family gathering. The girls had opportunities to share, if comfortable, about what Christmas meant to them, how their families may or may not have celebrated, and what their hopes and dreams were for the future. My heart was so moved and stirred by the Lord, as I listened to the girls share their hearts. These girls have endured so much pain, grief, strife, yet during this Christmas celebration, by the grace of God, they were able to focus on the hope of Jesus. They were able to share their dreams for the future, and I believe, maybe for the first time, start to believe that God truly has a perfect plan for each of their lives. For some girls, this was their first time ever celebrating Christmas. For many girls, it was the first time hearing the message of hope that Christmas brings. So often I wrestle with the pain inflicted upon these girls, the injustice and oppression, yet the Lord gently reminded me of his heart, that Jesus knows and loves each of these girls, that he “ will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help…He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.” Psalm 72:12,14 We thank you Jesus, that you love each of these girls, that you love them so much that you came into this world, fully God, and fully man, to die so that we may be in relationship with you and the Father. We are excited to see how you continue to heal and bring hope to each of these girls hearts. We continue to ask that their eyes would be opened and hearts softened this Christmas to the truth and hope of who you are. “ For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Although we witness much of God’s blessings these last two months they have not been without hardship. The program director ( Majo) father passed away over the Christmas holiday. In God’s great foresight she was able to spend the holiday with him and he passed shortly after. Majo is currently in her home country of Chile dealing with all the details and working through the hardship of losing a parent. Please keep Majo and her family in your prayers. In Majo’s absence, Crystal has begun leading the daily devotionals with the help of Fernanda translating. She also continues to teach a class on values and a English class each week.
We have also had some issues with our truck. When we bought the vehicle there was some issues with the paperwork and the truck is still not in our name. Being a new year we need to register the vehicle but are unable to do so. We are not sure what is going to happen in the process but our continually going to God asking for help.
We miss you all but are so grateful to be here. Please continue to pray for us, Dunamis, our family, and Majo.