Thursday, February 23, 2012


Martin bobbing for bananas!
the kids during the egg toss 

In preparation for Lent, all of S. America begins celebration of "Carnaval" which starts the Friday before Fat Tuesday and continues through the weekend. It is well-known for its use of eggs, water, flour, oil and mud and foam. At Casa de Fe we started the celebration out right by spending all day Friday playing games with mentioned above supplies incorporated into every game. Between an egg race, egg toss, bobbing for bananas, an obstacle course and tug-o-war the kids had tons of fun and got plenty dirty! After the game day we ended our celebration with a big barbeque that the tías prepared for us, it was amazing!

The girls on the obstacle course :)
The Carnaval celebration didn't stop there, though. Melissa and I traveled to Quito since we had a long weekend. Saturday night we went to Old Quito to check out some shops we heard were cool, and much to our surprise, the road was blocked off and filled with people spraying foam all over each other. We didn't make it far before we were covered from head to toe in foam and dashing to the nearest street vendor who would sell us foam to defend ourselves! Though we came out soaked, we had tons of fun and lots of laughs!

Melissa and I at the top of the Teleférico!
The rest of our weekend in Quito was spent being "tourists", making a trip up the Teleférico, going on a tram to the top of a mountain to see a beautiful view of the whole city of Quito. We also got to relax a lot and enjoy the things that we don't get in the jungle like cinemas and coffee at a coffee shop.

We returned to the jungle with a new roommate in tow! We picked up Victoria on Monday and have been enjoying more action in our quiet house. We will be getting another roommate on Friday so we will go from a house of 2 to 4 until April. There is also a short-term missions team of 32 people coming on Friday. That will also make for an exciting week.

Friday, February 17, 2012

love and such

Frisbee and other things
I made it back to the Ultimate Frisbee field after a long absence and got to enjoy 2 hours of intense frisbee with other missionaries on Sunday afternoon. But while we were playing, my bike was stolen. Luckily, the cops found the guy who had my bike and it was returned only an hour later... praise Jesus!

We started a new science unit for my 6th graders and the girls are actually enjoying learning about the construction of an atom and we are also working on memorizing the Periodic Table in English and Spanish! The 2nd graders were having trouble learning to read in Spanish so I stopped teaching in English and have been helping reinforce what they are learning in their Spanish Language class and they are starting to read, which is huge and I am actually really enjoying teaching my classes in Spanish!

Día de Amor y Amistad!
Valentines day we had a program for the kids, and we shared cards and candy and words of encouragement. I went home early because I was sick with a parasite but after sleeping a while, I felt well enough to go hang out with Ecuadorian friends to celebrate the day of love and friendship!

What God is teaching me… 
God is my HEALER. He wants me to have freedom and victory over the things in my life that have me in bondage. By not dealing with the hurts and scars from my past, because of fear, I am remaining in bondage from those things. I am learning that God is big enough to change what I do to cope, to find comfort, and to survive conflict. Also, that as a teacher of the Word of God,  I am reminded that I will receive stricter judgment. We are responsible for the people we teach, so I must be disciplined in maintaining my relationship with Jesus.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

for lack of better judgement

Tubing the Amazon 
Sunday afternoon five of my buddies and I got our inner tubes and life jackets and went tubing down the Pastaza river for 2 hours. I had never been tubing in Ecuador but all the boys had and they didn't mention how intense it was! To my surprise, about 20 minutes into it, we were on tiny tubes on class-5 rapids and there was no turning back. After getting thrown off my tube by the current and tossed by the water into huge rocks a handful of times, we all came out alive but not without some sweet battle scars and a story to tell the rest of our friends. My body still hurts like the dickens but it was soo much fun!

Super Bowl
So blessed to be able to watch the Super Bowl. A group of us gringos (white folk) got together to watch the beloved game and even though my team lost, which I am soo bummed about, we had a great time hanging out and cheering on our favorite teams.

They can steal our money but they can't steal our joy!
Melissa and I came home last Thursday from work to find our house was broken into. They had cut our back fence and kicked in our back door. They stole Melissa's guitar and my camera, ipod, and $100. It spooked us a little bit but it was a good reminder that we don't put our joy or hope in material things.. all we need is Jesus. They are replaceable and blessings, not something we need or even deserve. 

What God is teaching me
I am in a Bible Study with some awesome ladies who are also serving here in Ecuador. We are going through the Book of James and I think we all have decided it is kicking our spiritual butts, it's been a humbling experience really. I am reminded of how much I need God. Not just in the big stuff but the small day-to-day stuff as well. That no matter how holy or spiritual we think we are, we all have deceptive hearts that are in need of a renovation. I doubt God even though I know He is faithful, and hat He is my only source of stability. I am reminded that my trials are to produce perseverance in my life and I am learning to find joy amidst them. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shell to Alaska and back again!

Edison enjoying his outing!
We finished the semester with giving the kids tests to see their comprehension and my kids all passed! We also had a Christmas party with all the kids and also got to draw names and take a kid out for a special day. I got to take Edison who is an 11-year old who is deaf. We went to the pool and went and got pizza and ice cream then played games at the house.  It was cool being able to connect even though we couldn’t understand each other half the time. We both had a blast!
Celebrating Christmas with my family in Girdwood, Alaska!

Cross-country skiing with my parents!
Going home for Christmas was such a huge blessing! It was great being able to go home and spend time with family and friends and enjoy the snowy outdoor recreation that Alaska has to offer! Some of my favorite time home was going crosscountry skiing with my parents in -8 degree weather.
My Agape tribe (discipleship group) from Alaska
came to the airport, giving me the
best welcome home ever!
After a fabulous time spent at home with family and friends for the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, I returned to Ecuador and was able to spend New Years with the kids at Casa de Fe, making Pizza and having a huge bonfire where we burned the "old man", which is an Ecuadorian tradition for New Years. All the kids had so much fun!

My beautiful Greis is dearly missed.
One of my second grade students, Greis, returned to the jungle to live with her father. Even though we all miss her a lot, I am happy that she has a father who loves her and is able to take care of her. The nurse, Alaina, who was my roommate for the last 5 months also left this week to go work in the States. They both are definitely  leaving a hole here at CDF.
Spending a Sunday afternoon at the pool with
Maria and Wilson from CDF!

Last roommate picture before Alaina went back to the USA 
We are back to the grind of school and all the kids are performing well! Between school and being back on my training schedule for a marathon, life is so busy, but I am loving it!

What God is teaching me:

I am learning to recognize that there is a world in desperate need to hear the gospel. We must not forget the power the gospel has to change peoples lives and the calling on our lives to take it to the nations. Jesus says, “feed my sheep”.
The day is going to come when God asks us to go and do things that we don’t want to do, but we must go and do!
What God wants of us is what we want in our lives.. whatever cost He expects of us we will pay that price, in His time, not ours.  It’s His ministry, not ours. It’s the need out there, not ours, it is His purpose, not ours!

In our fallenness, we are in the prison of our thinking but when Christ comes, He frees us from this prison. He takes our weaknesses and uses them to show His power.
He asked Peter to go places where he didn’t want to go, I know that God will ask me to go places I don’t want to go, but I will go with Him because it is the place of perfect peace.. His time is perfect and His will is marvelous. We must marvel at God’s promise and His claim upon us!