Monday, March 5, 2012

bumps, bruises and bee stings

Naptime for some of the babies at CDF :)
Since the last time I updated, life has gotten busy! Last Friday, we received another roommate (making it a house of 4). Our new roommate’s name is Magda. She is from Sweden and will be here for 2 months helping with the preschool class and teaching PE as well! Magda arrived with a team of 30 people from the United States who have been here for the week doing construction on the new school building and hanging out with the babies here at Casa de Fe. Being a part of the staff gives us an opportunity to interact with the teams that come, bringing them to dinner on some nights and getting to be their guides of Shell, Ecuador.

The older girls cheering on Jessica at her weight lifting competition!
Saturday morning, the new team from Minnesota put on a brunch for the missionary women of Shell, which was delicious. We spent time talking with the girls from the team about the life of a missionary, and how we specifically got to Ecuador. It was cool hearing the stories from each missionary woman who I spent time with. Each story had its struggles and joys and I was reminded of God's faithfulness to His children who seek Him out. After brunch, we spent the rest of the day showing our new roommates around town and went up to Casa de Fe to play with the kids.

Ain't she the cutest?!

We got a new puppy! Our other puppy, Hank, ran away about 2 weeks ago. We were so sad and missing our dog, that when our friend Fabian showed up for Empanada night with a few weeks old puppy in his arms, we asked, "did you find Hank?" and Fabian replied"no, but here's a new puppy for you!" So even though we still miss Hank and look for him everytime we walk down the street, Clementine has snuggled her way into each one of our hearts. She is just so stinkin' cute! 
Mel and I posing with the cool tribal statues by the waterfall.

Sunday was my favorite day in Ecuador thus far. I went to my home church in Puyo, which I hadn't gone to in weeks, it felt good to be back. After church, some friends invited us to go on a motorcycle ride. We were all up for the adventure so the 7 of us mounted the motorcycles. Melissa, Victoria and I assumed we were only going for 1-2 hours, seeing the outskirts of Shell, but 2 hours turned into 6 hours. We took the scenic route to Puyo. About 15 minutes into our journey, Alfonso and Victoria were hit by a car but it was a very minor bump and Victoria came out with a bruised leg but nothing major. We stopped at a water hole, but then decided to continue on through the Puyo-Pomona valley. The valleys were
gorgeous, the most beautiful landscape I have seen in Ecuador. We arrived at a National forrest reserve called Hola Vida and hiked 30 minutes up to the famous waterfall. We swam around the pool beneath the waterfall for awhile then started the trek back to Shell, stopping for dinner on the way. The adventure was a ton of fun and we all came back alive with only a few bumps, bruises and bee stings. 
The motorcycle gang

Clementine loves my Chacos!

The school week was very challenging. With the loss of two teachers, getting two new teachers, and one of the missionary families leaving, the kids had a hard time focusing with all the change and feeling of loss. Hopefully this week we can get back on track! Because of the changes, I have the opportunity to help teach  Physical Education which is a new endeavor but I'm up for the challenge!

what God is teaching me:

view from Casa de Fe
For the past month I have been in a spiritual battle like I have never experienced. Every morning, from the moment my feet hit the floor, Satan begins his attacks on my heart and mind. Every morning I must begin the battle, because if I don't, Satan gets a foothold. He is there constantly reminding me of my failures and where I don't measure up... As I let all my fears of failure, inadequacy, unforgiveness and insufficiency drown me.. for just one moment, God whispers to me, "but I give you greater grace.." and there is a calm within the storm of my soul for the first time in months... the weight is finally lifted, I can breath, I can stand, my heart is restored. God is enough.

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