The last two months have been loaded with people, moments, and events to be thankful for. We are absolutely blown away at the relationships we've built and the ministry opportunities we've had.
Here are some October highlights: After the Man-Up Retreat, Aaron has become something of a "legend" on campus because the boys were unable to tackle him at the retreat. Additionally, he was one of the four speakers during the weekend, and his connections with kids during "play" time really provided the vehicle for the boys to hear him share about what it means to be brought to life by God. Because of this talk, and the notoriety of his physical strength, he's made a ton of connections with students and continues to meet with some of them and build friendships with them. We're excited to see where God takes this! We also had a few opportunities to host La Red's prayer group at our home while Ivet, the Director of La Red, was in Costa Rica on sabbatical. We enjoyed having this energetic, passionate group of youth leaders in our home to pray together for the youth of Quito. At Alliance, I had the privilege of helping several students write their college admission essays, and this opened many doors for me to hear students' stories and also to be able to speak truth and love into their lives.
In November: Aaron spoke at a one-day youth leader conference at El Refugio. He gave 4 mini-lessons on different aspects of working with youth and sharing the gospel with them. Additionally, we were able to love on our team a lot this month. With the holidays here, many of our teammates are learning (just like we are) how to be away from home for the holidays, and we enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving dinner and also a team bonding event at El Refugio the following day. An amazing part of our month was having my parents come to visit. They stayed for two weeks, and we had so much fun showing them around the city, introducing them to our teammates and the different ministries we're involved in, and we even took them to the rainforest for a night. We were incredibly blessed with the time we had with them and are so thankful they got to come visit!
An awesome highlight from December is that I was able to have my girls DNA (discipleship, nurturing, accountability) group over for a Christmas party/sleepover. The Wednesday before, I shared my testimony with the girls, and I asked them if they would consider sharing their testimonies (or "stories") with the group. Two of them decided that they would be willing to share their stories at the sleepover, but six of them ended up sharing! For over four hours, we listened to each other share, and it was incredible! There is a lot of heartache and brokenness in each of their stories, and for all of them, it was the first time they had shared their stories with anyone. I am praying for continued openness, vulnerability, and ultimately for continued opportunities to share Jesus with them. Additionally, we had the privilege of hearing one of our teammates Brock preach this last Sunday at the church that allows La Roca (the skate church) to use it's facilities. It has been amazing to watch God use Brock and the skate church to impact the local church. Another blessing of this month is that Aaron's parents arrive on Thursday, and we are so excited about spending a few weeks with them!
Each month, we'd like to highlight one of our seven ministries and share what God is doing in this specific ministry. This month, we'd like to share about Casa Gabriel, a ministry that serves street kids here in Quito. The goal of Casa Gabriel is "to see youth at risk become successful Christian leaders in their home, church, community and world." They do this by providing "holistic training to former street boys, enabling them to achieve their God-given potential as leaders and disciples of Jesus Christ" (www.casagabriel.com). Just a few weeks ago, Aaron was able to celebrate a huge accomplishment for Miguel Zova, one of the boys who grew up in Casa Gabriel. Aaron remembers him as a teenager when he came down to serve while in college. Mike graduated from seminary two weeks ago, and his entire "Casa G" family was there to celebrate with him.What an amazing celebration and example of God's redemptive work in our lives! Presently, Casa Gabriel is in the process of bringing in new boys, as several of the boys just left the house after finishing school. Please pray for this process.
- For continued opportunities to share Jesus with those around us as we celebrate Christmas!
- For the admissions process at Casa Gabriel
- For our time with Eddie and Maggi- that they arrive safely, that we get to be intentional about our time together, and for our kids to savor these moments with their abuelitos