The rainy season has officially begun. Most days, we get several hours of rain (or occasional hail) in the afternoons and evenings. The mountains surrounding the valley of Quito are almost entirely covered in snow, and the beauty is breathtaking. Somehow, the rain has helped to establish our permanency here- we feel like we're "hunkering" down, and most things that we do feel very normal and routine now. We are accustomed to the bagged milk, maneuver the grocery store like pros, and can actually still breathe when we climb a flight of stairs or the one-mile hill to our house.
The Lord is working in amazing ways through Youth World, and we are humbled to see how God is allowing us to be a part of it. This weekend, Aaron is attending the Man Up Retreat held at El Refugio, which is the boys' retreat at Alliance. Aaron is giving the wrap-up talk this morning (Sunday morning), and the theme of the weekend has been "coming to life" with the story of Lazarus as the biblical focus. The young men who attend Alliance are diverse- many of them do not come from Christian homes, and "religion" is something they "put up with," even in the context of their schooling. We are excited to see God grab hold of these young lives, and we believe their attendance at Alliance is not by accident!
As of this week, Youth World has a new office. Aaron has spent much of September working through the details of the move- it was a HUGE praise that he turned in the keys to the old building on Friday, and the transition is officially complete (though much set-up still needs to happen in the new office). This new office will allow Youth World to save money every month with the hopes of purchasing a building in two years. Please pray with us towards this end!
My classes are in full swing, and I am enjoying getting to know the students as well as develop new curriculum. One of my favorite weekly classes is my "DNA" group (Discipleship, Nurturing, Accountability). Each DNA group has a different focus, and the focus of mine is "Chocolate and Girl Talk." Each week, 11 girls meet with Rebecca Enderle and I, and we eat a yummy dessert and chat with each other in a relaxed, non-threatening atmosphere. The girls have begun to open up, and it is so neat to learn more about their stories. I am confident that God is going to do amazing things through our time together, and I am honored to get to walk beside these girls and pour into their lives. In my English classes, I have been able to explore themes like "the sovereignty of God," "suffering," and "the nature of sin" with my students, themes that I would have had to gloss over in the past or completely ignore.
Our home continues to be a primary "tool" for ministry. We have people over multiple times a week, and it has been a joy to get to know our teammates over a meal, host prayer groups, have ministry meetings, and begin a Bible study. We love inviting people into our family life for an evening, and the kids are enjoying all the company, too! They are thriving here- their Spanish is flourishing, they are making good friendships, and we continue to see God using them to bring joy, laughter, and encouragement to everyone we encounter.
A Note on Finances
We are so incredibly thankful for all of you who are financially supporting us so we can serve down here. THANK YOU for all that you are sacrificing to do so! A number of you support us each month through "self-initiation"- like writing a check or entering a credit card each month. We'd like to reach out to you to ask if there's anything we can do to help remind you to do this? Each month, there is a portion of support that is not coming in, and in most cases, it's from those of you who self-initiate. I know if I was in your shoes, I would forget every month, so we want to know if we can help in any way? Because we are funded at just 100%, it is pretty important that all of the pledged support comes in each month, otherwise we are short on funds. We want you to know how VERY thankful we are for each of you!! We couldn't be here without you.
- Prayer Requests:
- For Aaron and I to continue building relationships with teammates, co-workers, and youth, and for the Holy Spirit to give us opportunities to share the Gospel clearly with those we are working with
- For the Man Up Retreat this weekend- that God would work in the hearts of the boys who are attending and that they would know what it means to have God breathe life into them
- For wisdom for Aaron as he leads Youth World
- For our kids to continue growing in their faith in Jesus, and for opportunities for them to minister to others as well