Our new chapter is unfolding
I absolutely LOVE to read! There are few things as exciting (to the nerdy bookworm in me) as opening a new book and reading the first few pages. I get so engrossed in people's stories, real or not, and those first pages are such an exciting glimpse of what is to come.
Here in Ecuador, God is starting to unfold the "first pages" of our new story here, and it's so exciting! Over the last month, God has allowed us to begin building relationships with people and really get a vision for what our daily lives will look like. Here are some highlights from the last month:
- Two weeks ago, Aaron spoke at the "Soy Fenix" camp hosted at El Refugio, one of the ministries of Youth World. He spoke to 25 young teenage boys and girls about the transformative power of Jesus,and was also able to invest in the staff at El Refugio. He was really stretched, as he spoke twice a day in Spanish for the entire week. Several of the kids who attended the camp also attend Alliance, and on the last day of Spiritual Emphasis Week at Alliance, one of the boys stood up to share how he learned to truly worship God this summer at the Soy Fenix camp. It was so exciting to see spiritual growth in this young boy! Monday (Sept. 1) was his first "official" day as Director- he is feeling encouraged and so, so excited to see what God has in store for this team. We had our first all-staff meeting yesterday, and the team spent time praying for one another in preparation for this year.
- I began Orientation at Alliance Academy International on August 4th. After 4 weeks of orientation, I started my school year on Monday. I have 97 AMAZING students, and I cannot wait to see what God does in each of their lives this year. In my "all about me" presentation on Tuesday, I was able to share my testimony for the first time in a classroom! It was nerve-wracking, but I was OVERJOYED at the opportunity to share how Jesus made Himself known to me when I was in high school. The spiritual climate at the school is interesting. Only 20% of the students come from missionary families, so 80% of the students are either Ecuadorian or International Business students. Many of these families are not Christian families, so the opportunities for evangelism are PLENTIFUL! it is so exciting to see God opening doors to share with these young men and women.
- Zeke started 1st grade on Tuesday! He was excited and anxious to start a new school year. He came into our bedroom at 5:00am that morning to ask if he could work on his summer workbook until it was time to go to school (I bought him a 1st grade "prep" book and we've been working our way through it this summer). It was absolutely precious and such a sweet glimpse into the excitement he was feeling that morning. He and Damari have befriended our neighbors and their grandchildren, and it has been so sweet to watch that relationship unfold. Zeke has such a tender heart and seeks to share the gospel with everyone around him; I can't wait to see how God might use him (or us) to minister to our neighbors and their family.
- Damari started preschool last week- we were able to put her into a school run by loving, Christian women, and she is flourishing there! Her teachers absolutely love her, and she is so excited to go there each day! She continues to amaze and entertain all of us with her joyful and vibrant demeanor.
- 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 each of the six ministries, as they are gearing up for the "start" of their programs after the summer break. Please pray that youth would be drawn into genuine relationships with Jesus
- For Zeke and Damari's school years- that they would grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18)