~ Serving in Ecuador; South America ~
I keep waiting till I have time to write a proper update…. But that time just never comes so I will try to do a quick overview so you all know how to pray, because we really need it right now!
God has been at work! It’s only by His grace that we can keep up with what He is doing!
-Lyda came out of the jungle to live with us for a time, because her situation where she lives is definitely not conducive to spiritual growth. She has been doing well, and finally was brave enough to make the decision for baptism a week ago! Her mom just came out to stay with us while she gets attention from the hospital here in Shell because she is quite ill, which means that I have to go with her to the hospital and also pay for all her bills. Also, her two children, Angel (almost 3) and newborn baby Dayna, are staying with us of course. Prayer requests for this situation: wisdom! We don’t want to just give her a comfy life or become God for her, we want to push her to the Lord, also how to communicate rules and boundaries of the home so we can all live in peace. And wisdom for when the Lord wants this season to come to an end, because it can be very wearing. Love! Her little boy is very hard to live with, especially for our little boys.
-Nanki, is growing so much in the Lord. He has been out in Shell so he can spend time with us. We are encouraged by his childlike faith and also maturity in the Lord. He took a long trip all by himself to go and share Jesus with his family. It wasn’t received well except by his grandma but he had a very good attitude and perspective on it all. He also got baptized a week ago and was very excited to take that step of obedience. Prayer: please pray for protection for attacks of the Enemy, Nanki is now quite a threat to the kingdom of darkness. Also, pray for the Lord to direct his future. He wants to do ministry with us, but of course needs specific leading from the Lord as we all do.
-Simon and Annie are a couple that accepted the Lord a little over a month ago. We have been so blessed to see the drastic change that the power of the Lord can work in a life! They truly were once darkness, but now are they light in the Lord! Simon has a passion for preaching the gospel and has already shared a lot with his family, and brought them to us for us to share with them as well. A brother, Morgan, and two little sisters, Gabriela and Belen, have already made decisions for Christ! (Morgan needs a lot of prayer though for sure!). At the beginning, Simon and Annie had some serious attacks from the Enemy and some pretty hard falls, that is one of the reasons why we have stayed in Shell, because they need brothers in Christ to encourage them, and we try to meet with them almost every day. They have shown such a love for God and healthy fear of God. They desire to walk in obedience and for this reason they were baptized last week as well, and we are also planning a small Christian wedding for them soon as they really want to be clean from all sin, blameless, and committed to each other for life. They have been devouring the Word together and the Spirit has been giving them much understanding. Prayer: for Boohers and Myles and Mary (who are here in Shell now and have already jumped right into Simon and Annie’s life) to have the heart, wisdom, and time to take over discipleship whenever the Lord shows us to go back into the jungle. For a blessing of the Lord over their marriage. For Morgan to be more surrendered to the Lord. For growth in Gabriela (12 years old and pregnant not by choice) and Belen (8 years old) who have already expressed the desire to be baptized! And of course for Simon and Annie to continue to submit themselves to the Lord and the good work He has begun in them.
-Felix and Sylvia are in Toñampari of course and we have all been missing each other. Jesse got a chance to visit with them a few weeks ago when they came out to a nearby “city”. They were mutually blessed and encouraged in the Lord. Please continue to pray for them because it is a very hard place to live and they are so spiritually alone.
-And now about us…. We are beginning to feel like butter spread over too much bread,to quote a much better writer than I. But the Lord continues to be our strength when we cry out to Him. Needless to stay we don’t have much “quiet” time, with five kids 3 and under causing chaos in the house, but we do cry out to Him often for strength, love, wisdom , and to sense His presence. We want everything to be about Him and for Him. In the middle of all this, the Lord also provided a home for us outside of Shell. It is a humble wooden house with some property and lots of trees in a nice neighborhood. We feel so blessed! We have felt the need for a long time for our kids to not be constantly moving from house to house every time we come out to Shell. They have been struggling with this for some time now. They are very insecure and needy and that is very sad for us. We feel like having a home here as well as in the jungle will help them so much. We know if our family is not doing well, then we don’t have much to offer anyone else.
So, we have been painting it and fixing it up and can’t wait for it to feel like home. Thank you sooo much to everyone who made this financially possible!
Prayer for us:
*please pray of course for our children, for them to feel more secure and peaceful, and for wisdom for us how to help them, and what to prioritize in this busy time.
*that the Lord would keep our marriage strong and help us to take more time to invest in that.
*I have had a painful lump on the side of my neck for over two weeks, and it just continues to hurt more. Carla thinks it is swollen lymph nodes from exhaustion, please pray that the Lord would deal with this.
*We were sick for over two months straight with all sorts of diverse ailments and have finally had a slight reprieve for a few days. Please pray for health!!!!
*Please pray for us to have more time in the presence of the Lord. We are hungry and needy for this and know that that is where we can find the fullness of joy that we need.
*This is a small request… but please pray for Kirsten to learn to take good naps during the day. Praise God she sleeps well at night, but during the day hardly at all, so it is hard to get anything done. Thank you!
Thank you everyone for your prayers. They are our lifeline. May our God who is so Holy and powerful and worthy bless you all with His sweet presence and peace! He is changing lives here in Ecuador we feel so privileged to get to see Him at work!
Jesse and Tess and our little orphanage (haha)