Andrews Abroad Week 9/10: Homecoming

View this email in your browser

We made it back to Nebraska! We were welcomed by cold conditions. And everyone freaking out about influenza. Thankfully, so far, our family has avoided it.

For our last day in Ecuador, we were able to take a tour bus around Quito. We saw lots of historic buildings and churches dating back as far as the 15 and 1600s. It was a nice time sightseeing, enjoying the food and some family time.

Ready for our tour of Quito!

Travelling home was quite the journey: a 4 hour drive from Shell to Quito, a 6 hour midnight flight to Atlanta, then another 3 hour flight to Kansas City. Then another 5 hours in the car to Aurora where we spent a day with Paul's mom and dad. We arrived home after another 3 hour drive and went straight to bed. It was nice to have Wettlaufers on our flights and hanging out in the terminal waiting for our flights.

So much traveling.  Only a chance for a quick nap here.

Adjusting back to life in Nebraska takes time. Life here is very different from life in Ecuador. The main thing the kids have noticed is that we don't play outside when it's freezing cold. We've had to be creative in how we get our exercise. Finding a new routine, and getting the house back in order has been the focus for this week.

Grandma had knee surgery just before we got back.  That didn't stop her from entertaining!

It's amazing to me the quantity of material things we have accumulated over the past six years living in this house. After two months with only a few dishes, toys and a week's worth of clothes, it's surprising how much stuff I have found while cleaning the house that we really don't need. Downsizing is the name of the game.

One more bump for the road for Scarlett.  This was the only time she actually had a bump from all her falls.

Paul is back to work on the farm this week. Even when it's cold, there are things to do. Silas has enjoyed riding along in the semi truck delivering corn to the elevator.

Spring is just around the corner which means long hours of field work and planting for Paul. Silas is back with his friends learning verses at AWANA club, and enjoying Sunday School with the teachers he has missed. Scarlett is continuing to explore and grow. She is glad to be home where the carpet can cushion her falls. Katrina is excited to purge the house of the excess, and is dealing with a bathroom remodelling project that came up just before we had left for Ecuador.

Our last meal in Shell.  Lots of great memories.  We look forward to the friendships in this life and the next.

We are excited to see what God has in store for us next. This morning at breakfast, Silas said that we have to go back to Ecuador to see his friends. God has blessed us with adventurous children too! God is so good. Now we can be on the lookout for our family's next adventure.

How you can pray for us:
  • Continue to pray for God's Will to be done in Ecuador
  • Continue to pray for the missionaries in Shell
  • Continue to pray for our family as we try to adjust back to life in the states
  • Pray that God guides us in identifying where we can serve Him best
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp


Andrews Abroad Week 8: Goodbyes

View this email in your browser

     As we close out our time in Ecuador we are saying goodbye to our new friends and looking to what God has in store for our family. Our time here has been full of  adventures. The latest one was our whole family travelling to the village of Kawa. This included sleeping two nights in the jungle.  We were fortunate enough to have Wettlaufers out there as well.  

Both families came to the jungle for a few days to experience a disconnected life.

     It was very interesting to watch the kids interacting and how the dynamics of the group would change when certain village kids were around. Silas did not enjoy some of the games they would play. The older village boys liked to push his buttons. Their favorite game was picking him up (it's common for the girls to pick up babies) walking him close to mom or dad, then turning quickly and running away with him. Any time he would whine or cry they would do it more. However, if he remained calm and told them to stop, they generally would.

Scarlett eating soup with palm heart noodles.

     Scarlett never missed a beat out in the jungle. In fact, she probably liked it better out there than the hard tile floor of our house. Dirt, bugs, dogs, food, and sleeping in the tent with mom would top her list. Silas too, says he especially the tent and being in the jungle. The kids really had a great time.

The older (ages 7 to 10 usually) girls love taking care of the babies.  Scarlett was a favorite.

     Katrina, however, would tell a different story. Dirt, cockroaches, biting insects, and bathing in the cold river were at the bottom of the list. Sleeping in a hot tent with two squirming kids was probably towards the top of the list. Mostly it was just exhausting to take care of two small people in a land so foreign. Eventually you give up trying to keep them clean or getting them a scheduled nap. Also, you hope the cockroaches eat the crumbs so your toddler won't eat them.

     While all this was going on, the water project continued. The water lines to the houses were installed and flushed and the community can see the finish line. In a few weeks time they will mix concrete and install the faucets. To be here at a time when so many communities get to turn on the water for the first time has been extremely rare and rewarding.

This is the work crew: Edwin, Franklin, Kenny, Paul, Pedro, and Wim.

     Back in Shell, we're in packing and goodbye mode. We had a potluck with all the Reach Beyond staff and families here. Seeing people come and go from your life so quickly must be such a challenge as a long term missionary. Developing close friendships only to have those friends leave is hard. It strains your other relationships and taxes your emotions. I see that more here than I ever have before. Perhaps it was the length of time we were here, perhaps it was seeing reactions to the Wettlaufers having been here before. Whichever it is, I know that goodbyes can be hard, transition periods can be stressful, and change always comes with loss. The only thing that remains a constant in this life of finality is God. There is a great peace in knowing that even if we don't see these friends  again on earth, we will see them when we all get to heaven. (When we all get to heaven...🎶)


     It is comforting to know our loving heavenly Father is always there watching over and protecting us. While our brothers and sisters all over the world might come and go from our lives, we are all connected in the Body of Christ, and that is enough. Christ is enough. His Grace is enough. We pray for those who are coming and going through our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ. What a day of rejoicing when we see each other again!

How you can pray this week:
  • Pray for God's Will to be done in Ecuador
  • Pray for the community of Kawa to continue the work in front of them
  • Pray for our family as we travel by car and airplane to return to Nebraska
  • Pray for the goodbyes we must say
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp