Andrews Abroad Week 6/7

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This past week, it has been a struggle to put into words what it feels like when we realized our time here in Ecuador is coming to an end. This update specifically was hard to write. We have had many conversations, and thoughts about our purpose here and what happens in the future as we go. Much of it has been general struggles for all people who come to a transition in their life.

I've heard from several people who thought we were really brave for going to Ecuador, or that we have a lot of faith. Hebrews 11 talks about a cloud of witnesses, the multitude of people in the old and new testaments who had faith. Abraham, Noah, Moses, Joseph, and many others who had great faith in God to do what he promised. I don't feel it's fair to even compare us to them, for my faith is nowhere near the size of a mustard seed, not even half its size.

Some struggles are mental, some are physical, and this five mile hike was both.

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon,Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword;whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins,destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

I am reminded of those who were trailblazers here in Ecuador, like the five martyrs of Shell. They had a desire and a vision to reach the Waodani people no matter the cost. They too were killed by the spear for their faith. Their wives and families continued their work which is a testament to their faith as well. Their desire to see these people saved continues to this day, just as the martyrs of the early church helped spread the gospel further.


Article from when the five missionaries were martyred.

My family believes God has called us to be missionaries. He calls all believers to share the gospel. Being believers means that we trust God with our safety, resources, and our children. It is what we are called to do, regardless of where we happen to live.

Please don't praise us for doing what God wants all people to do. We have no more faith than whatever tiny seed God planted in each of our hearts. So instead of calling us brave, remember the cloud of witnesses who have gone before, the martyrs and church fathers who have cleared a path. Maybe in the future, you can just say, "Thanks for doing God's will." We will be praying that all believers will be as bold for the gospel as our cloud of witnesses.

How you can pray this week:
  • Pray for God's Will to be done in the lives of Ecuadorians
  • Pray for all Christians to have boldness to follow God's call
  • Pray for discernment to hear God's voice
  • Pray for us as we make one last trip to Kawa
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Andrews Abroad Week 5: Preparation

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     Preparation: the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration.  Many times throughout our lives we are preparing for the next thing.  When you're engaged, you're preparing for marriage.  When you're pregnant, you're preparing for a baby.  Through your working years you hope to be preparing for retirement.  The eyes are looking forward to the things to come.

Parts, parts, and more parts.  When you're hours away from the shop, you don't want to be short!

     This week was very much a week of preparing for the next phase at Kawa.  The water tower needs to be supplied with water from the spring.  That requires pipe, pumps, solar panels, tanks, concrete, trenches, and so many odds and ends of tools.  Many of these things needed to be sourced and purchased locally.  The pipe specifically was purchased from a store in neighboring Puyo.  

Pedro and Silas unload the pickup after delivering a load of pipe to Kawa.  There were enough parts that we required two trips to get it all out there.

     If this project were being completed in the States, it would still be a big project to build. But it would be relatively easy to get supplies.  You could drive to a big home improvement store and load up a truck or trailer with everything you might need.  There are no big box stores here.  One shop has concrete, another has pipe.  Want to check out?  You'll have to wait for a handwritten receipt, and a couple calls to your credit card company. Unfortunately only part of your order is available because the truck will be here tomorrow with the rest of your supplies.  

Tomorrow comes, but the truck does not.  In fact it might be several days that the truck does not come as expected. This is the way things go here.

We got to spend quite a bit of time with this kid at the plumbing shop.  
     Why is this important to know? Our lives on this earth are ultimately preparing for eternal life with Christ.  We have work to do on this earth certainly, but the focus, the goal, is looking forward to the things to come.  When the water project is complete, the people will drink.  When our lives on this earth are complete, we will celebrate with Christ.

     When the struggles and difficulties in this life come, and they will come, do we look at them with temporal vision?  Are we preparing our hearts, minds, bodies for the glory to come?  Do you see the opportunities to walk alongside our fellow sojourners and encourage them to look forward to the things unseen?  

2nd Corinthians 4:16-18: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

How you can pray this week:
  • Pray for God's Will to be done in the lives of Ecuadorians
  • Pray for the guys' working and the community of Kawa
  • Pray for the missionaries and groups visiting Shell this week
  • Pray for anyone you know who is struggling through tough times
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