Saturday, 13 July 2013

July praise and prayers: the countdown begins

kids in papllacta, taken by Riva Macbeth

This time next month we will be recovering from hours in an aeroplane at our friends’ house in Wisconsin, USA, preparing to start our year of study at Wheaton College, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago for those who want to visit!) Alfredo’s family didn’t get their visas, so we are still praying hard for childcare: we have found a perfect school on-line, but they aren’t answering emails so we don’t know if there is space!

We have been busy with the summer interns. We have Kevin, David and Mark in the water projects office and 4 girls working in the hospital. Alfredo took all 7 interns into Washintsa, where the girls taught hygiene classes and the boys mixed cement. Next week the boys are walking with Alfredo, the Pikes and the Heinrich family to Kiim to start building the water tower.

The university is slowing down, with English exams all finished and only two engineering students to still take exams (seems I made the exam too easy as they all passed easily!)

Today we had my final Community Development meeting as director (officially Alex Weir is the director, but as he’s out of country I’m still temporarily in charge). It was encouraging to hear of work in Peru and Chillanes (Ecuador) and to discuss what the future of Community Development might look like.

Benjamin finished his preschool and is now on holiday with Abuela (grandma) in Quito and being spoilt rotten!

The family was given a shock this week with the sudden death of Tio Carlos, the father of Alfredo’s closest cousins. Family flew in from the Dominican Republic and the USA for the funeral.

Alex’s application for Ecuadorian citizenship has finally been approved. Now  she has to jump though the next hoops to get an identification card and passport.

Praise for fun with the summer interns

Praise for our USA student visas

Praise for Alex’s Ecuadorian nationality

Praise for a good CD meeting

Praise for a good trip to Washintsa


Pray for childcare in Wheaton

Pray for the summer interns in their final two weeks

Pray for the trip to Kiim, and for the Heinrichs as they take their two children.

Pray for Alex Weir as he leads Community Development.

Pray for the Loiza family as they start to adjust to life without Carlos.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

photos from last few months!

Bermudez double wedding:Loida and Ney and Daniella and Renato

 Dani and Renato with cousins Leon BCDE (missing Alejandro), Benjamin, Camila, (Mateo) David and Emilio

 the cousins
 the aunts and uncles

Chimborazo visit on the way to Chillanes to visit Martha and Linda

May Mayhem

Things are moving forward with Wheaton preparations; we got assigned the only available three bedroom house on campus (praise God) and have someone picking us up at the airport and somewhere to stay for 10 days before classes start. We have visa interviews on Friday (please pray) and still haven’t bought flights yet, or sorted out childcare (which is dependent on visas for Alfredo’s mum and sister).

The big event of May was the Bermudez joint wedding… Alfredo’s Aunt Loida (who lives close to us in Puyo) got married to Ney and her daughter Daniella had her church wedding with Renato. The reception was at Loida and Ney’s farm, where they had turned an old barn into a big reception area and a  hundred family members descended on Puyo for the long weekend. Camila threw her rose petals beautifully and Benjamin almost fell asleep standing to attention waiting for the moment when he had to present the rings.

The office has been busy with training for the Pikes and Henrichs, trips to Centro Yuu and Washintsa for construction work and the arrival of Alex Weir to take over as community development director. Tomorrow the summer interns arrive in Quito and get to Shell to work with us on Sunday.

I took my engineering students to the ex-HCJB hydroelectric plants at Papallacta, a nice combination of my two jobs!

We’ve been saying goodbye to neighbours and friends in Shell as the summer starts and missionaries leave… a sad-part of the transitory missionary lifestyle! The next goodbye will be to us as we start packing up house ready for our study leave.

The football team just qualified for the second round, coming in 12th, but with many of the players leaving or too busy to play the team will struggle for goals or wins.


Praise for fun family time at the wedding

Praise for housing at Wheaton

Praise that the football team qualified

Praise that Alex Weir has come to lead

Community Development


Pray for visa interviews on Friday 14th

Pray for childcare in Wheaton

Pray for the summer interns in Ecuador for 6 weeks

Pray for Washintsa and Centro Yuu water projects

Pray for meetings with the ministry of health over running medical caravans in partnership

Pray for the testimony of the football team.


Monday, 4 March 2013

March praise and prayers

Hi all,
We survived February! A busy month, we held two courses in Shell for community development, one on participatory methods of teaching and the other on bible-storying. We had a great 10 days, but we were exhausted by the end! Now to put it into practice. 

Last weekend we were in Quito for our church’s missions conference. Alfredo held a workshop on “the unreached of Ecuador” which he used as a chance to explain how holistic mission (words, signs and deeds) can reach people. In preparation we reread many of the books we studied 6 years ago… a good reminder of the principles of community development.

The kids had fun with the family over the carnival holiday; I tried to make pancakes and had lots of cake and flowers for my birthday.

This month Alfredo has trips to Washintsa and Centro Yuu planned and I start second semester at university on the 18th.

Praises and prayers:

  • ·         Praise for a well-attended mission conference and workshop
  •           Praise for the good courses held in Shell
  •           Praise for the time Stewart was with us and pray for his time on placement in Peru.
  •           Praise for a good start to the work in Centro Yuu and pray the community will be ready to work on the next visit.
  •           Pray for the visit to Washintsa next week, a chance to teach some of the classes learnt in the course and start the project.
  •           Pray for the university as it has its government evaluation this month and term starts. I am teaching renewable energy (and trying to get out of teaching fluids and thermodynamics).
  •            Pray for the water projects team as we prepare for the arrival of working visitors in April and summer missionaries in June and pray for Teresa, Steve and Ruth and Martin and Julia as they prepare.

Thanks for your prayers and support for our work in Ecuador,
Alex and Alfredo, Benjamin and Camila

Monday, 11 February 2013

February Praise and Prayers

I am writing a little later this month because we’ve been in classes for the past 8 days (and still have 2 days to go!) Community Development (i.e. me, Alex) have organized two courses for learning teaching tools, one on participatory methods of teaching, and the other on using bible storytelling. Being organizer, catering assistant and participant is very hard work, but it seems the participants have been enjoying the courses and I’m looking forward to seeing the techniques being used in the communities.
What else since the new year? Well…
  • I finished the semester at university.

  • Alfredo and the team went into Kiim to do a survey and check out the well and pump there. A radio in Northern Ireland has raised some money towards building a distribution system for Kiim.

  • Andrew and Laura Rescorla and Stewart Decker joined our team for three months of training in community development and water projects.

  • The team got well-drill training with Water4 in Chimborazo

  • I, the kids, and the Rescorlas accompanied Alfredo to the mountain community of Daldal to check the finished project

  • Football season has started

  • Adeline has left Ecuador and is on route to start Ghana via Texas, Canada, Northern Ireland and England!

And for February…
  • Pray for stamina as we finish of training

  • Pray for Alfredo as he hopes to start construction work in Centro Yuu next week. We tried to start in November but none of the community members showed up to work!

  • Pray for Andrew, Laura and Stewart as have classes in community development and a visit to the mountains.

  • Pray for National Elections on 17th February.

Thanks for keeping us in your prayers.
Alex and Alfredo, Benjamin and Camila

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December Praise and Prayers

Amazingly we have the Christmas tree up already… no ‘bah humbug’ this year!

Alfredo went into Tzapino last week with Adeline and Tannia and came back fascinated by the culture Huaorani. We have already been given Huao names (Alfredo’s means ‘Engineer smoke’ and mine is Comoga – something like ‘wife of smoke’). Tannia and Adeline got given husbands too, but they knew Alfredo was married so he wasn’t allowed another wife! Samaritans Purse had a team in Tzapino at the same time, and they want a meeting with us on Friday about funding the project!

Camila had a lovely birthday with a joint party with Grandad Leon.  

Pray for Centro Yuu as we thought they were ready to start work on their project but they are dragging their feet getting materials. Pray for wisdom in knowing how much to wait and how much to push.

Pray for Kiim and Mutints. Adeline and Tannia’s trip went well and they communities are interested in continuing with their water systems. It was good timing as a muslim group are pressuring the communities to sign an agreement to let them make a base in the area. 

Pray for the community development centre which we are designing… and for our busy new year with three training event planned and at least 7 working visitors coming to work with us!

We pray that the Christmas season may be something special and not just stressful this year.

Happy Christmas! Our Saviour is born.
Alex and Alfredo, Benjamin and Camila

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

November prasie and prayers

Blimey, already 13th November! Had you noticed that I hadn’t written yet? Well… Alfredo went to Texas, USA with the office boys for a well-drilling camp (and some tourism) and I did my back in on the first morning of the long holiday weekend and have been suffering since! Alfredo (and all the goodies) are now back in Shell and my back is almost better. 

October… Alfredo travelled twice out of the country, to Peru and to the USA. 

The Peru trip to visit some Water Missions filters in Iquitos. They didn’t stop travelling for the whole trip as after three days travelling to Iquitos, they then got in a boat to see the projects up the Amazon river . Alfredo was impressed how developed the jungle communities were along the river, with electricity and concrete walkways (but no longer many trees!).

The trip to the USA was part of HCJB Healthcare’s vision of Shell being a training centre for preparing professionals in bio-vocational missions. But first we have to have trained staff! As Wim and Alfredo have never been to America (at least not out of an airport) they took 3 extra days and with Eric as their guide, were shown the highlights of Texas: The Alamo, a big aircraft carrier, BBQ, Walmart, shooting, golf, and typically for the road engineer, Alfredo returned with lots of photos of the huge flyovers on the motorways! 

While Alf was in Peru, I drove to Chimborazo province for the inauguration of the water system in Capulis Pungo. The kids quickly made friends with the local Quichua children and I received my first poncho for being the CD director and we ate lots of guinea pig (and I still have an extra in my freezer!) The day was a beautiful recognition of the hard work of the community to build their water system and God was given the glory in songs, dances and speeches.

I took the GRE test (entry test for US Graduate School) and we got our Wheaton scholarship applications in on time. 

We celebrate Camila’s 2nd birthday this Saturday (17th).

Alfredo has just driven Adeline and Tannia into Makuma.  Who would have imagined 8 years ago when I started working in Makuma and had to fly in all the materials and walk 5 hours that you’d be able to drive in! Pray for them as the visit Kiim and Mutints.

Praise for good trips to Peru and USA. Pray for this month’s travelling to Tzapino, Centro Yuu and Iniayua.

Praise that we made toffee apples with Adeline for Bonfire night (it was raining so we couldn’t burn anything). Pray that Adeline can learn all she needs for Africa while she is here.

A great YouTube video … and write to us if you’d like to give the gift of water for Christmas.

Please don’t use the Apartado postal address but send letters/packages to Hospital Vozandes del Oriente, Shell, Pastaza, Ecuador.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers
Alex and Alfredo, Benjamin and Camila