Wednesday, 10 December 2008

prayer and praise December

dear friends,
sorry for not sending out a group email last month, my email lists have gone crazy and didn't get chance to sort them out. I also apologize for the big address list in this email... I need to have all the addresses visible so I can save them into the other email system!

The last few months have been a bit of a learning curve in parenting, but fun! Benjamin is doing really well and is now smiling, laughing and cooing (in English and Spanish!).
We have had a busy time with lots of visitors... numerous members of Alfredo´s family, my Mum and a group of university friends.

Santa Rosa and Cusuimi projets were finished and the Municipio are paying the extra spent on the solar panels, so we'll not lose money on the projects.

My Mum came out to Ecuador to visit her first grandson. we had a great time together.

Stephanie, Mike, Esme and Lizzie came to visit and we went to all the touristy places around Shell.

Scott and Glad Griebling have been working with us since the end of September, allowing us a little more family time as they took over the Amazonas project.

Alex and Benjamin went into the jungle town of Makuma to celebrate Thanksgiving with Alfredo, Scott, Glad and the Hedlunds (our jungle parents). Benjamin did well, he didn't get any insect bites and enjoyed the flying.

HCJB Global has a new president. Wayne Pederson has been serving on the board of director
before taking on the new role.

the tank is still not in Amazonas. we have been given an extension (now finish 15th December, thanks for praying) but we have been refused the helicopter. The current plan is to take the tank in by carrying it/floating it down the river this weekend. PLEASE PRAY! the tank is big, the river has rapids and the trail takes 5 hours to walk it normally (without a 2m high tank to carry!)

our future...our term finishes end of 2009 and we are trying to work out what to do next!
Top of our list is to go and study a masters in inter cultural studies in Wheaton College, USA and then return with HCJB Global (though not necessarily in Shell). We are praying for the right doors to open as we investigate possibilities.

next year... pray that we choose the right projects and that we don't spread ourselves too thinly. We plan to focus on follow-up on the past projects and evaluation work rather than lots of construction work.

for finances... just as the baby comes and our expenses go up, the pound drops and we now get about $1.55 to the pound, rather than the $2 we've been lucky to get over the past two years. Please consider a Christmas gift, setting up a regular standing order to support our work in Ecuador, or increasing your regular donation.

I'm working on a Christmas letter to send out later in the month. Thank you for all your prayers,

Alex, Alfredo and Benjamin Leon

Saturday, 8 November 2008

prayer and praise november

praise...Scott and Glad are working with us in the jungle water projects and they have been a real blessing as they are spending their time supervising the project in amazonas so alfredo can be at home more with me

praise... my mum was here for 2 weeks, getting to know her first grandson and helping me out in the house while alfredo went into the jungle for a week

praise... Benjamin is putting on weight and is healthy. he is still waking lots during the night, but sleeps well during the day!

praise... Ecorae gave us an extension to the amazonas project.
praise ecorae are organizing the helicopter for the tank flight for the end of the month
... prayer... however our extension is only have till 15th dec and the tank won't arrive till the end of the month (providing it happens this time) so we will be hard pressed to finish in time.

prayer... for our future and the future of the water project office in shell. our term finishes end of 2009 and we are unsure what to do after as we need to complete our bible requirement before returning. while we are away we need someone to continue the work in shell or close up the office.

prayer... for the projects for the coming year. we have more requests than we can take on and we don't want to over stretch ourselves. we need wisdom to know which projects will be the most beneficial for the Kingdom.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

october prayer and praise

praise: the benjamin was born without complications and that we have good doctor friends who noticed he had jaundice and losing weight before the baby checkup so we could get it solved before it got to bad.

praise: that Scott and Glad have come to help us in the office until december. Scott is a civil engineer and Glad a nurse practitioner so they can take over our work on the amazonas project for a while

prayers: that we can get an extension on the amazonas project, and get a helicopter to take the tank in. we are supposed to be finished at the beginning of november and we still don't have the tower, tank or pumps installed or the well finished.

pray for next years projects. we have ots of options and the local government want us to expand the project but we don't have enough people. we need wisdom to choose the best projects for kingdom impact.

pray for rest! Alfredo is stressed out with all the project work and I now have night duty! pray for strength as we still have lots of visitors coming with a work group next week, my mother and friends from the Uk... in addition to Alfredo's family who keep turning up.

we appreciate all your prayers

hugs alex

Thursday, 25 September 2008

now we are three

Benjamin Philip Leon Griffin was born at 5.47pm monday 22nd september 2008 in hospital vozandes del oriente, shell, ecuador. Labour was quick (or at least the bit in the hospital was... 4 hrs). Mum and baby are back at home and doing well and we are entertaining the Leon clan who have come to visit the new lion cub.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

latest newsletter

the next three messages are the stories and info from our latest newsletter. contact us if you want to receive our news direct to our email either every month(prayers and praise) or every three months (newsletter)

thanks for your interest!



· That we have moved into a bigger house

· That the ‘Municipio’ gave a month extension on the Santa Rosa project as we were delayed by the lack of aviation gas

· That MAF now have aviation gas and Alfredo and Eduardo can work on Santa Rosa and Amazonas before baby is born

· Scott and Glad Griebling are coming Sep-Dec to work in the jungle with us. I first met Scott in 2002 when he worked as an intern in water projects the same time as me!


· For the final 5 weeks of pregnancy, for an ’easy’ birth and that Alfredo is in Shell for the birth!

· That we adjust to life with a ‘little one’ and we can balance work and family time.

· That Alex can finish her Moody distance learning course before the baby arrives

· That we can get the helicopter contract we need to take our big tank into Amazonas

· Wisdom in deciding which projects to take on next year

Family News

We managed to get a short break to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary and went up to the mountains to visit lake Quilatoa and stay at the Black Sheep Inn. While Alfredo went horse-riding to the cloud forest, Alex drove around and visited the cheese factory and the furniture workshop and enjoyed the view from the compost toilets! (see the Inn’s website if want to know more!)

The missionaries in Shell and the missions team at Inaquito Church held baby showers to help stock up our nursery.

Alex is helping Dr. Becky Brice teach puppets to the orphanage girls.

Cusuimi Receives Water

Cusuimi is a community way down south by the Peruvian border and is our first jungle project that is accessible by road and canoe. Despite the grueling 10 hours drive on dirt tracks from Shell and a 3 hour canoe ride each way, the benefit of not needing an airplane has been felt as there was no aviation gas for 6 weeks and we were unable to enter our other projects.

As I (Alex) have had to reduce my travelling because of the pregnancy, Alfredo has been travelling with a variety of different people. Bruce Rydbeck (Director of water projects), Richard Blair (accounting director) and his brother Dan, Tannia Lascano (hygiene coordinator in water projects) and Tai Gilbert (public health student working in the WP office) and Alfredo’s youngest brother Eduardo have all helped with the Cusuimi project.

On the 5 trips to Cusuimi, we helped the community protect a spring, build a collector tank, install two solar panels and a solar water pump, construct a 6m high wooden water tower with 4 plastic tanks to provide storage, lay over 1.5km of distribution pipe, install 27 house connections and build 27 latrines.

The teaching that accompanies the projects is as important as the ‘hard ware’ installed. Alfredo uses his meal times to talk with community members about various religious and development issues and we have taught classes on hygiene and system maintenance and good water use, held bible studies and encouraged the few Christian in the community. Richard even took in some of the solar-powered pre-tuned radios so they can now pick up the HCJB radio!

Monday, 25 August 2008

ahora un poco en espanol (now little in spanish)

hola amigos

gracias por sus oraciones y soporte desde tan lejos... es una bendicion tener gente que te cuida y te protege como angeles de la guarda...

las ultimas semanas han sido muy estresantes, con lo del bebe, los proyectos en la mitad, cambio de casa, etc. ha hecho que nos sintamos un poco afligidos y cansados... pero gracias a ustedes y principalmente DIOS seguimos adelante...

gracias y que dios les bendiga

Monday, 4 August 2008

praise and prayer august

hi there,
we appreciate all our friends and family who keep us in their thoughts and prayers over the month, we know it helps!
While I write this in Shell, Alfredo is with his brother Eduardo, Tannia and Tai down in Cusuimi teaching a hygiene course and finishing the water project. it is 10 drive and 3 hour canoe ride to get into the community... it makes flying easy!

praise: that Alfredo didn't have malaria last month, but laryngitis and was still able to go into the jungle on his planned trip. praise that Richard (HCJB accounting director) and Dan Blair were able to accompany him to get a taste for jungle life

praise: that the water pump ordered from USA arrived in Ecuador... the company shipped before the payment had cleared so we would get it in time... they only allowed this because the know the name HCJB and therefore trusted we would pay!

praise: that everything in our house is now working. we have a lovely new kitchen floor and the hot and cold water work. maintenance plan to do some alterations in the near future to improve to water systems, but at least we can bath until that happens!

prayers: there is still no aviation gas so we cannot fly into the jungle. the deadline for the Santa Rosa project is the 14th and we cannot get into finish it and the Municipio (who are funding the project) did not accept our request for an extension. pray that gas will arrive so we can don't get further delayed and that there will be a change of heart in the Municipio when Alfredo goes to talk to them next week.

The pregnancy is still going well and baby is due at the end of September. keep praying for good health, no complications and that Alfredo will be in town when baby comes!

Pray that the applications for Scott and Glad will be approved. they would like to come and work in Shell September-December, and this will be a big burden off our shoulders because they can take over the Mutints project. I worked with Scott in 2002 when I was here as an intern and he as a working visitor!

our future... our term is up the end of 2009 and we need to think about what we'll do... stay with the mission , return to England to work, study somewhere, stay in Ecuador ... there are so many options, please pray for the right doors to open and that the rest will close.

sorry to those who tried our blog address in the last email... the correct address is
also, I missed out a number in our new phone number! if you want to phone us... 00593 3 2795 172 and ask for familia leon

thank you and keep in touch,
Alex and Alfredo

baby picture

this eco was taken in may, the other ones don't scan very well. its a boy!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

July Prayers and Praise

hi there,
Here are our praises and prayers for the month of July.

we love to hear news from back home... so keep writing! We got to watch a little Wimbledon and British grand prix while in! Although we have changed house, we haven't changed address... our mail still goes to the hospital mail room.
Alex and Alfredo Leon, Hospital Vozandes del Oriente, Shell, Pastaza, Ecuador.
our telephone number is now 00593 2795 171 and ask for 'familia leon' or 'extencion setenta dos sesenta (7260)'
How about sending us your name suggestions for baby (its a boy!)... something that goes with Leon, works in english and spanish and isn't already in use in Alfredo's family... its hard!

thank you for keeping us in your prayers,

we were up in Quito last weekend for Alfredo's sister's 'incorporation'... the equivalent to our big graduation ceremony. It was fun to be able to celebrate with her.

we have moved into our new house and we now have a new kitchen floor, water (hot and cold) and the kitchen and new lights... everything is working! when we moved in a week ago we weren't quite so lucky and had to live with the maintenance guys working around us for a few days.

the Santa Rosa and Kusuimi projects are progressing well and Alfredo will go in with his brother this month to install the solar water pumps and finish off.

pregnancy is going smoothly and baby is kicking a lot now!

Alfredo's football team 'Liga Universitario de Quito' won the the copa libertadores (the equivalent to champions league) and seems their next match is against Manchester United in the Japan championship!

that the Municipio recognize the price increase on the solar panels (they come from Europe and the exchange with the Euro isn't good so prices drastically increased) so we don't loose too much money on the projects

that Alfredo will have productive trips this month to finish the projects before the August deadline

pray for someone to work/travel with Alfredo now that I cannot travel in the jungle- I have one more trip to Makuma then I am staying in Shell until the baby is born.

Alex and Alfredo and bump

Friday, 6 June 2008

june prayers and praise

hi there,

thanks for keeping us in your prayers. here are some requests for this coming month...

praise: construction has started in Cusuimi and despite 2 days of rain, which meant that the technicians and Bruce couldn't join Alfredo, they got a lot done in the few days they were together. the technicians stayed extra days and were able to lay all the pipe work.

praise: Alex house-sat in makuma while the Hedlunds were at a conference in Quito and made good progress on her moody distance learning course.

praise: The truck has been repaired and Alfredo drove it to Cashipimi (10 hours each way on bumpy roads from shell) and it didn't fall apart this time!


these coming two months Alfredo is travelling in the jungle almost every week. pray for productive work time, good health and people to accompany him on the projects

pray for our house moving. we hope to change house at the end of the month but the house we are moving in to still needs work done (for example it currently has no water!) and we need to get packed up and paint the old house before we can hand it back to the landlady.

pray for more staff in the shell office. as alex will stop travelling in the jungle when baby comes and just work in the office, we are looking for an engineer who will travel, so alfredo doesn't have to do it all on his own.

pray for finances, we have to increase our own finances due to increasing family size and have to raise funds for the Shell office expenses (with all the jungle flights, our monthly office costs are about $500/month)

we love hearing news from england... tell us what the weather is like, how your favourite football team is doing (Alfredo's team Liga has got to the final of the latin american champions league, he is very happy!) what films you recommend!

hugs Alex and Alfredo

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

India Video

One of the guys who was in India with us in January has produced a video of the work. take a look at it!

Friday, 9 May 2008

praise and prayers may

hi all,
with 2 days holiday at the beginning of may, the weekend and then a week in Macas cutting rebar, I am a little late getting this out, sorry!

*yesterday we attended the ceremony of the signing of contracts for ECORAE Amazonas project. they plan to transfer the first part of the money today. The Municipio has also transferred the money for their two projects, so we are up and running!

*we filled up a truck with all the materials (minus 4 tanks that didn't fit) for Kusuimi last tuesday. a local government group loaned us the truck and canoe so we have saved lots of money on transport, a blessing!

*a friend of a friend in Macas allowed us to stay in her house for the week while we prepared materials, giving us a new friend and saved hotel fees!

*our hot water is fixed in our house (for me, this is a huge praise after a month with only cold water)

*Shell missionary women held a baby shower for me. early I know, but many of them will have left Shell by September.

*That Alfredo's Dad Fernando and brother Josue can find jobs. Fernando has some interesting contacts with other local governments that need a financial director until the end of the year. pray that one of these will result in a job.

*for our projects. all three projects have started and have tight deadlines. Alfredo will go with the technicians to kusuime at the end of the month and Alex has to get all the materials for Amazonas into the airplanes and sent in before she can start.

*for the pregnancy. that there won't be complications and that Alex can continue working and travelling until work on the projects can ease up.

thank you for keeping us in your prayers,
Alex and Alfredo

Sunday, 13 April 2008

car destroyed after Cusuimi visit

hi there,
we've just got back from visiting our latest project community Cusuimi. unlike our normal communities, we can access Cusuimi via road and canoe rather than having to fly or walk. However, after this gruelling trip, I think I'd rather fly! we left 7am Tuesday and arrived in Cusuimi on 2pm Wednesday. it was quite an eventful trip... the car is looking sorry for itself with
  • both front indicator lights falling out,
  • one headlight lost,
  • leaking radiator
  • flat tyre
  • leaking valve on spare tyre
  • lost mud flap
  • various screws found in the car that we don't know what they belong to
  • many new rattling noises
  • mud inside and out
Flying is much easier, quicker and less damaging... just costs much more!

we had a good time in Cusuimi. we taught hygiene classes, had lots of community meeting to make sure everyone know what they had to do for the project and Alfredo walked the whole community making measurements for where the pipe will be going. We now have to buy all the materials and they have to start collecting all the stone and sand for the cement and start digging the trenches for the pipes.

we are off to Amazonas and Santa Rosa tomorrow to prepare them for their projects, this time in airplane!

Friday, 4 April 2008

April Praise and Prayers

Thank you for your encouraging emails these past weeks. Please keep us in your prayers!


We have made progress on the convenios with ECORAE and the Municipio. We are waiting for the Municipio to transfer the money and we are reviewing the draft of the convenio with ECORAE.

Alfredo's sister graduated last week with a degree in infant psychology.

I have made it to 14 weeks of pregnancy without morning sickness, a true blessing!

That HCJB have been able to help the victims of the flooding on the Ecuadorian coast. They sent medical teams and radio listeners donated clothes and food items to be distributed.


With convenios signed, we have to start construction work! Pray for the logistics, the traveling (10hours from Shell to where the canoe picks us up!) and for our health.

For the pregnancy. I will reduce my jungle traveling and only supervise the Amazonas project where I can stay in missionary housing in Makuma. Pray that I don't get parasites or malaria.

For Alfredo's Dad, Fernando. He resigned from his job last month because he was being forced to sign corrupt contracts. Pray that he can quickly find a new job.

Foe extra staff in the Shell office. Alfredo would like to have another engineer in the water projects office to share the load when I stop traveling. (If you know of any engineers who might be interested in a short or long-term placement let me know!)


Alex and Alfredo Leon

Two become Three

We are expecting a baby! The due date is the 26th September. We plan to stay in Shell and give birth in the HCJB Global hospital where Alfredo was born! We will be moving into a larger house on the hospital compound in the summer so that we have space for baby and visitors. For those worried about all our travelling… the doctors have given the all clear for the moment and I will only supervise the ‘easy’ project in Amazonas where I can stay in ‘luxury’ with the missionaries in Makuma.

Helping Partners in India

I (Alex) joined the medical team sent from Ecuador to India in January. The purpose of the trip was to encourage HCJB Global partners in India and research the possibilities of future work in the country. I thought I was going to investigate the need for water projects in the country, but when we got there I found that the area we were in had very good water supplies: one village had 15 water pumps installed by the government! The only real sanitary engineering I got to do was unplug the toilet! However, I was not bored or idle! While the doctors and nurses saw patients in the villages and ran the pharmacy, I taught hygiene classes to the people waiting in line and helped Dorothy entertain the children.

The evenings were packed with classes to the nurses school and playing with the children in the orphanage where we were staying. At the end of the trip we were able to do a little sight-seeing and visited the Taj Mahal and Jaiphur.

In the beginning I found it difficult and frustrating not being able to communicate with the people without a translator and having to be careful what I talk about as Jesus is not accepted in the Muslim areas. How I take for granted in Ecuador the ability to freely talk about God in Spanish and people being receptive.

I feel very privileged to have been invited on the trip and it was a lovely opportunity to get to know better the lovely Ecuadorian doctors and other missionaries who were on the team.

While I was gone, Alfredo kept busy in Shell and Quito: sorting out details for the next projects, meeting government officials to decide contracts and preparing for the class in February. The original plan was that his brother would be in Shell with Alfredo, but Josue got a job in Quito just as I left, so Alfredo was forced to find new friends in Shell to reduce the boredom! He had a fun holiday with his family over ‘Carnival’ (the weekend before pancake day) when they all came to Shell to visit.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

sorry for taking so long!

hi all,
sorry for not writing for so long, but things have been busy! I got back from India a week ago and went straight into a 3 day course to prepare for the course this week! did a quick trip down to Shell to celebrate valentines day and my birthday and then we returned to Quito sunday for the Wheaton course on Theology of Development. Very interesting, although very intense! just spent the last 3 hours writing my presentation of ideas for tomorrows class and we each have three assignments still to write before monday.

when back in shell I´ll upload some India photos and tell what I was doing there.

got to go and get some sleep
hugs alex

Friday, 11 January 2008

January praise and prayers

dear friends,
it was lovely catch up with so many of you during our month in England. We had a great time and arrived back tired but well (except for Alex's cough) in Ecuador last Friday night. after a weekend in Quito we got to our little house in Shell Tuesday night.
- for a wonderful time in England and Europe
-for the new people who have joined our prayer and support team
- that our house was safe while we were away and that Alfredo's brother looked after it for us.
- that Alex's Moody distance learning material finally got out of customs
-That the dates have changed on the development course in Quito so we can both attend in February

-that ECORAE and the Municipio will give us the money for the agreed projects without too many problems or delays
-Alex will be joining Sheila's healthcare team to India to visit a clinic and neighbouring communities. pray that the trip is safe and productive. Keep Alfredo in your prayers as he is being left to hold down the fort in Shell. Alex will be away 20th jan-10th feb.
-that we are able to move into a bigger house. we have found one we like but the rent is higher than we want to pay...if this is where we should be pray that the conversations with the landlady are positive.
- that Alfredo's brother Josue (who is currently living with us) can find a job - an ecuadorian couple are interested in joining us in the shell office. she is an architect and he is an environmental engineer, so they will fit in well. we don't yet know how to finance them as our current budget cannot pay them salaries. either we need to find alternative paid work for gaby in the area so Pablo can volunteer in the office or raise the funds to pay them salaries. Please prayer for wise decisions the provision of resources.

thanks you for keeping us in your prayers,
Alex and Alfredo

Back in Ecuador

sorry, we weren't very good at keeping this updated while we were in England! we had a great time, visiting many friends, two new church groups and spending Christmas with my family on the Isle of Wight. For new year we went on a holiday around Europe... backpacking... we visited Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. We spend new Years Eve with the thousands in Dam Square in the middle of Amsterdam, great!
When I get my photos onto a computer that has internet I'll upload some of the pictures.
:-( we didn't get to see any snow.