Friday, 19 November 2010
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
This is my second attempt at writing to you all... the first was out of date before I was able to post it.
Those on Facebook might have been following our saga with Alfredo’s cousin Daniella. At 21 weeks pregnant her waters broke. She went into hospital to be induced but found that despite the lack of amniotic fluid the baby still has a strong heart beat so was put on bedrest... in our guest room. The baby fought for two weeks but Dani was finally taken into surgery last Friday. Little baby Trinity Renata was buried in Puyo on Saturday. Thank you for praying with us during this hard time. Renato (Dani’s husband) was able to find a job and we all had a peace as we waited out God’s plan.
As for my pregnancy, we are waiting for the contractions to start! Due date is the 15th Nov, but Benjamin came early so it could be any day. Praise God that I have had an easy pregnancy because with all the people in the house I haven’t had much time to rest!
Alfredo, Steph and Fraenzi went to visit the community Samikim and after various meetings the community decided they do want the water project. Alfredo has to now get paperwork with the local government sorted for the finances.
A work-team from the Harrison’s Harrogate church came through Shell and we got two nice meals listening to ‘funny’ UK accents!
On the 30th October we went to the dedication of the rebuilt ‘Nate Saint’ house. Nate was one of the 5 missionaries killed by the Aucas (now Waorani) over 50 years ago. The house has been turned from a termite hotel to a museum and meeting room and is beautiful.
· For the care Dani received at HVO and that Renato found a job.
· For time with family over the long weekend
· For the good trip to Samikim
· For the work the Harrogate team did in a Chimborazo community.
· For Daniella, Renato and the family as the mourn their loss.
· For the quick and painless (?possible!?) birth of our daughter
· For Alfredo as he works in hospital maintenance this month
· For Steph and Fraenzi as they visit communities in the Makuma area to evaluate the finished projects
· For the Samikim paperwork and for the government to give the finances without problems.
We’ll let you know when the new Leon arrives!
Blessings, Alex, Alfredo and Benjamin.
The hospital has a new postal box… so try sending post to:
APARTADO POSTAL 16-01-844, PUYO, PASTAZA, ECUADOR and we’ll see if it gets here quicker than recent packages.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
Our latest newsletteris out... sorry it has taken so long to get one out to you all! I’ve included lots of photos of the past year to show you what we’ve been up to. Let me know if you want to receive it and feel free to pass it on to interested friends or post up in your church.
In the past month we’ve been up to Quito for meetings, celebrated Benjamin’s second birthday and Alfredo managed to get the local government to pay us for the projects we finished last year. Things in Shell are more settled now and I’ve almost managed to clear our store room to make it into Benjamin’s new bedroom.
Ecuador has been in international news in the past week... did you see it? On Sept 30th the Police held a strike against having their bonuses cut and it escalated into an attempt at ousting the president, with a gun-battle between the Police and Army outside the Police hospital in Quito where the President was being held captive. He was rescued and returned to the palace to give his victory speeches and all returned to normal the next day. We in Shell didn’t know anything was happening till family in Quito phoned to ask if we were ok and told us to watch the news!
In October Alfredo has a couple of jungle trips planned in order to get everything done before he’s Shell-bound waiting for baby to arrive in November. He is upset at missing the next HCJB Global Haiti trip as they don’t get back till November and we don’t fancy baby arriving early and him being in another country.
Alfredo has started working part time in the hospital maintenance department, helping out with the long-term projects that never get seen to. He is currently committed to a week per month and is working on sorting out the key system! This gives him some guaranteed Shell time and means when all our working visitors leave and he’s alone in the office he has some time as part of a team.
Taisha government have paid us the remaining project money
Benjamin celebrated his 2nd birthday
Steph and Fraenzi are settled into Shell and jungle life and are busy evaluating completed projects.
We have new neighbours, including 5-yr-old Victoria who loves playing with Benjamin.
For the ‘community assembly’ that is being held at the moment. This is where the communities decide with the local government what projects they want next year and is key to whether we receive government funding for projects next year. Steph and Fraenzi are attending because we have to attend Alfredo’s brother’s weddings on Friday and Saturday.
For wisdom in knowing what projects to take on in the next year. A community evaluation in Samikim will happen this month.
For the engineers who go to Haiti on this next trip to train Samaritans Purse in spring protection.
For continued health in the pregnancy and that we’ll be ready for the arrival!
Thank you for keeping us lifted up in prayer.
Alex, Alfredo and Benjamin Leon
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Yesterday Benjamin celebrated his 2nd birthday. The day involved lots of phonecalls and cake and a house full of people, all things that make him very happy.
Thursday, 2 September 2010
After a month back in country we are now getting back in to a routine. Benjamin is going to a local Spanish-speaking nursery every morning so he has some social interaction and so I (Alex) can help do office administration. Alfredo is working on his taxes and a report for Taisha so they'll pay us for a project we finished in December.
We were invited to be part of the Shuar bible dedication in Makuma last Saturday. The full story with photos is below.
We have had another echo and the doctor is sure the baby is a girl, due mid November. Alfredo's family are getting excited as boys dominate the Leon family.
That Benjamin was able to get a space in the local government-run nursery and enjoys going.
That we were able to participate in the Shuar Bible dedication in Makuma.
That the pregnancy is going smoothly and the baby appears health
That the new bible may impact the Shuar people
For the community development planning meetings in Quito this month
For Steph (working visitor) as she works on finishing the water projects in Pastaza and for Fraenzi as she finishes language school and moves to Shell mid September.
For Alfredo as he goes to Taisha to get payment for finished projects and discuss future projects with the local government
For the medical team currently in Haiti.
Thank you for your interest and prayers for the work we do in Clean Water Projects with HCJB Global in Ecuador.
Hugs and Blessings
Alex, Alfredo and Benjamin Leon.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Last Saturday we joined a number of Shell missionaries on a flight to Makuma for the dedication of the newly printed Shuar bible. Our good friends Jim and Norma Hedlund have been working on this project with the Shuar church association for many years to get a partial translation of the Old testament and a revision of the New Testament ready for print.
The dedication was all planned and presented by the church association and they did a beautiful job. For me, the most touching part was the reciting of Nehemiah 12.27+ (dedication of the wall) by all the tranlators who had worked on the bible.
Bibles were given to all the translators, to people who had supplied food faithfully over many years for when the translators came to makuma and to the different missionaries and Missions who have been involved over the years. Even Alfredo was given a bible on behalf of the work of HCJB water projects with the Shuar. This brought a tear to my eye as Daniel Chu, the president of the church association presented the bible to 'mi amigo Alfredo' (my friend Alfredo)- it highlighted the good relationships we have with these people and that the local church view as partners in their work.
It was a joy to see Umberto present at the event. He lost the use of his legs when a tree fell on him many years ago and he has been the longest-serving translator, working 30 years on both the original new testament and the revision and Old Testament publication. It is very unusual for someone to survive so long in the jungle in a wheelchair and he recognises that God has protected him all this time so he could work on this project. Many times I was working in Makuma on water projects and would pop into the translation room to find Norma Hedlund and Umberto working together on Old testament passages. Umberto lives in a community down in the southern jungle and would come for a fortnight each month. Lately he has been unable to come to mauma because his community airstrip was in bad repair and was closed down. It was a real blessing for the strip to be opened in the last week so he could come to this celebration. They will have another dedication in his community later in the year.
Marie and Frank Drown returned to Ecuador for the dedication. They worked many years with the Shuar and we often hear about 'Don Pancho' because in addition to all his bible and transtaion work he had a vision of community development and has left long-lasting influence in the areas we work. It was an honour to meet them both. Their story can be read in 'Mission to the headhunters' and great book about the people we work with.
May many eyes and hearts be opened amongst the Shuar as they receive the bible in their own language. To God be all the Glory.
Friday, 13 August 2010
Dear Friends and Family,
Benjamin and I have been back in Ecuador nearly two weeks now and we are all back in our house in Shell, but bags are still not unpacked and boxes still in storage! As always, we hit the ground running, with friends from Redcliffe College arriving in Ecuador two days before I did so they could see our work. We spent part of last week in the jungle, seeing Jim and Norma in Makuma and showing Wim and Nienke a few projects. Alfredo and Wim then went to Cangaime to repair the system while we returned to Shell for the weekend. Tonight we are all together again in Shell and tomorrow we head up to mountain to see the projects in Chimborazo.
Thank you for all the prayers for flying with Benjamin. It was a very long day but Benjamin did sleep a little on the planes and he walked the whole way in Miami airport, pulling his Trunki suitcase behind him so although it was slow it meant I didn’t have to carry him the whole way! We were able to get the little airport car for part of the distance. Benjamin got the babycot on the first flight and his own seat on the second flight. When we arrived in Quito I went straight to bed while Benjamin showed all his toys off to the family! He has quickly recovered to Ecuadorian time and is sleeping till 7am now we are back in Shell.
We had another echo when I got to Shell to again try and see the sex of the baby and this time the legs were tight together and not showing much… however the doctor said he thought it might be a boy… whereas the UK guess was a girl… so we are still not sure! However the baby is healthy and growing fine, so that is the important thing! It is due mid November.
The family is all back together in Shell
For a good jungle trip and Benjamin loved walking in the mud and rain!
That Wim and Nienke were able to include us in their mission tour of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador and get a taste of what we do. They want to be missionaries to Latin America when they finish at Redcliffe and don’t know where to go yet (maybe in the jungle with us!)
Next week life will settle down a little more and we can start planning for the coming months. Pray with us as we decide how to use our time in Shell, which jungle projects to take on and what involvement we accept in the Hospital maintenance department.
Steph Smithers arrives next week for 6 months with us and Fraenzi is now in language school in Quito before she joins us in Shell for a year. Pray for our water projects team!
Pray for our finances. We have been blessed with many new people joining our support team in the past few months, and for that we are grateful. With an increase in HCJB admin costs, a bad exchange rate and increase in the reserve with need to maintain in the UK account (for flights home etc) our monthly allowance has actually decreased from last year, despite the new donors! We had hoped it would increase in anticipation of the baby! So for those of you who have standing order forms that you keep intending to fill in, please go find it now and send it off, and for those interested in joining the support team write to me firstname.lastname@example.org or print of the form at the HCJB-Uk website (http://www.hcjbglobal.org.uk/get-involved-mainmenu-125/give-mainmenu-131.html) . Remember to say it is for the Leon family.
Thank you for giving us a wonderful time in the UK. It was a blessing seeing so many of you and sharing some fun times. Let us know if you want a holiday in the Ecuadorian jungle (we won’t make you work too hard!)
Big hugs and blessings
Alex, Alfredo, Benjamin and Bump.
Friday, 9 July 2010
We are on the Isle of Wight and Alfredo is preparing to return to Ecuador on Sunday (and is not happy that he'll be in the air for the world cup final!)
We have had a good month. It was sad to leave all our friends at Redcliffe College but the last week of 'cleaning' was fun and graduation was lovely. We visited friends in Bradford, Newcastle and Reading and have presented at Park Fellowship, East Cowes Methodist, Sunbridge Road Mission, Church on the Green, St Albans and two schools.
We had the 20 week scan and all is well with the baby and it's likely to be a girl (now accepting name suggestions).
For fun and safe travelling around the country and for old and new friends we have met.
For the new supporters who have joined our team this month
That Alfredo's English has greatly improved while in England
For the time we are apart. Alfredo returns Sunday and I return with Benjamin 27th July.
For our finances. We are still below the recommended support level. Please pray for new regular supporters to join our team.
For work in Ecuador. August is already busy with two working visitors and two friends from Redcliffe coming and Alfredo might go to Haiti at the end of August. Pray we can settle back into Shell life quickly.
For planning. We have numerous requests from communities to help their water systems or build new ones. Pray with us for clear guidance on which communities to work with.
Our diary for July:
Fri 9th Holy Cross School
Sun 11th Alfredo leaves the UK.
Wed 14th Womens Union, St James Church Hall, East Cowes, 2.30pm
Sun 18th St James, East Cowes, 9.30am
Sat 24th Lawrence and Jen?s wedding
Sun 25th Bethany Evangelical Church, Newport 11am
Tue 27th Alex and Benjamin leave the UK.
Thank you for all the love, care and support we have received while in the UK. I hope to see a few more of you in the coming month.
Hugs and blessings
Alex, Alfredo, Benjamin and Bump.
Eight summer interns in Ecuador joined a work team in the Quichua community of Pigulca to help the rural residents create a clean water source and lead the children in vacation Bible school. The team included two water technicians from HCJB Global’s clean water project ministry. The objective during the team’s weeklong stay was to protect three springs and hold Bible classes and activities with the children.
Pigulca had no clean water and only a few spigots for several dozen families. Community leaders asked for help last year and have been working closely with HCJB Global’s clean water project's team since then, making plans to rectify their water system. Team members worked alongside the men and women of Pigulca, creating a long “bucket brigade” to pass rocks, concrete and sand from the top of the hill down to the springs where the supplies were needed.
On their last night in the community, the people expressed thanks to the team for their work, their encouragement and for instilling God’s Word in their children’s lives.
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
We are in our final week of Redcliffe and classes have finished and we are spending our time cleaning, packing and eating lots in all the social events planned. We head to the Isle of Wight on Saturday, hopefully arriving in time for Alfredo to watch the first world cup game (he is supporting England this year as Ecuador didn't qualify).
The house we are living in got broken into a fortnight ago and we lost our digital camera, some cash and Alfredo's brand-new suit that we had bought for the wedding that weekend! We hope to get a new camera soon, but there won't be any photos for a bit.
We had a lovely half term holiday, first in Devon for Lizzie and James's wedding and then in Coventry to relax in the garden and meet church friends.
One of our reasons for being in the UK is to increase our financial support for our work in Ecuador. What with the family growing in size and the exchange rate dropping, our current support is only about a 1/3 of what the mission recommend. We greatly appreciate all you guys who give regularly to our work. Please prayerfully consider either becoming a regular supporter (standing order form attached) or increasing your monthly support. Please remember to say that one-off gifts and regular giving if for the Leon family. Donations can be sent to HCJB-UK, 131 Grattan Road, Bradford, BD1 2HS
For all the friends we have seen on our travels last month and that Benjamin quite enjoys travelling!
For the great time we have had at Redcliffe College, for the friends made and the lessons learnt.
For the great work Steph and Lizzie did in the jungle while we have been gone. They are both back in the UK... Steph hopes to return to Ecuador in August to continue working and Lizzie plans to come to Redcliffe in a year! Adeline is also preparing to go the bible college in September, with an idea of returning to the jungle, yeh!
That no one was hurt and there was no damage from the robbery and that no one lost anything irreplaceable or valuable.
we are a bit gypsy-like this month with our base on the Isle of Wight but visits planned for Bradford, Newcastle and Reading. Pray for time to relax and that we enjoy the travelling.
Pray we can replace the camera quickly. We had to buy a new suit a day later so Alfredo had something smart for the wedding!
Pray for our financial support
Pray for planning as we start to think about what we do when we return to Ecuador. We already have two friends from Redcliffe visiting in August, Steph arriving back, Franzi arriving in Shell in September, so we will hit the ground running.
Diary for coming month:
12th leave Redcliffe
13th East Cowes Methodist Church, Isle of Wight, 10.30am
18th HCJB office, Bradford and Thurgood's church
20th Sunbridge Road Mission Church, Bradford, morning and evening service
25th-27th Reading (Adeline)
Friday, 7 May 2010
we are already in our last month of study at Redcliffe College,
doesn't time fly!
We have good news to share: we are expecting another baby, due in
November. There must be something in the Redcliffe water as there are
currently 6 of us pregnant!
This month is busy: we were in Hull last weekend, sharing at the HCJB
prayer group, St Aidan's and Priory Baptist Church.
in Cambridge this weekend (with the Shields)
then Frodsham, Cheshire sun 16th
Gurnard Isle of Wight 23rd
and in Devon for Lizzie's wedding at the end of the month.
The half term holiday (1-6th june) we'll be back in Coventry.
that we had a lovely Easter holiday on the Isle of Wight, London,
Barrow, Kents Bank and Leamington Spa. Praise that Benjamin likes
travelling in trains and coaches!
That we have a lighter schedule of classes this term so we get some
down time during the week as we are away each weekend.
That Benjamin is very sociable and adapts well to all the different
homes we stay at and people we meet.
that we can enjoy and take full benefit of our final month at Redcliffe
that we will not be too worn-out with all the travelling
that the pregnancy goes smoothly
that our financial support will increase as the family grows!
Thank you for you interest and prayers. We hope to see many of you
over the coming months. Write us if you see we are speaking in your area
Alex, Alfredo and Benjamin
Saturday, 13 March 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
I know this is late... my laptop has only just arrived back from the
computer doctor today and the email list was on here.
We are doing well in Redcliffe College. Alfredo and I are attending
classes full-time so we have lots to keep us busy. Benjamin is in
crèche 4 hours a day and now sleeps most of the afternoon.
We had a lovely half term break, going up to the Lake District and
then a few days in Coventry (and Alfredo played in the snow for the
We have been officially accepted in HCJB Global as long-term
missionaries (we were previously short-term).
Prayers and praise:
praise that we had a relaxing holiday over half-term and were able to
spend time with friends and supporters
praise that my computer is working again and we didn't lose any information
praise that we are accepted as long-term missionaries
praise that Alfredo was only ill a few days with flu and not Malaria
or glandular fever
praise for all the friends at college
pray that we can balance family life, English study, class attendance
and homework completion
pray for our finances as we are about £3000 short of tuition and
living costs for next term due to the extra flights and visas we had
to pay for to get Alfredo here (see below on how to give)
pray for Alfredo as he is overwhelmed with the English language (and
Our diary is filling up but June still has dates available and we
haven't finalised Easter or may holidays yet so get in touch if you
want to see us and haven't got in the diary yet.
Thank you for you interest and support. We look forward to seeing many
of you over the coming months.
Hugs and blessing,
Alex, Alfredo and Benjamin Leon
June and July are basically empty and we'll have finished college so can travel during the week for cellgroups, presentations etc... let us know!
20th 21st march coventry, park fellowship
27th gloucester (Chu family)
2 april - ? isle of wight
11th - Barrow in Furness
12-17th? easter break ?
17th- 18th Leamington Spa, (Wiratunga family)
24th - 25th Gloucester (Hext)
1 may - hull, hcjb prayer group afternoon and st aidans church evening
2nd may - hull, westhall baptist church
8-9th - cambridge (Sheilds family) sat presentation in church
15th 16th, Frodsham, presentation (Tim Coad)
29th-31st devon, wedding
1-6th june half term break where?
12th june Redcliffe graduation
3rd july isle of wight, presentation st albans, ventnor
11th July Alfredo leaves UK
24th July, wedding, Isle of wight
27th leave UK
Thursday, 14 January 2010
just a brief message as my internet is not working properly...
Alfredo has his visa issued and we are just waiting for his passport to arrive back in Ecuador so we can buy the ticket for England.
Benjamin and I are in Gloucester studying at Redcliffe Mission College.
We had a nice new year with my family in Stroud and we are settling in to the routine of study and creche.
get in contact via facebook or email if you want to see us while we are in the UK.