This past month we have most focused our work time on sewage! One of the current
projects we are involved in now is redesigning the hospital septic tank. We had a team of students from Calvin College, USA come for a week to collect data for their final-year project, so time was spend surveying, water testing and some unsavoury, close-up measurements of the existing tank! Thanks to Steph for organising all the logistics with the group.
Planned jungle trips were cancelled in January as MAF/Alas de Socorro were grounded while they fought the authorities for permission to fly. Praise God that the American pilots have been given an extension and can continue flying while they train more Ecuadorian pilots. Alfredo was able to fly in yesterday to install a pump in Santa Rosa and take out the supposedly broken pump in Cangaime to have it checked in Quito.
We are alone in the water projects office again... Fraenzi finished work in Shell at the
beginning of January and then went travelling with Swiss friends and is now back in
Switzerland. Steph flies back to the UK tomorrow. Please keep both of them in your prayers as they adjust back to cold weather and look for new jobs.
Alfredo preached for the first time in Mera church and di very well. They have now asked him to help lead services regularly.
Our plans for February mostly consist of reading in preparation for the Wheaton course in March and working in the hospital maintenance department. I celebrate my big 30th this month but haven't yet got any plans of how to celebrate!
Camila is sometimes sleeping through the night now and is a quiet, smiley baby. Benjamin love playing with Tori, our 6-yr old neighbour and has worn holes in the front of his shoes from racing down the hill on his tricycle with her.
With the De Groen and Fogg families arriving in Shell this year we can no longer use the office truck for personal use and need to buy ourselves a car. We would like to buy a used, 7-seater, Chevrolet Grand Vitara. Based on our usage of the pick-up truck we know we need a car that has a high wheel-base and preferably 4x4 because of the bad roads where we live and work. With two small children a 5-seater would be sufficient, but (again based on our current usage) we often have to carry more than just our family. Ecuadorian culture dictates that refusing transport is worse than enforcing safety precautions, so the children often get taken out of their car-seats to allow more people in. A large car would allow us to carry the additional short-term workers and Ecuadorians without compromising the safety of our children.
Cars in Ecuador do not depreciate in value like cars in England do, so used cars are
still expensive. The general price for a 5-yr-old Chevrolet Grand Vitara is $17,000 (about £11,500). Ideally we want to raise the full amount within this year, and buy the car in cash using our savings and donations. If we cannot achieve this we have the option of putting down an initial payment of at least $8,000 (£5,500) and paying monthly instalments. Can you help us? It would be great encouragement if you can help us with a donation, towards this one ?off purchase. (send cheques to HCJB-UK or go on line at hcjb.org.uk, remember to say it for Leon family/car)
-For the 6 months Steph and Fraenzi were here and the work they did in the office and jungle
-For the Calvin College group and for dry weather that allowed them to get everything
done they came for.
-That MAF have got permission to fly again
-That we get time to read all the books we need for the Wheaton course on intercultural
communication in March. The books are all in English so Alfredo has to concentrate even harder.
-For the finances to buy a car and for our monthly support.
-For wisdom as we write project proposals and seek funds for the office
Thank you to all who regularly pray for us and the water projects ministry.
In His service
Alex and Alfredo, Benjamin and Camila