A grandson’s experience!

August 9, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

Three years ago we brought our oldest grandson, Landon, down to Ecuador to experience mission work in another country and now it was his brother Casten’s turn (14). It’s been over three weeks since Richard, our grandson, Cas, and I departed from Denver enroute to Ecuador via Houston. The anticipation mounted as we spent three days in the Houston Airport attempting to get on the daily flight to Quito. (“Uno” and ‘Panda Express’ kept Cas smiling over those three days.)

Fast forward to our first day at Buen Samaritano Clinic and Buen Samaritano Water. Cas’s major concern was not knowing Spanish and his inability to wash bottles as fast at the ‘water guys’. And by day three Cas and the ‘water guys’ were having fun conversations via their cell phone translators. . . and washing bottles as fast as the ‘water guys’ was no longer an issue!

Bottle scrubbing!

Bottle scrubbing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the end of that first week Cas had played soccer with the church kids, went to dinner at Pastor Meza’s, went to Youth Group, the ‘water guys’ took him to dinner and the youth came and taught him new rules for “Uno” and surprised him with a special farewell . . . Now why do I tell you these details? Because as we left Buen Samaritano I asked Cas if knowing Spanish ended up being a big problem and he just laughed, “Not really, Grandma.”

My point? By World comparison, we Americans probably have more individuals seeking help from psychiatrists and psychologists to unravel verbal communication problems . . . as a psychiatric nurse I am looking back at ‘problems’. . . often not an issue of spoken words but where those words originate . . . the heart and it’s condition. “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 “A sound heart is life to the body,. . .” Proverbs 14:30a And, succinctly stated: “. . . For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b (Please do not misinterpret what I am saying; there are mental health issues as Biblically described and that I have worked with that are beyond the heart.)

Soccer?

Soccer?

or Futbol?

or Futbol?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday night Youth Group

Saturday night Youth Group

Ecuadorian "McDonalds"

Ecuadorian “McDonalds”

 

 

New ways/rules to play "Uno"!

New ways/rules to play “Uno”!

 

Farewell to new friends

Farewell to new friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our 4 day mini-trip to the jungle was relaxing, miles of jungle hiking, visiting a wild animal preserve and the homes of primitive tribes and their natural medicines. Cas was brave enough to put his hand in a ‘termite home’ and when they totally covered his hands he then rubbed his hands together and a natural ‘fragrance’ of insect repellant occurred… Amazing! God’s creation never ceases to awe me!!

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Termites are used as a natural repellent.

Termites are used as a natural repellent.

Traveling to and from the SuizoJungle Lodge located on the Napo River.

And before I close I do want to share that Diana Garcia is now funded through December of this year. Our sincerest thanks for those of you praying and donating for her university education. . . She and her dad send their humble gratitude. And of course, we will continue to seek funding.

Prayer requests:

 

Dios los bendiga,

*Thanksgiving for Hermano Byron, our night guard who leaves to pastor a church in Esmeraldas. He will be dearly missed. He was faithfully with us for three years.

*Thanksgiving for Hermano Rodrigo Reyes, our new ‘water guy’ who will replace Hermano Carlos who moves to the night guard position until he is given the date to start the police academy. (Yes, the ‘clinic family’ is very close and it feels like sending a child off to their first year of college when one leaves . . . But, it is as He planned.)

*I continually forget to say “THANK YOU” for supplying the clinic’s patient waiting area with gratis Bibles. . . It is a joy to walk through and see someone reading one of these Bibles. . . They usually ask me, “Can I really have this?

*God’s blessing and direction for the three Wheelchair Program leaders, Hermanas Liseth, Sonya and Sandra.

*As we move into fall and multiple fundraisers/bazzars may our focus to be on Him.

Richard and Elizabeth <><

 

 

Our Wheelchair Project!

June 19, 2017

Dear Family of Friends,

It’s us again! I try not to bombard you with too many updates but this just can’t wait! Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we completed a three day orientation for the Wheelchair Project. Despite efforts to publicize the program we were still unsure if anyone would show up. But, ‘show up’ they did! And, one elderly man came to see Dra. Silvia . . . However, he joined the group and ended up coming all three days of the Wheelchair Project.

I mentioned the need for three ladies to carry on with the program when I am not here. . . That really was my greatest concern. I prayed . . . and prayed . . . and PRAYED! I was internally frustrated about what to do! And when it came to three days prior to our first Wheelchair Project day I decided I’d just have to ‘go for it’ and asked Sonja who with her two daughters has befriended me for a long time. I really didn’t know Lisseth but observing her in church she seemed like a no-nonsense person who would be reliable; and Sandra was suggested by her sister Eliana, who is the clinic’s accountant. I met with these three ladies, explained the project and the role they would play but I still wasn’t totally sure of my choices. However . . .

After our first day of videos these three ladies sprouted wings and just took over in such a sensitive and compassionate manner . . . Lisseth (without prompting) walked the blind lady home, Sonja was sweeping and cleaning up and Sandra stayed close to our lady with Parkinson’s who needed a lot of help with projects but still ‘hung in there’ with a smile. Now, I will cease the ‘chatter’ since the pictures below will say much more than I ever could. . . our participants are in good hands!! Thank you, Lord for answered prayer.

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Day 1 of the Wheelchair Project was motivational as well as evangelical. Time was spent listening to the incredible Nick Vujicic, born without arms or legs. Perhaps some of you have heard him speak which he does around the world. And, of course,
there was time for an American snack – chocolate chip cookies.

Not all people were in wheelchairs.  Mary Lu is blind, the young man on crutches from an accident and Maria has advanced Parkinson's.

Not all people were in wheelchairs. Mary Lu is blind, the young man on crutches from an accident and Maria has advanced Parkinson’s.

Day 2 was "game day". We taught them "Jenga" which was VERY popular!

Day 2 was “game day”. We taught them “Jenga” which was VERY popular!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then we had a rousting game of "Bingo" with prizes. (I had a little problem with all my Spanish numbers).

And then we had a rousting game of “Bingo” with prizes. (I had a little problem with all my Spanish numbers).

We also taught them "Connect Four", "Tick Tack Toe" and we tried "Checkers" but they thought that was too difficult!

We also taught them “Connect Four”, “Tick Tack Toe” and we tried “Checkers” but they thought that was too difficult!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 was spent orienting them to a variety of projects. Here they are learning to roll newspaper that can be woven into MANY items.

Day 3 was spent orienting them to a variety of projects. Here they are learning to roll newspaper that can be woven into MANY items.

And here are our three wonderful ladies who will lead the group. (L-R)  Lisseth, Sandra and Sonja.

And here are our three wonderful ladies who will lead the group. (L-R) Lisseth, Sandra and Sonja.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here we are braiding material strips to make ‘rag rugs’. As you can see there are a variety of ways to accomplish this. ‘Feet’ have a variety of uses!! Beautiful first 3 days!

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Preparation was essential – new ramps and of course a completed new handicapped bano!

 

 

 

 

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We had a wonderful celebration for our staff members that have worked for Buen Samaritano for 10 or more years! (L – R) Fabricio Mendoza, Angelita Garcia, Dra. Silvia Venegas, Eliana Garcia and Pastor Manuel Meza.

Before I go I want to mention that John and Lauretta Piper responded to contribute to the tuition to help Diana Melanie Flores Garcia attend the university in September. John and Lauretta asked if there were others that would consider joining them to support Diana’s education. After church last Sunday I did speak with a very eager/hopeful dad and daughter . . . I told them at this point we did not have the total tuition covered but that I would mention this again in the update. I don’t want to be misleading so I asked Carlos (sorry, mistakenly called him “Ramon” in the last update) to obtain written information from San Gregorio University. . . Registration in July is $32 that Carlos said he can cover; the first month of each semester is $324 and each month thereafter is $208. And, this degree (elementary school teacher) will take 11 semesters. Please consider this opportunity to move Diana out of poverty.

Prayer requests:

Thanksgiving for all the kind assistance of Consuelo Donoso and Dawn Traficanti during the
first three days of the Wheelchair Project.

Thanksgiving for our very nice, new handicapped accessible bathroom and the added counter space in the laboratory.
Thanksgiving for a the 3 ladies that will continue the Wheelchair Program
Thanks giving for Dawn Traficanti and all her efforts to supply projects for our wheelchair /disabled participants and a blessed short term mission. . . for her AND us!
For Jocelyn, our greatest concern in the Wheelchair Program. She is obviously very depressed since a surgery (about 2 years ago) that left her in the wheelchair at age 22. We have conflicting stories from her ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ regarding her life. May we be ‘salt and light’ to this young lady and uncover truth.
Continued prayer for more water distributors for Buen Samaritano Water.

Dios los bendiga,

Elizabeth and Richard

Monsoon rains clean up

June 4, 2017

Dear Familia of friends,

Greetings from el Floron, Ecuador! Hopefully, this finds you eagerly embarking on summer . . . For sure, out grandkids are out of school and ready for ‘fun in the sun!’ Down here children have just ended vacation and are back in school.

Richard and I have been back at Buen Samaritano Clinica for over two weeks. Richard has been diligently working to resolving water problems that occurred during the monsoon rains that left both the clinic and water production building flooded. The staff worked from sun up to sundown to bail out water, shovel mud and then sanitize floors and equipment . . . Dra. Silvia related that they worked the weekend (No overtime pay here!) and were able to open only two hours late on Monday morning as patients then flooded the patient waiting room. . . Monsoon rains bring a whole new set of medical problems to the impoverished of el Floron.

Front of Clinic

Front of Clinic

Back of Clinic

Back of Clinic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sewers get clogged and back up with heavy rains so a lot of Clorox is used during the cleanup. These photos are of our new water production building. The Minister of Health was not happy and requested construction changes to help prevent this from happening in the future. After the bathroom is completed (see below) those construction changes will then be made during this trip. The main floor of the clinic was not affected but the patient waiting room, lab and dental office sit lower and were affected.

This past week Pastor Gruezo and I visited five pastors in the el Floron area with the purpose of sharing and inviting any one in their church or neighborhood that was in a wheelchair or handicapped in other ways. Then, to my great joy and thanksgiving was Pastor Ramon (whom he and his family crew have done all of our construction needs) was able to fit in expanding walls and a door into our patient bathroom, add a handicap bar and then ramps in the front and back entrances to the clinic. (The original owner didn’t include this capability).

Windows being covered up

Windows being covered up

and walls expanded.

and walls expanded.

 

 

 

 

The first three days (June 12, 13 and 14) will be an introduction (9 -12) to the program.  The first day will be video snippets from World Evangelist Nick Vujicic . . . Perhaps you have seen/heard him.  He was born without legs or arms and now shares Jesus Christ throughout the world.  The second day will be full of food and fun . . . We have a ton of games (Jenga, checkers, Bingo, etc.) AND prizes.  The third day will be spent sharing a very long list of projects: example directions and finished item that they can make, take home or sell in the clinic to earn some income if they choose to.

I am very fortunate to have Dawn Traficanti (from our church – CCPC) winging her way to Ecuador as I type this.  She has been preparing new ideas for projects for weeks; she has really blessed the project.  Please keep her in your prayers for safe travel and health while here.

What I REALLY need . . . and it is getting down to the wire . . . is 3 people that will ‘carry on’ with the wheelchair project when I am not here.  This is SO important. . . Not everyone is comfortable with the handicapped so the need is for three upbeat persons with a desire to share Christ through their compassion for the handicapped . . . Please pray for this need and my trust and patience on The Lord.

Before I go I do want you to know about one more ‘event’.  This Friday we are having a staff/board dinner to honor and celebrate 5 of our staff who have faithfully worked at the clinic for 10 years or more.  Next time I should have pictures.  And, Amy, Cliff Intriago and their two children will be back in Ecuador visiting family.  Amy and Cliff have been an incredible asset to our USA Fundación “Yo Te Amo,” CO board.  You may remember that Amy worked for an entire year at the clinic . . . both Amy and Cliff’s roots continue to run deep for the impoverished in el Floron.

And, I have a bold and very humble request from one of the song leaders from church.  Pastor Ramon is asking if someone (or two to three persons) would consider sponsoring his daughter, Diana Melanie Flores Garcia, to attend the university.  She would like to be an elementary school teacher which would take three years.  I have admirably known the family for 15 years.  The tuition is $220 a month.  She has given me a letter and a picture of her family.  (Questions can be e-mailed to me:  eengkjer@comcast.net)

With that I will close and thank you for your many, many ways of support.  Some of you may be aware that Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church took up a baby clothes and stuffed animal drive under the direction of Al Johnson, Missions Director . . . Our basement looks like “Baby’s R Us” . . . Dra. Silvia continues to prepare now for Christmas as hundreds are still homeless from the earthquake devastation a year ago this past April.  Sincerest thanks to those donors.

Prayer Requests:

*Special thanksgiving for the five Buen Samaritano employees that have been with us over 10 years

*Travel and health for Dawn Traficanti as she begins a short term mission with the Wheelchair Project.

*Three dedicated persons to act in my behalf for the Wheelchair Project

*More distributors for Buen Samaritano Water

Dios los bendiga,

Richard and Elizabeth    <><

Our mini-medical mission

March 13, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

3.17.1 3.17.2

 3.17.3 3.17.4We are perspiring like a ‘choncho’ down here. . . Did I say that!?!   Well, maybe I did but so has everyone else here!!  However, despite the horrific humidity, taunting temperatures and multiple monsoon rains the combined efforts of Dra. Claire Gahm (pediatric resident currently from Cleveland), Dra. Veronica Astudillo (Buen Samaritano Practitioner), Dra. Carolina Garcia (Odonatologist and Dra. Silvia’s daughter) and Delores Mesa (Buen Samaritano’s Office Manager) saw and treated 462 patients during our week long mini-medical mission in Rocafuerte.  This meant travelling daily back and forth from El Floron . . . about an hour each way.

Our sincere gratitude to Pastor Jhon Sanchez and wife Yajaira and their church staff for organizing this community and each day serving us a wonderful lunch. Friday afternoon culminated with a church service where Hermana Yajaira spoke to the community moms on Deuteronomy 7:9: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” This was followed by having each of the mission team share a few words to the moms and children followed by moms expressing their appreciation for the team coming. And the pictures show the precious aftermath between physicians, moms and children.

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Meanwhile, ‘back at the ranch’ Buen Samaritano Clinic was experiencing ‘cosmetic surgery’ as broken floor tiles were replaced (due to the earthquake last year), a wheel chair ramp put in at the entrance to the ‘big bodega’ (our storage building) and the original water purification system on the roof being converted into a storage room for paint, brushes, etc. All of this is preparation for the Wheelchair Project.

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Mixing cement for the wheelchair ramp into the bodega.

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Using “man-power” with a pulley to hoist the concrete bricks to the roof.

We are still open to ideas for projects, preferably from ‘throw away’ items. For example, we have a darling pin cushion made out of a tuna can, an old cd disc, a little foam rubber and a small piece of material . . . and another idea from Dra. Silvia is all these incredible items made out of rolled newspaper . . . . The church congregation has been wonderful in throwing old newspapers our way. If you care to look at these ideas go to: U Tube: Cesteria de papel. (Yes, it is in Spanish.) You will see numerous ideas made from newspaper.

And the truck is back sporting its new canopy. Today it went on its first deliveries with Carlos driving and Richard and Jorge riding along to five distributors in el Floron. Too, too exciting! But, that was a lot of water bottles and Richard and Pastor Mesa now assist when needed in cleaning, sterilizing and filling bottles to meet the demand. Actually, today is a new, government holiday and private industry can choose to work or not work. After last week I was ready for a three day weekend but guess who won out? And it is true; Monday is the busiest day for patients and also for the water sales. I am glad we are open . . . it is VERY busy!!

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Well, I wanted to tell you about our mini-medical mission of 462 patients, how the Wheelchair Project is progressing and the very first water delivery in the handsome new truck.  Bless your every prayer and contribution; I am sure you are aware of The Lord moving in hearts to make all of this happen.  As I told the moms and children in Rocafuerte, this is ALL such a privilege to be a part of. . .

 Our Prayer Requests:

  • Thanksgiving for Dra. Claire Gahm returning at such a perfect time so we could see many more patients during the mini medical mission. . .  as well as Dra’s Veronica and Carolina plus Delores’ helping hands and Eliana filling Delores place in the office.  (WOW! GOD!!)

  • Continued praise for the new truck and supplication for new distributors.

  • Thanksgiving for the church congregation for their support and supplying the used newspapers for the Wheel Chair Project.

  • And lastly, thanksgiving for our FYTA Board and all the time, energy and Ideas that they are currently involved in for our April 21/22 Open House/Fundraiser at our home.  May their efforts be blessed and ultimately bless many impoverished through the efforts of Buen Samaritano Clinica and Water.

Dios los bendiga,

Richard and Elizabeth    <><

The start of a new year!

February 28, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

Too late for Happy New Year? We hope not; and that your 2017 has begun with the anticipation of positive things to come as the entire world seems to be consumed by anxiety and fear. I guess we could be sucked into all of this disarray if it were not for continual warnings of what is to come: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” 2 Timothy 3:1 (read on if you would like specifics)

Finally, we are back at Buen Samaritano Clinica! Our first entire week was spent in Quito trying to get our updated visas registered. But, that was not to find us twiddling our thumbs! Cindy Reagan, one of our board members, accompanied us and gave great support/input to our shopping sprees for this year’s future fundraisers. The first fundraiser will again be at our home on April 21 and 22. We hope this will be a good time to “Buy once, give twice” for Mother’s Day gifts. (Yes, a little early to talk about Mother’s Day but Cindy and I were SO excited about our new shopping ‘finds.’)

02.28

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What a selection to choose from in the Otavalo open market!

Since Visa validation took so long this time, Cindy only had two days to experience El Floron. However, the Sunday morning service found her making a boat load of new friends!

One of Cindy’s acquaintances was no other than Hermano Fabricio, our clinic custodian. Cindy’s dad has been helping to sponsor Hermano Fabricio with college tuition. Thus, Fabricio had the opportunity to express his gratitude via Cindy to her father. The picture says it all!!

Also, the Six Year Anniversary dinner buffet at Pastor Alex’s church gave Cindy time to try many cultural dishes and spend some time with Pastor Gruezo and wife, Jacqueline. Cindy barely had a moment to catch her breath before leaving for the airport early Monday Morning. We hope to see her return soon!

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It has been fun to watch how excited Richard and the ‘water guys’ have been, drooling over the new truck!  And even before the logo and information was put on the truck there was a request outside of el Floron for ten bottles of water!  After that first delivery, Richard and Carlos went to get the logos and information painted on the truck . . . Since this addition, the water guys are REALLY working hard. . .Thus, Richard said they must take a ‘15 minute morning break’. . . they wanted to know what that was . . .He told them to have a snack, whatever.  Then they asked if they could take a ‘siesta’ (nap) and Richard said, “Sure!”  and we are still laughing about that! The truck is currently in the shop have a canopy installed.

Tomorrow we are eagerly looking forward to a return visit from Dr. Claire Gahm.  We were thrilled that she asked to return this year for another three week rotation. (You may remember that Dr. Claire is specializing in pediatrics at Rainbow Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.)  During her time here last year she surprised us with a video on our purified water bottling water system.  (If you care to see it is on our web site:  www.fyta.org) The truck was almost purchased entirely by one generous donor. . . We remain humbled and give unending thanksgiving to God . . . The truck allows us to deliver water outside el Floron and should help the clinic move closer to self-sustainability.

Last update I think I mentioned that Dr. Silvia is acutely aware of the many; many people that remain homeless and severely impoverished as a result of last Aprils earthquakes . . . and we just had another 4.5 last week!  Thus, I mentioned that we are collecting good condition baby clothes and also stuffed animals . . . the clothes are being distributed throughout the year and the stuffed animals collected for next Christmas.  If you care to be a part of this, stuffed animals can be left in a plastic bin in the patio in front of our home and the clothes on the front doorsteps.  Our sincerest thanks for all that have already been donated; we will continue to bring these items down to Ecuador with each trip. See our first donors below.

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After the last request for stuffed animals I went to see my friend, Diane Wonhof and to meet her daughter-in-law and grandchildren visiting from Australia … They met me at the front door with armfuls of stuffed animals for Ecuador. Wow!

Pastor Jon Sanchez and wife (whom I have known since the first time I came to Ecuador) have been sent to plant a church about 45 minutes from el Floron.  Sunday he asked if a medical team could come to this area.  He said the people are very poor.  He is hoping that it could yet be this year.  Thus, Dra. Claire, Dr. Fernando (our afternoon physician), and Dra. Carolina (our dentist) have agreed to serve these people February 6 – 10.  Please put this mini-mission on your prayer list . . . the monsoon rains are upon us with flooding and certainly increased disease by the mosquito brigade carrying Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika.    There are about 300 mothers and children in this area of Rocafuerte.  Since we have had cases of Zika in el Floron I am especially concerned about pregnant ladies in this area also.

Usually I ‘think’ everything to death, wanting to be sure The Lord is leading and not another ‘whim’ cruising through my mind . . . Well, that is how it has been with ‘the wheelchair project’ that I have been considering for months.   We have unused space in our big storage building (bodega); and I have had a concern for wheelchair patients ever since I met Hermano Nazareno’s daughter, Andrea,  who was left paralyzed at the age of 22 after having a spinal tumor removed.   Instead of sitting in their homes – idle and depressed – I thought we could use the space in the bodega and come up with projects they could make and sell.  This idea BURST forth two days ago when Andrea was brought to the clinic for ‘boots’ for foot drop . . . I talked with Dra. Silvia and she already had ideas for projects from U tube that she showed me . . . and they were all made out of newspaper.  Thus, we are asking the churches to support us and start giving any newspaper to the clinic. And, Dawn Traficant (from Cherry Creek Presbyterian back home) will be coming in June to help with the project.  Am I excited?  YES!!

Prayer Requests:

*Please give thanksgiving for God’s protection and health of our staff

*Please give thanks that amidst the continued tremors and actual earthquakes our clinic building and our water building have survived.

*Please pray for safe travel and health of Dr. Claire Gahm

*Please pray as we plan and move forward with the ‘Wheelchair Project’.

*Please pray that new water distributors will be added AND that our water guys can keep up.

Dios los bendiga,

Elizabeth and Richard    <>< 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016: A year to be thankful!

December 30, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

 The year is now sailing out of view as we look back on all the events in the United States, our “world” in Ecuador and the world at large. Every year is a challenge in a variety of different ways. However, this year exceedingly so with Ecuador’s ‘terra moto’ (earthquake) last April. The earthquakes/aftershocks continued for weeks. Downtown Portoviejo (one of 3 hardest hit) still looks like a war zone even after the rubble has been cleared away. There are many, many vacant lots yet to be filled with new construction and multiple blocks of businesses that still remain closed due to no water or electricity. Other cities that were affected remain in the same condition.

 We cannot thank you enough for your prayers and financial support – blessings that allowed us to move through it all. Previous updates showed you the repairs needed for three of our clinic compound walls. Most of one wall of our large storage building had to be replaced. I just finished that before my return home for Christmas.

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Would you believe that all four of the adult workers first name is Jose?

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Looking pretty good! We then began the job of cleaning, painting and organizing!!

 

 

In the last update we also reported the incredible blessing by one couple who sent a check to cover 80% of the cost for a new truck. The truck will enable us to deliver water outside of Floron and thus increase revenue for the clinic. I am thrilled to report that I was able to make the purchase and we now have this beautiful truck. All the advertising decals and a canopy over the bed are needed and to train our drivers when I return.

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Pedro Vicente Cedeño, who lives in El Floron (where our clinic is), was abandoned by his wife, leaving him with his 2 month old son. Pedro’s mom is diabetic and disabled. He lost his job and now he is taking care of his infant son. Since he does not have the money, he is feeding his son with tapioca which is too strong for babies and different than formula. He is in need of formula, diapers, wet wipes, clothes, etc.

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Our medical director, Dra. Silvia, was asked to visit Pedro to find out what his continuing needs will be. The clinic can provide water, formula and diapers … because of your contributions.

The last update showed you Pastor Gruezo’s home under new construction. Here’s a view of its completion and Pastor Gruezo with wife Jacqueline (lovingly known to the locals as “salt and pepper”). This construction manpower was totally at the volunteer hands of Pastor Gruezo’s congregation.

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As you may or may not know that soccer in Ecuador is their “football” and they start training at a very young age. Pictured here at a field right next to our clinic are “tots in training.”

Our medical director, Dra. Silvia – who has been with us for the past 11 years, asked to distribute all the wonderful used (but looking new) toys along with a small bag of candy. This year 350 children from the Florón, the Municipal Dump, Loma del Viento, El Rodeo, Canuto received a toy and a melting of candies.

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We would like to continue doing this as a tradition from our clinic. In 2017 we will start collecting used but in good shape stuffed animals to give to the children next Christmas. If you are able to help, please contact us at the address in the header.

 Prayer requests:

  1. Thanksgiving and praise for the donors that funded the purchase of a new truck so water distributors can be expanded beyond El Floron and aid in the clinic moving toward self-sustaining ability.
  2. Thanksgiving for the dedication of our clinic staff; pray for continued attendance at morning devotions.
  3. Thanksgiving for the success of our 7 fall and Christmas fundraisers.

 Needs: baby diapers, very good condition stuffed animals, good condition children’s clothing, and baby formula.

 May 2017 move each of us closer to walking in Jesus’ footsteps, to love as He loves us and bless others as He blesses each of us.

Dios los bendiga,

Richard and Elizabeth 

An update: we have met our goal for the purchase of our truck!

July 24, 2016

Dear Family of Friends,

We are returning to Ecuador; I – a week prior to Richard – to prepare for our first venture in holding a dental clinic with the three public schools in El Floron.  Our goal is to instill the importance of dental hygiene among both students and parents.  In retrospect it took three years of writing notes to parents of the compound’s school children before we ever saw results. . . meaning that parents finally responded to the notes and brought their child back for care beyond the cleaning and fluoride treatment we had provided.  (This was ‘dental nirvana’ for our dentist and me!!)  They began to understand the importance of dental care.

Richard will return next week.  And “no news is good news” may be a superstition but as far as he knows the new water equipment has been responsibly cranking out purified water . . . And, slowly but surely the contributions for the truck have been moving upward.  (If you are interested to see where we are at go to our web page,  WWW.FYTA.org, and catch up!  We are thankful beyond words!

 And lastly, we are excited about the upcoming “Peacemakers Training Seminar,” August 19, 20, 22 and 23.  This is being hosted by Templo Metropolitana  Alianza (church).  And, we’ve gone international!  Not only with  “Peacemakers Ministries” but also with our speakers/trainers.  Some of you know Candy McCune (a Colorado Lawyer) from our home church, Cherry Creek Presbyterian.  This is Candy’s fourth or fifth visit to Ecuador; she has spoken at a host of churches and to our clinic staff and was requested to mediate at a major church dispute.

 If you are unfamiliar with “Peacemakers Ministries,” they began in 1970 and their goal is to settle disputes within the church using Biblical principles – all churches experience some disharmony.  The organization has been so successful that they are also invited to public sectors.  Along with Candy two Latino ladies will join her. Claudia Christen Schneider is from Chile but now resides in Switzerland with her husband.  Marcela Diaz Perez comes direct from Chile.  The seminar is open to all pastors, church leaders and interested persons.

 Please continue to pray for the Manabí Province.  Dra. Silvia recently reported an aftershock of 5.2 and mild tremors are daily.  We are thankful that the clinic and water building have been spared; multiple reports say to expect this for a year. Thank you for your prayers.

 Dios los bendiga,

Elizabeth and Richard <><

Thank you for your incredible support!

July 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

As we eagerly winged our way homeward there remains heaviness in our hearts. Visions of the vast ‘tent city’ which houses hundreds of families along the old Portoviejo Airport runways looms in our minds along with the plastic, “lean-to homes” that pepper the Portoviejo parks. And, as time went on we became more aware of unnoticed damage to El Floron homes.

#8.1

Our clinic nurse, Angelita, contracted Chikungunya, as did her husband and family members. We went to visit them only to discover that they were still sleeping on mattresses in the dirt street in front of their home . . . as were many of their neighbors.

Our last couple of weeks in El Floron refused to allow memories to begin to fade of the devastation and fear of April 17th. . . Strong aftershocks (as strong as 7.1) continue and jolt vivid recall of ‘terremoto.’

Richard is returning home for a well-deserved break – his two months installing the necessary new equipment along with its plumbing and electrical changes in the water production building were completed. His three fledgling young men now have the opportunity to increase water production and put to use the instructions they have absorbed from Richard regarding the new equipment.

We will return the end of July, God willing. The Dental Outreach Program to three public schools’ first graders occurs in the first two weeks of August (this was postponed due to the April earthquake). Richard will assess how the water production is running, make some adjustments and work to increase marketing . . . all of these efforts will hopefully assist the clinic financially.

Mid-August we look forward to having three Peacemaker instructors: Candy McCune from our home church and two Chilean Spanish speaking ladies. This will be a four day seminar at the Missionary Alianza Church in Portoviejo. The seminar will be open to all pastors, church leaders and any other interested parties. The principles are Christian in nature but are used in many secular business disputes.

Our prayer requests:

*Thanksgiving for the safety of the staff, their families and our clinic and water buildings surviving the earth quakes.

 

*Thanksgiving for all the donations of food, diapers, etc. that we continue to take to Ecuador.

 

*Thanksgiving for all the church workers that have and continue to pitch in to rebuild the El Floron #8 church.

 

*Continued health and energy for our two staff – Delores and Fabricio – who keep up full time jobs and the demands of the university.

 

*One or more sponsors for Carlos (lead water worker) so he can attend the university beginning September.

 

*Developing good relations with the public schools as we embark on our first year of the Dental Program with them.

 

*Funds for a truck so we can begin to deliver water outside of the El Floron community.

Richard and I, along with our Fundación “Yo Te Amo,” Board of Directors thank you and Our God for your increased, incredible support since the April 17th earth quake. You have made it possible for many to look to Buen Samaritano Clinica as a source for help and renewed hope.

Dios los bendiga, Amigos

Elizabeth and Richard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rebuilding of Floron #8 church!

Dear Family and Friends,

Over the past weeks we have certainly reached out to you for your support that has arrived in multiple ways . . . prayers, e-mails, phone calls. . . each of which has been encouraging and rejuvenating to our staff, Richard and myself and many known and unknown to you. This side of heaven you will probably not realize the impact.

You may remember that two Saturdays ago we accompanied the youth pastors and some hearty teens out to finish taking out walls of the remains of the one room church in sorely impoverished Floron #8.

#6.2 #6.1

I admit I take no awards for ‘asking for help;’ however, I guess knowing how precious this church was to our day guard, Pastor Mesa, I did ask the original builders of this ‘forgotten church’ if they would consider supplying the materials if we rounded up enough men from Pastor Gruezo’s church to do the building. (To those of you who have experienced the Holy Spirit empowering you in areas that are NOT your forte you know what I am talking about.)

You deserve to know about this ‘small miracle’ as I see it and I know Richard agrees. Not only did they agree to supply the materials – they were delivered Tuesday; and today the first team began building! Not just men for construction, but also women came to chop weeds and begin ‘loving’ the church grounds that are quite dilapidated even before the destruction of ‘terremoto’ (earthquake).

#7.3 #7.4

And, (I thought my heart would burst) the plan is for the Floron 8 church to be an extension of Pastor Gruezo’s children’s bi-weekly church program. The initial goal is to enroll 40 children from the Floron 8 area . . . and a small kitchen is planned so children can also receive a meal.

There you have it!! You saw the Floron #8 church torn down . . . and now you see His people again volunteering and rebuilding this church for His Glory!! The power of prayers should never, ever be underestimated.

 

Dios los bendiga nosotros amigos,

Elizabeth and Richard

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

May 7, 2016

Dear Friends and Family,

Hope this finds everyone ready for “Mother’s Day” . . . and I know that conjures up a variety of feelings for everyone. Monday I took a loaf of banana bread to a family down the block . . .I never had met them previously, but they lost their daughter, son in-law and one year old grandchild as they purchased medicine at a Portoviejo pharmacy that disintegrated upon them during the quake . . .I was glad I made the visit. The mom put her head on my shoulder and sobbed. . .

It’s been a busy week with the highlight this morning at 6:30a. Pastor Mesa, our day guard told me how sad he was that no one came to help with the little church in Floron #8. (El Floron is divided up into sections as each area is developed and Floron #8 is the last to date. It is a very impoverished area and thus a small, one room church built quite a few years ago.) I asked him if he asked for help but for some reason he was reticent. . .”Ye have not because ye ask not . . .” So, I decided he was asking me.

So, at 6:30am Richard and I, along with the Youth Group and Pastors surprised Pastor Mesa and ascended on this little church that lost all of one wall and most of the other three plus adjoining Sunday school rooms that also lost portions of their walls. Within two hours only the frame remained . . . My shock was that these teens came out at 6:30am on a Saturday morning!! (Was I thankful!!!) Hopefully, this little, one room church received some attention and may be reconstructed to serve the many children in this area and be used for medical missions as in the past.

View from remaining pulpit

View from remaining pulpit

Church walls coming down

Church walls coming down

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4.4 #4.3

 

 

 

Sending our best wishes that tomorrow holds loving memories of mothers that God gave us . . . and the ability to forgive as Christ did where needed.

Dios los bendiga,

Elizabeth and Richard