February 2019: Focusing on Jesus

February 19, 2019

Dear Family and Friends,

WOW!  This update certainly started with a very ‘ground moving’ experience!  All of a sudden everyone was zooming out of the clinic and water plant into the court yard. . . a 6.13 teremoto (earth quake).  Not sure where the epicenter was. . . they only said, ‘el playa’ (beach) and we are about 45 minutes from the coast.  It is hoped that there was no destruction. . . and since writing this I have heard of none.

Guess I got a little side tracked with ‘teremoto’. . . Happy New Year! Hopefully that is not just a meaningless cliché and regardless of seemingly turmoil everywhere you look worldwide, you eagerly anticipate how the Holy Spirit will move you through another year of challenges and growth within one’s self.  In morning devotions, we have talked about how easy it is to get distracted and pretty much forget or not hear that still small voice within. . . So, at the end of daily devotions we are coming up with one word that returns our focus on Jesus. . . “compassion”, “peace”, “faith,” “smile” are a few we’ve used  and today’s word is “glorious” that Pepe suggested. . . there seems to be a special connection with each other when the word is shared throughout the day.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

(Actually, I think I am writing that as much for myself as anyone.  This morning I just cried and cried.  Our daughter in-law just lost a very close childhood friend at 45 – a rare leukemia that took her life in two months, she was a lawyer. And then all the emails I received over the weekend about USA inner conflicts that vividly and dramatically point to the demise of integrity and respect for one another whom were created in God’s image!!. . . But just now coming across that verse I could actually feel His peace and rest in His sovereignty. . . “He leadeth me beside the still waters. . . “Psalm 23:2b)

About mid-January I returned to Ecuador leaving Richard to his physical therapy which he is dutifully completing three times a day . . . He is in hopes that he can return mid-March. . . and I know the four water technicians will be very glad to see him. . . and me, too!  Two nights ago, the night guard (who used to work in the water plant) was pounding on the apartment door. . .  I dragged myself out of bed to discover a pipe sprang a leak. . . I am thankful the pipe was outside the water production building. (Now do I look like a plumber!?!  If I do, I am not!)  After Jose – head water technician – finished his night class he returned to the clinic and made a quick fix that would last until the next day when he and Jorge totally changed the pipe.  For the moment everything seems to be working smoothly. Great job, guys!

 

 

 

 

 

I met with professional seamstress, Maria Angelica and she agreed to teach another sewing class this year. This was such a fun learning experience that I thought if she was willing, we should definitely repeat the class.  Thanks to the ‘quilting group’ at church (CCPC) we have an ample supply of beautiful fabric if the ladies want to use, they can.

Perhaps some of you have read or saw on the news the plight of the Venezuelans . . . They are literally flowing into Ecuador.  And with already significant number of Ecuadorians living on the street in Portoviejo you can imagine what this influx means.  Dra. Silvia’s church is trying to feed them, and she asked if she could use the remaining baby clothes and hygiene packets for them that were distributed in Floron at Christmas.  I will go purchase baby diapers for a Venezuelan lady, 8 months pregnant with only the clothes on her back (but if anyone is looking for something to donate we can really use disposable diapers. . . at the moment we have enough for Seniors, but none for infants or toddlers)  To me this is astounding. . . impoverished people trying to care for impoverished refugees!

One major prayer request is for more rain. . . farmers crops are dying in our area. . . No one will reimburse them for failed crops.  Also, please remember our ‘water technicians’ . . . This is exhaustive manual labor!  I see sales are up – hurray! – but not to the extent that it could offset clinic costs.  And yet, we cannot thank Our Father for multiple blessings. . . I think back on 20 years ago and can only marvel “How very great Thou art!”  If you had been here 20+ years ago this was a barren, waste land. . . except for a little church and poachers trying to survive the gang warfare-shootings every night- drugs- blatant prostitution and on and on.   How I wish you could see the incredible miracle that only a mighty God could perform on this pathetic, impoverished community. . . For me, when we don’t seem to be getting things done fast enough and the Ministerio de Salud (Health Department) is asking us to make another costly change in the clinic I sit myself down and recall the past. . .and wish each of you that have supported this mission could totally experience 20+years of miracles in ‘El Floron’.   Thank you, thank you very much.

Dios los bendiga,

Elizabeth and Richard   <><

PS 2/22 Awoke this morning to my bed swaying like a baby’s cradle. Another teremoto (7.4) … this time I hear there was some damage elsewhere; but no fatalities as far as I know.

And since this writing I want to ask for your prayers for the family of Dr. Pedro del Hierro who joined his Jesus this morning.  You may recall that he has been battling not only cancer but undergoing dialysis three times a week plus chemotherapy.  It is thought that during his chemotherapy he suffered a heart attack.  His suffering is over though his wife Rosa and their remaining son and family and many others will miss this great man   He began way over 60 churches with Christian schools and a Christian University. . . He now may rest from his Christian labors. May all be comforted by his example.

Pedro and Rosa del Hierro