March/April Update 2019
Dear Family and Friends,
Ahh – returning to Ecuador. . . For Richard it seems like it’s been ‘forever’ and to the four water technicians it seems like an ‘eternity.’ (I know they missed their combined efforts.)
There will be major decisions to make regarding the water truck. Initially, we were told that four-wheel trucks could be driven with a regular driver’s license for which we sent the water technicians to driver’s ed. Now, three years later Jose was stopped by the police and the truck was confiscated! We were fortunate to have the truck returned through the efforts of a policeman and Hermano Fabricio (custodian and sponsored Law School student) who went to plead our situation. It turns out that we were mis-informed by everyone – the size truck we bought needs a commercial license. Jose has volunteered to go through the required six month “truck driver’s ed” which has a healthy price tag of $1,100.
We cannot afford to hire an additional staff member (driver). We could downsize our truck but current needs outside of Floron and future expansion would be curtailed. We are seeking the Lord’s wisdom and guidance – so please keep this in your prayers.
The sewing classes will be finishing the second week of April. This has been a wonderful means for women to come together in a very ‘untypical’ way for themselves. . . although at times a child may accompany mom or grandma to class. I loved going in to see their sewing progress each day. . .and to just hear their laughter. . . their day to day lives are difficult and quite frankly living on the edge as I watch them struggle to have enough food, keep their children clothed and clean, and husbands that have no work.
If you aren’t aware the squatter’s village of Floron was started with the original community which became ‘Floron 1” and each new additional area became Floron 2, Floron 3, and so on. Floron 8 is the last division and farther back in the valley. Floron 8 is known to be poorest of the poor and very dangerous. Our day guard, Pastor Meza, lives in Floron 8. His one daughter Dolores (“Loly” as she is affectionately called) is our clinic office manager and attends night school at the university. (Her school is being sponsored by an American couple who have made numerous mission trips to Floron when they met Loly and family.)
Loly along with sister Ariana and Diana (A Nursing student at the university is also sponsored by another American family) started to hold a mid-week church school for the impoverished kids of Floron 8 at the small chapel mostly ‘disassembled’ by the earthquake 3 years ago. There are currently 20 children in attendance.
Due to school commitments Loly is unable to be there. Her place was taken by another young girl named Lilly. The mini mission team coming the end of July will hold a VBS with Diana and Lilly. . . and we hear rumors of a soccer (“football” as it is called in Ecuador) camp for the Floron 8 children.
Venezuelan Refugees continue to line the streets of Portoviejo; they are hopeful we will allow them to wash your windshield or sell coconut water for any amount. Even though it has been Dra. Silvia’s vacation she has been acutely aware of needs – she has delivered diapers and sent some to Buen Samaritano with medical needs. Thanks to the individuals that contributed financially specifically for diapers and for the diaper donations that Richard took down on this trip.
Isaac (Pastor Gruezo’s son with a seizure disorder) has been volunteering in the clinic at the request of his father. We have been pleased to have him as he is eager to please. He has organized the pharmacy, helped Loly in the office with reorganizing charts, and helping in the water to remove labels. . . It has been a joy to see him doing so well.
Another 6.0 earth quake shook Richard’s bed last Friday night at 2am – with minor aftershocks that followed. Who needs to go the Disneyland?
Some of you have asked that we include upcoming fundraisers for 2019. Not all are scheduled for the year but currently:
April 7 – Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church 7:30a – 12noon.
10150 East Belleview Avenue; Englewood 80111
May 3 & 4 – Mission Hills Church; NW corner of Orchard &
University; (I have not been given times.)
June 7 (5p – 9p), June 8 (8am – 9pm) and June 7 (9-7pm)
“Parker Days”; Parker, Colorado
Until we are clear about the Ecuadorian visas I will not return to Ecuador until mid-July. Please include the following in your prayers:
- Wisdom and discernment regarding the truck driver and truck situation. . .plus the health of these 4 young men that work very hard: Jose, Jorge, Pepe and Michael.
- Last year “Just Jump” mission’s organization (Sedalia, MO) brought an incredible team to the Floron areas medically underserved villages. Please pray that physicians, dentists and pastors will come forward to participate again this year. Many were blessed.
- Richard and I give thanks to Our God for the hard work of our board members and the generosity of you – our supporters.
Dios los bendiga, Friends,
Elizabeth and Richard