February 16, 2018
Dear Family and Friends,
Wishing you a Happy New Year which has already gobbled up the month of January! Richard and I arrived in Quito January 25th and went straight to work on purchases for our 2018 fundraisers. . . now to get them home is the real challenge!
Once at Buen Samaritano Clinic in Floron we found it very dry and farmers deeply concerned about their crops. However, ’probably’ it wasn’t our arrival but from then on the flood gates of heaven opened and hardly a day goes by that we don’t have a deluge of rain that actually sent our neighbor out of his home with his bar of soap into a ‘natural shower’! . . . and he didn’t miss a square inch on his entire body!
We just couldn’t get the camera fast enough to show him all lathered up!
Just now we had an unexpected visit from our past water employee, Carlos. He is a guy one can’t find enough praiseworthy adjectives. . . We had hoped he would stay forever but his heart was set on the police academy. Thus, after a year and eight months of physicals, psychological and written exams he was thrilled to be accepted . . . and we were happy for him. (His family background would break your heart.) Now, four months into grueling training the government has told the recruits that they must pay for their uniforms, food and washing clothes. . . The government is broke. (Which is worse: broke or in debt? I am not sure.) So, we had a used computer – wiped clean – from one of you. He was thrilled and we thank you for this donation. . . Before Carlos left we prayed together that he would keep focused on training and not be plagued with thoughts of how he will pay each month. (He is one serious, sensitive young man!) He repeatedly thanked Richard for being strict especially for being on time. He said others come in late to roll call all the time and are ‘push-up punished’ but he never has because of Richard’s discipline.
Yes, the open house did occur! . . . It was so nice to see our two ‘senior seniors’ i.e. 84 and 94, gentleman chatting and enjoying the people coming and going. Since program began Hermano Silveno (84) is always early; last week he was 20 minutes early and also came in an extra day to finish these felt, red hearts he was hand sewing . . . AND threading his own needle!! The extra day he came in I almost had to ‘throw’ him out. . . I told him the clinic would close shortly and he was intent on finishing the heart he was on . . . . When he finally ambled toward the locked front gate he laughed and laughed that the clinic staff was already gone. The day of the open house, Marylou, who is blind from diabetes (and if you remember Daniel, this is his mom) suggested we move our tables filled with handmade crafts to the front of the clinic for more by passers to see . . . The idea totally increased the flow.
The group had decorated jars and had fresh flowers to give our first 8 ladies that attended.
I haven’t mentioned this; however, I have been a little disappointed in two of our three program leaders. They are like children . . . excited about ‘creating’ for their own delight. Our third leader is very intent on helping participants and I’ve been in a quandary about what to do about our two artisans who probably never had this opportunity before. Thus, I contacted a wonderful lady, Yolanda Avila, who is the Executive Director of the Oswaldo Loor Foundation. (Her father, an MD started this eye clinic probably 40 -50 years ago.) She is an astute business lady and a great ‘sounding board’.
This may seem like I am getting off track but prayerfully, I hope not. The main reason we don’t have more participants in the w/c program is: 1) This is a very new ‘American’ idea in this impoverished community and 2) MAINLY, people cannot get to the clinic. The one wheelchair person we have is brought by her father in the back of a pickup. So as the w/c, handicapped and seniors program continues Senora Avila pointed out that the quality of what they were making – she is very frank and with business savvy plus – will not sell but maybe once. She said people’s real need is JOBS. . . Because of Senora Avila’s help we will start a sewing class the end of this month. (We have the sewing machines.) Yolanda called a professional seamstress who has her own business in ladies apparel . . .I met with her and she will begin February 26 and teach 5 mornings a week for two months. . . one class for total beginners and one with some experience. The cost for this program is being covered by a new private donor. Meanwhile, our original program will continue with the enjoyment of creating and socialization with each other. . . . Will it grow? Well, time will tell and I will keep you posted and please, your prayer support for both.
-Thanksgiving for the rain.
-Thanksgiving for the safety and health of our staff.
-Financial revenue from supporters has taken a drastic turn downward; please pray we can take in enough to cover expenses…And if we have not been good stewards, that He will show us the error of our ways. (We have had major expenses in water production repairs; plus the government again raised the minimum wage.)
-Of major concern is our Medical Director, Dra. Silvia Venegas. Please pray for her health and wisdom for the physicians attending her multiple health problems.
-Our four young men working in the water have not been on task or following guidelines. Richard meets with them Monday; please pray for The Lord’s wisdom in dealing with these issues.
-And, as a medical team for September/October is in the making pray that each team member has Christ as their focus and His servant’s heart.
Dios los bendiga,
Elizabeth and Richard <><
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68 (NIV)