Friday, December 20, 2013

We're alive!

Hi everybody! So sorry I have not posted anything in a few days. Quite a bit has happened.  Last you heard from me we were in Cuenca visiting friends. We had a fabulous time there but we wanted to see the coast and explore what coastal living is like as well as what the needs of the congregations are.  We took a 7 hour bus ride and finally arrived in a sleepy little surf town called Olon. I may provide details in another post about our time in Olon.  But long story short, finding an apartment or rental home there was extremely difficult with our budget. After much prayer and I must admit, even tears, we decided that it was clear we would have to keep heading north for more suitable living in our budget. In just three days though, we fell IN LOVE with Olon and also the few friends we met from the congregation. Their $3 pina coladas on the beach, we fell in love with too!

So anyway we took a 4 hour bus ride yesterday and arrived in the bustling city of Manta, right on the coast as well.  We are staying with a family that moved to Ecuador in November from the states, with two little boys and all.  They are the picture of what I envision a family with Matt might be like on this side of the home schools them herself, service all the time, and a couple beach days throughout the week.  They're an awesome family putting Jehovah first and they have been so encouraging to us.

Tomorrow we are planning on travelling to the hall in Crucita, a beach town about 50 minutes  north.  It's known for its handgliding and parasailing and beautiful beach. We also hear their spanish hall has only two elders and one is just learning Spanish. (This has been the big challenge, finding an area in need of help with their territory and in a place that suits us and our budget!) One thing we're learning though, is that December is the absolute worst time for a gringo to find a good deal on a rental in a beach town. December starts their summer and holiday season when everyone flocks to the beaches. So prices get jacked way up up until about early mid January or so IF you can even find places that haven't been rented yet!

So that's that! I can't lie, the last few days have been a little rough emotionally.  It's been difficult even wanting to write about anything,  because it means having to process my stress and anxiety even more.  Matt keeps encouraging me to write though since this is, after all, a documentation of our story with all its ups and downs. Sigh. And perhaps by sharing with you all the "lows" of getting situated in a foreign country, you can triumph with us when we finally figure things out.  When I start to panic, I search deep down (usually after some prayer) for that feeling, that belief (that usually hides in the shadow of anxiety and hmm, prolly some hormones haha) that Jehovah's GOT this, he's GOT us and as long as we keep grasping his hand, He'll never let us go.

I miss you guys. You (our congregation and family and friends) are always on our minds and we really enjoy sharing this experience with you.

Here's some photos from Olon...

 What you see while walking through Olon, stray dogs and donkeys:)

Here we are with Ian, the son of a couple that was helping us find a place to live.  He is the sweetest little boy. ALTHOUGH, we had very differing opinions on spiders.  He would just stick his hand in the middle of a huge web and grab a fist of it and chase me around while trying to wipe all that spider/web goodness on my shirt. What a sweetie pie:/


  1. Good for you for continuing to write! This trip will surely prove to be something that bonds you to Jehovah even more. And like mom says, "pray, pray, make it to-DAY!!!"

  2. It so good to hear from you damaris! You will find a place soon! There are a lot of prayers going out in your behalf. There are people that need to hear the kingdom message....Jehovah will find you a place. Love you both!!

  3. The text on Tuesday December 17, was perfect for you (and us) keep knocking on those doors and eventually something will open. Like Kelley says, Jehovah already has it figured out, we just need to wait for it. We would love to see you when we are in ecuador in march. We should meet in Guayaquil.

  4. Keep doing what you are doing cause that is what your suppose to do. Let Jehovah catch you! love ya so much. I am sooooi proud of you

  5. Hi M&D. This is the other M&D finally getting caught up on your post and loving every moment! Has been extremely encouraging as we go thru our own transition to Sprngfield! We love you and are so proud of you!

  6. Going thru blog withdrawal!! :(

  7. Ummmm are you sure you're still ALIVE?! We need updates people!!!

  8. Hi guys, We just want to send our love! We can't wait to see you!! We are praying for you and we know you will find a beautiful place to call home. Everyday is a gift even if the gift is not quite to your liking : ) That made me laugh. Is that funny? I'm not sure but I hope you get it. jeje (thats me laughing in spanish)

  9. Ok Paula and Barnabas. We miss you guys! Good to hear from you. Keep on keepin on. This excerpt from the Bearing Thorough Witness Book was encouraging to us awhile ago.

    “Prevented from preaching in Asia, Paul and his companions turned northward to preach in the cities of Bithynia. To get there, they may have walked for days on unpaved trails between the sparsely populated regions of Phrygia and Galatia.”
    “However, when they neared Bithynia, Jesus again used the holy spirit to block them. (Acts 16:6, 7) By then, the men must have been puzzled. They knew what to preach and how to preach, but they did not know where to preach. They had knocked, as it were, on the door leading to Asia—but in vain. They had knocked on the door leading to Bithynia—again in vain. Still, Paul was determined to keep on knocking until he found a door that would open. The men then made a decision that might have seemed erratic. They turned west and walked for 350 miles [550 km], bypassing city after city until they reached the port of Troas, the natural gateway to Macedonia. (Acts 16:8) There, for the third time, Paul knocked on a door, and—yes!—it swung wide open.”