Monday, June 8, 2009

#7 from Ecuador: Week in Review from the Leader

To all of my friends,

I can´t believe a week has passed by and it seems like we have only been here a couple of days. In many ways, the days are blurring together, but we are having a great time and we are ministering to many people by sharing the Gospel and shouldering with them the burden of construction here in Quito. This week we have seen many people come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ through our various VBS´s, presentations, outreach programs, and just generally running into people in the street. It has been very encouraging to see so many people open to the Gospel. However, it is disheartening to see so many to ignore Jesus Christ. We still have so much to do. Also, we have done our bid at ¨sweat equity¨ We have done a lot of work for people around the Carmen Bajo neighborhood. We have been to the homes of Jose, Kenya, and Rosa. We have helped them to stop the flow of mud that happens during the rainy seasons. In José´s case, we have helped him by building a wheelchair ramp so that he can get in and out of his home and to his workshop. And to be a productive member of society. This has given him a return of dignity that I am most proud of.

We went to church yesterday with the people of Carmen Bajo. The church service started at 9:30 and before we knew it, it was 1:30 and the church service was just getting out. Can you imagine people in the US allowing that happen? The outrage of the time we have spent would be great in the US. Anyway, we had a great time. We had everything but a baptism. We had testimonies, communion, singing, sharing, a message, baby dedications... it was fantastic. Barb & I met a couple from Michigan. He is a doctor who is coming to help in the clinic in the neighborhood. They were so nice and it was great to talk in English for a change. Yesterday afternoon, we went to the market. It was fun bargaining over the wares we were purchasing.

Today, we begin week 2. We are all together at Eloheim in Quito. We are shoveling cement and sand, and moving it to the second level that will become the future theological seminary for the many children that Alejandro and Katy are raising up to be future leaders. We are also moving large playground equipment and then leveling out the playground, fixing the playground equipment and returning it back for a refurbished playground for all the children. That is extra fun for the our Hope youth. They love playing soccer and basketball, and just generally running around with the Eloheim kids.

Tomorrow we will all split up for the next 4 days. Team 1 will be going with me to El Coca. We are leaving at 6 AM. Alejandro says that there is a new road to El Coca that will take us 6 hours and that we will still have time to have lunch in the mountains. He knows a special place. Team 1 is made up of Nick Connor, Holly Wofford, Christina Munoz, Preston Edwards, Violeta Baca, Sam Westlake, Mr. Floyd and myself. We are very excited to work hard on the projects, however all of our hearts are geared toward evangelism. Alejandro says that there are almost no adults there that know about Jesus Christ. So we are excited about the opportunity. Team 2 will be going to Santo Domingo. I believe Katy says they will be leaving at 10 AM. This team consists of Mr. Millar, Mrs. Stein, Aubrey Porter, Jonathan Scales, Lorin Bently, Maya Gonzales, Joshua Edwards, Jocelyn Nederhoff, and Shelly Gale. They will be working with Alejandro & Katy´s older son, Daniel. Their major project will be breaking up a concrete soccer field with sledge hammers. This field is in desparate need of repair. They are also excited about their VBS program that they will be doing. Both Team 3 and 4 will be staying in Quito to paint the entire Eloheim complex for the next 4 days. Alejandro says they will be painting it a bone or offwhite color. The remaining teams consist of Mrs. Wofford, Mr. Schlenker, Mrs. Scales, Mrs. Haggard, Courtney Wright, Christian Schlenker, Stephen Schlenker, Andrew Wheeler, Allyssa Giron, Charlotte Bryant, Lisa Haist, Katie VanGilst, Zeppi Bauer, Connor Pierce, Taylor Wright, Carmi Alongi, Lydia Monte, Evan Pedrosa, Rebecca Taratino, Kati Otoski, and Colleen Scott. Happy painting teams 3 and 4.

We are looking forward to this week as we will be settled into just doing work for all teams. That is exciting. We love and miss you all. Hope you are all doing well. Keep praying for us. For transporation. We currently have no sickness... thank you Lord Jesus. That we continue to be a light.. shinging God´s light, sharing the Gospel when we can and giving all honor, glory and praise to HIM!

Mark Scales

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