Ecuador 2018

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I wanted to give you a brief recap of our trip rather than just sporadic pictures and brief captions. This is a long post, but I hope you take the time to read it. ❤

Our flight was delayed the Friday night we left, and we arrived late that night (actually well past midnight) into Quito and stayed in a hotel. The next morning, we began our road trip to the jungle camp with a stop at the Papallacta Hot Springs to enjoy the hot water yet chilly air. After some time in the springs and lunch, we headed to the jungle camp, Campamento Bautista UNPES. We settled into our humble abodes, and the interns (Americans) attempted (since they were in Spanish) to teach us the songs we would be singing for the week. That night, it rained for hours and caused some local flooding, and the waters of the Napo River behind the camp surged down stream with full force.

Sunday we had the pleasure of worshiping at Iglesia Cristiana Bautista Cristo El Unico Camino as the rains continued to fall, landing rhythmically on the metal roof. Later that day, the 260+ kids arrived at the jungle camp. We had our first evening of dinner and worship together. One of our jobs as the ministry team was to wash dishes…by hand…for 300+ people. I loved watching our kids (and I mean the Terry kids plus the other kids from our church) jump right in, wash, dry, and put away all those dishes. They served whole-hardheartedly without complaint. And there would always be several Ecuadorian kids that would jump in after the meals and help out too.

The kids were at camp Sunday afternoon until Wednesday after lunch. Our days consisted of worship times, recreation, swimming and free time and our meals together. Monday’s rec time was a muddy mess. Joel and I had the opportunity to do some inner tube tug-of-war, and I must confess that was the only time I fully stood under the COLD shower head! That night after worship, we had the comical experience of making 300 s’mores for the campers. Thankfully there were 34 of us and a handful of interns to help…I was the marshmallow puller-offer, and my hands were a sticky mess!

Tuesday morning, Anna woke up and didn’t feel well. After two vomiting incidents, some essential oils, activated charcoal, a few hours of sleep, and lots of prayer, she was completely better. Praise the Lord!  That evening was the talent show, and the girls and I, along with one of their best friends, were scheduled to perform a worship piece to “So Will I” (en espanol 😊). Anna was determined to do it, and we were able to dance. It was the first time I was able to perform alongside my girls in a dance choreographed just for His glory. The practices we had at home and the performance are times I will always cherish in my heart.

As camp drew to a close on Wednesday morning, Byron, one of the leaders there in the ministry, shared the Gospel with the kids. While it was spoken in Spanish, the message is still the same…Jesus is the only one who can rescue us from our sins, and we need the forgiveness offered through his sacrifice on the cross in order to have restored fellowship with God the Father. 34 precious kids gave their hearts and lives to Jesus. I had the privilege of holding tight to a young girl named Gabriela. She is forever in my prayers. These 260+ kids were from 22 jungle villages. May these kids go back and shine bright for Jesus! There is an awesome team set up to make sure these kids are discipled and connected with a local church. Ecuadorian kids have joy and energy beyond what we see here in the States. They have grateful hearts and a love for family that is to be admired.

That afternoon, after the kids left, we began our cultural experiences. We were able to see and feed some monkeys, take a boat ride up the Napo River and stop at a local village area where we were taught about their native plants and their medicinal uses, and see some of their traditional tools and methodology. Then we had the opportunity to take a 45 min hike up to see one of the local waterfalls. It wasn’t an easy hike, so about 2/3 of our group went. My girls had to stay behind because Anna hadn’t eaten anything the day before and still felt weak. And Aleyah somehow bruised the underside of her foot on the bunk’s metal ladder…craziness! But Scott and Joel and I took advantage of this opportunity. Wow! What a hike but what an exhilarating reward to jump into the falls once we got there! God’s creation- I love it!!!

That night, we went into Tena. It is interesting to see this city at night.  One of the things I learned on this trip is to make sure you experience and learn about the culture. I am by no means well-versed in Ecuadorian culture, but I have more of an understanding than what I started with.

Thursday we began our drive to Camp Chacauco in the mountains. We stopped at the Nate Saint house and stood in the same kitchen where the 5 wives of the Ecuadorian missionaries stood when they received the news that their husbands had been killed by the Waodani tribe. Now the home is a place where you can purchase goods made by local tribes, including the Waodani… God’s grace and forgiveness on display! From there, we went to El Diablo waterfall. This was another hike (shorter and not as difficult and a man-made trail) to an amazingly powerful waterfall. After our hike, we headed to the mountain camp and were greeted by Steve and Carol Thompson, the missionaries who began the work in the jungle and mountains about 30 years ago. His recounts of God’s provision and protection are a reminder of how great our God is!

Friday was another outside adventure. If you know me, you know I love being outside and being active, so these excursions were tight up my alley. We stopped at the local zip lining place and zipped over the rushing waters hundreds of feet below. Wow! So amazing to be able to do that! That evening, we headed further up the mountain (think giant bus on small, winding mountain roads…just a bit scary!) and ministered to about 20 kids from a small village. The two hours we spent there, along with my early morning quiet times in the jungle camp, were probably the most touching times for me. These people had very little, but had hearts ready to serve and ready to love. The pastor there finished the evening saying, “My hands are empty, but my God is big!” The Spirit pricked my heart and those words will forever resound in my mind. We were able to bless the kids there with new shoes donated by one of our members. Not one child complained about the color or style of the shoe. A few didn’t even get a pair because we ran out of those certain sizes. They will get shoes – their names and sizes were taken so they could be delivered later. But even the ones who didn’t have shoes in their hands never complained. They each were completely joyful to have shoes or know that some are coming. It’s been difficult to come back to the US and see the selfishness that we have, the sense of entitlement, and the discontent. Less is indeed more, and I’m praying I won’t forget that truth.

We spent one last night at the mountain camp, with its beautiful sights, sounds and smells. Saturday morning was our good-bye time. We left Patate and headed to Quito with some stops along the way. We had lunch at the historical Hacienda La Cienega and then headed to the equator. We spent some time there being touristy and then headed to the airport to catch our midnight flight that was delayed an hour. Despite tiredness, we continued to enjoy each other’s company and were happy to eventually arrive home safely. The 30+ hours of being awake (who can actually sleep on a plane?!) definitely deserved a Sunday afternoon nap and a couple more days of recovery. But it was SOOOOOO worth it. The eternal destination was changed for 34 souls, and those who went to minister also had hearts that changed. Thank you for your prayers! God is good and God is BIG! So now I’m asking Him, “What’s next? Bring it on Lord!”

 

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Staying Cool with God

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My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:5-8

I LOVE this podcast from Revelation Wellness and Alisa Keaton. She talks about how certain foods inflame our bodies and how we need to cool our bodies with the right, anti-inflammatory foods. But, more importantly, we need to remember that it is the Lord that spiritually keeps us cool and fills the void, heals the hurt that we try to fill with food, or relationships, or approval from others, or whatever we tend to lean on for comfort and assurance.

Please take an hour and listen to this to encourage you in both your spiritual and physical journey. I would love to hear back form you on what you gleaned from this podcast!

 

7 Days of Fulfillment ~ Day 7

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Day 7 Prophecy:

Jesus himself prophesied about His death and resurrection:

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19

Fulfimllent: 

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” Luke 24:19-24

 

7 Days of Fulfillment ~ Day 6

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Day 6 Prophecy:

Yet another prophecy of King David:

Into your hands I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

Psalm 31:5

Fulfilled: 

“And after crying out with a loud voice, Jesus said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ And when He had said these things, He expired”. Luke 23:46

7 Days of Fulfillment ~ Day 5

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Day 5 Prophecy:

Psalm 22 is an incredible foretelling of Jesus’ death. King David was granted, by God, an insight into what was to come for the One that was promised to the people of Israel. The Jewish people were hoping for the Messiah to come and save them from Roman oppression, but Jesus came to suffer so He could save us from the oppression of sin and death. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming! 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

Psalm 22:1

Fulfilled: 

“And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ That is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ ” Matt. 27:46

7 Days of Fulfillment ~ Day 4

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Day 4 Prophecy:

Just as we will experience in our own lives, Jesus was abandoned – even by those who loved Him.

‘Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man who is My companion,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘Strike the Shepherd [Jesus], and the sheep shall be scattered’

Zech. 13:7

Fulfilled: 

“Then they all forsook Him and fled” Mark 14:50

7 Days of Fulfillment ~ Day 3

images (19)Day 3 Prophecy:

Jesus was betrayed by one of the disciples, Judas. This was a man Jesus chose at the beginning of His ministry, knowing that the end would result in a sellout for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus’ heart is one that is filled with compassion. He longs to see His children repent and run into His arms. So come to the foot of the cross for forgiveness, grace, and mercy.

 Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.

Zech. 11:12-13

 

Fulfilled:

And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Mathhew 27:5-7

Jesus Had Big Biceps and Ate Kale

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Ok, so I’m not sure if Jesus ate kale, but I do know he had big biceps! Being a carpenter naturally lends itself to developing one’s physique. With that in mind, take some time to listen to this sermon from Pastor Mark Balmer of Calvary Chapel Melbourne. It is an awesome lesson about taking care of our bodies just as Jesus took care of his. This is the essence of my blog – a mind, body, and spirit approach to living a life for the glory of God the Father! May you be challenged and grow in wisdom.

Happy New Year!

May your 2015 be filled with opportunities to be transformed in many marvelous ways! /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b8b/19248628/files/2014/12/img_0845.jpg

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Pilates Certified Instructor…Coming SOON!!!

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Guess what I did?! I just signed up to receive my Pilates certification! Last week at the RecSpo conference, God spoke to my heart, continued to speak, and confirmed today that this is what He wanted me to do. My certification course via Oklahoma Baptist University will be completed in mid-December, and I will be ready to start classes after the first of the year (and there will be one class every week that will be FREE!) Stay tuned for more details…