Monday Update

  • It is just after lunch and it has already been an amazing day. God is doing some amazing things. Let me tell you some neat things we have done and how you can pray.
  • Yesterday, we went to Sunday School before the main worship service. Sunday School was done in more of a “small group” format. They split the church (including us) into groups of about 10 people. The theme for Sunday School was “obedience” and each group randomly got a topic that dealt with obedience. For example, obedience in marriage, etc. They had to talk about it (in espanol) with their group and share with the whole church. There was a new family in town that are Christians but have never been baptized. Guess what? God orchestrated that thier family was in the small group that got questions about being obedient through baptism. After the small group, the dad said that he “was thirsty” to be baptized. How awesome is our God!
  • This morning we went to Sucre to an escuela (school). Sucre is very, very high in the mountains. In fact, we were up among the clouds. It is a surreal experience being here. The landscape and the people are gorgeous.
  • Sucre is an isolated community that is basically 100% agriculture. They’re basically Ecuadorian rednecks, so our Georgia rednecks fit right in. I bet they listen to George Strait up here. 🙂
  • We went to the school to take pictures of all the children. In Ecuador, people rarely have pictures of themselves. Almost no families have pictures of their children. So we took pictures of all the kids. We will print them out and send them home as a ministry to their family.
  • We divided our team into 4 groups to take pictures. My group had 3rd graders. They were the most precious group of children you have ever seen. They were shy at first, but when I started videoing and Leon started taking pictures, they came to life. They mobbed us trying to see the pictures of themselves. The little boys really made me laugh. They ran outside to the water trough, stuck their entire head in to get their heads wet, and then took a comb and slicked their hair straight back. They were looking muy guapo! I really want to bring back 3 or 4 kids with me, but Immigration might have issues with that.
  • The mayor of the town showed up to meet us at the school. My favorite part was that there were no elections. He just appointed himself mayor one day.
  • We will be back at the school for the next 3 days doing Vacation Bible School. The kids were super excited that we were coming back and wanted to see their pictures. We cannot wait to share the story of Jesus with these Latin American children who were created in his image. There is such a spiritual darkness here. People are grasping at straws trying to get God to have mercy on them. God has already had mercy on them through Jesus. Pray that we can effectively share the Gospel over the next three days and we will see many Ecuadorians come to faith in Jesus alone! (The Catholic Church here teaches that Mary is the queen of heaven and co-redeemer with Jesus. I still havent found that passage in my Bible.)
  • Everyone is doing well. We are all a little tired right now. As I type, the students and leaders are working hard getting crafts and games ready for VBS. Everyone is planning on taking a nap as soon as that is over.
  • I can tell God is beginning to really move in the hearts of our group. You should have heard our share time last night. You should have seen the tears in the eyes of our group today as they were the hands of Jesus and hugged children that materially have nothing.
  • Pray that God will continue to not only use us to transform the lives of the Ecuadorian people, but will continue to transform the lives of our team as they experience Him on a more intimate basis.
  • God showed me an incredible passage this morning as I was doing my Bible study that seems tailormade for our team as they minister high in the mountains of Ecuador. Isaiah 52: 7 says, “How beautiful on the mountains 
    are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation,        who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
  • We love you and miss you. I love you Katie! I love you Charlie! Katie, tell Charlie that he would like all the animals over here. 🙂
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El Mitdad del Mundo

  • Sorry it´s been a while. Internet is down at camp. I have sooooo much to say. I am at an internet cafe in Baños, so I will go quickly (i´m paying).
  • Gas is $1.48 here. I´m staying.
  • Let me pick up from yesterday morning. We left th Howard Johnson heading towards the el mitdad del mundo (the equator, “the middle of the world”). On the way, we stopped in colonial Quito. We had a chance to visit a GARGANTUAN Catholic church.
  • After visiting the church, and paying 10 cents to pee pee, we headed towards the equator. It was sooo cool being there. Here is a picture of me, literally at the middle of the earth.
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  • The people here are so gracious and hospitable. They have blessed us many times over. One señorita at a bodega at the equator gave us free water just to welcome us to Ecuador.
  • After going to the equator, we headed towards our camp, Camp Chacauco. It was about a 5 hour bus ride. The camp is awesome! Ecuador is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The accomodations were great and the food is muy excellente. Last night, we had beef, gravy, rice, green beans with bell peppers, and empañandas with strawberry for dessert. Delicious (that´s for you Charlie!)
  • Last night, we hit the sack about 10:00. Can you say tired? Muy canzado!
  • This morning we got up about 6:30 and had breakfast at 7:30. We had the best coffee I´ve had, biscuits with duzanzo (peach) jelly. eggs, ham, and cereal.
  • After breakfast, we attended church at Iglesia Bautista Del Valle. (Patate Baptist Church). Here is a picture of one of the beautiful children we´ve met.
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  • The entire service was in español, and it was amazing how GOd still spoke to us in th service. Of the 7 worship songs we sang, we knew the English version of most. Have you ever sang, “Todo lo que tiene vida y respira alabe al Señor?” Sure you have! Open The Eyes Of My Heart Lord! How about, “Cambiare mis tristezas, cambiare mis verguenzas, los entregare por el gozo de Dios. Si Señor, si si Señor, Amen!” That is “I´m trading my sorrows, I´m trading my shame, I´m laying them down for the joy of the Lord. Yes Lord, Yes, Lord, Yes, Yes, Lord, Amen!” We also sang “Inside Out” by Hillsong United and “We Fall Down” by Chris Tomlin in español. Amazing!
  • After church, we went to some amazing places. First, we went to la tarabita. Basically, we got into a swinging basket and crossed a 400 foot gorge. Here´s a picture of one of the groups. It was a blast!
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  • After la tarabita, we went to la cascada de rio verde. That´s the waterfall at the Green River. The bottom of the waterfall is called the Devil´s Cauldron. Heres a picture.
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  • The only part they didnt tell us was that after we hiked way down the mountain, we also had to hike way back up to get to the bus!
  • There have been many funny moments on the trip. Yesterday, our bus drove through a parade. A very nice Ecuadroian woman passed Collin some corn liquor through the bus window. It smelled like a combination of arm pit odor and dirty feet. We graciously accepted, and threw it out the other side of the bus.
  • Last night, Mr. Ed was snoring. Leon Moody went to ask him to turn over, and when he did Ed let out a blood curdling scream. This morning he said he thought it was the Grim Reaper. I layed in my bunk and laughed for 45 minuts before I could go back to sleep. I laughed 4 times today during church laughing about it. Is that bad?
  • We love you and covet your prayers.
  • Hello to my beautiful wife and son!

Sunday Update

Hola Prayer Warriors!  It’s Kate.  Chad called and left me a message (My phone was still on silent from church) today.  He asked me to update his blog – so here it goes . . .

  • Everyone is well and happy!!!!
  • They arrived safely 🙂
  • There is no internet service at camp 😦
  • Chad is going to try to get to the neighboring town soon to update with more details

Keep Praying!  Tomorrow starts their Ministry Projects.  May they be the Hands and Feet of Christ to the People of Ecuador!

Off to the Equator!

  • Everybody slept great last night.
  • Breakfast was…ummm….interesting this morning. Lots of chicken. But they did have biscuits and jelly!
  • Ecuadorian keyboards are NOT the same as US keyboards. They have letters like this: ñ. 🙂 Also, no “at” sign for email addresses. Forgive the typos this week.
  • The missionary, Steve, is great. He will be a pleasure to work with.
  • I cant wait to get to the Equator. We will be on our bus about 4-5 hours today.
  • Check back later amigos!

Bueños Noches!

  • Hola! It is 12:15 a.m. Georgia time, 11:15 p.m. Ecuador time and we have checked into the Howard Johnson in Quito.
  • We had a great experience from the time we arrived at tha Atlanta airport. A representative from Delta named Al (who was born and riased in Ecuador-wow!) met us at the drop off point, got us checked in, and our luggage checked. Al is definitely the man and saved us at leaast an hour.
  • At check in, there was a famous rapper that all the students recognized. His name was A-Con (A-Kon? Acorn?). They all got their picture made with him and thought it was really cool.
  • Because Al got us checked in so quickly, we had time to eat “real” food in the airport. I ate at On The Border to get used to Latin food. 🙂 The cheese queso was DA BOMB!
  • It was a great, uneventful flight. The played a movie, which I slept through, and then showed a television show. On a flight to Ecuador, they showed, “My Name IS Earl.” I guess they knew I had a big group of rednecks from LaGrange that would love it.
  • We had to wait quite a while to get through customs in Quito. There were a TON of people arriving on flights late at night. They`re night owls over here.
  • Quito is WAY bigger than I expected.
  • When I got through customs, I had a good laugh. In the food area, they had a big sign that said, “American Food.” I guess we serve Mexican food in the US, they serve American food in Latin America.
  • Everybody is doing great. No lost luggage, no lost people, and nobody lost their cookies on the flight.
  • Time for bed. We´re going to have a big day tomorrow. We,re going to the equator!
  • And yes, we do have several copies of the LaGrange Daily News to get our picture with. They might as well shut down that feature after we get our picture made at the equator. Nobody but nobody`s gonna top that!
  • I love and miss you Katie and Charlie!

We’re in the Air!!!

Hey Prayer Warriors!  It’s Kate!!!  I just wanted to share a  couple of pictures of the Team before they departed the BIG LG!!!   I spoke with Chad about a half hour ago and they were on the plane – – -so I am assuming that they are in route to Ecuador. 

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It’s a good looking group.  I just wonder if they will be up for taking a picture when they return next Saturday morning???

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  Charlie was a bit distracted at the moment.  He was not very happy when Daddy left – he cried out “Daddy, Hold you”  and “Ride Bus” when they left. 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.                                                  Ephesians 6:18

Leavin’ On A Jet Plane

  • Tomorrow I will be leaving with a group of 33 to go to Ecuador on a mission trip. I am incredibly excited. I will be updating my blog everyday (I hope!) from Ecuador, so check back everyday to see how we are doing and how you can pray for us.
  • Let me tell you briefly what we are doing. We will be following up a team of doctors from the States. They have been in Ecuador for the last week taking care of people’s physical needs, so we are going to try and take care of their spiritual needs. We will be doing some Vacation Bible School-type clubs. We have some really neat crafts, games, etc. prepared, so pray that they will open an incredible door to share the Gospel.
  • We will also get to do some really neat/touristy stuff too. One day, we get to go the actual equator line. I’m definitely going to post a picture of me with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Satan has definitely tried to discourage us from going on this trip. In the past two months alone, a volcano over there became active and there is possible war with Columbia. Last night I was watching the news and discovered that Delta had canceled 300 flights between now and Saturday. Prasie be unto God, our flight was not one of those. Pray that Satan leaves us alone during the trip. If not, my group of rednecks from LaGrange, GA might just kick his teeth in.
  • Pray for safe travel, no drama getting through the airport, saftey and health while we are there, that God would use us to make a spiritual impact on the Ecuadorian people, and that God would deepen every team member’s walk with Him during the trip.
  • Pray for our families while we are gone. I’m not worried about Katie. Charlie said he was gonna “man up” and take care of Katie while I was gone. 🙂
  • Like I said, check back everyday. As often as I can, I will let you know how God is moving and how you can pray. Love y’all.