Change of Plans

There has been a huge change in our plans. May 31st was supposed to be the departure date for Ecuador. All the preparations had been made, including all the government documents for our dog, J.R. to enter Ecuador. HOWEVER, God had different plans for us…

As we stood in the special line for people who want to ship their pets in cargo and other specialties (problems) that took about an hour, we presented our bags to be checked. The Customer Service Rep (CSR) checked our bags, with no problem. He validated J.R.’s USDA paperwork. Then it came to checking the dog. J.R. was denied boarding because the is some regulation that prohibits pets from being in cargo if the ground temperature at your lay-over is above 85 degrees. I realize it is for his safety. This is Florida! Where in Florida, during the summer are you gonna find an airport where the ground temperature is below 85 degrees? By this time we missed our flight.

So we began brainstorming ideas that would allow us to get our sweet boy to Ecuador. None of which were reasonable. Additionally, we were dropped off at the Orlando so we had no way to reschedule our flight and take him to someone who could care of him. So we stayed at the Hyatt at the airport, hoping we could fly out at 6:30 AM. That meant we had to be in the same long line at 4:30 AM. Again he was denied boarding, because the forecasted temperature in Miami (lay-over) would be above 85 degrees. Needless to say, we were devastated! I cried most of that evening. We had to find transportation back to Titusville.

After selling our house in preparation for this trip, we purchased an RV (used motor home) to live in upon our return. BUT, it was not ready. The fuel line and sensors had to be replaced. It needed tires, etc, etc. We have been homeless since our return to Titusville on June 1st. We have stayed in hotels, friends’ campers, and campers at the dealership. I truly believe God is pruning us to do his work. Maybe not in Ecuador, maybe somewhere else. God only knows. Whatever comes of all of this, I know God will be glorified. The CASA’s Children’s Bible Club in Cuenca, has now ended. Our plans are in the hands of a Sovereign God.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that God’s will be done
  • Pray that God be glorified
  • Pray that the repairs on the RV be completed SOON.

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Final Pre-trip

We are currently on our final pretrip before moving to Cuenca, Ecuador. If this is your first post to read, my husband, Dan and I are moving to Ecuador to serve the Lord from June – August. We arrived on Thursday, April 13 early in the morning. It became a very long day as we awoke at 6:30A on Wednesday, finished our packing and left for Ft. Lauderdale around noon so we could be at the airport 2 hours before our flight. Our flight was around 7:30P and arrived in Quito around midnight. I think we were too exited to sleep in the airport. Our flight to Cuenca was around 6:30A. We were busy all day doing …..I don’t remember….due to the fact we went 24+hours without sleep.  That day is a blur…I think we went looking for apartments. On Sunday afternoon, we went apartment hunting. We really only went to two places. Both very nice, but we chose Apartamentos Otorongo because internet, cable, water, gas, and electricity were included. They also clean our apartment for us every other day! Can’t beat that! Oh, and also there is no alicuota, which is an additional maintenance fee that landlords like to charge.

Friday was Good Friday. It is a bigger holiday than Easter! We ate at Ligia’s (pronounced Lee hee uh) sister’s house before Good Friday service. Ligia is currently serving as pastor and worship leader for the small church meeting at La CASA. It was so kind of her family to invite us to eat with them. After that we gathered  at the church for Good Friday service at which we were asked to sing. (If you know me, I love to sing, especially worship music!)

On Saturday morning, our friend and mentor, Linda Freeman, took us to Biblían to visit a class she has been been teaching on church leadership. The students were taking their final exam. After almuerzo (lunch) Linda took us to a couple of fairs featuring handicrafts from paintings to clothing, and woven textiles. It was a lot of fun! Apparently the are always fairs and processions during holidays. We only saw the fairs.

Saturday evening we had dinner with my good friends Gary and Dena Pate. I hadn’t seen them since my first trip here in November. They are also missionaries here in Cuenca. We had a great time!

Resurrection Sunday was quite an experience! There were only about 15 people there, including us. Of those ten, there were only 3 men. Dan was one, the other two were quite young….maybe in their twenties. The service  was completely done in Spanish. We were able to follow along with the hymns, but the sermon? That’s another story. I do know that it was about the resurrection of Jesús. At the opening of the service  church members recited memory verses, and requested prayers. After a time of worship and the sermon, there was a time of discussion. We divided up into small groups and were given a verse from the sermon to discuss. At the end we gathered again to share what each group discussed.

On Sunday afternoon, we visited more fairs. They are all over town. Imagine the Tomebamba river lined on both sides with white booths.

On Monday, we moved into our apartment. It is small, but very authentic feeling. The walls are painted brick. (Love them!) IMG_0008
The floors are tile, and all the cabinets and closets are dark solid wood. We only have a gas stovetop. The propane tank is stored in one of the lower kitchen cabinets. I just realized why there are no wall cabinets in the kitchen. IMG_0009Most Cuencanos are shorter than me (5’3″). They wouldn’t be able to reach anything!

Another observation: Because Dan is so tall, he doesn’t fit in the average Ecuadorian bed, since there are two beds in our IMG_0010bedroom, he got the double bed and I got the twin. It is so fun to find new ways of doing things!

The view from the balcony is beautiful! The apartment building is nestled into a garden setting. Take a look at our view. It is quite IMG_0011lovely and serene. We are very content here.

There is also a bus stop just across the street. One can go all over the city for 25 cents and a cab ride to the grocery is only $1.25.

We are located near downtown Cuenca, down the street from The University of Cuenca along the Tomebamba River.

On Wednesday, Linda took us to Féria Libré. Those who of you who live in Florida, think about the largest flea market you can. Féria Libré is at least double that size, if not triple. At  Féria Libré you can find everything from fresh fish, chicken, pork and more to hand ground spices to clothing and shoes. You can find the best fruits and vegetables there as well. Wednesday is considered “fresh day”, as everything edible is brought to the market on Wednesday.

So this Saturday we begin working at the CASA Kid’s Bible Club. I do not know what to expect. The only thing I can compare it to is the Bible Clubs which Pate Ministries conduct. However, it could be completely different. But it doesn’t matter, as long as God is glorified, that is all we could ask for.

I leave you for now, with a beautiful walk along the Tomebamba River. (Notice the rushing water.) IMG_0014
It has been raining for weeks here, and all the rain flows down from the Caja Mountains. (Cuenca only has two seasons…Wet and Dry.)

God bless you.

To God be the glory! 

Hasta la vista!

Sig

 

Slight Plan Changes….God Speaks!

After speaking with our church leadership today and going before God in prayer, we have decided to shorten our trip to 3 months then returning to partake in a qualified training program. Then, God willing, we will go on to other places or return to Ecuador. We feel it is in our best interest to heed the counsel of our church leadership,one who just returned from Ecuador. We want to make sure that the Gospel is not compromised. There are situations in Ecuador that may make it difficult for us to stay longer that 90 days.

To those who have donated to our start up costs, you are such a blessing to us. We will be using your donations toward our 3 month stay. At this time we are suspending our fundraising, as we have more than enough to help us get set up for 3 months.

Please know, that we have not changed our minds about serving God around the world. We are committed to that, but want to make sure we are “doing it right”. God will see us through and bring the right people into our life so that He is glorified, because that is our focus…to glorify our God and share His love through the Gospel.

So…we are still very excited about going down, but now we are also excited to go through training.

Stay tuned for our updates!!!

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God’s Perfect Timing…

We, humans, try to control our destiny, our path…and we want it to happen NOW. I’m guilty of it myself, but when I let God take control things start happening! Shortly after returning from our short trip to Indiana, we put our home in Florida on the market. 48 hours later we had an offer! It was a lot of work, but we got it done. Our closing is scheduled for May 19th. Now we have an approximate move date.

We will be traveling to Cuenca in mid-April to look for housing. This will be Dan’s first trip. I want to take him to see some of the sights, maybe take the bus tour, if it isn’t raining. It is currently the Rainy season down there. I hear it’s been raining for weeks and rather muddy.

God has been so good to us! We have received a few monetary gifts from friends, that have helped us be able to take this pre-trip. We are blessed to have great friends and fellow believers who have taken interest in our vision. God has blessed us beyond anything we can comprehend.

We are in the final stages of clearing out the house. There is very little furniture left. Pretty much everything that is left, that is not spoken for, will either go into storage for our return or go with us.

I have tried to be in control of my destiny at times throughout all of this, and I have wanted things to go according to my time schedule frequently, but God is sovereign. His timing is perfect! And when he moves, stand back!

To God be the Glory!

Back Here in Florida

In my last post, I shared that our house back in Indiana had finally sold. Well…we are putting our house here in central Florida up for sale. Our Real Estate Broker neighborhoodthinks that due to our location and how fast things are selling in our  area. We could probably get full listing price! Yippee! That is very encouraging!

Preparations:

We have scheduled our first Yard Sale to begin the liquidation of our household Items. Holy cow! We have so much stuff!! We have decided not to price anything garage_sale_signand sell stuff for reasonable donations. I pray to God that He will bring serious buyers.  I’m at the point where we have no more room in our garage and still have a lot of stuff to get rid of. In fact, we are going to hold a couple of impromptu sales before the official one.

 

Prayer Points:

  • Pray that we continue to trust God and not become overwhelmed with what needs doing
  • Pray for financial backing
  • Pray that we can get rid of our stuff. woman-prays-outdoors
  • Pray that our current house sells quickly.
  • Pray that the citizens of Cuenca come to know the Lord personally.

To God be the Glory…forever

God Bless You

 

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3 Strands

Great News!!!

We have some GREAT news!

 

Our God is so faithful!! We have been trying to sell our house back in our home state since 2010. Well, not exactly, but it seems like it. Due to a job change, we had to move to another state. We put our house on the market back in 2010. Unfortunately the housing market had taken a dive in 2009 and hadn’t recovered by the time we needed to relocate. So my husband went on ahead of me, and I stayed behind to sell the house. house

 

A YEAR LATER, our house had still not sold, so we decided to rent it out because we couldn’t afford two mortgages. Our Real Estate Company also had a property management division, so we went that route for 5-6 years. When God impressed upon our hearts to go to Ecuador, we called our Broker and told him it was imperative that the house sell right away. Fortunately the housing market had recovered enough that it was now possible.

 

The house went back on the market in October 2016. Remember, our target date for our move to Ecuador is March 2017. On Monday evening of this week, I got a call from our Broker. I didn’t know it was him. I didn’t recognize the phone number, but the caller ID said the name of our hometown. We were eating dinner with friends, and I said, “That’s interesting it’s from Greenwood. I don’t know who it is, but if it’s important, they will leave a message,” and I put my phone back in my pocket. Moments later my phone indicated that I have a voicemail. “Ooo, wouldn’t it be nice if it was Mo with an offer?”, I remarked. So, I listened to the voice message. Lo and behold, it was Mo, and he did have an offer!!

 

woman-thumbs-upWe called Mo back the next morning to discuss the offer, and we accepted!! There were times that we  questioned if it would ever sell. At those times, we doubted God and His timing. We were starting to get nervous because our move date was getting closer and closer. But praise be to our God and Father in heaven! His ways are higher than our ways (Isa. 55:8-9). He works things out for those who love Him (Rom 8:28).  Why do we as humans, doubt Him? When will we learn this lesson. Persevere and Trust…

 

When was a time you doubted God? 

Share your story in the comments below.

 

Images courtesy of ddpavumba and imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.com

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Black History Month

Decluttering

Working Toward the Move

Over the past few months, Dan & I have been working to declutter our house. I am having a really hard time 1. finding time and 2. taking on new tasks. I am currently working to prioritize my days, but that seems to get shoved to the back burner. I may just have too many tasks going on at one time… I am going to have to ask my personal organizer to come help me. I feel like I am drowning in this task. It’s not a little task. The most daunting room in this house is my craft room! There is so much stuff! But I need to remember I am doing it to glorify God.

However, on a good note we have scheduled our Garage Sale. It will run for two weekends, because everything has to go!

Open Bible

I have started a new Bible Study on Intentional Living. No, I haven’t read the book by John Maxwell, but would like to. I just ran across a Pinterest post that was about how to live your life in such a way that you are always focused on Christ. I think I have done that most of my life, but I know there have been times when my focus was not where it should be. I have since found many websites that are about living an Intentional Christian life. Many written by women. They have really been a great help in getting my priorities and goals with keeping Christ as my focus.

If you are interested  in finding out more visit Goals with Grace  and Intentional by Grace. Although the author if Intentional by Grace is no longer posting, the website is still up and has a plethora if resources and information. I encourage you to check these out.

Prayer Requests

  • pray that our houses sell quickly
  • pray for our garage sale
  • pray for our support letter campaign
  • pray that God’s will be done

As always, to God be the glory!

Jan & Dan


Image by pazham provided by freedigitalphotos.com

 

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