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!




Sharing Christ’s Love with the World

Greetings! We are Dan& Jan Smith. Last July, while visiting family in Indiana, God impressed upon my (Jan) heart that I needed to be working with Latin American children. To me, that meant “Go to Latin America“. After discussing the matter with my husband, I called a missionary friend who is currently working in pastor training in Ecuador to find out what the first step was to serving God in another country.During that conversation, my friend suggested that we move down to Ecuador. Funny thing, I didn’t even think about that!

So we have decided to go to Ecuador for a year. I figure if I am going to say “yes” to God, I was going to commit more than a couple of weeks. I decided I was all in!

In September, Dan had unexpected triple bypass surgery. He is still in cardiac rehab twice a week, but the therapists are thinking about graduating him early! Praise God for his faithfulness! To God be the glory!

So now that Dan is feeling great, and the holidays are over, we are on the fast track to getting everything sold including getting both of our homes. I have begun to construct support letters (which I will be posting here a little later on). I took a week in early adobe-spark1November to go down to Ecuador as a pre-trip. Dan was not able to go due to his health. It was just too soon for him. We hope that we can take a short trip in early March so Dan can see Cuenca, (the city in which we will live) and also to find an apartment. If it in God’s plan, we hope to move at the end of March, but we are also realistic. I will let you know if that happens. I will be posting pictures from my pre-trip shortly.

To God be the Glory!

Until next time,

Dan & Jan