Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ramblings....

Hello everyone, I know it has been quite a while since I actually wrote anything on the blog. Things are continuing to be wonderful here in good 'ole Cuenca! I have made a full recovery since moving to a new place, which is such a relief because I have my energy back again! We continue to be busy in the ministry and are having nice experiences! Last month Chad and I were able to report 19 bible studies total! I never thought we would be able to say that! Jehovah has really given us a lot to be thankful for.....
Our congregation is doing very well, we are averaging 160-190 at the meetings, which makes for a very "full house"! Try giving an answer at the Watchtower study with so much competition! haha
It is amazing to see how Jehovah is speeding up the work here.....
We are bracing ourselves for a very busy June and July, as we have been approved for a remodel of our KH! Very exciting! They do things a little bit different here for KH construction...the country has around 7 different teams that are basically like extensions of Bethelites. Five of them are for KH builds and the other 2 are for remodels. They travel from one build to the next and basically head up the work! Each brother in the team has a specialty (or more than one) and they stay with the congregation for the 6-8 weeks that it takes to finish the project, and then they move on to the next one! So, you can imagine that the 6-8 weeks that they are with us will be "action-packed"! But, we are looking forward to the experience! They have told us that they will be relying heavily on the "need-greaters" in the area, because we don't have to work secularly, and they need people to be there everyday. I guess we will just have to work around our bible studies!
We currently have 4 congregations that meet in our KH, and one of them has just split, so we lost 2 elders! You see, our congregation has been the envy of many because we have had a whole 4 elders! The CO told us last visit not to get used to it! Four elders here is like having 20 elders back in the USA...it won't be long before a CO is starting to move some out to other congregations! There are many congregations here in our area that only have 1 elder! And these are not small congregations! It is a huge responsibility for the brothers here...but they handle it well!
I hope to have updates on some of our bible students in the near future...but for now....those are some of the "happenings" here in Banos, Cuenca...
Keep us updated on what is going on in your neighborhood!

Adventures in Vilcabamba...Part 1

FINALLY!! So sorry that it has taken a few weeks to get this going again...
busy, busy, busy!

Anyway, we hope you enjoy your little visit to paradise with us! We hope things are going well in your areas! We miss you a lot!


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Monday, April 20, 2009

Service Bloopers....

It seemed like everyday this week something funny happened in the ministry and so I just wanted to share with you all! It is a very short video, but a little crazy! Hope things are going well with you all....
I am continuing to work on blogging Doug and Judy's visit, hopefully I will have the next one done in the next few days! Miss you all!


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Friday, April 17, 2009

Mold And I Are No Longer Friends......

Well, as you probably found out through Beth's blog....we have had a CRAZY week!!! Some of you may already know that I have been sick for a month straight. The Doctor had given me two different rounds of antibiotics, and I was still sick! I started to wonder if it had something to do with the mold and mildew in our apartment. Then, we went away to Vilcabamba for 4 days with Doug and Judy and the "Gringo Gang" and while there I felt better. Within 2 hours of arriving back at our apartment I started to get stuffed up and cough....So, Mom Judy and Dad Doug confirmed my suspicions and mentioned that I might be allergic to the apartment. BUMMER! So, I went back to the doctor that week, and he said that I had no choice but to get out of the apartment ASAP!
Anyway, long, sad, story short, we had to leave our cute little apartment, and the Willis family and find a new place. Money being as tight as it is, we decided to become "flatmates" (as they say in New Zealand) with Mark and Beth, as they also were looking for a different place. So, we found a BIG apartment down on the "flat lands"(we all lived on huge hills) and we moved in on Monday! It was all very fast and unexpected, which is why we dropped off the face of the earth for a few days. Our internet was just hooked up yesterday, so we are back in touch with the world! The good news is, we moved in Monday, and Tuesday I felt better! I am pretty much back to normal (well, normal for me anyway!) haha What a circus! But, as always, Jehovah has taken care of us in one way or another!
I hope to post pictures of the apartment in the next few days....
So, that is what is new and different with us! I am also continuing to blog about our trip with Doug and Judy...so here is the next video segment...Our trip to the Cajas! The Cajas is a National Park about 1 hour from here. It is basically mountain tops and lakes, but it is beautiful! Because of the high altitude (anywhere from 10,000 to 14,000 ft above sea level), you'll notice that the fauna is completely different up there. We had a blast! Enjoy!
Miss you all very much!

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Doug and Judy ...Part 2

We took a little road trip to Giron to do some hiking and see some waterfalls. It took us about an hour to get there and the views were spectacular! The camera just doesn't do it justice! We had a really great day there. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful, so we had a clear view of the tops of the mountains! One of the brothers in the congregation, Guillermo, drove us down, and we also invited Cristian, one of the young brothers in the congregation, to go with us. You will see them in the video. It was quite the adventure!

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>On a spiritual note, how did everyone's memorial go? We had a really nice memorial. There were 341 in attendance, which we thought was really good for our congregation of 140 publishers. However, I received a very exciting email today from some good friends of ours (Robert and Susan Woods) from the congregation that we belonged to in PA. Guess how many they had at the Memorial? 402! WOW! It just goes to show that Jehovah is definitely speeding up the work and there is work for us to do no matter where we are! Thanks so much for that encouraging email Robert and Susan! Keep up the good work! We miss you all!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lost in Ecuador With Doug and Judy --Part 1

Sorry for the delay....here is Part 1 of "Lost in Ecuador With Doug and Judy"! The trip started out pretty mellow as you can see, but just wait until you find out about the last week! Never a dull moment! haha
I hope to have Part 2 ready in a few days...
As I mentioned before, their flight here was very smooth, Doug even went so far to say that he LOVED it! We spent the first week just sight-seeing here in Cuenca, going out in service and relaxing....(well, not very much relaxing actually!)
Here is a video of some of the things we did in the first few days....




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Monday, April 6, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

Well, for my 3rd, and hopefully final blog of the day, just wanted to let everyone know, especially the family, that Doug just called and they landed safely and are currently at the JFK airport waiting for their shuttle to the hotel. He was in good spirits although they had some excitement at the airport and on the plane! Never a dull moment! His exact words were, "I was a little bit out of my comfort zone!" But he was laughing! (He probably kissed the ground when he got there! haha) They were such good sports about everything!
Thanks Doug and Judy for a great 2 weeks, we miss you already! I hope to have a blog up in the next day or 2! Love ya!

Mudslide Update...

Obviously by my first blog today, you realized that we did indeed get home safely and Doug and Judy made their flight! Many of you who read Beth's blog found out that we got stranded in Vilcabamba for an extra day due to a huge mudslide that blocked the only road home! YIKES! I have gotten a few emails about it today wondering what happened and so just wanted to give a quick update! We were really sweating it because of Doug and Judy's flight today. We even bought "muck boots" in the little town, because we were going to have to walk across it if they weren't letting any cars through! But, fortunately, they got it opened just as we arrived and we were one of the first cars to pass! I will have a video and photos later! We made it through OK, although some of the locals had to give us a little push at one part when we got stuck...It was rumored to be 2 blocks long and very high, it didn't seem that bad when we went through it, but then again, they had been working on it for a day and a half! What a relief! But, we only got back last night around 6pm and so Doug and Judy quickly packed everything up and headed out at 7am this morning! Just one of the many adventures we had during the week! Stay tuned....

All Good Things Must Come To An End......

Hello everyone! Sorry it has been a little while....My intention was to blog throughout Doug and Judy's visit so that you could keep up to date, but, being the "whirl-wind" trip that it was (I know, we can't believe it is over...) I never had a chance to do any blogs. But, just so you know, we had a wonderful time with quite a few mini-adventures (Judy would not have it any other way!). They left this afternoon and should be on the plane to JFK if there were no delays! It was an encouraging visit, and the friends here loved meeting them! Don't worry, I plan to post pictures and stories of the 2 weeks in the next few days...Sorry for the delay!

We miss you all very much and hope things are going really well!