Thursday, January 7, 2010

Welcome to the CRAZY TRAIN!.......

Not to scare my aunt Dolores or my parents, but whew! what an experience!!!! We went to Guayaquil yesterday to pick up "the cousins" as we refer to them here! haha Anyway, I thought that I had warned them about the bus ride back here to Cuenca, and they were ready, so were we...or so we all thought!!!

I jokingly referred to the bus as the "crazy train" before the trip started...well, little did we know! We have had some crazy bus rides here in Ecuador, but this one took the cake! The first hour wasn't that bad because it is mostly flat and straight, driving to get to the mountains. Most of us were even able to get some sleep! And then.....

Once you start heading up the mountains, the road immediately becomes curves, curves, curves, bumps, bumps, bumps. But, as any GOOD driver could attest to, it is all in how you drive! Can you say "rally sport"? The driver was literally hugging each curve on the inside, regardless of whether there was traffic coming or not, and then he was accelerating at the same time! It was hilarious! About a few minutes into the mountains, I looked back at "the cousins", who had previously been tired and sleepy, and they were all WIDE awake...all I saw were 8 HUGE eyeballs! Although they were laughing and were good sports about it! To be honest, I don't think we were ever in danger, those drivers have memorized every curve on that drive, but he sure was in a hurry! What an adventure!

The funny thing was, that, normally, the scary part of the trip is that the road is pretty close to the edges of the cliffs and you can see how far down. But, this trip was in the dark, you couldn't even see the edge, but somehow it was still quite the adrenaline boost! It will be fun to take the bus back down on Tuesday and show them how high up we were!

Again, and this is for the parents, we were not in real danger (I don't think anyway haha) was just very exciting! Most bus drivers aren't quite as crazy as that one was! We are all here safe and sound and are very excited to show our cousins the area!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

An encouraging week....

Sorry we haven't been around, but we just finished up our CO visit last week. All that I can say is WOW!!! Our new CO and his wife are originally from Spain. They came here to serve where the need is greater 11 years ago and are SUCH a spiritual boost! They have sooo many experiences of how they were almost down to their last dollar and Jehovah came through for them, it has really made us even more determined than ever to stay here!

There were 2 experiences that really stood out in our mind as amazing. One month, (I believe this was while they were serving as special pioneers, but not sure), they had run out of money and new that they had to live 2 more weeks until they received anymore. So, with nothing much else they could do they decided that since they did have rice, they would just have to eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. About one week into it, as you can imagine, it got to be pretty difficult. Brother Estevez was SOOO hungry for chicken...just one piece of chicken! Sure enough, there was a knock at the door...guess what it was? A sister bringing them some chicken! They said they ran so fast their feet never touched the ground to go get that chicken!

Sister Estevez was telling us that at one point she only had 2 pairs of shoes, one for service and the other pair (with a heel) for meetings. Well, her service pair had completely worn out and were unusable. So, she prayed to Jehovah, but she decided that she was going to keep going out in service and that although it would be incredibly uncomfortable, she would wear her heels. So, the next morning, she was getting ready for service, and dreading putting on her heels, when there was a knock at the door...I'm sure you can imagine what happened next. There was a sister who had a family member that owned a shoe store. The family member had a pair of shoes that she couldn't sell because they were on the larger size (most Ecuadorians have small feet!) Anyway, the sister said that she had thought of Sister Estevez because she is taller and has larger feet. Would she like the shoes? Sure, but she explained that she didn't have any money to buy them. No problem. The family member said that if she could find someone they fit, that person could just have them!

They just have story after story of how they have been taken care of by Jehovah. They came 11 years ago and within a month, because of the changing of the currency here to the dollar, they basically lost all of their money and had $800. Here they are, 11 years later, off of that $800.
Sometimes I think it is a good reminder for all of us that Jehovah really does take care of us. I think that sometimes we focus sooo much on taking care of ourselves, that we don't let help us like he would like to! Anyway, it was an AWESOME week! We LOVED every minute of it!

Lots of good experiences, as usual, are going on here. But, I don't have time tonight to write about them time! Tomorrow we head to Guayaquil to meet my cousins, Missy and Jimmy and Josh and Kelly. They are coming for a visit for a week! We are really excited! We will keep you all posted on the activities!

Hope things are going well! Miss you all!