Well, it has been awhile since I heard from everyone about what is going on up North? haha Just thought I would try out the line that everyone else has been giving me! A thousand apologies....the mommy duo of Beverly and Judy very kindly reminded me of my lack of blogging when they were here to visit! And they were right... (how can you disagree with 2 moms?)
Well...let's see...so much has happened since the last blog. The highlight being the visit of the parents! We had a blast! We stayed here in Cuenca for a few days so they could visit our new congregation and some bible students. They survived Carnival (lots of water balloons and drunks!) Although my mom and I did get soaked by a super-soaker doing a return visit at the market! haha
We then took a little trip within a trip to visit a few other areas of Ecuador...Banos de Ambato, Puyo, Quito and Otavalo. We had a blast in all of them! In Banos de Ambato we rented little dune buggies for the day (which by the way you can drive on the roads like a normal car) and went to see some of the beautiful waterfalls in the area. We went zip-lining, road across the falls in a basket, and then took a day trip to Puyo, which has a monkey refuge...you may have already seen pictures on Beth's blog! They were so cute! When people don't treat their pet monkeys well, and the police confiscate them, they are taken to this refuge to be taken care of! It was soooo fun! The monkeys are quite playful, although somewhat mischevious....and we just laughed and laughed! It was even quite funny when the one decided to tinkle on my hand! haha
The parents were such good sports about everything...not even complaining about all the long crazy bus rides that we had to take! We had a blast with them although the trip went way to fast!
Kichwa is still kichwa! haha Chad is doing exceptionally well...he is progressing faster than me..no big surprise! He usually has 2-3 parts a week in the meeting, so it has really been helping him to learn!
We have 2 new unbaptized publishers in the cong. (native speakers) so that has been a real boost to the morale! They have been doing so well! And are a big help in answering secondary questions at the meetings when the rest of us are lost! haha
As I think I have mentioned before, we have about 30 pubs in the congregation, and 25 of them are regular pioneers...this month 4 out of the 5 publishers that cannot currently reg. pioneers are auxiliary pioneering!
Pretty good average, eh? haha
We have been having some good experiences. Although this is in Spanish, I still have to tell you! Chad was preaching in one of the buildings of just rooms for rent (because there are many Kichwa speakers)..and a little boy named Said (pronounced za-eed) haha who is 9 years old comes out and starts talking to Chad. He told him that his family had just moved from the coast 2 months ago and that he was studying when he was there. He is the cutest little thing...he hesitates a lot when he talks, not sure if it is a stutter, or just trouble getting the words out, but he is sooooo inteligent! It turns out that he went to the meeting in the coast and even went to an assembly! I guess his little bible teacher who was 11 got baptized, and invited him, so he went! Even though he said that he had to get on the bus at 7am to get to the assembly! He remembers everything! haha
When Chad asked him if he remembers what God's name is, he proceeds to quote us Psalms 83:18 by heart!!! It was so precious!!
Anyway, he always asks when he can go to a meeting...and as we were walking out of his building, there were some witnesses on the corner! So, Chad found a nice young couple that are willing to take care of him and pick him up for the meetings! He really touched our hearts...so young...but such a love for Jehovah and a desire to learn more!
Well...that's enough rambling for one night!!! Miss you all!!! and hope everything is going well in your neck of the woods!!!
Just a few pictures...not nearly enough...but some highlights!
Our Kichwa congregation at the Circuit Assembly! Well, most of us anyway!
This is our former coordinator-on the right (who has since been assigned to another congregation)...this is his bible student that Chad inherited!
He is really sweet and comes to a lot of the meetings!
Some native brothers and sisters from other areas at the assembly! Sooo cute!
Chad and Fernando in their matching Jedi-Knight ponchos!
They got a lot of compliments at the assembly!
Some of the bible students that attend the meetings! The one on the left I have the pleasure of studying with (I inherited her from a dear friend who went to the states for a while)...in the middle is her friend and on the right is her sister...the couple hiding in the back are her brother and sister-n-law who come with their 3 small children!
It is always a huge presence when the whole family comes! Soooo cute!
The one in the middle is one of our newly unbaptized publishers! She always is at the meetings with her 3 small girls! Two of them are in the picture! She is doing sooo well!
The parents arrived safely!! And, much to our excitement, the majority of the luggage contained gifts for us!!! Thanks to the parents and to all our friends and family that sent care-packages!!! You have no idea how exciting it was for us!!!
It just would not have been a true Ecuadorian experience without trying cuy (guinea pig)!!!! They all tried it (and ate second helpings!) They actually ate it twice while they were here! Here you can see the pain-staking procedure of cooking them! It took about an hour...and you have to keep rotating the pole or the skin bubbles up! So, we rotated shifts so as to share the load!!! haha
Just 2 of the MANY monkey pictures that we took....they really are adorable! A small sneak preview of life in the paradise!!!!
But, as you can see in the pictures, they truly are spoiled monkeys!!!