Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Let the Games Begin....

This is our last week before teams start coming, and we are all frantically trying to prepare. I just sent 57 emails this now I'm waiting for the onslaught of returns. :)
Our first team of 25 arrives this Friday night....9 of them leave after 1 week & 16 will stay for a 2nd week. We have another team of 11 coming in to overlap with the remaining 16. The day after both of those teams leave, a group of 10 will come in. We will leave the next day with 20 kids and head for the beach for a week! The group will come back to Shell for the next week to work on the property. And on and on through the end of August....

All of that to say... The blog will suffer greatly during this time. :) Please expect a serious lack of communication on my part.
For now....I wanted to just give you a few updates on what God has been doing here lately.
  • Last week we received news that we have been given a $50,000 grant from a foundation in the States! Patti Sue and I sat down to write a simple proposal/request...and 2 weeks later the money was wired. God is so amazing! With this money, we can pay off one of the hospital bills in Quito, completely finish the MUB, and help with the new school-building. We will also actually have money in the bank account that has been EMPTY after each of the last few pay-days.
  • Antoney, Veronica, and Lorena have all gone home with their families recently. These are all hopeful situations, and we're happy the kids can be with loved ones again. Please keep them in your prayers.
  • Thalia, Abigail, and Alondra are possibly going home after school is over. This is not as hopeful of a situation, but Patti Sue and Mama Ines are doing everything possible to provide the girls resources to ask/call/come for help if needed.
  • Ivan & Edy (brothers) might also go home to be with their dad. He could not take care of them as a single father, but he has recently re-married. The step-mom wants to bring the boys home, so this is a great situation!
  • Fernando in the toddler house is also possibly going to live with his father as well. The single father took back his older son a couple of years ago. The dad works as a sort of traveling salesman, and the older brother stays with him. Now that Fernando is a little older, the dad feels like he can take care of both boys. This father loves them very much, and the boys' lives will be changed by that love.
  • We are ready to go for next year! We have 3 full-time teachers committed: Ali & Dallas returning, and Megan Shepherd (one of our friends!) will be new. Omer & Mary Jane Troyer will be here for most of the school year; Omer will be the Director of Education. Ingan & Pehr - a couple from Sweden- both teachers- will also be moving here for the year. We have a pediatric nurse coming to work full-time as well...Ashley Van Conant. Mike & Lindy Waskosky will continue to help in so many ways. We also have 3 other full-time female volunteers for the school year.... Bethany Sauls, Aleta Lucero, and Amanda Moore. They will be helping with one-on-one tutoring, therapy, teaching P.E., teaching art, extra-curricular activities, teaching pre-school & ESL, etc.... I hate to clump them all together like this, but we're so excited about every single person! God has always.
  • Things are going great at the property! The walls are going up on the 2nd floor. Within the next 2 weeks, the walls on the first floor will hopefully be completely finished (2 layers of plaster & paint). Tiling will begin soon.... The new school building's foundation is being worked on as well. PLEASE pray that things will continue, and we'll be able to move in with plenty of time before school starts!
I'm sure I'm forgetting many things.... Please keep all of us (CDF staff) in your prayers as this summer begins.... the groups, end-of-school, completion of MUB and school, etc... It's very easy to get caught up in the work and craziness, and none of us want to lose focus on WHY we're doing this. Please pray for wisdom as we balance our time and priorities. God is evident in the things that are happening, and we don't ever want to be so busy that we lose sight of that.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Patti Sue has been in the States for the last 9 days or so, and we got to keep JP with us. He has a crazy-late bedtime, and he gets quite hyper between 8:00-9:30. It became official rough-house/wrestle time for he and Dwight every night. :)
People are always asking about him, so I thought it was time for some pictures....

Uncle Dwight changed his fair share of diapers. (He might say MORE than fair!) He was not amused that I was taking pictures....this was an especially bad one.

Look at that sweet face....

He loved to put his forehead to Dwight's and look out of the top of his eyes...reminds me of Tanner!

Those wet spots on Dwight's shirt are where John Paul bit him. :)

The next morning...spending time in the kitchen with me.My favorite pic of all!


Showing off

He LOVES taking a bath! Most Ecuadorian houses (including the one Patti Sue is currently in) don't have bathtubs, so they use small plastic baby tubs. John Paul wasn't sure what to do when I put him in the bathtub at our house for the first time. He quickly figured it out though, and he splashed half of the water all over the bathroom. The tias working at Patti Sue's said I had spoiled he screams when they give him a quick bath in his little tub at home. lol...

Friday, May 7, 2010


We now have four kids participating in weightlifting: Angel, Jessica, Thalia, & Marcia. They had a competition in Puyo 2 weekends ago, and we all got to be there to watch. I think all of the cheering gringos are amusing to the other people there....

We can't use flash during the please excuse the blurriness. Mel took the pics, and she did a fabulous job. Thank you, Mel...

All of the female competitors being introduced... Marcia is 2nd in on the left. Look at the girl in the white shirt/red short sleeves in the middle....Jessica is to the left and Thalia is to the right.... YOUR left and right. :)
Marcia is still very new, but she's doing great!

Thalia is doing awesome as well... I'm amazed at the level of maturity she shows when she is competing. It takes a lot of concentration and effort, and she is such a little athlete.

Jessica is in a league of her own.... She always wins everything there is to win in her bracket. It's crazy to watch how much weight she lifts. I think her last lift was something like 50 kilos...??

There are 3 judges...all watching different elements. White flags are what you want. :)

Angel stepped up and looked just like the sweet boy I know and love. THEN he just morphed into this man looking person! He is really at a competitive level, and I was nervous about the amount of weight he was lifting.

It's not pretty when he lifts....his face contorts, he grunts, yells, and breathes really hard. Very scary for me to see him like this.... He still talks in this high girly voice when he speaks to us in English, so it was hard to wrap my mind around this new image of his.

It is so great to see these kids involved in something that they can really take ownership of. It's difficult for children raised in any type of group/institutional setting to really form their own identity and take ownership of anything. I LOVE to see them find something they enjoy, work hard at, and succeed.

These same kids are actually in a city a few hours away...competing at the National Championship for Ecuador. Last I heard, Jessica had won 3 gold medals and broken all of the records in her division.

Monday, May 3, 2010

We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 5:1b-2 MSG

Change of Plans....AGAIN

Just wanted to give another update... Last week we received a phone call from the Army, and Dwight's orders have been revoked. We have spent the last month gearing up for the deployment, and we were both completely at peace about it. We were even looking forward to a few things!
Now we are back where we were in March....knowing that we need to make a decision for what we'll do after September. Please pray for us.
Thank you for all of the encouragement and prayers! We're still just hanging on for the ride...trusting that God is in control.