Monday, August 30, 2010

New Home

We've moved...again. :) A friend of ours hooked us up with a new apartment near the MAF housing. It's usually used for very short-term, but the owners gave us permission to stay through November. The rent is CONSIDERABLY less than what we're used to paying, and it's a huge blessing.

It is sparsely furnished, but everyone has been so generous and given us things to borrow while we're there....a bed, refrigerator, dishes...the list goes on.

When you walk into the apt, you're in a wide hallway. There are 2 bedrooms on the right half, and one main room to the left. Here's our bedroom. We're just using the other room for storage. I felt like I was living out my childhood fantasy of being one of the Boxcar Children. As I was cleaning the place out before we moved in....I was trying to imagine every possible use for each item I found tucked away in the closets. One of my proudest accomplishments...our couch. :) It's a bed...with one of the thin mattresses flipped up. There was this really random piece of 3 double sheets sewn together...PERFECT for a big huge slip cover. A couple of random patio furniture pillos....2 more pillows from my friend Dawn...Tah-dah!

We've added some things after I took these pics, but I didn't know if it would ever be this clean again.

Here's the main room- living room/dining room/kitchen in one! :)Here's the view from our front door- 2nd story of the building. That's the Nate Saint Missionary School below us.Home Sweet Home for the next 3 months!


Last Sunday we had Jonathan over for the afternoon and evening. He's had a mullet since he arrived, and we decided that needed to change. Dwight got his first chance to give a haircut with only clippers. He did a great job. :)

Check out his belly! He had just finished 2 plates of arroz con pollo and maduros.

Afterward we went inside to take a bath. Is this not the cutest picture EVER?!?


Monday, August 16, 2010

Goodbyes for Now

We've had quite a few kids leave over the past few months, and I don't think I've posted about all of them going home. Here is a complete list (for the time being) of kids who've gone home to their families. PLEASE pray for them!

- Thalia, Abigail, and Alondra- These 3 sisters left at the beginning of the summer. Thalia just came by last week, and she said everyone is doing well. Abigail and Alondra are at their family's 'finca' in the jungle right now. I always grill her about whether or not they're eating enough, safe, etc... They were abused by their landlord before coming here, so please pray for their protection from further abuse. Their dad is raising them alone, so please pray that he would learn to be a good father to them.
- Jessica- Our little powerhouse went home about 3 weeks ago. Her mom came by to pick her up for a visit, because her grandmother was not doing well. Jessica told her mom and us that she wanted to go home for good. The reason Jessica came in the first place was because the mother could not take care of her/provide her needs. We won't be surprised if Jessica decides to come back, but we will continue to pray for her home life in the meantime.
* Blogger decided to stop loading photos....

- Esteban- Esteban's family has not visited for a couple of years now. We started his adoptability process a few months ago, and that begins with contacting his family. After we contacted them, they began to come visit Esteban again. He now walks independently with his braces, and we're thinking that changed him in his family's eyes. I think they believe they will be able to take care of him now. Esteban and Rosa were best friends, so here they are together. :)

- Carlos & Marley- Their mother visited the last week of school (2nd week of June), and Carlos REALLY wanted to go home with her. Marley was bawling her eyes out, because she did NOT want to go home. Marley was abused by an older half-brother, so she does not want to live with her mother again and have to be around that brother. Long story...The mom eventually came back 3 weeks ago, and both Carlos and Marley went home with her. We were confused about why Marley would have changed her mind. We don't know if the mom told her something to bribe her or what.... Just please, please, please lift them up...Marley especially.

Fernando & Laura- We got Fernando and Laura over a year ago. Extended family members brought them in whenever their dad was sent to prison. In Ecuador, the children are placed in the jail cells with parents if there is not any other family to take care of them. At this point, their mother was not in the picture. We've had them for the past year, and it wasn't until this summer that the mom came around. It was heart-breaking to watch her with the kids the first time. We don't know the truth of why she left in the first place, but the possibilities are endless. She began to visit the kids regularly, and she cried every time she came. Mama Ines and our social worker visited her apartment in Ambato, and they said she is definitely prepared to take care of the kids. Pray for their protection and their mother as she becomes a single mother of two.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Short-term Team Video

I completely forgot to post this earlier!
We had a team come from Amite Baptist church (LA) the first week of July, and they made a slideshow of their trip to share with their church. I thought they did a great job, and I wanted to post it on here. I feel like they show a lot of the little things (food, the guesthouse, etc...) that really help you understand what a trip down here would be like.
The video starts with their MAF flight to visit the Waorani....that's not what Shell is like. :)
This team had connections with the Whiteheads, so they were split between Casa de Fe and MAF. The group was made up primarily of their church choir, and they had a concert one night at the Whitehead's church. I was so impressed, because they sang quite a few songs in Spanish....while none of them can speak the language! I thought that was very brave of them, and the community loved it.
For those of you coming....I hope this makes you more excited about your trip!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How Could I Forget the HOEDOWN?!?

Yes, we had a hoedown in Shell, Ecuador; and I can't believe I left such a memorable occasion out of my update post.

So...the Hardin family used to live here in Shell, and they come back every summer so Mike can work in the hospital. Apparently, Mike's 2nd profession of choice behind a being a line dance caller...or anything related to country dancing. (That's what his wife told me.)
I was alone for the majority of the event, because Dwight had a basketball game. (Yes, there's a hint of hostility in that statement.) BUT...he did show up for the last ten minutes- covered in sweat and wearing a long-sleeve camo t-shirt- for some 2 stepping to George Strait. That made up for it..... almost. :)
I'm posting these pics for the enjoyment of those who were there, and because they will introduce our families to some of our dearest friends here!!! A lot of our volunteers were there, so I love seeing everyone in these photos.

We started with the chicken dance...followed by the Cotton Eyed Joe and a few other line dances....
Of course we had to stop and stuff our faces, because that's what we do when we get together. During the break there was a watermelon seed spitting contest. Kris (whom we used to live under the first year here) was AMAZING. I wish you all could have seen it. I love these two pictures in succession....especially that you can never really see what you want to see. It was beautiful.
Next we learned to square dance. I was especially lucky, because I was in the same group as my good friend Tracey Jo. (That's not really her name...Dwight called her that one day, and she LOVED it.) Anyway...she wasVERY exuberant in her square dancing....wishing she has some fuschia colored petticoats. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. She's in the brown... you can't even see her other leg, because she's lifting her knee so high.
Time for the TWO STEP!!! Dan and I took the first took us a while, but we got there. :)
The rest are some fun couple pics that I just love... good times.
Fred & Desi Schmidt

Paul & Kim :)

Dan & Tracey Jo

Here's Ron & Margie with Huevito (Samy)...Dwight says he looks like a Humpty Dumpt character....big round body with little stick legs hanging out. He NEVER stops eating!

So....there you have it. Missionaries dancing. Who knew!?!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!!

Happy 50th birthday to my madre today!!! I feel like a horrible child, as I have missed both of my parents' 50th birthdays this summer. I would love nothing more than to be with them in person...possibly throwing birthday parties with an age theme.... I think my dad was kind of relieved that I wasn't there to do that for him in June. ;)

Excuse the wedding attire....This is the most recent picture I have of the family. My brother's birthday is in late August...and he's too handsome to leave out anyway. :)
I love you, Mom & Dad! Mom, I hope you have a great day! Thank you for your support and excitement about where Dwight and I are at in life right now... It means the world.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Muchas Cosas

I know an update is long overdue, and so much has happened in the last few weeks. I'm going to try to abbreviate things, but we'll see....
Since the last post on the 17th....
  • We continue to have visitors who help with construction on the property and work with the kids. Whiting family of 6, Rick Herold and his crew from North Dakota, Brian Brijbag and team from Florida, few more summer volunteers came in, and now we have a team in from Dallas. They're wrapping up morning VBS right now... :)
  • Dwight and I moved from one house to another last Thursday. We continue to live in our friends' furnished homes while they are out of the country. This is our 5th "home" to live in since we got married 2 years ago. The current place is only for a month, so we're not even unpacking. Wait....change that to I (Tandy) am not wasting time to unpack.
  • Another personal note....Dwight and I will be staying through until November. The building is still not finished, and Dwight wants to see it through to completion. I'll continue to help organize things for the move and help with all the volunteers and school staff for this next year.
  • Lots of changes with the kids as well....Esteban and Jessica both went home to be with their families. Marley & Carlos went home yesterday as well. Carlos has been wanting to go home for a long time. Marley did not want to return, because she was abused by an older half-brother when she was younger. Somehow, they both ended up going, so please keep them in your prayers.
  • Yesterday we received a sibling set of 4- 1 girl and 3 boys. Their father is in prison, and his sentence is for 16 years. Please pray for these 4 as they settle into their new home. School will be a huge adjustment for them considering
    all of the other older kids now speak English.
  • Tia Retreat- We are having overnight retreats for the tias- split into 2 groups between last weekend and this coming one as well. It has been a joy to serve these ladies, because they always work so hard with the kids. Loly Isbell is leading the spiritual lessons and worship. Please pray that all of the tias' hearts would be opened to the gospel, and that they would really come to understand how much our Father loves them.

- This home is owned by missionaries in Quito, and people all over the country use it for retreats. It's beautiful! It's up on top of a secluded amazing view on all sides.

Here's the entry-way... Love it!

Tia Gloria and I were the last ones in musical chairs. You could say we're both a little competitive. ;)

  • The MUB continues to progress. It deserves its own post, and I don't have any new pics right now. :) The doors will go in soon, and we will be able to start moving things over at that point.
  • I just needed to post a picture of this. Dwight had Freddy over the other night, because they needed to work on plans for the building. The group who took the kids to the beach left some extra S'more ingredients, and Dwight has been savoring them one at a time. :) He was so excited to teach Freddy about this American tradition....even if they used a gas stove.

My brain is fried. I can't think of anything else at the moment, but I'm positive I'm leaving things out. We're transitioning out of the summer and into the school year, and there are so many things to be done.

Please pray for all of us...that we would be strengthened during this time. Pray that we would be able to work in ways that are pleasing to God...have healthy boundaries with our time and not let the 'busyness' bring us down.