The day we leave Ecuador is getting closer. We are finishing up packing some things and getting the apartment ready to turn over. Also, the church is moving to a different location that is bigger. We have our tickets to Bolivia and we are leaving next week on the 14th. We will be leaving from Quayaquil, Ecuador, going through Panama and arriving in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The next day we will fly to Tarija. Because we are leaving our apartment, we will be in Huaquillas until we leave. This is where our parents live so that we can spend some quality time with family.
These have been busy days, but full of blessings. We traveled to Quito to have some paperwork done that we will need to do our visa paperwork in Bolivia. Unfortunately, we have not been in Bolivia for over 2 years which means we lost our permanent residency and will have to go through that process again. We took advantage of that trip to spend time with the family we have there and say good-bye. Nehemías had a lot of fun with his cousins! When we returned to Manta, Joshua Marcum came to visit. After worship on Sunday, he gave us a farewell speech of recognition on the part of Operation Ecuador for our years of service in Manta. The church also prayed over us and for our daughter, Naomi’s plans to attend AIM (Adventures in Missions through Sunset Bible Institute in Texas).
The last few days we have receiving many invitations from members of the church, the team and friends who wish to say good-bye and spend one last time with us. Nehemías also received a lot of invitations from his friends at school and the church.
We had to nephews, who live in Quito, come to visit and spend a couple of days with us. After that we had a visit from a member of the Cuenca Church of Christ.
This whole time has been a complete blessing and the time spent with family and friends and brothers and sisters in Christ has filled us with joy. To be able to encourage one another to continue in the service of God has been wholly gratifying. And sharing in God’s grace fills us up. The good-byes have been hard but the love we feel for each person that God has put in our lives is marvelous and we know the that this love will stay with them.
Manta has been a blessing and a place of much learning. With the blessing of God, we are ready for the next part of our lives. We ask for your prayers for the trip and for the mission in Tarija. Pray for the church in Manta, for Ecuador and its government, for our children Doddy and Naomi and their plans.
Love to all of you.