words by jenny
well, hello there. I feel like we have been very MIA from communication lately and for that we apologize. I think I am still trying to figure out the most effective way to be consistant about communication. Because here is the catch – when we have a million things going on that I could/should/want to blog about, finding the time to actually sit down and blog about said things is often a bit more difficult. I’m still trying to figure out how to make it all happen.
So, I went through the camera role on my phone over the past month or so and pulled out some pictures about what has been happening with us lately. A little snap shot of life here with us lately.
Our baby boy turned 10 at the beginning of May! 10! I really can’t believe it. As much as I sometimes miss the days of baby snuggles and silly toddler antics, it is so fun to watch him grow up and become such a smart, witty, creative young man. Here he is with a few of his best friends after they went to play paintball in celebration of this big milestone.
We continue to be so grateful for our church community, Rios de Agua Viva. At the end of April, we were able to host all of the leadership team from the jovenes – teens and young adults – at our house as they did some training and took time to cast vision for the year to come.
The kids have had a few random days off of school here and there in the past month or so. We took one of the days to climb up Ilalo – the mountain that we live on. It was the first time we hiked up to the top! The kids did awesome on the hike that was pretty much straight up for about an hour – scrambling up muddy trails along the way. Hiking is something that we hope to continue to do lots more of as a family, especially during the kids’ summer break.
On May 11, my Grandma Jan passed away. It was so hard for me to be so far from my family, and I feel like I felt the depth of our reality in a way that I never have before. Watching my family gather to celebrate her life from afar was beyond difficult for me. I am so grateful for the years that we shared and that she knew and loved my children. We love you, Grandma!
In May we were able to spend a bit of time with former missionaries to Ecuador, Paul and Joan Spjut! It was so fun to have them around our table and share a bit about our life and hear their stories from their days of life and ministry here years ago!
Chris is settling into his new role at the Covenant Seminary here. This change in position has demanded a lot of more time in the IPEE offices for him. We are still in the midst of trying to figure out what this change means for our family life and balancing our additional ministry responsibilities. Thank you for your continued prayers for us and for the entire leadership of the seminary.
We continue to be involved in our local church! So grateful for this community that supports us well and has welcomed us in with such open arms.
June 3 we celebrated 12 years of marriage! Yay! Life has been an adventure and I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else!
At the beginning of June, we had a visit from Chris’s older brother and family. It was SO much fun to have great family time and hours and hours with cousins! We ended up keeping our kids out of school for the whole time the cousins were in town. Many miles were traveled and memories made as we shared this beautiful country with them and showed them the ministries that we are involved with.
Chris just joined the little soccer league that plays in our neighborhood. Excited to meet some more neighbors and become more involved in our community.
Last week we welcomed our summer interns, Zach and Abegale. They are spending a few weeks doing language study and settling into life in Ecuador here with us and then will be headed to the coast to partner with a church in Manta for a month. We are excited to have them! Check out this fun little video that Abegale made about their first few days in Ecuador!
This past weekend we hosted a big “Hasta Luego” party for our dear friends and colleagues, Joel and Kim Delp. They are also ECC missionaries and are headed back to the US for a year of home assignment. Join us in praying for them as they transition their family back to the US for a year of telling the story of the work that God is doing here in Ecuador.
Of course, there has been more. Our kids are still plugging away at their last few weeks of school (longest school year ever!) and we are tending to all of the normal, everyday stuff of family life and ministry. And then there are always those unexpected complications and responsibilities that seem to creep up out of nowhere that call for our time and attention. We are fighting hard to continue to remain balanced and healthy in the midst of it all and leave time and space for fun and life giving adventures. And I’m also going to continue to also figure out where communication and blogging and newsletters fit into the fullness of life.