New Partner Joining Forces

Annalea 1 Annalea prayer

 

We are so excited to announce that we are going to have a new short term missionary coming to Ecuador!  Her name is Annalea Egging.  She was recently commissioned at the Covenant Annual Meeting (pictured above) to be a short term missionary.  Kim knew Annalea, or at least knew of her when she was in nursing school at North Park.  We connected again over a year ago now about possible opportunities in the Covenant to serve.  She came down to work with the Santiago Partnership in August of last year with our very first medical team.  She did a great job and it was SUCH a pleasure and blessing to work with her during this time.  We had a lot of great conversations and asked her about the possibility of coming back down as a short termer.  She had other commitments for a few months, but decided she would apply and go from there.  We were SO excited to hear she would be coming down to work with us.  She will be a great addition to our mission team from the States, but also a wonderful compliment to our staff at the clinic in Cayambe.  She will be working there, mainly focusing on education and outreach medically to the local and distant communities that desperately need basic medical education (handwashing, sanitation, etc).  Additionally, she is a gifted and very experienced labor and delivery nurse with a lot of specialty areas that will come in handy at the clinic and beyond.  This is an area we hope to develop more once she arrives in Ecuador.  I was so struck when she was here how well we worked together.  She is very gifted in areas where I am  not and she has great ideas that I have not even thought about for the clinic.  I do consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to work together and dream together to see what God has and what He wants to do in the clinic and surrounding community in Cayambe, Ecuador.

If you want to learn more about Annalea and her journey, here is her blog:  One Foot in Front of the Other

If you are interested in giving to Annalea and support her short term time here in Ecuador, you can check out her giving page here:  Annalea Giving

We covet your prayers as we are in new territory with having a Covenant Missionary come to work specifically with our project.  It is SO exciting and we are anticipating how God is going to work, but we ask you pray with us to be able to sense God’s leading and to develop the clinic in the way God desires.   Also pray for Annalea and other Covenant missionaries raising support.  It is a daunting and overwhelming task at times although SUCH a way to see God’s work and faithfulness.  Pray that her support comes in quickly so she can come to Ecuador soon!

Annalea, Myrian (our fearless translator and friend) and Kim a year ago in August with our first medical team with the Santiago Partnership

Annalea, Myrian (our fearless translator and friend) and Kim a year ago in August with our first medical team with the Santiago Partnership

 

 

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Update on Office Construction

Thank you so much for your support of the Santiago Partnership, especially Church of the Good Shepherd in Crest Hill, IL as they have given a special gift toward this project. Here is how we are progressing with the office project. You can see the floor tiling that was recently purchased and will soon be installed.

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Update on Earthquake Relief

Thank you so, so much for your support of our relief efforts to those affected by the recent earthquake. Through your support, we have begun the process of building 4 homes for the people of Mejia who lost theirs that terrible day in April. As you can see in the pictures, the pastor of our partner church, Iglesia Emanuel, Pastor Jose is heading up the efforts through the assistance of church members and our project coordinator, Rolando Escola. Good work boys!!!

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Categories: Construction, earthquake, Ecuador, Evangelical Covenant Church, Home, Ministry, Updates, Volunteers | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Gracias Valerie!!!

The past couple of weeks we had the pleasure of having a volunteer with us from Faith Covenant Church in Farmington Hills, MI by the name of Valerie Johnson.  Valerie came to help in the clinic, help with a work team, learn about Ecuador as well as some more Spanish and to just lend us a helping hand with all of our kids.  It was great having her with us as she was a BIG help and it was neat to teach her all about Ecuador and the life of a missionary.  We unfortunately were extremely busy while she was with us and we didn’t get as many pictures as we would have liked.  Thank you Valerie for coming down to help!!!!

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“I surrender…SOME?”

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  Matthew 16:24-25

That’s not quite how the hymn goes, huh?  You don’t surrender SOME, you surrender…ALL.?  Period and question mark there because although that seems basic as far as my Christian walk, it seemed a lot easier to do when I had less to surrender to him.  As I was listening to worship music the other day, I realized that it seemed a whole lot easier to sing that hymn and to obey it as well as the verse above when I was younger.  There seems to be a lot of layers of this as I am writing so I am going to do my best to wrangle all these thoughts into a nice, well-packaged blog that doesn’t skip around like the “flight of ideas” I feel I have churning right now.

I remember distinct times in my life when I was in high school and college where I felt the Lord nudging me to surrender, leading me to the cross to ask for forgiveness, to mend a relationship, to approach someone for reconciliation, to obey God’s call WHEREVER that may have been.  It seemed easier then.  Maybe because I had less to lose.  I didn’t think so at the time.  Thinking of giving up certain things, to surrender ALL things to Him, even if that meant not getting married or having kids or being a missionary (which was my greatest wish that at some point I gave to Him and said “whatever YOU want for my life is what I want”).  I even believed it when people told me at that time that when people get older it is harder to surrender things to Christ.  I didn’t.  Maybe I was naive, maybe I was arrogant thinking, “NO WAY”, my heart will always be this soft to His leadings and nudges and touches on my heart to “give it up” to Him.

It didn’t happen all at once.  It wasn’t overnight when I felt like I grew up and life hit me like a ton of bricks.  It wasn’t all at once that I forgot that sweet intimacy and in some ways freedom to allow God to work in my life in WHATEVER and WHEREVER the path lead.  But as I look back and evaluate my life, I realize there are so many things I now hold on to.  Most of the time, those things don’t even cross my mind on a daily basis that I need to surrender them.  I seem pretty OK on any given day to go through the day without acknowledging the need, the HUGE need to let God take the reigns.  I suppose it comes to light when the day crashes around me or when I see a family hit by tragedy or when I see a homeless child begging on the street.  You think those things would make me take a breath in of myself and then let God take the rest.  But, sadly, most of the time I don’t.  I get overwhelmed with life.  Those things I need to surrender every day (my kids, my marriage, my ministry, my relationships) are sometimes, I feel the exact things that hold me back from surrendering.  That may not make any sense and maybe I need a second cup of coffee to unfold that one…HOLD ON…

Sometimes I can make the excuse, and believe that I am just too busy.  In the midst of grabbing one crying child from the other one who is hitting them while the 3rd is throwing up (and then the phone rings).  Yep, pretty sure I am little busy in that moment.  SO, let me revisit that thought I had at the beginning of this blog.  It was after a day similar that what I just explained that I was doing the dishes and listening to worship music which seems sometimes to be my connection with God daily.  I was listening to a newer song to me (probably not to you).  There were so many words to really pierced my soul that night and really left me feeling so overwhelmed with my lack of surrender.  I literally said to myself “this was SO much easier when I was younger”.  How can I fully surrender my children to Christ when I see so many bad things happen?  How can I surrender my marriage when I see so many crumbling around me?  I can I mend broken relationships or try to even if there is no reconciliation?  It’s hard and sometimes I just don’t know if I can or if I have the energy to invest through the long haul of mending a relationship.  Woah is me, I know, right?  Suck it up, buttercup is what I felt like saying to myself because, hey, bottom line, that’s what God calls me to.  To surrender it…ALL OF IT!

SO, in true fashion, as I learn this intimacy with God all over again, I leave you with a song.  This song is what I was listening to that night.  It is a perfect image of that surrender, that TOTAL surrender that God wants.  So, as you listen, maybe you have heard it a hundred times.  Listen with open ears and an open heart.

 “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders”

What would my life and your lives look like if we lived that out?  I want to, I SO want to.  How about you?

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Thank you Church of the Good Shepherd!

This past week we partnered with Church of the Good Shepherd of Joliet, IL in working on this year’s construction project of building offices as well as helping them minister to the Covenant Churches of Cayambe and Oyacachi. It was a fun week and a lot of ministry was accomplished. Praise be to God!

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Categories: Cayambe, Construction, Evangelical Covenant Church, Ministry, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Recently, the good folks from Riverside Covenant Church  of West Lafayette, IN paid us a visit and we, along with the help of a physical therapist on the team, went out to provide physical therapy for people in need in the surrounding area. Thank you Riverside!

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HOW THE DARKNESS OF A DELAYED FLIGHT SHOWED ME THE SUNLIGHT OF GOD

Kids Erica Day 2 Lote 4 Ecuador 4 2016

 

HOW THE DARKNESS OF A DELAYED FLIGHT SHOWED ME THE SUNLIGHT OF GOD

by Dr. Erica Liebelt

 

My first trip to Ecuador was in November 2014 when I visited the Galapagos Islands and Quito for adventure, a cultural experience, and relaxation.  I finally was settled in my seat on board the plane, eagerly awaiting the departure of the flight from Quito back to the U.S when I felt some little legs “playing the drums” on the back of my seat.  Then the announcement came and we had to deplane. Ughhhhh…. more sitting and waiting, more airport food. Well, I met the family who was sitting behind me as we were deplaning—Joel (apologizing for their future superstar drum player), Kim, Simeon (the drum player), and baby Esther—and we continued talking in the airport.  As they told me about their journeys in Ecuador with the Santiago Partnership and their commitment to serving Christ through their mission work, the frustrations I was feeling about our delayed departure and my missed connection quickly went away.  After returning home, I continued to think about what they told me about the Medical Clinic, and the Home for At Risk Children, read their Blogs and the SP Newsletters and stared at the photos they posted of their mission work in Ecuador.

As a practicing pediatrician for the past 25 years, their child-focused mission resonated very well with my love for children.  I wanted to go back to Ecuador, but in a different capacity. I was fortunate to be invited to be part of a pediatric medical caravan in April.  I had never participated in a foreign medical mission trip and can say with certainty that this experience fulfilled every expectation, goal, and dream, I had, but also provided a gift from God that I could never have anticipated or asked for.

Our team which included Kim (my inspiration and medical consultant), Richard and Tara Euler (my support system), Dr. Hernandez (my teacher of Ecuadorian medicine), Mirian and Nancy (our nurses extraordinaire), Mirian (our Quechua translator), and myself worked hard, laughed hard and helped each other for one purpose– serving God through providing excellent healthcare and support to the children and mothers that came to us.

For our first three days, we drove from Cayambe way up into the Andes mountains and held a clinic in a church in a Quechua community which was a cement block with no heat or running water. Our last two days were spent seeing children in a Compassion Center and the new medical clinic in Cayambe that the Santiago Project had just completed building. Despite the cold temperatures and rain, the experiences I had with the team, my daily lunch of potato soup and rice with peas, and the glowing smiles of every child I evaluated, gave my spirit some of the most intense sunlight it has ever felt. We saw over 300 children during the week, some with complex medical and mental health problems, some with more straightforward issues, and lots and lots with “dolor de estómago”

We practiced excellent medicine as a team without fancy apps on our phones, without expensive tests, and without a complicated electronic medical record; rather with a good history, physical exam, knowledge, dedicated time talking with our patients, and prayer. These children do not have a lot– (materialistic stuff that is) but they have resilience, intelligence, maturity, love for their family and friends, and lots of laughter.

Our long days were made even brighter by the hospitality of Pastor Jose and his wife Magdalena –warm fires that welcomed us “home”, a comfortable bed where I collapsed every night, and scrumptious Ecuadorian breakfasts and dinners in a peaceful and beautiful setting.

For the past 10 or so years, I have questioned and struggled with my purpose in life. After this trip, I finally realized that the answer was much simpler than I had thought—My purpose is to do God’s will and help others. I now realize that there is no limit to what I can accomplish in helping others. God will help me in all good work because I know it is HIS will.  The darkness of that night In Quito when my flight was delayed showed me the sunlight of God’s spirit through the Delp family and the Santiago Partnership.  The opportunity they gave me to help children in Ecuador through the skills God has given me has forever enriched my spirit and relationship with God.

1 John 1:5 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Here are some more pictures from her time here:

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Categories: 501c3, Ephraim, Esther, Medical Caravan, Ministry, Reflections, Simeon, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simeon graduates from Kindergarten

Simeon’s Kindergarten graduation. Congrats Simeon!!!

 

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Esther Turns 2!

 On Sunday June 5th, Esther turned 2!  We had a great party over our friends’ house Erik and Kristina Amundsen.  Esther’s Godparents, Henry and Olguita Burbano, were there to pray for her and celebrate in the festivities as well as many other friends.  Can  you guess who Esther’s favorite cartoon character is?


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