Our Thanksgiving Festivities

Yesterday, we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with all of the Ecuadorian missionary friends.  It was a lot of fun and delicious!

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the Delps and the Santiago Partnership!!! May you have a blessed Thanksgiving from our crazy family to yours!

Esther was having a bad hair day and a new and upcoming videographer was doing the filming but we wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving nonetheless.

Categories: 501c3, earthquake, Ecuador, Ephraim, Esther, Family Fun, Ministry, Partnerships, Simeon, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indiana Wesleyan University Occupational Therapy Visit

As much as we have seen the Holy Spirit move and work among us, I think we still sometimes try to sell short, the work, the amazing work that the Spirit does.  Another recent example of this was a visit we had from the Dean and Director of the new Occupational Therapy Department of Indiana Wesleyan University.  It has been amazing to see this partnership development since discussions first started over the early summer months.  Joel and I have a friend who we have known since our days at IWU who is working in this new department.  We saw her and her husband and met for a time of fellowship a year or so ago.  We talked about the Santiago Partnership and Ecuador and what God is doing here.  Our friends wanted to help and they have.  Our friend in the OT department talked to other members of this new program as they were trying to set up intercultural opportunities for their students.  They wanted to go to different places inter-culturally than other programs at IWU.  Our friend suggested Ecuador and the project here that we are involved with.  That suggestion developed into meetings with members of the program in August and a recent visit from the Dean of the Program and Director of the program.  We had one and a half days to do a lot of scouting out of things for a team coming soon.  We visited two different sites in Cayambe, one is a school for children and young adults with disabilities, the other is basically a movement of people with disabilities.  They are trying to form partnerships to help those in the area of Cayambe who are vulnerable, not just the disabled.  It was a great experience for us all and we are excited to see what partnerships will develop in the future and what God is going to do through the partnership with IWU.  Please pray with us and thanks be to God for the way the Spirit moves among us!

Dr. Martin Rice, the Dean of the program with our project coordinator Rolando Escola

Dr. Martin Rice, the Dean of the program with our project coordinator Rolando Escola

The group meeting at the school for the disabled in Cayambe.  Here we were meeting the music teacher who is blind and he was explaining how he teaches using music

The group meeting at the school for the disabled in Cayambe. Here we were meeting the music teacher who is blind and he was explaining how he teaches using music

Meeting with the members of the Movement of people with disabilities in Cayambe

Meeting with the members of the Movement of people with disabilities in Cayambe

Group picture after our meeting.

Group picture after our meeting.

Categories: Cayambe, Clinic, Ecuador, IWU, Ministry, Partnerships, Travel, Updates, Vision Team | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joel’s trip to the States and Kim’s special visitor

Some of you may be aware but some of you may not that Joel made a trip to the States from the 5th to the 14th of November.  He went to be with his dad, Earl, who was getting his hip replaced.  Joel went to be there for surgery (actually arriving before it) and for his three day stay in the hospital.  He was there until his dad was transferred from the hospital to a rehab center.  After his rehab is completed, Joel and his siblings made the decision with Earl to have him move into the assisted living section of the facility, which is called Hubbard Hill in Elkhart, IN.  Though this has been a difficult time for Earl, it was good that Joel was able to be able to travel to be with him and Earl does seem to be doing well since his surgery.  Here is a picture of Earl with Joel’s sister, Shana, before his surgery.

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While Joel was in the States, we that stayed back were blessed by having grandma come.  When Joel decided to go the States, we had just about a week to plan what we would do and so we asked my mom if she might be able to come and stay for the time Joel was gone.  Praise the Lord it did.  We weren’t sure when the next time might be that we would see family and it was such a great time together.  Mom was a huge help of course to me just trying to navigate life on a daily basis.  Laundry alone is a lot to keep up with as well as dishes!  We are SO thankful that we had this time together.  THANKS MOM for coming!  We miss you already!  It’s kind of hard to explain sometimes how I feel when my mom leaves to go back to the States.  On a day to day basic, although I think about it, I try not to think about the fact that family and friends are so far away.  We push through, especially on those days we feel we can’t do, the overwhelming days.  But when she has been here and has been such a help and has been with us day in and day out, I realize how much I need her and I realize on days like that that it is a sacrifice to live far away from family.  The goodbyes in the airport are hard.  It’s probably good there is a flight so that there is a forced separation, otherwise we might just hug and make up reasons to give each other another hug.  I try to save the tears for the car, but rarely make it and then probably pass people wondering why the white lady is crying.

SO, here we are, back in the daily grind of life.  It was such a huge blessing to have mom here and we hope by now she has recovered from all the playing and laundry and dishes and games, etc that is our day to day here.  Miss you grandma!

 

Esther with her blankie

Esther with her blankie

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Simeon after his soccer practice

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My mom, on behalf of their church Sunday school class donated a small heater to the clinic staff in Cayambe because it is so cold-especially when weighing those little babies!

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I think they liked the heater!

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Grandma, Joel and Simeon climbed to the Lake Cuicocha. Mom was afraid she wouldn’t make it, but she did!

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The kids watching the condors

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Esther and grandma with Imbabura in the background

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Happy Halloween

It’s a pretty rare event for the kids to be able to celebrate Halloween here in Ecuador but we were able to this past Friday and we were able to do so with our friends and fellow ECC missionaries, the Hoskins.  The kids were able to go trick-or-treating (sorry we forgot to get the picture) and we carved pumpkins and watched the World Series game afterwards.  Safe to say we had a lot of fun!halloween_2016

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Pastor’s Retreat

This past week Joel and Simeon went to the bi-annual Covenant Pastor’s Retreat on the coastal city of Crucita.  Kim and the other kiddos didn’t go because we had a ministry event in Cayambe on the Sunday of the weekend.  Simeon and Joel had a good time taking a bus to get there, spending time with other pastors and church leaders while there and of course playing on the beach!

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Categories: Ecuador, Evangelical Covenant Church, Family Fun, Simeon, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Still Growing

This past week, we continued our work toward self-sustainability by planting more crops, including trees around our upper lot to protect the crops from the wind.

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What I would tell my 23 year old self…

I remember right before Joel and I got married, I was 23 and thought, of course, that I knew it all.  During bridal showers and other events leading up to our wedding, there were some people that were pretty negative about marriage.  Comments like, “Oh, that lovey dovey stuff will fade”, “you’ll see, things will be different in a few years,” “romance will fade,” “those things you argue about now…just wait”.  And they went on.  I was pretty shocked about it to be honest.  I was over the moon happy and excited about marriage, why wasn’t everyone else?  Also, seeing that I was as happy as I was, why would people say things like that?  They were totally raining on my parade.  After we heard the amount of comments we did that seemed negative, Joel and I said we wouldn’t be that way.  In 10, 15, 25 50 years, we didn’t want to be negative.  We still wanted to have romance in our marriage, we still wanted to be happy and excited like we were at that moment.

I look back now and although it was probably not done in a good way at all, those people were sharing wisdom.  It sure didn’t seem that way at the time, but I think they were trying to be real and honest and just weren’t sure how to do it.  It’s kind of like when someone tells you when you’re pregnant, “wow, you are really getting big!”  At the heart of the comment they are actually probably trying to give a compliment and just doing a very poor job.  No pregnant woman WANTS to hear she is big just like no soon-to-be bride wants to hear that the romance they have right now is going to fade.  But, being a pregnant woman that felt like a whale all three times, I got bigger and it is safe to say that I am in a different place in my marriage than when I was 23.

SO, what WOULD I tell my 23 year old self?  How would I explain the journey of marriage without raining on the romance parade?

I specifically learned pretty early on that a marriage is not about a wedding.  As much as stores would like you to think that spending $20,000 on the wedding of your dreams is what is going to make a girl happy, they are sorely, SORELY mistaken.  When the food is eaten and the couple says “I DO” and the gifts are unwrapped and the honeymoon is over, life sets in and that $20,000 is money you wish you had back to start a life, invest in pre-marital counseling or other things.  I have told many young brides that although the wedding will likely be amazing, what are you doing to prepare for your MARRIAGE?

I would have tried to tell my 23 year old self that after a period of time, those feelings you had change.  They don’t leave, they change.  It is at that point that you have a choice.  That choice is one that you have every day.  When you argue and fight and struggle and doubt and think “what in the world did I get in to,” those are the moments when you CHOOSE to love your spouse.

It’s not all pretty and perfect and romantic.  I preface this saying that my husband has done an amazing job at keeping the romance alive-flowers for no reason, nights away, love notes, surprises for no reason and on and on.  He knows what makes me happy and what makes me feel loved by him.  That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get messy.  Arguments, big ones happen.  Sorrow and loss happen.  Loneliness happens…life…HAPPENS.  Our journey as Christians was never promised to be easy and I think that translates to marriage as well.  We were never promised it would be easy, but that is not stuff that is often talked about at bridal showers.  I would tell my 23 year old self that life happens and struggle and pain and sorrow happen.  It’s important to know what you are going to do when it does.  Are you gonna pack up and take off or dig in a stick it out, work through it and be better.

There is not a single person besides God and your spouse that know you better.  It’s easy when you look and feel beautiful at your wedding to be lovable.  But what happens after three kids, late nights or early mornings, when arguments set in that you continue to have over and over.  Your spouse sees you at your worst and you see your spouse that way too.  I am thankful to have a husband that loves me in spite of my worst moments.  He has a choice each day and he chooses me as I choose him.  It’s not always easy.  You are saying YES to something that is completely unknown.

The man who married us, Jim Lo and his wife told us that you have to put your life in this order: God, spouse, family, ministry.  I would have told my 23 year old self to listen to that, believe it and create a life around it.  God has to hold you or the rest of it doesn’t work.  There were times in our marriage when other things got in the way of this order.  This is so very important.

Stay current.  I think this is the modern way of saying “don’t keep a record of wrongs”.  We listened to a cassette tape sermon series and this is one of the main things we took from that series (that we listened to on a VERY long road trip).  There are going to be times that you want to bring up past hurts, arguments and faults.  DON’T!  By staying current and talking through an issue soon after it happens and then letting it go is so much better than not talking about it and bringing it up over and over.  It does NO good and only hurts.  No one wants to continually have those things brought up and hung over their head.  Forgive as God has forgiven you because you have your own list of faults too!

I would tell my 23 year old self that I love my husband more today than I did on our wedding day.  It looks different and FEELS different and it is a different love.  A mature love that grows.

SO, what brought all of this up?  Well, a little less than a month ago, one of my favorite Christian artists came out with a new song.  She hadn’t had a new song for a long time because she got married, took a hiatus and had children.  The song she wrote has her husband singing with her and they wrote it together.  I feel it is such a testament to marriages from our generation and how they need Jesus to hold them.  In the second half of the song, it says:  “We reflect the greater story of the King and His bride, we’re not hidden, but shine brightly bearing witness in the night.”  This hit me so hard, like a ton of bricks and I feel I had never visualized our marriage this way.  I need to.  We do reflect the greater story of our King.  I want to shine brightly even on those dark days and in those dark moments.  Join me!  Let Jesus hold your marriage.

Here is the song in case you want to listen to it.

Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.  2 Corinthians 3:18

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Serving Rumipamba

This past week we partnered with the Evangelical Covenant Church of Dassel, MN as well as the Covenant Church of Rumipamba, Ecuador to hold a free Medical Caravan for the community of Rumipamba.  Over 120 patients received a free medical exam as a ministry of the Covenant Church of Ecuador in showing the love of Jesus Christ.

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A Visit from Covenant World Relief

This past week we had a visit from Covenant World Relief, the Relief and Development branch of the Evangelical Covenant Church.  CWR supports a FACE dairy project that is nearby our project in Cayambe, in the Covenant Kichwa communities of Lote 3 and San Antonio de la Pachka.  They also visited our project because even though our project supported by CWR, it is supported by the ECC and ECC missionaries.  I (Joel) also setup a meeting between CWR and the FACE Board of Directors.  It was great having them with us!

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