Serving together in Quito

This past week we partnered with the Evangelical Covenant Church of Ceresco, NE to serve alongside the local church Primavera Alto in holding a medical caravan for their surrounding community in Quito. During the week, we saw around 150 patients and held a day of educational workshops. It was fantastic week of serving together uniting the local church to serve through the local church.

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Coming soon to a church near you!

Yes, that’s right.  Very soon we will be coming to a church near you.  On June 20th, we fly to Minneapolis, MN to be a part of the Covenant’s Annual Meeting which will be held there.  From the Annual Meeting, we will begin a process of over a month of consistent travel (visiting churches in Minnesota, Canada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island) before we settle into our home for a year in Goshen, IN.  We will be living in my (Joel) parent’s house as my dad is now living in a retirement home.  My dad is also going to let us to use his car for the year so some of the essentials for our year of Home Assignment are already taken care of.  Though it will be difficult to be away from our friends, our ministry and our home in Ecuador for a whole year, we are really excited to see the family and friends that we will be able to spend time with this year while we are in the States.  Please pray for us during this crazy time of transition and travel that we can remain sane.  We will see you soon!

 

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Women serving women

This week the Santiago Partnership had the privilege to partner with a group of women who served the women of Ecuador in Ambato and Las Delicias, near Santo Domingo. The group was made up of three Nurse Practitioners, a nurse, a “Jill of all trades”, a pastor and spiritual director from the States. We had multiple Ecuadorian ladies who also partnered, including the head of the national ministry of women for the Evangelical Covenant Church and others from Ambato, Las Delicias and other places too. Additionally, four of the missionary ladies here in Ecuador were also able to join. This caravan was all women, serving women and was lead by one of our own from the Santiago Partnership, Annalea Egging. It was a great week as women were seen for many ailments, treated in ways in which they would maybe not have been given treatment, cared for, encouraged and prayed over.
A HUGE thank you to Annalea for all her prep and leadership and thank you to ALL the ladies who gave of their time to serve in Ecuador.

Are you interested in being part of something like this? We can use anyone who is a women and would like to serve. Every 6 months, we are trying to do a women’s caravan such as this. The next one is scheduled for October of 2018. If you are interested, please contact the Santiago Partnership: info@santiagopartnership.org or Annalea Egging: annalea.egging@covchurch.org.

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Thank you Vanessa & Janelle!

Thank you to our friends Vanessa Alleruzzo and Janelle Fountas as they are heading home after three months of volunteering with us in the area of Occupational Therapy.  They served the Medical Clinic as well as the Home for At Risk Children and also reached out to a school for Disabled Children in Cayambe.  It has been a great time of partnership and serving together.  You will be missed!

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Ecuador Missionary Retreat

This past weekend we were blessed with the opportunity to be a part of the Ecuador Field Missionary Retreat.  Our Regional Coordinators, Pia & Eugenio Restrepo, were able to come down lead us in our time of devotions.  In addition to this, we also had a special family, the Bulgrins, who were able to come down from their home in Omaha, NE to be with us and for the sole purpose of watching all of our kids during the retreat.  It was so nice to be able to worship and have our time of devotion knowing that our kids were in good hands and were having a great time.  It was truly a time of rest and relaxation in the midst of an incredibly busy schedule that we have had.

 

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Thank you Emersons!

A little over a week ago, we received a visit from Brad and Sarah Emerson and their kids from Grand Rapids, MI. Brad and Joel are friends from college.  They took a family vacation to visit Ecuador AND to help in donating an I-Stat Blood Analyzer for the Medical Clinic that can perform many laboratory examinations in just a matter of minutes.  This equipment will be incredibly useful on many of our medical caravans as laboratory tests can be performed there on site in just a matter of minutes.  This analyzer will be of incredible benefit to our medical ministry.  Thank you to the Emerson family!

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from the Santiago Partnership!!! This week we celebrated Easter together in the Home for At Risk children with all of the staff of both the Home and Medical Clinic. We prepared the traditional Holy Week soup called Fenesca which has 12 different grains representing the 12 disciples. It takes many hours to prepare and it was delicious! In addition to celebrating Easter together, we also took time to thank our volunteers Vanessa Alleruzzo and Janelle Fountas as they are finishing up their time with us.

 

 

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Thank you IU School of Dentistry!

We had the privilege of working once again with the Indiana University School of Dentistry this week on a medical/dental caravan. We visited the Kichwa communities of San Antonio and 4 Lote. On Friday we spent the day in Juan Montalvo at Iglesia Emanuel. The dental team saw over 230 patients in total and the medical side saw approximately 150 patients. Thank you team for a great week and for your hearts to serve the people of Ecuador!

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The Loss of a Dear Friend

Kim and I lost a dear friend yesterday, Pastor Paul Thompson.  Paul was a member of the Board of the Santiago Partnership but more than that he was the pastor of our Home Church, Northwest Covenant Church in Mt. Prospect, IL, the many years we attended there.  He was the one who introduced us to Ecuador when he invited us to be sponsors on one of their Youth Trips there.  That is where we fell in love with Ecuador and soon followed the process of becoming missionaries with the Covenant to Ecuador.  You could say that we probably wouldn’t have ended up in Ecuador if it wasn’t for Paul Thompson.  In total, he took something like 15 trips to Ecuador over the years as it was one of his favorite places, especially to show and teach others about.  Paul has always been one of our biggest cheerleaders and emotional support.  He also dedicated both Simeon and Esther at Northwest.  For all of those who knew Paul, they would always comment on his love for life and love-for-others personality in which you always felt better after talking to him.  He lit up the room when he entered.  Kim and I will always remember him as a continuous example of unconditional love for others.

He will be greatly missed by all of us as we await our heavenly reunion one day again.

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Trip to Tarapoa

Earlier in the week, I (Joel) made a quick trip to the jungle town of Tarapoa.  Since I didn’t want to leave Kim without a car, I made the by bus.  It was a whirlwind trip leaving on Sunday night, traveling 8 hours to get there by Monday morning to have a meeting and a tour of a potential project and then finish of with lunch, all just to head back on a bus and make it back home at about 2 in the morning early Tuesday morning.  My head was spinning afterward with the lack of sleep and crazy travel.  I wanted to do it like that because we are really busy right now and we don’t have a lot of free time to spare.  The trip was a part of my responsibilities as being on the Board of Directors of FACE, the branch of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Ecuador that administrates the social projects.  We were visiting Tarapoa to scope out a new potential project of starting a coffee business by members of the Covenant Church of Tarapoa.  Though it was all a whirlwind, it worked out to be a great trip and I am very excited about the project.

 

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