Hola from Quito, Ecuador!! We have arrived in our beautiful new city as of this past Monday. We are thrilled to be here and have received such a warm welcome. Thank you all for your prayers for our journey (including the last minute debacle with our visas that thankfully was resolved). Our final days in Chicago were busy as we packed our bags, cleaned our apartment and said countless goodbyes. For me personally, some of the hardest goodbyes were to the kids in our life that we have grown close to over the past several years. Our neighbors, nieces and nephews, and little friends from church who may not completely understand where/why we are going and will certainly grow and change a lot while we are apart.
We are currently staying in the Covenant guesthouse in Quito called Casa Sueca (Swedish House, due to it’s Swedish missionary origins). The house that we will be renting isn’t available until September 1 so we are camped here for the time being. It’s been a joy to be so generously welcomed by our fellow team members in Quito, Joel and Kim Delp and Ricardo and Mandy Suarez-Hjelm. They have already shown us great hospitality in having us over for meals, taking us around to run a few initial errands, and giving us some basic orientation of what to expect. We have also briefly met with the IPEE (Ecuadorian Covenant) leadership but since there is an important denominational conference going on this week we will likely not meet with them more until next week or the week after.
I (Kristina) had a very special birthday on the 19th as Erik and I had the opportunity to go to La Merced to visit our long time friend Fabian and his amazing family. (Remember our blog post about him?) It was such a joy to see them and we all remarked how special it was that we have this time of two+ years to spend together in close friendship and collaboration. It was very fun to watch our godson’s soccer game in the evening and then everyone threw me a “surprise” birthday party complete with a traditional face-cake smash. 🙂
On a different note, both Erik’s and my health have taken a toll in the last day or so. We aren’t sure if it something we ate, or being at high altitude, or the result of our general exhaustion from moving, or most likely a combination of all of the above. Regardless, we have some achey bodies with less than stellar digestion. We aren’t too alarmed because we know this is common, but it’s not super fun to be lethargic and nauseous when we would much rather be out exploring our new city. However, we are immensely grateful to have a place to stay with a private bathroom complete with a hot shower (what a luxury!) and good Wi-fi (another great luxury). It’s not a bad place to rest and recuperate.
Thanks for reading our rambling update and thanks especially for your continued prayers. We love you all so!