May was a whirlwind month for us. I ( Erik) was travelling every week. Originally Kristina and I were scheduled to travel together but because of her pregnancy and the risk of getting Zika she stayed in Quito and worked from there.
The first week I travelled with leaders of IPEE to the coast visiting the most affected areas to plan relief in the midterm and long term and to encourage the poeple who had lost so much and those that were working around the clock to manage the relief that was arriving.
The second week of May Kristina and I helped translate for a group of doctors that came from Chicago to work with Santiago Partnership. Together we were able to attend 500 children around the city of Cayambe in the north of Ecuador.
The last two weeks we had Paul Noren and Roy Danforth visiting. They are both Covenant missionaries who have worked in Congo/Cameroon/ Central African Republic for longer than we have been alive. They are doing amazing work with agricultural development and have published books about what they have learned. They came to Ecuador on a seed gathering expedition and to see farming systems in Ecuador to take the information they learned back to their projects in Africa. We gathered thousands of seeds that we mailed to Cameroon and tried many new varieties of fruits. We spent the first week near the coast at a farm of a friend they had been corresponding and exchanging seeds with for over 30 years. We spent the second week on the Amazon side of Ecuador visiting farms and taking a 10 hour trek through primary rainforest. It poured almost the entire 11 kilometer hike but cleared up for the longboat ride back to where we were staying. It was a great experience to learn from them and see new parts of Ecuador.
As if the month wasn’t busy enough we also adopted a dog to keep Kristina company while I was travelling. She is a miracle dog that came trained and is very kind and well behaved.
The many trips up and down the Ecuadorian Andes seems to have taken its toll on our car and it has been in the mechanic for the past few days getting the transmission repaired.
We are looking forward to having Elizabeth and Richard Santana here this summer helping lead the MERGE (short term mission) trips and our good friends the Hoskins will be moving here in about a week to serve as long term missionaries with the Covenant. Please pray for them as they say their goodbyes and transition to life in Ecuador.