We have our tickets!

We leave May 24th and come back sometime in August.

As much as we are excited, we are also…..in sort of a state of huh?

This is such a weird limbo to be in.

We’re going to Ecuador…..

But we’re coming back.

We’re packing up our house and moving out.

But will continue to live in the US for a while.

We are quitting our jobs and saying goodbye to our students and co-workers.

But are still working on fundraising.

Honestly, we were a little disheartened to reach April first and have to buy round-trip tickets to Ecuador. Our goal was to be in Ecuador by this spring, and while we will be in Ecuador this spring, we will be coming back in the fall.

But, like a very wise and dear friend told me, “maybe it is a blessing in disguise” and we remember that. Sometimes we (ME…ELIZABETH!!!) are in such a rush to get from one thing to another, one place to another, one stage in life to another, that we forget this beautiful, step by step, sometimes seemingly slow, sometimes unnoticed, yet powerful thing called: process, journey.

God seems to be all about those processes, those slow (to us) processes. But he does things in them, he grows things in them, he changes things and renews things in them. I guess just think of nuts growing into trees or seeds growing into flowers, or babies growing into adults (no, don’t think about that too much, it will make you sad), or juice changing into wine, sweet tea into Kombucha? (hehe)…..a process. A growing, learning, changing, encountering, extending, expanding, enhancing, process.

It also gives us time to keep on preparing, to keep on learning, growing, connecting, forming partnerships, making memories, and just doing the daily habitual things that are so normal but so grounding and truly beautiful.

So, we move forward in faith that God can, in an instant, move us from 30% to 100%. And we move forward in faith that God is a good Father that can use this process to change us, renew us, grow us, stretch us, love us, and prepare us in his perfect timing, on this beautiful journey of life.





At the Grand Canyon….talk about a process!

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A financial update…..

Hello! and Hola!

We have just about 30% of our funds raised now.

And we are hoping to have at least 80% by the first week of April.

We need to raise 67,746 dollars in 1 1/2 months.

Let’s just say we have been learning a lot about faith lately.


Because we are the new trip facilitators in Ecuador, we are required to be there this summer, starting June.

Now, the ECC has graciously made an exception for us and has told us that we can leave in June for Ecuador to facilitate the teams coming during the summer months, but, if we do not have 80% of our funds by then, after the summer is over and all the teams have left, we have to return to the USA to continue fundraising.

Our hope and prayer is that we would have (at least) 80% of our funds in before then so we do not have to return and can stay in Ecuador and start life and ministry there.

That means, starting now until April, (when the director of Merge Ministries is going to buy our tickets to Ecuador, which we are hoping he will not have to do and that we can use the funds we raised to buy the tickets instead, like we have budgeted and planned for) we need to raise $67,746 to reach our goal of 80%….

by April.

It seems a bit crazy. That is a TON of money, in a very short amount of time, BUT…..as I said, we have been learning a lot about faith through this whole process and we know that God is the giver and sustainer of faith, we just need to take our part, act, say yes, open the door, sign up, step out and THAT is when we start to see God reality, God initiative, and God provisions happening.

I love what is says in Luke 12:29-34:

What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself. Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bank robbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” 

Of course, we aren’t going to do anything without praying and seeking the Lord and talking with our close friends and family, much like the process of saying yes to God’s calling us to Ecuador in the first place. But we know that He started it, and we know He is faithful in every step we have taken thus far, and every step we will continue to take. 

So, we are asking YOU to take that step of faith with us, however you can. We know without a shadow of a doubt (although sometimes the shadow seems REALLY large and REALLY dark), that God is greater then $67,746. And that this whole process of fundraising is neither us sitting back, letting God do all the “work” nor us thinking that WE are the ones gathering in the funds…..it’s a partnership; He’s so relational, so close, and so intimate with every detail of our lives and yours.

We pray together: “Father God, we believe, help us with our unbelief! Strengthen us and sustain us as only you can. Show us today, in this moment, how you are working and moving and how we can join you in what you are already doing! Amen!”


Please click the link below to donate online:


Or go to our “Partner With Us” page to see the others ways you can support and partner with us!


Thank you!


The Santanas


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Finding Joy .2

watching the sun creep across the floor while sitting sick on the couch

reading my friend’s deep and encouraging words on her blog

that birds still sing in the middle of winter (I can hear them now)

walking on the frozen lake at sunset

being able to celebrate (with my WHOLE family) my grandpa’s 91st birthday

traveling, with my siblings and husband, to the point, the tip top of of Wisconsin’s peninsula, which is Gills Rock.

stacks of books on the floor around the house

caring about my body

the noises the house makes as its warmed by the sun

starting my first seminary class!

dates (the fruit)

reading about Sabbath

this wooden table and beige blanket

meeting my dear friend’s sweet babe

free mondays and breakfasting with my sister


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