I love having people stay with us. I grew up in a home where there was “always room for one more”, where a year didn’t go by that we didn’t have someone from another culture, country, or state, living with us.
My parents were always welcoming people in. And because of that upbringing and home atmosphere, our home, here in Ibarra or wherever home is to us, also has the mindset of, “Come”, “You are welcome”, “Be at home”, “There is always room for one more”.
How much our lives have been enriched by the dear souls that have walked through our doors, by the conversations we have had as we have sat around our table or stood around our kitchen counter or broken bread together…. what a privilege and a blessing!
In May we were able to host two lovely groups of people.
The first guests were a retired missionary couple that had previously lived in Ecuador. They were the sweetest older couple with a daily morning routine of him getting up and making coffee and tea for the both of them with a side of crackers and chocolate (so sweet!).
They were such an encouragement to us, praying with and for us, exploring a bit of Ecuador together, and in the end, introducing us to one of my favorite devotionals to date (prayasyougo.com)
(We didn’t get any photos of us together, but we did get pictures of our explorations with them!)
The next group we hosted were our very good friends from Sweden/Ecuador. We had previously stayed with them in their home in Sweden last year, and we were so excited to be able to host them in our home this time. They also came with her parent’s from Sweden so our house had English, Swedish, and Spanish all going on at the same time, sometimes all within the same sentence. It was such a lovely time and again, such an encouragement to see them and spend time with them. Beautiful people!
We also were able to host our sister friend, Esther! Who is becoming a regular guest and practically has her own room in our house. WE LOVE HER!
Thanks for coming and visiting!
And if YOU, the friend, family or acquaintance reading this, ever want to come to Ecuador and need a place to stay, there is always room for you. Come.
And we’re back from Thanksgiving!
Even though Thanksgiving and I have our differences, I do love the fact that it brings family and friends together, and for that reason, I do celebrate and give thanks.
This year was the first year that I wasn’t able to be with my family during Thanksgiving and so it was really special for me to be able to come together with our missionary family here in Ecuador.
I loved the traditional food we had, the fact that everybody brought something and participated in some way, and that we all went around the table and shared what we were thankful for.
But what truly made it feel more like “home” was the little things, like laughing while doing the dishes, hearing the cracking and popping of a fire in the fireplace, sneaking bits of food here and there as we prepared the meal, the coolness of a rainy Quito day, and the sweet friendship and camaraderie we share.
And although we didn’t do the traditional Grothe, “after-dinner-before-dessert-hike-around-the-circle”, we did do a hike the day after thanksgiving and listened to Christmas music all day. *happy heart* It truly was a lovely Thanksgiving.
This past week we also had our first guests from Minnesota and our home church in Minnesota, the Millers! It was so fun to spend a few days with them as well as hear home church news and happenings in Minnesota. It was so lovely to be able to show them our lovely country we call home! Thanks Millers for the love, encouragement, and visit!
And with that, we closed off our November and said hello to the much anticipated month of the lovely December, which will be filled with but not limited to:
- Christmas decorating and music
- christmas cookie bakes
- much candle lighting
- cozy fires in the fireplace
- Christmas services and celebrations
- Christmas movie nights
- rest, and rest
- Richard’s whole family coming to spend Christmas with us in Ibarra.
- I am so excited that I could pop!
The Christmas season is definitely my favorite: all the excitement, decorations, togetherness, and what it means for us as a people of faith in Christ.
That is why I absolutely love and participate in Advent, as it prepares us and gently leads us into reflection and preparation for Emmanuel, the celebration of God with us. God with us.
God, with us.
Hallelujah and Amen!
Bring it on, December! We are so ready for you!