The Road to Ecuador – Trip Update

calendar-660669_1280We’re counting down the days here! We’re about thirteen weeks out. It’s been a lot like a jigsaw puzzle when you empty the box onto the table. Just a heaping jumble of cardboard. But, the pieces are starting to come together.  We’re seeing a picture now and it’s starting to look really good. We’re getting excited!

20160326_125256The passports are in. The tickets are purchased. Two huge hurdles behind us. Now for the elemental stuff.  After a long flight with longer layovers, we’ll arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where we’ll be spending the night before taking the beautiful drive up, up, and up into Cuenca. I’ve added a couple of miles to my workout to prepare myself for the high altitude and thin air.

Hey, are you lighter in high altitude?

writing-923882_1920We’ve also added a workshop on novel writing to my speaking schedule. That should be fun. And the guys will be working, too. I know they’re looking forward to it. We’re not sure what they’ll be doing yet, but they’ll be up for it.

I hope you’ll add our team to your prayers. We have a lot to do to prepare for this trip. We still need funding, so that means activity on our parts to raise the necessary money to pay for our expenses.

11110509_10204170624365310_3489856107082246488_oWhen God lays the plans for something, He doesn’t leave you on your own. You are filled with the knowledge, the desire, the energy to complete what He’s placed on your heart to do. Whether you’re building a tabernacle or temple for His use (Exodus 25), or buying groceries for a sick neighbor, you’ll have what you need when you need it. This is how it’s done. This is how missionaries can go into foreign countries and live and work. He provides for those who give their lives for His work.

He often uses the unlikely. I’m one of the most unlikely, in so many ways. But His call is planted deep in my heart.

  • Forgiveness
  • Restoration
  • The peace of God

This is the message I carry. What I have received in such abundance. This is the calling.

This is why I desire your prayerful support of our journey to Cuenca. If you’d like to help, please use the contact tab above to send me an email. Besides prayer, we need financial support. There are links listed below for you to explore a few of the places we’ll go and the other in-country ministries.

The translation of Annabelle’s Ruth is underway. We hope to have this book ready. There’s a cost involved for printing the Spanish translation, so that the proceeds from the sales will benefit the ministry in Cuenca. Here’s the link to help with the printing costs: (please reference “Annabelle’s Ruth” in the comments) https://giving.ag.org/Give/Details/600001-693941?MinistryName=unsion&Page

Dios los bendiga! God bless you!

CarlottasLegacyannouncing!

Other news – I have a book releasing in the near future. Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2, Legacy series, is nearly ready for it’s debut. The cover is not yet available, but I’ll keep you posted. Here’s a bit about the story:

Carlotta’s Legacy — After the stock market crash of 1929, Rebecca Lewis learns her family has lost everything, and her long engagement to an Italian count seems in jeopardy. When the count assures her of his continued affection, her parents urge her to follow through with the marriage. But Rebecca has serious doubts–though the marriage will secure her future–does she love him enough to spend the rest of her life with him?

As the Great Depression bears down on the world’s economy, and war in Europe threatens, Rebecca learns there is nothing more important than faith, love, and family.


If you’re interested in learning more about the missions in Ecuador…

11406481_10204566542023004_1656763691042702276_oUnsion Foundation, a Christian World-View television network is actively “Engaging the culture with the gospel.”
http://www.lacworldmissions.org/home
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lacworldmissions
Ecuador Hope House
Joil & Leah Marbut, Jungle Missionary

Sobre Cuenca (about Cuenca): http://www.ecuadorexplorer.com/html/cuenca.html

What Lies Ahead

  1. Write first post for 2016.
  2. Complete book 2 of Kinsman Redeemer Series: Sutters Landing.
  3. Get passport photo.
  4. Get passport.
  5. Fly to Cuenca, Ecuador for mission trip that includes a speaking engagement.
  6. Did you see #5?
  7. Omgosh! I am actually going to Ecuador!

Here’s how it happened:

My youngest son decided he wanted to go to Ecuador on a mission trip, and he wanted me to go with him. After a moment’s hesitation, I said, “Umm…okay…” In my head, I was already formulating all my excuses for why I could NOT go to Ecuador. But first…

12247775_10206343088474606_5277214904899162802_o
Bill & Connie McDonald, Missionaries to Ecuador

Why Ecuador? A couple of my acquaintance (Bill and Connie McDonald) left for Cuenca in 1989. I admired them greatly, and was so proud of them, but I have to admit–the very thought of going so far away frightened me. So I pledged to help them, which got me off the hook for the time being. All these years later, that couple–lead by God, of course–accomplished quite a lot: “…they have pioneered the Pentecostal Evangelical church in the Andean region of Ecuador, headed the Latin American Childcare (LACC) program to plant schools with a Christ-centered focus throughout the nation, and founded the Unsión Foundation and Unsión Television.” –from Unsion Foundation‘s webpage.

Bill and Connie are no longer full time over there, but travel back and forth. However, both their children are now serving in the Amazon regions. See Joil & Leah Marbut’s Jungle Missionary page.

11028013_10205835655310433_4512249505539321019_o
Youngest son & me

In early December, my son approached Bill McDonald and asked about making a trip. What could we do to help while we’re down there? Bill had an idea. He turned to me and said something that sounded a lot like: “I’d like to have you speak to a group of women in the area church…a three-day conference with around 150 women–possibly as many as 500.”

After I retrieved my chin from the floor, I realized that God had been preparing me for this. My first clue was the head nod. Instead of the back-and-forth of a negative response, I was nodding…as though accepting the invitation. Okay. That very morning, I had “happened” upon a blog post titled “Do It Afraid.” The writer speaks at conferences around the world. In the post, she confessed her constant battle with fear. Fear of flying, fear of strangers, fear of crowded places, but she refuses to let any of those stop her. So I knew instinctively, if God is calling me, He would give me all I need to accomplish it. Courage. Confidence. Material needs. Monetary provision. Strength for the journey.

Preparing the way. The last few months, I’ve been reading and studying scriptures and messages regarding forgiveness, pointing to certain topics, pinpointing painful circumstances in my life, as well as the lives of others close to me. These prodding messages caused me to turn inward and ferret out all the dredges of bitterness. I’m not claiming to be perfect, far from it. I think because it’s been an issue in my life, much of my writing includes the message of forgiveness and reconciliation. As Bill spoke about the problems faced by the Ecuadorian women, understanding flowed over me like rain.

TakeoffOver the next few months, as I prepare for this trip, I hope you’ll think of me and say a prayer for me, and for those going with us. We have a Facebook page started, called Ecuador Trip, and also a “Go Fund Me” page for those who’d like to help us make this journey. We’re also looking into translation of my books to Spanish.

The needs of these women are not so different from those of women around the world. I’m praying God will use the message of grace and forgiveness to heal their hearts and set the stage for what He has called them to do.

file0001745124941Along the way, I plan to keep you informed of our progress and give you insight into what God is speaking to my heart. He is not overwhelmed by the need, and neither should we be. Following his call should not be cause for fear, but for honor, and humility. Because I am well aware, He often chooses the least to accomplish his work.