Thursday, July 21, 2022

Summer in Ecuador

We are having a good summer being back in Ecuador. Before we arrived, we got to spend a week in Panama, for our Avant Latin America Conference. In 2019 Avant joined with the Camino Global Mission. Camino had quite a few missionaries working in Central America and this was the first time missionaries from both missions in Latin America were able to join together and get to know each other. We had over 170 in attendance. It was a very encouraging time. One of Avant’s new ministries is working to help raise up Latin missionaries and send them around the world. Please pray that many will be willing and able to go.


A large national strike began right before we arrived in Ecuador. The indigeonous people were demanding the government cut gas prices among other things. Many roads were blocked making travel almost impossible. Grocery store shelves became bare because trucks weren’t able to enter Quito. Thankfully the demonstrations were in other areas and our neighborhood mostly remained quiet. At times there were just a lot of horns honking.

Unfortunately, many of our plans had to be canceled. Scott was unable to go to Guayaquil for a conference he was to speak at. Kristi had hoped to attend an end of the year event with her students who she’s worked with for 2 years and never actually met face to face. Thankfully the strike ended after 18 days and now things are back to normal.

One of things canceled was our 6th grade graduation and they were unable to reschedule it until tomorrow. Kristi was asked to speak at the event, so pray for her tomorrow (Friday) morning.


Last Sunday Scott was privileged to help honor some students who finished a discipleship course.

After being separated from Lindsey all summer, we can't wait for her to arrive on Saturday night with 2 of her best friends. We have a lot planned for the time they are here. Lindsey is going to be baptized. The girls are going to spend 3 mornings helping with summer school for the group of homeschool students Kristi works with. We'll also show them around Quito and take them out of town for a couple of nights.


Scott enjoyed interacting with the leadership of the seminary which sponsors his newest online course.

Scott has continued teaching his Hebrew classes online this summer. His latest group started in April and has proved to be a really committed group of students. We have enjoyed being back at our church, English Fellowship Church. It is a very international church with people from around the world attending. Scott will be preaching this Sunday. Please pray for him as well.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Twice to Ecuador

What a beautiful time of the year it is! After living on the equator in Ecuador for so long, it is different being back where there are seasons of the year again.

Tonight I am sitting here at my computer enjoying the spring program that Edukasa, the little home school I am working with is giving tonight. I continue meeting with eight 4th graders every morning.

Scott had a wonderful two weeks in Ecuador!

He met with several of his students.


He presented 4 conferences to about 500 people.

He was interviewed on a Christian radio station.

One of his highlights was meeting with Marco and Carolina, a young couple who have studied with him in the past. They are working at a church, but their dream is to be missionaries. Right before Scott arrived at their home, they learned that Marco was accepted to join a team of Latin Americans who will be going on an exploratory 3-week missions trip to Turkey, Nepal and Kenya. Scott was able to rejoice with them in this next step. Pray that they will be able to raise the funds he needs for the trip. Pray that this trip will result in sending other missionaries from Ecuador to these needy countries.

Upon returning home, Scott started a new Hebrew class with students from two of the conferences he gave. He has started with 52 students. These first days take a lot of patience as Scott is helping them learn the platforms they are using to study online. It is common for numbers to dwindle quickly because of a lack of discipline to do the work required. Pray that God will give commitment to those who should stay in the class.

Another highlight from his trip was meeting with Segundo and María and sharing the gospel with them. Two of María´s brothers have been Scott’s students, but she and Segundo were not Christians. The brothers and Scott each took turns sharing the gospel with this couple and ended up praying with them as they made the decision to follow Christ. One of the brothers is going to lead them through a study on baptism, and they have asked Scott to baptize them this summer when we are back in Ecuador. Pray for growth in the lives of these new believers.

On June 7 we are headed to Panama where we will enjoy a week-long conference with fellow Avant missionaries to Latin America. From there we will continue to our home in Quito. We will spend about two months this summer in Ecuador with more ministry opportunities in person.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Delayed Return

 

We want to share some news with you about some new plans we have made. For the past several weeks we were struggling with knowing what was best for our family. In a nutshell we have decided to delay our return to Ecuador one year.

As a junior in high school Lindsey has been really patient with the adjustments she had to make just before and during the pandemic. From kindergarten to seventh grade she was always in the same school in Ecuador, but then things changed. She was in the US for 8th grade and half of 9th. She was online in Ecuador for half of 9th and all of 10th. And now she is back in the US for this year. She only has one year left of high school and we want to help her finish well. She will continue to study next year at Berean Academy, graduate, and from there move forward with plans for college.

We are both teaching online in Ecuador from our home in Kansas. It is working very well, but there is a lot we can gain by being in person too. Although our home base will be in the US for several months, we will also be making several trips to Ecuador to augment our ministry with a personal presence. Scott already has tickets for a trip from March 29 to April 12. We are planning a two-month trip together for this summer as well. And more trips are in the works for next school year.

While we are here, a big part of us always longs to be back in our adopted country. Scott is excited about the chance to be back for a couple of weeks. He plans to spend much of the time on the road, visiting students in AmbatoChimborazoCuencaPifoQuitoTabacundo, and maybe more. Pray for opportunities to come together in the best way possible. Pray for smooth travel both by air and land. Pray also for Kristi and Lindsey while they continue their normal activities in Kansas.

The house we are living in is already promised to another missionary family for next year. We are currently checking other options for the best arrangements for after we return this summer. Pray that God will lead and provide regarding our housing.

On a family note, we are proud of the Berean Lady Warriors basketball team. They went to state this year and finished the tournament last weekend with fourth place! Lindsey hasn’t seen much playing time on the varsity team, but she did get to accompany the team to Manhattan anyway. We all enjoyed the extra excitement of cheering for our team in Bramlage Coliseum! And for a couple of days, our students in Ecuador received their instruction from a new location!

Thursday, February 3, 2022

La Gasca Mudslide

 It hasn't been long since we wrote, but we want to give you another quick update.

As we were writing our last email, a disaster was underway in Quito. Ecuador always has heavy rains this time of year, but the last few days in the capital have been the wettest since 2003. A reservoir above part of the city overflowed resulting in a large mudflow in La Comuna and La Gasca, two heavily populated communities about two miles from our home. For those who are familiar with the city, they are located roughly below and slightly to the north of the TeleferiQo.

Sadly, at least 24 people lost their lives, 48 were wounded and others are still missing. The destruction of property was also very costly.

You can read a couple of articles here:



Here is a special report from Quito's newspaper with several images:

This is a collage of videos from the disaster. If you watch, please be aware that there will be some disturbing images.

  • Please pray for the people who have been affected by the mudslide.
  • Pray for our church in Quito as they are taking steps to help with the relief work.
  • Pray for all of God's people to reflect his love at a difficult moment.
  • Pray for God's Spirit to work at a time when people might be asking some big questions.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Collaborating Globally

One of the activities Scott asks of his Hebrew students is to read small portions of the Hebrew Bible together during their class time. His most advanced class is currently working through chapter 1 of the book of Jonah. They recently had an especially rewarding conversation when they noticed a play on words that shows up in the early verses of the book. They also found a word in Hebrew that seems to contribute toward a comparison between Jonah and Jesus. It is so rewarding to have their weeks of study begin to pay off in the way they read scripture!


Some of Scott's students have recently experienced difficult life circumstances that are threatening their ability to continue study, including a mugging and a stroke. Please pray for these students to be able to overcome the challenges in their lives. Pray that God will also keep all of the Hebrew students committed for as long as he would have them advance.

The Aleph with Beth material is being developed partially by a team of volunteers who want to see the Hebrew language available for the entire world. At the same time that Scott uses it for his students, he is able to invest in parts of it that are shared with others as well. He has already contributed to online quizzes in a couple of different formats. More recently, he is helping to translate the grammar lessons from English to Spanish. These written versions of the lessons accompany the videos that are available on YouTube. Scott has been collaborating with a young lady in Spain to do these translations, each contributing a different set of strengths. It's amazing to see how God is pairing together just the right people, and how it can happen from different corners of the globe! Pray that these tools can make a difference for the global church.

If you're curious you can see some of the resources here:

Video playlist

Grammar lessons in English

Grammar lessons in Spanish

Quizzes in Hebrew

Quizzes in Spanish

List of more ways to volunteer

Kristi continues meeting with eight 4th graders every morning. They are nearing the end of the 1st semester next week. January has been a rough month for some of them. Four of them and/or their families have had Covid. Thankfully this week everyone is well or nearly recovered. 

Please pray for one student who is really struggling with his family life. His parents are divorced and he is facing some really dark days. Pray that he as well as his family come to know Jesus.

We enjoyed our Christmas break with family. Luke was able to spend about 3 weeks with us, David, Shelby and Evelyn were with us about 10 days and Joel and Jaden just for a couple of days. We loved the time with each one of them, but especially the time to get to know our granddaughter. 




Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Wonderful Deeds!

 I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;

I will tell of all your WONDERFUL DEEDS.

Psalm 9:1

We want to give thanks to the Lord and tell you some of the WONDERFUL DEEDS he has done for us.

God has put you into our lives! We are so thankful for each of you and your faithful prayers, support, love and encouragement through the past year. Through you, God has provided above and beyond financially, the provision of a second car, and the gift of your prayers and friendship. Thank you so much!

God in his unique way has allowed Scott to continue teaching Ecuadorians from the United States. Scott continues teaching Biblical Hebrew three evenings a week and totally loves what he is doing. His classes on Monday and Wednesday nights are small groups but they are making some good progress in being able to read and understand. 


He started a new class a month ago on Thursday nights and has 29 students. These students come from Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Peru and Mexico.

God has also allowed me (Kristi) to continue teaching for EduKasa, a homeschool group from Ecuador. The pandemic has made the economic situation in Ecuador very difficult for many families. A year ago a group of families who were not able to afford keeping their children at Alliance Academy formed EduKasa. This year we have about 45 students. The parents chose the Abeka curriculum, a Christian curriculum in English. The children know English but most of their parents do not, so that is where I fit in. Abeka provides videos for each subject each day. This year I am working with nine 4th graders throughout the morning. I meet with the entire group for two 30-minute sessions each morning. We practice what they are learning and I make sure they are understanding, we review for tests or quizzes, read outloud, and just come together as a class. I also meet with each student individually twice a week. I also grade their work, answer lots of questions, and just make sure they are doing what they need to do. I miss the in-person classroom, but love my nine students and the chance to meet with them daily.


We are so thankful for all God has provided for Lindsey. We are thankful for her Christian school and her teachers. She is so glad to be back in person this year. God has provided her an amazing group of friends who even kept up with her while she was back in Ecuador. Now she is looking forward to finally playing basketball again. She was only able to play part of the season her freshman year and none her sophomore year. 

We are so thankful for how God has provided for Joel and Jaden in their first months of marriage. God provided Joel a job as a coffee machine technician. He works at fixing and maintaining coffee machines in coffee shops. It has been so good to have Joel and Jaden close by these past months but this last weekend we helped them move to Rogers, Arkansas. His company needed a technician in that area and Jaden continues working her same job online. They are looking forward to finding a new home church and making new friends.

These are just some of the wonderful deeds God has done for us. What wonderful deeds has God done for you? Write to us and let us know. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Creative Tools for Remote Learning

 We had a wonderful summer and enjoyed some vacation time in California with David, Shelby and Evelyn. We especially enjoyed celebrating Evelyn’s 1st birthday with her.


We also were able to stand beneath the tall, majestic sequoia trees...


and look out over the Grand Canyon.



We arrived back home tired of driving but in awe of God’s amazing creation.

Lindsey is back to school and glad to be back in person instead of online. She is starting her junior year. We all are adjusting to having her gone during the day again. Kristi is looking forward to the Ecuador homeschool group beginning on September 7th. She will be moving up with her students to 4th grade.

Scott continues teaching online from Kansas to Ecuador. He just adjusted his classes, combining some so he will be able to start a new class. Pray for details to come together soon regarding the new class. Pray also for his students to remain faithful in their studies. In the advanced group, one of the students, Maria, volunteered to lead a practice time of reading the Hebrew text with the class.


One of the questions Scott gets is how it is possible to teach from Kansas to Ecuador. In the past Scott has tried to teach a Greek class packed into a couple of weekends. Since it was outside of the city of Quito, Scott had to travel several hours to get there. Well, anyone who has studied a new language knows that cramming a bunch of hours into a weekend is not an effective way to learn it. So when Covid began some of the tools for remote learning proved to be valuable. For example, Scott was able to begin meeting once a week with his classes via Zoom.

Yes, the internet availability and the learning curve of new technology has been a challenge for some of his students who live outside of the city and in rural areas or in small villages. But with help, they have been able to learn how to join class on Zoom and how to hand in their homework on Google Classroom.

Another app that has been a huge help is WhatsApp. This app is completely free and everyone living in Ecuador uses it. Scott is able to communicate with his students by phone, video chat or enhanced messaging to help them with questions. The face to face contact is missing but in many other ways it is a great way for Scott to teach.