Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Why teach Hebrew?

Scott continues to teach Hebrew online to several students in Ecuador. You might ask whether it’s worth the investment. Not every Christian needs to know the biblical languages, right? Yes, that’s true both in our own culture as well as in Ecuador. Nevertheless, we think there are some good reasons to teach Hebrew in Ecuador right now.

  • Thankfully we have the scriptures in both English and Spanish, and we can study it well in these languages. However, there should be some people who can study it to a deeper level. Not everyone should be an expert, but some should be.
  • Ecuador needs its own theologians. Imagine if the only experts on the Bible were people outside of our culture. Imagine if there were almost no theologians in the United States, or if the only really trustworthy Christian academics were German speakers. Would you have confidence that we had a good handle on the truth? Might you want a greater voice for biblical interpretation from those who spoke your language and understand your situation?
  • There are several Spanish versions of the Bible. Spanish speakers sometimes have the same question that you and I have: How do I know which one is right? Why can we sometimes say that two different expressions are both good translations of the same original text. Even if we can’t read the original, we have greater confidence if we know an expert can do a thorough job of comparing the differences. Ecuador needs to have a handful of people who can build the confidence of others, and in some cases argue for the preference of a certain frase over another in particular verses.
  • Sometimes commentaries “prove” their interpretations based on the original language, and yet one commentary still arrives at a different conclusion than another. Someone needs to be available who can help churches evaluate the relative strength of opposing arguments.
  • Currently there are false teachers in Ecuador who are spreading their doctrine with support from fallacious arguments from Hebrew. If nobody knows Hebrew, it’s hard to prove that these supposed experts are wrong. Ecuador needs mature followers of Christ who can defend true doctrine with the legitimate use of the biblical languages.
  • Ecuador is beginning to send missionaries to other parts of the world. There are still many languages that do not have their own translation of the Scriptures. Some Ecuadorian missionaries can become Bible translators if they learn Greek and Hebrew. Two of Scott’s students have aspirations along this line.

These are a few of the reasons Scott is heavily investing his time in the teaching of Hebrew. We believe Ecuador has a need, and God has equipped Scott to help for such a time as this.

Recently, two of Scott’s students sent him an encouraging audio message. You can enjoy this one-minute video with subtitles in English to see how excited they are:

One of Scott’s newest students is a Venezuelan pastor who connects to his class online along with another man in his church. Sometimes technology is effective at breaking down barriers in interesting ways. At this point we aren’t necessarily targeting people in other Latin American countries, but we are open to allowing God to use this ministry in any way he sees fit. Pray that Scott’s Hebrew classes will be an effective tool to strengthen churches in Ecuador and beyond.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Highlights from our trips

 Last time we wrote that Covid was interfering with our plans for travel. Thankfully, we have fully recovered, and we were able to take our trips. Kristi visited David and Shelby and enjoyed getting to know our new granddaughter. Scott had to delay his itinerary a little, but he had a fruitful trip to Ecuador.

Here are some highlights:

Meetings with church leaders

 Workshop with pastors in Riobamba

Scott shared the message at a small church plant in Chaupi. The lady on the right and several children made a decision to follow Christ.

Scott was given an hour and half to participate in a radio broadcast.



It was a joy to celebrate a graduation for some of his Hebrew students.


Kristi with our granddaughters


Scott sold many books to help encourage biblical literacy.


Strengthening friendships


Visiting students


It was fun to join others in watching Ecuador play the opening game of the World Cup soccer tournament. Unfortunately, Ecuador’s team was eliminated today.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Unexpected Twist


We expected to write this update a little differently than what it’s going to be. We have had big plans for the coming week, but now they are adjusting due to an unexpected twist. Let us explain.

Shelby and David gave birth to our second granddaughter on October 20. We are proud to welcome Elisabeth Joy Edgren to this world—9lbs 4oz., and 20.5 in. Kristi has tickets to fly to California on Wednesday and visit them for a few days.

Meanwhile, Scott has been working hard to plan a trip to Ecuador to visit students and encourage pastors for three weeks. His ticket is for this Tuesday.

Unfortunately, we have both come down with Covid. Thankfully, we seem to have mild reactions to it. But it certainly throws a wrench into our plans. Kristi is still hoping to travel as planned. Scott is going to have to change his departure date and most likely will cut his trip down from three weeks to two. Please pray for us to recover quickly and for God’s will in our travel plans.

In the meantime, we continue to teach from home—not missing TOO many of our classes. Last night Scott’s students seemed impressed that he would care enough to teach them even when he’s not feeling well.

So far, Lindsey is feeling great! Please pray for her as she goes into a busy 2 week stretch of the final play rehearsals for the highschool play she is part of. She also is in the final stages of writing her Senior English Research paper.  

Pray for Lindsey regarding her future decisions for college. She’s in the middle of the turmoil that most seniors face about this time of year! We are really proud of her and she is looking at some great options. We simply recognize that the decision seems bigger than all of us, and we could use some divine intervention! Without that we don’t think we could adjust to the unexpected twists that are sure to come.

Stay healthy!

Scott and Kristi

Monday, September 5, 2022

Another home, Another school year

 In August, we celebrated 20 years since we first arrived in Ecuador. Our family has changed a little!

After what felt like a whirlwind of a summer, we are back in Kansas and settled in a different house in Newton for this school year. The past 4 years have been a bit crazy for us with lots of changes. This is our 5th house in these 4 years.  Lindsey began her senior year and is staying busy with being a volleyball manager and having a part in the high school play.

During the last weeks in Ecuador this summer, Kristi finally was able to meet face to face with the students she has been working with for the past two years. They enjoyed a morning of hanging out together, playing games and eating. She was also invited to speak at the sixth grade graduation.

Kristi starts school again on September 8. She will be working with both 4th and 5th grade this year. Fourth grade has 3 students and 5th grade has 7. The school is structured so that the students watch their Abeka videos each morning. Kristi’s task is to meet an hour a day with both 4th and 5th grade as well as meet individually each week with all 10 students. On Wednesdays, all the students will be meeting in person together in Quito and she’ll be joining them by video call. She grades their work, answers questions, reviews and ensures they understand what they are to be doing.

Last week we received a call from our Ecuadorian friends who are using our car in Quito while we are gone. They had been visiting some friends Saturday evening and left our car parked on the street since that was the only option. When they went out to leave, they found the car stripped, the dashboard as well as many things under the hood. Our insurance will cover it, though the way they do it is different than in the United States. They have the car and are working with a mechanic to fix the car back up again. Since the car is an older model, and many original parts are not available, they will be finding other options. Pray with us that they will get it fixed and running well again.

Last January, one of Scott’s friends asked him if he could teach a class on the Pentateuch again. Scott tentatively agreed to do it and never heard anything back until Friday night. He received a text that said he hoped Scott was remembering that he was starting his class on Saturday evening. So Scott has suddenly added a new class. The last time he taught this group, they resisted turning on their cameras and were super quiet. Things went pretty well on Saturday. Pray that Scott can find good ways to encourage them to answer questions and join in on discussions.

Lindsey chose to be baptized in Quito this summer and Scott had the honor of doing it for her.

One of the highlights of our summer was having Lindsey and two of her best friends spend 10 days with us. Lindsey loved giving them a glimpse into her growing up years and the days were packed with lots of things to see and do.


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!