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A celebration of Diana and Pepe

September 27, 2023

Dear Family of Friends,

We intended to get this update out to you just prior to leaving. . . It looks like we didn’t! But here we are in a very warm (hot!) Buen Samaritano Clinic, Floron. Our trip was mainly focused on a wedding of Diana and Pepe who asked us long ago to be the madrina and padrina at their wedding. (An honor still used by traditional Latino’s at baptism, a girl’s 15th birthday and at a wedding). There was one challenge and that was that Pepe needed to receive papers (proof of birth etc.) from Cuba to satisfy Ecuadorian Civil laws. However, after over six months the papers have still not arrived, leaving bride to be and groom frustrated but making the best of it. We helped Diana through four years of nursing school and many, many tears. (“We know you can do this, Diana!”)

At 14 years of age, Pepe came over from Cuba with his father, both looking for work. Sadly, a couple years later his father died, leaving Pepe to fend for himself. Somehow Pepe met the guys in the youth group and began coming to all their church activities. They introduced him to us and when Carlos was leaving for the police academy, he asked us if Pepe could live in his apartment above the water production plant and take his place as water technician. During this time Pepe took an online course to finish his high school education; and Diana finished nursing school and was shipped off two hours away for her year long, rural experience which is required of all doctors, dentists and nurses upon completion of their education when graduating from a government funded university. Thus, I was concerned if the wedding will happen during the time we have here. . . and I have promised that we and their children will someday laugh about this exaggerated wait.

But there certainly were other irons in the fire for us to attend. As we bid farewell to Moises (our singing truck driver for the water) and Custodian/Assistant Director/now lawyer Fabricio last month we gratefully welcomed Fabian and Junior in those positions. Jobs are so difficult to come by it is always a joy to see these guys so eager to work and have benefits.

Meet our new employees:

Junior - Custodian

Fabian - Water Technician

Please meet some of the ladies who have put in endless hours and decades making baby quilts. Nancy Cook recently replaced Eloise Duell who gave years folding and delivering material and quilts. We miss seeing her and Don on our front doorstep.

Back row: Peru lady, Solage (Brazil), Nancy, Sduzanne

Front Row: Fernanda (Brazil), June, Cynthia, Margaret

We continue to ask for your prayers for the safety of our staff. The situation with the drug cartels has worsened and has infiltrated into our area. Also, October 15th a new president will be voted in, and we ask God to bless this country for a president who will be honest and invested in the people of Ecuador.

We thank you for your support through your continuous prayers. I realize that we also have concerns for our own country. May God bless our fervent requests.

Adelante en Cristo Jesus,

Elizabeth, Richard and Board

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