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April 2023: Preparing for June's Christian Music Mission

April 30, 2023

Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,

Are you ready for Spring? It seems that was the buzz around church this morning … and unbelievable days of rain which produced God’s handiwork in my flowers and blossoming trees. His beauty for our delight!

We have been home from Ecuador for a week; a brief 10-day trip packed with blessings. The “Quilters” at our church (CCPC) have supplied us with so many baby quilts that we were able to give quilts to a newly discovered orphanage besides our new mothers coming to Buen Samaritano Clinic. Thank you from us and this orphanage.

Our Quito friend Consuelo gives an orphanage volunteer a new blanket

“La Prosperina” is a new mission for mothers and children. An American couple purchased a run-down coffee plantation they are reviving; and with the coffee beans sales they are building two homes for abused moms and children. We were invited to their grand opening of a coffee house in the town square in the city called Jipijapa (Hippy – hoppa) – known for making Panama Hats but its true origin can be traced back to its sister city (Montecristi), not far away, in 1630.

Elizabeth, Flori (lawyer), Richard

Coffee house under Panama Hat

Richard spent the majority of his time preparing for June’s upcoming Christian music mission – all the way from formal permission from the city of Portoviejo to hold the Christian concert to electrical work necessary for the clinic concert. For those of you familiar with “The Chosen” a couple of episodes will be shown in the Clinic parking lot and Pastor Gabriel will continue to show this at the church in the weeks to follow. Yes! This is an entirely new evangelism avenue … during the day, the music team will work with church members to improve skills and to actually give out new instruments.

Possibly you may remember Jose (the lawyer) who lost his wife 5 days after the birth of their first child. We planned to visit Jose and little Sophia Esther but instead they came to us along with his two sisters and mother who is mute.

Elizabeth, Jose’s mother, Jose and two sisters Sofia Esther

I was so thankful, one sister cares for Sofia at night and one during the day. Jose seemed to be doing well and two weeks ago Sofia Esther was presented to the congregation.

Do you recall “Floron 8”? … This area of Floron was the last area developed and is commonly known as the most dangerous area regarding crime and also the economically poorest. Our clinic day guard, Pastor Mesa, wife Bella and family have resided in Floron 8 for many, many years. Pastor Mesa and family were specifically located there as a ‘church plant’ … the one room chapel has had many challenges including the last major earthquake and multiple Venezuelans locating in this squatter’s village.

We have given Bibles periodically and were pleased/thankful we could assist with crayons, pencils, and Biblical coloring pages for the increased number of children attending their midweek after-school program and Sunday School. We keep the Mesa Family in our prayers for protection as they minister in a particularly challenging area of cultural diversity, increased poverty, and crime.

Lastly is my parting joy when we were leaving for the airport. We always pray holding hands in a circle with either Richard or I praying. However, our four water guys smiled at each other … and then Jorge offered a beautiful prayer. These are the four young men who influenced our decision two years ago to make morning devotions mandatory. I cannot express my inexplicable joy and awareness of the Holy Spirit.

We are home but know a return trip is imminent.

We leave these prayer requests:

* Please pray for hearts moved to accepting Christ at these concerts by the

music and Bibles that are given to listeners.

*We lift Jose and little Sofia Esther to the Lord for comfort and healing.

*We pray for continued healing and strength for Carlos.

*We pray for Bryan and his complete leaning on the Lord as he leads the youth group.

*We give thanks for travel safety and our health.

*And as always, the Lord’s protection and guidance of the Buen Samaritano Clinic and Water staff.

*Thanksgiving for all the baby quilts which have been so abundant that we were able to donate to an orphanage besides new mothers coming to the clinic.

Our love and prayers,

Richard and Elizabeth <><

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