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February 2021: Your support is a blessing

February 5, 2021

Dear Friends,

Warm, humid greetings from a thoroughly soaked Floron, Ecuador! We would send you buckets full, but this glorious monsoon rain has our banana, mango, orange, and lime trees blessing us with not only ‘fruit from the vine’ but also is keeping our cistern full for purifying water, thus reducing non-potable water purchased from the city.

We do not have a cherry-picker, so we use what ever means we have to harvest the fruit (winter oranges). Pictured is our custodian knocking the fruit with a stick and our day guard catching them.

Unlike summer oranges, the winter oranges must be picked when they just start to have a hint of yellow because if allowed to become full yellow, they will be spoiled. Winter oranges good for juice only, not eating.

What can we say regarding COVID-19 except “Great job!” to Dra. Silvia, our medical director and Emanuel Church next to the clinic. . . both are strictly practicing the 6’ distancing, giving everyone a hand squirt of sanitizer as you enter, masks and prior to entering, wiping your shoes on a ‘Clorox instilled mat’. (But they still want to hug. . . I am working on virtual hugs but not getting very far.) Even our morning devotions are ‘COVID-19 consciences’.

Morning devotions to start the day – then let the patients now use the room!

Immunizations were surprisingly initiated last week in Quito . . . arriving here? Dra. Silvia guesstimates next fall. Many have asked if we have received immunizations before leaving Denver. . .No, the day before we left our ‘random notification’ email to schedule our immunization arrived and thus impossible to get, so … we wash our hands probably much more than necessary!

Regarding water sales, our major challenge is competition . . . and the 4 water guys seem to be in a ‘slump.’ Here is a picture of them; please pray for ‘revival’ in encouraging each other and a zest for soliciting new customers.

Jorge, Pepe, Michael, Moises

Everyone continues the grieving process for our beloved Pastor Gruezo. His wife, Jacqueline is not only struggling with herself and the family’s loss but their youngest son, Isaac has had a horrific increase (3 – 4 times daily) in seizure activity which has taken him to the ER three times for stitches from falls. I did help them set up a zoom meeting with the physician in Quito that Isaac saw last year. Unfortunately, un-be-known to me they did not keep the appointment because of lack of funds. . . I think we now have that covered . . . Please pray for medication adjustment and especially for Jacqueline who is extremely distraught.

On a brighter note, we are excited about our clinic custodian, Fabricio who will graduate from law school next month. If you have not seen a miracle here is one!!

Fabricio was recommended by Pastor Gruezo as custodian 14 years ago. At that time, I inquired about him from Pastor Gruezo’s boss who commented, “He’s a delinquent!!!” Well, the ‘delinquent’ has kept the clinic ‘sparkling’; and 5.5 years ago, our lawyer sensed ‘something’ in Fabricio and encouraged him to apply for law school. . .This kid attended law school, church, kept up his custodial duties, and snuck in a soccer game here and there. . . With the onset of COVID-19 classes have been virtual. No doubt he has job offers; however, in our meeting Tuesday he also is planning to have an office at the clinic to aid his Floron Community. He is most grateful to the Americans that have supported his education. (Interestingly, this is the second custodian our lawyer has sent to law school. The first, Jose now has a government law job and is on our Ecuadorian board.)

Yesterday was the first time we knew the sun was still up there. Thus, it was time I got out to view the cemetery I so boldly said was a disgrace. . . Well, it is but I had no idea how huge of an area it covers and what it will take to accomplish this project. Thus, a plan is in the making. . . and may The Lord give me attainable goals. . . I really thought this would be simple, but I was very, very wrong. . . and even more humbled! (it is the rainy season – thus green grass and weeds).

Lastly, the refugees from Venezuela remain. . .Yesterday, as I was driving, a father – with his wife sitting on the curb – approached my car with what appeared to be a newborn. Dra. Silvia has also said she has experienced many newborns. . . Thus, THANKS TO YOU, yesterday Eliana and Mayra put together care bags with soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and so on because of what YOU have collected and donated; and because of what we were able to purchase in anticipation of a mission team that was cancelled last October.

Mayra (Nurse) and Eliana (Accountant)

We purchased rice, lentils, and Dra. Silvia is purchasing chicken to make meals plus baby diapers. . . I could go on and on but please know how much your support financially, and hygiene products has meant to us to be able to help the refugees. . . AND to see our Floron, impoverished people themselves putting together bags for refugees. . . Their sense of “more blessed to give than receive” is a continuing, unspoken testimony to us as they follow in Christ’s footsteps and unknowingly are united with your generosity and kindness.

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,

ask where the good way is, and walk in it, . . . “ Jeremiah 6:16

Dios los bendiga,

Elizabeth and Richard <><

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