January 31, 2022
Dear family and friends – Happy New Year!
Our prayers for 2022 extend to you and your family. We certainly started off with a bang as we left for Ecuador very early on January 1st. We planned to go later but due to airline schedules we had to up the ante. May the past 2 years of masks and restricted movement does not dampen your spirits in 2022. We certainly are aware of the immense challenges but hope you can also draw strength from John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (NKJV)
Oh, what fun it is to ride – in an airplane full of masked people!
We arrived at the clinic late Monday night on the second. Tuesday morning meant unpacking the large bags, greeting the staff at morning devotions, and beginning to plan our long overdue Christmas staff party. We have not been able to hold one for the last 3 years. And due to covid we decided it was best to not hold the party in our ‘snug’ apartment as was normal for many years. It was held in the large patient waiting room where we could give each other some space. We did however need to be close for some of the fun games that were led by our two ‘game experts,’ Eliana and Loly.
Dra. Silvia ‘administering’ the cracker placement on Elizabeth and Loly’s forehead. The idea is to wiggle your face muscles to move the cracker down and ultimately into your month. The first one to accomplish this feat – wins! Elizabeth did it!!!!
We had everyone take their masks off for the photo but Dra. Karolina was playing it safe. Two of our staff members could not make it – our day guard and night guard.
You can imagine how difficult it is to constantly have the mask on all day in the heat and high humidity. Can you believe that you can be fined for not wearing the mask driving your own car – alone? All of Ecuador is now code red, meaning Covid numbers are drastically up. But thankfully, deaths have not risen proportionally since 78% of Ecuadorians are immunized.
Richard brought down a couple more bird dummies to scare away the birds at night or day. Had our day guard Meza secure them in the trees. Love birds, but too many is a mess and a major health hazard.
Water competition has gotten so tough that our plant has gone from self-sufficiency to being supported for now. It is a money-making business, especially if you do not have to pay minimum wages and social security even though they are required. Above is a competing water truck.
Finally, we wanted to share a little beauty from God’s creation – colorful bushes at our friend’s home in Quito. Can you arborists experts guess their names?
We pass along our heartfelt thanks to each of you for financial and prayer support as we head into this new year of uncertainty except for the promises given to us by Our Savior Jesus Christ.
We give great thanks for the protection of the staff’s health over the past 2 years and that immunizations were eventually provided.
Please continue to keep Dra. Silvia’s health in your prayers - that the shunts will alleviate the enlarged kidneys and surgery will not be necessary.
Dios los bendiga ahora y 2022
Richard, Elizabeth and
Fundación “Yo Te Amo” CO Board