March 26, 2020
Dear Family and Friends,
Well, here we are! We were packed and ready to hop a plane to Ecuador until Ecuador announced they were closing their boarders and airport to all ‘foreigners’. . . Are we ‘foreigners’? Oh, I guess we are!! So, as we sit in the comfort of our home to hear and grieve over the USA and world COVID-19 situation, we have a very special place in our hearts for our ‘second family’ in Floron that you have prayed for, financially donated, sent baby quilts, stuffed animals for Christmas, given a ton of beautiful clothes for Venezuelan refugees, participated in a mission trips, and on and on. They, in turn, feel akin to you as sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ.
So, in the midst of our own concerns we wanted to share what is happening there and ask that you include a special prayer for these friends that struggle not only in the midst of COVID-19 but with extreme poverty and currently lack any of medical care. First, is a diagram below of Ecuador, the provinces and the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths up to March 23. Floron is in the Manabí Province and a ‘suburb’ of the city, Portoviejo which has had 5 cases of COVID-19 but no deaths to date. (None of these cases were in Floron for which we give thanks.)
On a brighter note, our mini water plant has been fervently working to keep up with the clean water demand which had significantly increased. Thus, we are very pleased to see that on their own volition and no suggestion from us Pastor Meza (our day guard) and Hermano Fabricio (our clinic custodian and 5th year law student) have both been helping to lighten the load of the four water technicians.
(Now these young men may not make it to daily devotions every day at the clinic but with Pastor Meza and Fabricio there this is certainly not a problem!)
Meza and Fabricio driving the water truck Michael cleaning bottles
Then, of course there is the unexpected. Pastor Alex has sent us the following picture of the masks his family has been sewing for people in the community around his church. He had asked us for masks for all of his congregation; however, there were none to spare. (And, as is typical people there panicked.) Thus, Pastor Alex’s family used fabric we had brought from our Englewood church; he had asked for scraps months ago. . . I don’t even remember what for . . . But this is a little ‘lemonade they made from lemons’ and he sent this photo to thank us. Very precious. . . and we thank you for the fabric donations, friends.
I know you are praying as we are.
*Praise and thanksgiving that all our staff has remained healthy thus far.
*Dra. Silvia’s husband’s vision which was described as an ‘optic nerve infarct.’ May there be no more damage and may sight be regained even though unlikely.
*Fortitude and endurance for all working in the water to maintain clean water for the Floron Community and financial support.
*For wisdom and clear direction for FYTA in determining/providing funds for clinic staff with Buen Samaritano closed for now. May we see His plan.
Our sincere thanks, friends. Besides fervent prayers in the midst of the world pandemic I pray that we as Christians can corporately surmount fear and anxiety that is definitely not of our God.
“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (Corinthians 14:33a) . . . Remind each other that that “Adversity is a bridge to a deeper relationship with God.” (Philippians 3:10-11)
“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” (Romans 15:33)
Dios los bendiga,
Elizabeth and Richard <><
PS Finally! I remembered to include the picture of the added Sunday School room to the Floron 8 church. After last summer’s Vacation Bible School by Colorado Springs Dr. Heather Sharp, daughter Lexi and friend, Kirsten they went home and raised funds for this project which was destroyed in the earthquake 3 years ago. GRACIAS!!
Church in Floron 8 – led by Pastor Meza and his wife Bella
(Sorry this is way late but please note Richard’s new email address)