March 2021: Prayer during these times of Covid
Updated: Sep 13, 2021
March 31, 2021
For us, the real blessing of spring is the celebration of Easter. More than the gathering of family is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection and the hope that He provides --- “He is Risen, He is risen indeed”!! May you enjoy that blessing along with your family during these challenging times. Knowing that God is sovereign over all can give us the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Spring has sprung – new life begins and so has “daylight savings”. Many do not like it, but it certainly helps us when we are so far away – we get to enjoy the 1-hour difference when communicating with family instead of 2. New life in the states typically shows up when birds produce their young but in Ecuador it is a year-round occurrence. Here the nests can be built within a couple of feet from your front door or in a secure window well.
Clinic building Five feet from our apartment door
Unfortunately, we have two trees that need to be trimmed once a year but due to the cost we let it slide several months beyond. The pictured bird that is next to our apartment’s front door lost its home.
You would guess this is before ……………………. and this is after? In another year plus it will be reversed. As you can see, we must put up a lot of wood sheeting to protect the bushes and plants below.
Richard flew home the first week in March to take care of personal and foundation business and to begin his COVID shots. He plans to return shortly after getting his second shot. Elizabeth hopes to come home mid-April and begin immunizations.
In the last email update Elizabeth expressed her disappointment in the condition of the Floron cemetery as she hoped it would be a project she could take on. The size of the area and condition was a little overwhelming. She and the church youth began levelling the ground at Pastor Gruezo’s crypt site– planting flowering bushes using a machete. Yes, that world-wide useful tool...it not only cuts limbs off trees but one can also use it to dig holes. Carlos could dig two holes to Elizbeth’s one. . . he used a machete; she used a shovel.
We are thankful that our four water guys continue to stay healthy and busy. During the rainy season, the water distribution valves to Portoviejo and Floron are closed for cleaning. Water is taken from the muddy rivers. When that happens or when we have not been able to collect rainwater, we need to get a water truck from another location to fill our cistern in order to continue pure water production.
We have a large truck that is used for water bottle distribution, but our motorcycle cart is used even more – delivering to the closer tiendas. Thus, the motorcycle cart breaks down frequently because it gets beat-up driving over the rock and mud streets and alleys of Floron. We have one tienda (whom we fondly call a distributor) that requires and extra person to help move (push) the moto up a steep hill. Here it takes a few good men to change a tire.
We told you in the past how bad the COVID has paralyzed the country in many ways. A mask mandate has been in effect for a year. One even must wear a mask when riding in your vehicle by yourself – explain that to me!
Just as it is in the US, restrictions have gone up and down. With little to no vaccine it will be a long time before things are back to semi-normal. The virus has spiked again whereby Portoviejo is the worst in the province and Floron is worse than Portoviejo. Patients showing up at the clinic and diagnosed with Covid have increased along with deaths. So much so that driving restrictions have been put back in place along with curfews. On Monday, all Easter church services, and family gatherings of any sort were cancelled. In Ecuador, Good Friday is a national holiday.
Pastor Alexi’s church last Sunday – it is in a different part of Portoviejo and he asked us to be praying for Ecuador. He has been a dear friend for many years.
To add to the Covid problem, superstitions (even among Christians) abound. A gravely ill man came to the clinic with the Covid. Dra. Silvia told the family that he needed to go to the hospital. His family refused to take him because “They will kill him!”.
You know our needs, but especially in these times we need your prayers for God’s protection for our clinic staff and water technicians who are exposed daily to Covid patients.
“…Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God…” Psalm 42:5
Dios los bendiga,
Richard and Elizabeth <><
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Looking up Looking down
Ecuadorians call this the wax flower. It grows upside down on a vine.
We have one next to the stairs leading up to our apartment.