Sunday, December 2, 2012

November 2012 - Transitions

November was a month of transitions.  We said our temporary goodbyes in Ecuador...

to some of the leaders of our church in Primero de Mayo...

to one of the teens, Michelle, with whom Susie enjoyed mentoring/studying the Bible and English...

to some great friends from Cayambe - Edwin, Yoly and their family...

and to our great friends/former neighbors who now live in Ibarra.

In the midst of the goodbyes we packed our things. On our moving day, a wonderful group from our church arrived to help us plastify/protect our things and move them to our mission's free storage area in Pifo, Ecuador.  We were and are SO thankful for their help!

Dayana and Gissela...
Reina, Rosa and Patty work while Gissela takes a workbreak with the kids...
David, Luis and Orlando...
Salvador...beginning to descend and then ascend the four flights of was SUCH a sacrifice of love for all who offered to help us move!!!
Three trucks were packed to the gills, Brenda brought the kids to her house for lunch and fun, and David, Orlando and Glenn drove those who were still able to help...  
to our mission's storage area in Pifo...where we had to rearrange the load to enter the gate...
and then drive to the storage area!

Finally, we unloaded the trucks and stacked our belongings in the storage area.
After all of the work - we enjoyed an AMAZING meal together to thank our wonderful friends!  Fritadas and friends - a perfect combination! 
After showers it was time to say our goodbyes at youth group....

We love these teens!  What a blessing they have been in our lives!
What a joy it has been to watch God at work in SO many of the teens' lives!  We were able to be there for Marlon's first time teaching the youth (he's in green) - he did a great job!
Then Glenn said goodbye to the men of the church....
and blessed them with the fishing pole gifts the CFC team had left for them!

We made the temporary move to Plant City, Florida, but were blessed by being able to get together with our Cayambe/church friends, Werner and Monserrat, IN Florida, after their honeymoon!

Glenn, Susie, Werner and Monsy in Orlando together!
Now, as we transition to life in Florida, we see God's hand in moving us here, and we know we are where God wants us for now...

bringing help and joy to his parents...
brings Glenn and I much joy.

 Susie also had the joy of using her last free ticket (from May 2012) to visit our son, Josh, and Susie's sister, Gail, and family for Thanksgiving, and for Gail's birthday....

Josh, Susie, Gail....Lauren Kevin, Jeff
Susie also got to visit the Cunampio's!
Transitions are hard...but our God is good.  We have MUCH to be thankful for!  Thank you for walking this journey with us!  The story of God's work in and through us continues next month....!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 2012 - USA and Ecuador

Due to Glenn's dad's ongoing health needs, Glenn made plans to be in the USA for a few weeks to help stabilize things and assure that his parents could safely and more easily live on their own while we continued our ministry in Ecuador.  After making Glenn's flight arrangements, Glenn's dad was hospitalized and he arrived home just the day before both Glenn, and our daughter, Rachel, arrived in Florida.  It was a blessing for Rachel to be with Glenn and with her grandparents before she left for Australia!
Mom and Dad Wittmann with Rachel
Glenn used his free flight from May to go to PA for 5 days to work on our house and to help Rachel move out of her apartment.
Glenn spent his first night in PA with Josh - at his house in Philadelphia!
Glenn then moved to Susie's sister's house - which is right down the street from the house we are renting!  George Keyes and Jack Russell helped work on our house, as did Paul and Luke Orcutt, and Rich Scully!  Marcie Witmer even brought lunch one day!
Both Glenn and Rachel enjoyed time with Aunt Gail...
and everyone enjoyed the visit from Laurie and Heidi Sadio!
During the five days that Glenn was in PA, his dad had two very difficult days in Florida, and 
both Glenn and his family decided that someone needs to live with Glenn's parents.  Glenn and Susie prayed and counseled with their church and mission leaders, and decided that we will leave Ecuador on Nov 6, 2012 for an indefinite period of time to help Glenn's parents.  Glenn returned to Ecuador on Oct 25 and we began the emotional process of saying goodbye...

The youth group had a hike the Saturday after Glenn arrived and we were able to talk with many of the youth individually about the decision we made...
Salvador, Vigny, David, Susi and Laura
Vigny, David and Marlon
Laura, Susi, Paola and Kataryn
Marlon led us in worship and David taught...a great day!
Later that night, Susie met with Reina and Lupita and encouraged them to continue the women's evening Bible Study in the city of Cayambe...
After sharing with the men at the Bible Study in Primero de Mayo, Glenn and the men joined us!
On Sunday, after talking individually with many in our church, we went to Gissela's parents home, to say goodbye to this very special family!

On Monday we went out to lunch with another super special family - the Echeverrias.  Vicente and Fanny will continue to host the Cayambe men's Bible Study, and Fanny will lead the Cayambe women's Bible Study.
We also stopped to visit Yoly, at the store where we met her and her husband, and made plans to get together to say goodbye.

On Tuesday morning, Susie had her last day (at least for awhile) of volunteering in the Social Work Department of the Cayambe Hospital.  Susie has enjoyed working with Maria Judith since January and more recently with Maria Arias.
That afternoon we went out to lunch with yet another amazing family - the Vivas'.  This family has been a huge blessing to us and to the Primero de Mayo church!

Glenn had a special Bible Study with the men in Cayambe at Vicente's house.  We're thankful that our co-worker, David Meyer, will take over the leadership of the study and that Vicente will continue to host it in his home.

You're prayers are greatly appreciated as we continue our goodbyes, our packing, moving our things to Crossworld's storage area here in Ecuador, and moving to Florida for an indefinite period of time!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A September of Celebrations!

Our month started out in the city of Banos with the Crossworld-Ecuador missionaries and a pastor and his wife from PA.  We had missions meetings and great teaching times on Biblical Counseling.  After the meetings, Glenn, Gissela and I decided to try to find a nearby waterfall, but ended up visiting the home of one of the 5 missionaries martyred in the jungles of Ecuador - Nate Saint.  It was a dream come true for us - to see WHERE they had served and that their work, GOD's work, is continuing in that area of Ecuador!  THAT was something to celebrate!

Gissela and I on the side porch of the Saint home.  Gissela had just met and talked to a new missionary who is being trained next door to the Saint Home, to return to his people in the jungle with the news of God's great love!
Glenn and I in front of the Saint home - looking out at the airstrip where the five missionaries left from and where missionaries continue to leave to enter the jungle with medical and spiritual care!
Then Glenn and I celebrated our 29th anniversary - on and around Lake Cuicocha - a lake in the crater of a now inactive volcano!
The next celebration was of our friend's/former neighbor's birthday!  We're thankful for our friendship with Luis and his famil,y and for Santiago and his family, who still live in our apartment building and joined in the celebration! 
Every September our association of churches celebrate with the youth their return to youth group.  Our youth group in Primero de Mayo meets throughout the summer, but we still love the celebration!

We met at our association's Christian School in Yaruqui and started the day on the bleachers, with great worship and great teaching ...and fun just being together!
Then it was time to break into teams, mixing the youth of all of the churches, for games!
The games are ALWAYS great!  Here, Orlando, our young-at-heart church treasurer, competes with Marlon, our new Word of Lifer who comes home on weekends to help with and enjoy the ministry!
After the games it was lunch time.   Gissela prepared the food and Patty, (Orlando's wife), Alex, (our first Word of Lifer), and I helped her serve it to our hungry youth!
Finally it was time to relax after a long, sunny day!
The BIGGEST celebration this month, was the Inauguration of our new church building in Primero de Mayo.  After the sacrificial giving and physical work of the Ecuadorians and several American workteams, the church was ready to occupy!  Praise God with us!!!
Gissela preparing the inside of the worship center for painting...
Deacons Vicente and Ernesto, worked hard with many other church members, on preparing the lot and here celebrated how God was providing our own place to meet and to worship!

Alex and Fanny painting the trim around the windows of the worship center...
Gissela painting our Church's theme verse - John 10:11 - our church is named Good Shepherd Bible Church!
Two days before the Inauguration...bathrooms with painting by Victor to the left, our worship center and the prepared lot!

The day before the Inauguration - Victor, whom Glenn continues to disciple, painted a shadow on the letters...
Sebastian helped Glenn clean out the area where the women will sell homemade food at the Inauguration...

and Dayana and Gissela added finishing touches to the men's bathroom!

September 29, 2012!  Inauguration Day!  The crowd gathers!  We had visitors from the neighborhood, from sister churches and from Cayambe!

Marlon shares the EvangeCube he was trained to use at Word of Life, with David, our next youth desiring to attend Word of Life in Quito, and Rene, the Mirror Artisan who attends Glenn and Vicente's Bible Study in Cayambe and who provided decorations for the new worship center!
ELAM - the Christian Folk Band formed by our sister churches - led us in worship and celebration during the Inauguration!
Joining in the celebration is Vivi, with her young son and her extended family!  Susie and Vivi just started a time of discipleship and  Bible study together in Cayambe!
Finally, after a great Evangelical message by the President of our association of churches, the ladies of the Chaupimolino Church treated us to two dances in honor of our Lord!
On Sunday September 30 we held our first church service in our new worship center!  Pastor Olger, from the Yaruqui church, preached a message of dedication, and we ended the service hand in hand in a prayer of dedication and thanksgiving to our great God!

After the service, the women served an AMAZING meal, provided by various church members!  Dilita, in purple, served her famous Peanut Sauce, and Fanny, in front, is now co-leading with Susie the women's morning Bible Study in Cayambe and is doing a great job!  God has blessed our church with amazing people who use their gifts and talents for God's glory!

Finally, Reina poses with Marlon at the end of the Inauguration Celebrations.  Marlon recently began discipling Reina's son, Danny, and she is SO thankful to God for Marlon!  Reina meets weekly with Susie for prayer and hosts the new Cayambe Women's Night Bible Study in her home!

 Thank you for celebrating with us!  Your prayers, your giving and your work here in Ecuador are bringing glory to God!  We thank God for you!!!