Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 2013 - The end of our full time missions-in-Ecuador journey...

Wow.  It's our last Glenn and Susie On The Equator blog entry.  It's been a wonderful journey - God has been faithful and good as always.  Thanks for walking this path with us!  Here's how we ended out our last month as full time least for the foreseeable future! (We move to being Associate Members of Crossworld on July 1 - still mobilizing for missions and still taking short-term missons trips on our vacation time!)

We started off the month IN Ecuador.  SUCH an emotional trip - it was SO wonderful to be with our friends and church family again...but we all knew we were there to say goodbye.  So, it was bittersweet, but what a joy to see all that God continues to do in Cayambe and all the changes in the past 6 months!
We were greeted at the airport by our dear friends, Brenda, Dayana andPatty - and Cayambe roses!
For those of you who have been to the church, you know the white portion of the church is new - the completed classroom and kitchen!

This is the inside of the new classroom and one of the new Bible Institute classes that David Meyer and, here, Gissela Simbaña teach!  Susie was honored to attend this class on Women in the Bible!
The new kitchen is SUCH a blessing!  No more carrying cups and plates back and forth to someone's house for one person to wash and store them...and there's ample room for food preparation!

Sadly, the church was robbed a few month ago, so the inside of the church looks new, because the window that backed up to the street was filled in, cutting off the easy entrance.
The women's leadership Bible study has grown and now has a new location - Giss's house!
We had the joy of spending half of our time in the Meyer's wonderful home and the other half of the time in the Vivas' new home!
Most of our time was spent with the people we with Dayana and Gissela...
with Vicente, Fanny and their girls in front of their home and store...
with the Guapi family who received a new-to-them computer from an anonymous USA donor..
with Estefany and her new-to-us son...
with Fernando, Zulema and Susan at Zulema's new job...
and, among MANY other visits, with Pastor Darwin and Nelly from the Chaupimolino church.
We were able to attend the opening parade for the Cayambe June Festival with friends from the Cayambe Bible studies...
and our last day we visited the newly renovated Cayambe park!
What a great way to end our time in the park with great friends!
This summarizes our time in Ecuador - the mixed blessing of our visit... Salvador sang a beautiful goodbye song to us - Salvador, along with many of the youth and adults in the Primero de Mayo church, are growing in their faith and in their leadership abilities!  What a joy to be connected to them - though now, from a distance!
We came back on June 10 and quickly changed gears to finalize our preparations for Plant City Baptist Church's Hispanic Ministry's first Women's Retreat...
we traveled to St. Pete's Beach for a few fun days to build unity...
and to study God's Word together, the 11 of us!  Susie taught the Bible study that the women in Ecuador did together - The Power of a Praying Woman, Wife and Mother - and God touched lives! 
Our month ended with a SUPER fun visit at Clearwater Beach with the Vallette family,  DR missionaries whom we ministered with there years ago!  We spent more time running from the rain and lightening than we did on the beach, but it's a day we'll never forget!
We want to end this blog by saying THANK YOU for your prayers over the years...for us and for our family!
Your prayers are being heard as Rachel has safely traveled to 5 countries in 8 months!  This is Rachel while caring for orphaned howler monkeys in Bolivia - the one on her shoulder is practicing his howl!  

Your prayers are also being heard in Philadelphia as Josh serves as a summer missionary with The Philadelphia Project!

SOOOOO....thank you!  May God bless you for your part in our ministries, in the DR, in PA, and most recently, in Ecuador and in Florida!  We will continue to serve God, but this blog has come to an end!  We love you!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 2013

We started out the month celebrating Mother's Day - focusing on Glenn's Mom, Betty Wittmann!
Glenn's sister, Laurie, hosted our celebration...
we're so thankful for Mom Wittmann...and all 3 of us are happy Moms!

We continue to be involved in TWO Spanish ministries here in Plant City, FL.  We're less involved now in the first ministry that we found here, Iglesia de La Fe, but we still attend their monthly after-church luncheons, where we enjoy amazing Hispanic foods, including a dish with cactus - something new for us!  This month they had a baby shower at the luncheon and we took some group pictures!
The men of Iglesia de La Fe!  To the left of Glenn is their amazing pastor - Pastor Alcides!
The women of Iglesia de La Fe!  Kneeling is the pastor's wonderful wife!
Because of our love for the Iglesia de La Fe, and our ministries with Plant City's First Baptist Church, we joined with PCFB's 2nd Saturday ministry in removing 3 sections of unsafe/uneven/cracked sidewalk and pouring new sections!
Pedro, from Iglesia de La Fe, smiles as he takes a break from his work with the 2nd Saturday team!  Glenn is in the red hat in center!
Both churches worked together in the hot sun - Susie helped with translation and with keeping everyone hydrated!
Juan, here smoothing the concrete, is a leader in PCFB's Hispanic Ministry and a regular worker with the 2nd Saturday ministry!

Of great joy to us this month was watching the members and leaders of PCFB's Hispanic Ministry step up in ministry.  Juan, whom you just met above, recently started a Movie Night Outreach!
Juan organizes snacks, drinks, a weekly handout of Bible verses from that night's topic, and he opens and closes in prayer!  This week a visitor came who'd been invited to SEVERAL activities, but never came until now!

This month was PCFB's Missions Conference.  Glenn helped the missions pastor in some of the plans for the week, and Susie spoke to the missionaries at their Sunday luncheon.
God is at work at PCFB - in the Spanish AND English ministries!
While Susie spoke at the Missions Conference, Glenn was hiking on the Appalachian Trail with Josh!  Glenn had his last free plane ticket to use (from last May!) and Josh only had one week in between his finals and the start of his summer missions work with The Philadelphia Project!
Glenn and Josh did a portion of the AT in Virginia this time and had the joy of seeing and being helped by our good friends Dave and Chrissy Lambdin!
The month ended with 6 Hispanic baptisms at PCFB!  A new family of 3 who just placed their trust in Christ, 2 women who have been a part of our ministry for awhile, and one of the women's sons!
This is Nena, who is currently undergoing cancer treatments, begin baptized by FBPC's Spanish Pastor, John Foxx.
We are so thankful to God for this chapter in our lives - living in FL and ministering to Hispanics! Tomorrow we head to Ecuador to close out that chapter of our lives.  Due to the ongoing care needs of Glenn's father, we will not be able to return to FT ministry in Ecuador.  Please pray for us as we say our goodbyes and look to God to provide us with full time FL or PA!  Thanks!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A quick look at April 2013 in Florida!

April in Florida!  We had two birthdays, two visitors and MANY ministry opportunities!

The month started out with a great visit from one of our friends from the Waynesboro, PA church - Linda McFarland!  She was able to visit with us in our home AND attend the Sunday morning Spanish worship service!  What a blessing!

Then we celebrated Glenn's birthday!  Susie heard that our close friend, David Groh, would be in the area and together they surprised Glenn on his birthday night...what a great way to celebrate!
Next we celebrated Glenn's Mom's 8oth birthday as a family!

The "girls"!  Jessica Pettitt, our niece; Susie; Mom Wittmann; and Laurie Pettitt - Glenn's sister!
Glenn's parents - Dad Wittmann is now 82 1/2 and Mom Wittmann is 80!
Throughout the month we continued in one on one discipleship, in English classes for the Hispanic population, and Glenn helps out with the Spanish classes for church and community members.  We also were very involved in the 'Got Fruit' Evangelism efforts of our church - something our Hispanic Church members have actively been a part of!
Every Tuesday evening we join with other church members for a light dinner...
followed by a time of evangelism training and encouragement.
We then break into teams, get our Spanish Bibles and the names and directions for those we're to visit...and we head out!  The Spanish ministry usually sends out 2-4 teams and we follow up Hispanic contacts made at the March Egg Drop!
The teams all meet back at the church, to share stories and praise God together before heading home for the night!  (by the way the man on the left is Fico - whom Glenn just started to disciple this month!)

Thanks again for your prayers and support - making it possible for us to be here, serving God with Crossworld, in Plant City, Florida!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Meanwhile in March...

March found us still in Florida, still loving the Hispanic ministries here, and ever thankful for the support of our friends, family, mission, and home church!  We started the month by serving God at Plant City's Strawberry Festival.  Our church wanted a Spanish speaking presence in their outreach booth and we had many opportunities to share the good news of God's love in Spanish AND in English!
Glenn's parents joined us one day at the end of our ministry time and we enjoyed seeing EVERYTHING with strawberries - even this stuffed bear!

We also had a Wittmann/Pettitt Family gathering this month!  Glenn and I, his parents, his sister Laurie, husband, Tim and son, Jason, (Jessica had to work), and Tim's family - his dad, his brother, Dave and wife, and their daughter Vicki and her family!

We celebrated the one year anniversary of John and Vero Foxx's ministry at First Baptist of Plant City..what fun!  The members of the Hispanic ministry organized it all and it was truly a celebration of thanks to John and Vero, and praise to God for what He's done through them in the ministry!

 the set-up...
 the confetti-filled surprise...
Glenn and Jose kept John from entering the room too early...
flowers, gifts and later delicious food...

the Hispanic ministry has grown SO much and we all love being together!
John then taught surrounded by confetti and balloons...
and we ended the super-special night with the dedication of Barbara's baby, Ariana Nayeli, with her big sister Juliana!
Please pray for Barbara, who just finished her discipleship book with Susie; for Teresa (back left with Susie) who is going through the book with Susie...
for Nena, as she continues with radiation and soon begins a new phase of her cancer treatments; and for baby Ariana, who has hearing loss in her left ear.  Thank you!
March ended with the 7th Annual Egg Drop Festival.  Once again, a Spanish-speaking presence was requested as we reach out to a city with over 30% of it's population Hispanic!

Besides translating all announcements into Spanish, Glenn was on the registration team, getting names and contact info for follow-up of the many Hispanic families...
there was face-painting, a moon-bounce, and prizes...
but the highlight of the day for those in attendance was when a helicopter dropped 50,000 candy-filled eggs onto 4 different fields for 4 different age-group egg hunts!
The highlight for our Hispanic Ministries team, though, was sharing the good news of God's love with those who'd just walked through the "Trail of Miracles" - a dramatic representation of the Easter story!
God is truly at work here in Plant City, FL...thanks for making it possible for us to be a part of it!