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S

August 2015

The

Olsens

jim | suzy | kaia | espen

Summer is always a busy time of year for us as a family. At El


Refugio the flow of Ecuadorian groups is actually quite
Summer Teams
consistent year-round. But, in terms of North American
groups, summer is our busy season. Being that were from
North America, it makes sense that we would host and spend
a good deal of time with these groups. As a family, its seldom
that we find a normal rhythm while hosting teams, yet we
find it entirely worthwhile. This particular summer was very
special for us in that we hosted the first team from one of our
sending churches! It was a joy to greet the team at the airport,
already knowing the vast majority of the faces. But the greater
blessing for us was being able to show these people weve
known in the U.S. what weve been experiencing and living
Our family with the Fargo team in Carmen Bajo
here in Ecuador over the past 2 1/2 years. We worked on
physical projects at El Refugio, helped lead a VBS at our church in Calacal, did ministry with our
friend Ana in the jungle, and partnered with the ministries of Casa Gabriel & Carmen Bajo during
their time among many other activities! We love being a part of cross-cultural experiences,
knowing that God uses them to open our eyes to see His kingdom in a new light and in a broader
sense, too. We know that He was stirring in many hearts this summer and we pray that we would
hear of and see much fruit being born in the lives of those who served here with us!
What. Can I say? We LOVE our summer interns! Every
M e n to r ing I n t er ns
year it is such a privilege to walk alongside these young adults
as they are discovering new things about themselves, about
the culture of Ecuador, and about the loving God that created
them. Jim and I usually mentor 1-2 interns each per summer
and it is so exciting to watch them grow in their
understanding of who they are in Christ and who God
designed them to be. These young adults face many physical,
emotional, and spiritual challenges as they are confronted
with living in a different culture, learning a new language,
participating in backpacking and adventure activities, and
investigating the topic of what it means for them to
personally live out a fruitful and abundant life in Christ. We
have the opportunity to navigate through deeper topics with
them and it is really encouraging to watch them transform and grow through their internship experiences
at El Refugio. This summer we had five interns from: IL, CA, PA, & FL. The extra hands, enthusiasm,
and energy they bring to the El Refugio ministry are so meaningful. We cooked together, laughed
together, served and traveled together, watched our kids play and interact with them, and ultimately lived
life together. Please pray for continued growth for Noah, Michael, Rachel, Alicia, and Sandy as they have
all already begun the transition back to normal life in the U.S. and that they would continue to pursue
the life-giving rhythms that coincide with the pursuit of living the abundant life in Christ.

A d v e n t u r e

C a mp

Prayer Requests

Adventure Camp is our traditional,


overnight youth camp. We have
two weeks: one for 12 & 13 year
olds and one for 14 - 16 year olds.
The concept of sending your kids
away for a week to camp here is
still quite foreign so we are
thankful each year that new kids
begin to attend! A big focus of ours
this year has been deeply
impressing upon our counselors
with the opportunity they have to
be an example to these kids of who
Christ was. We have a week to pull
campers away from their lives and speak truth through love. Away from
bad home situations. Away from technology. Away from the pressures
and messages of the media and society. They get to sing, play games,
climb mountains, and not only hear what the gospel says, but experience
it through our staff. Ascent was the theme for our camps this year,
going with the idea that our life is a journey, climbing mountains and
Christ is our guide. Hes ahead of us. He knows the way, he knows how
to get there, and can teach
us how to live an abundant
life in Him while were
hiking together. Please pray
for the campers as they
return home: that they
would hold on to the truths
theyve received and that
through them others would
come to know Christ as well.

W i l d f i r es

and

For the campers: That they


would continue to grow in their
faith and desire to pursue the
abundant life in Christ.
Fo r t h e re s i d e n t s o f
Oyacachi: There was a massive
landslide in this community
where we bring teams and
p a r t n e r i n m i n i s t r y. T h e
inhabitants have been relocated,
many homes were demolished,
and half of the school was
destroyed. There were no deaths,
but please keep this community
in your prayers.
Fo r s h o r t - t e r m t e a m
participants: Pray for fruit in
the lives of those who served
with us this summer.
Fa l l
travels
&
Fo r
connection with ministr y
par tners: Pray a s we visit
several locations in the jungle
that we go to with short-term
teams in the summers. Pray for
strengthened relationships.
For Kaia as she starts preschool: she will be in a half day
program Mon-Fri all in Spanish!
Pray for her as she makes new
friends and engages in learning
and developing her Spanish skills.

L and s l i d es

Gods timing is not our own timing. This summer I think I came to live
and understand that concept in an entirely new light. On one of my days
off, I learned that a wildfire had started on the El Refugio property.
Spreading up the hillside, our staff and firemen fought back the fire over
the span of 4 days. I was hosting a US team while the fire was burning, and
we were scheduled to do ministry in the jungle. We left, but never made it
to our destination. Road closures due to landslides left us stranded in a
town called Baos overnight. After learning the return road to Quito
closed, upon its reopening we jumped at the chance to return to the
mountains. With the fire now behind us, its incredible to note that the
burned area is undeveloped. Though close to other elements and valuable
ministry assets, nothing weve built was damaged. In the midst of fire, mud, and rain, God kept us safe
and other than some changed plans, the overall damage done was minimal. Praise be to God!
To follow us or give online visit: www.olsensinecuador.com .

jimandsuzyolsen@hotmail.com .

Call us for FREE in Ecuador at 607.256.6894