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Jim, Suzy, & Kaia

Amazingly, after settling into our home, weve just passed the 3 month mark of living in Ecuador!
M A R C H 2 0 1 3 Arriving in Ecuador in mid-December may have seemed unconventional, but it was a great decision for us. It was nice not having a gap in our spanish learning, and it was great being around team members over the holidays; being able to spend quality time living life alongside each other. Kaia really warmed up to Jack and Carleigh, Paul and Beths children; it was as if she was spending the holidays with her cousins! Paul is the El Refugio director and it was really beneficial for us to stay with them upon our arrival, as Beth gave birth to their son, Tilghman, 3 weeks early. It was fun to be there to lend a hand with their kids and cooking. When the holidays ended, we bought a car, found a house, and moved on to the next stage of our introduction to Ecuador.

Introduction to Ecuador

Olsen

Finding home in Calacal


We live in Calacal, a town about 18 miles north of Quito. It takes about 35 minutes to an hour to drive from Quito depending on the trafc. It is higher up in the mountains and is quite a bit colder than Quito. Its also much quieter, and it is our home. The rst thing I need to mention about our home is how amazing it is that God answered our prayers so directly. We werent overly worried about nding a house in Calacal, but we knew that to nd a really ideal option God would have to step in and bring about the perfect timing. I can honestly say thats exactly what He did.

on Christmas Eve day to pick up a couple things and to see the property again, as we hadnt been out there since our vision trip in August 2011. On the drive back to Quito, Paul noticed a car at the gate of our (now) home. He told me that hes been keeping an eye out for someone at this house for years. Hed left his phone number as well as notes and had never heard back. We drove over and found out that the owners used this house as their vacation home. The husbands mother lives in Calacal, and they only came out to the property once or twice a year. Paul asked them if they would ever consider renting the house. And as it happened, indeed, they were looking for someone to rent the house.

Please Pray For Us!


1. We would like to get internet in our home, but have not been able to yet. Please pray that more lines or ports would open up in our area so that we can get connected! 2. That the Holy Spirit would ll us with discernment and wisdom as we continue to engage in new relationships with our neighbors.

The short version of the story is that Paul Calacal already is feeling like home. We attend suggested we make a quick drive out to El Refugio the only Christian church in town which averages about 30 people per Sunday in a town of close to 3,000 people. We walk to church each week and pass the same toothless man who waves to us and stop at the same womans house on the way home to buy a treat at her restaurant and talk. And as I regularly walk to work at El Refugio, I notice the homes that individuals are building getting one step closer to being ready to live in. Were intentionally taking things slowly from the start. We are slowly getting to know more and more people in Calacal and are excited to see how God uses us in this community!

The whole Youth World Team at the Annual Team Conference

I n t Roblealto entional Community Time

Gift Yo u tLocal h Wo r l dGiving s A n nu a l Te a m C o n f e r e n c e

Oyacachi & El Refugio Stuf f

Every year Youth World sets aside a weekend to gather together to worship, share, and grow as a team. We were blessed to be a part of this years event, which took place at El Refugio during the last weekend of January. The conference provided a neat opportunity to hear stories of what God has specically done over the past year in the six different areas of ministry that comprise Youth World. It was The rst thing weve decided to do is to also a joy just to spend time soaking in great attend the Baptist church here in town. We messages, worshipping alongside other want to support the local church through all believers, and getting to know our teammates that we do and this has been a great way to better in a relaxed environment. connect with some people who live in Calacal The other big thing that took place during as well as learn about the churchs presence this conference was the unveiling of the and history in the town. upcoming transitions that our team is going The other intentional thing weve been through. As always, there are missionaries trying to do is simply walk around and begin coming to and leaving the eld. Brad Miller is conversations with people who are out and our current team leader, but after 12 years here about. Theres a central square where people he and his wife Sandi are heading back to the gather throughout the day, and a few different States to work with International Teams as the places in town where you can buy lunch or Discipleship Coaches in Elgin, IL. Youth miscellaneous items. These locations have World has been aware of this transition for provided good opportunities to strike up some time now and we took time to celebrate conversations. the Millers and the ways God has used them during their service here. Were excited for Our goal is to continue to set aside Gods plan for them as well as for the future of intentional times each week to walk around our team and the arrival of our new Youth our neighborhood and build more and more World Team Leader, Aaron Passmore. relationships and connections. One of the big draws that brought us to Ecuador was the prospect of being deeply involved in Calacal, the town directly next to El Refugio. Though weve only been here a couple of months, were trying to take some intentional steps forward and develop relationships with people here in town.
To follow us or give online visit: www.olsensinecuador.com . jimandsuzyolsen@hotmail.com .

It is such a blessing to be a part of a team. In addition to the Annual Team Conference, we, as an El Refugio team, have had some great times together since our arrival. In January and February we had a total of four day-long meetings in which we intentionally evaluated our values as an outdoor adventure ministry and started to dene our characteristics, and how we can go about accomplishing the goals and vision for the ministry moving forward. Our last meeting was off-site and doubled as a one-day retreat that allowed for some meaningful bonding time as a team. The rst weekend of March Jim took part in hosting two Ecuadorian groups that came to use the property for retreats. Its been great seeing (and being a part of) all of the intentional planning and that goes into creating the experiences that groups encounter when they come here. Hes excited to spend more time with groups in the future, too. A few weeks back he also made a trip to Oyacachi, a small town about a 3 hour drive from us. El Refugio has a partnership with the Pastor in this town and we will now be the main contact for him. It was great to visit this beautiful place and begin our relationship with the local Pastor.

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