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J i m , S u z y, & K a i a


A D O R Fe b r u a r y / M a r c h 2 0 1 3

We have now officially entered into our second year of ministry at El Refugio! In starting the new year we have spent some time reflecting on all that weve learned in the last year and weve spent some time dreaming about the future. We realize that this year will primarily be broken up into three segments: from January to April we will focus on re!connecting with the different ministry partners that our short!term teams work alongside throughout the year; from April to September we will be getting used to life as a family of four "Baby #2 arrives around April 29th# and getting into the full!swing of the summer season, which includes hosting four different short!term teams from the U.S. and putting on two weeks of youth summer camps at El Refugio. From September to December we will return to the U.S. for home ministry assignment. We are excited to connect with as many of you as possible during that time and as it approaches well provide more details. $ So, for now we are soaking in as much family time as we can with Kaia in our free moments and also enjoying getting to know our ministry partner communities better. We have begun to understand the dynamics of each place on a deeper level and we look forward to seeing how God leads and guides these relationships moving forward. We are so grateful for all of you being part of our lives and we want you to know that God is working in and through your partnership with us. %

Using Art as Minist ry

In college I double!majored in Communications and Studio Art. Im certainly applying both of these majors in what Im doing with the ministry at El Refugio. However, several weeks back I started doing something new that more directly uses my background in art. We know a teenager who is home schooled and whose mother doesnt have much experience in teaching art. They approached us and asked if I would consider supplementing his schooling by providing a somewhat informal art class. I agreed to get together with him every other week, but were taking advantage of this time to initiate relationships and contact with Ecuadorians who live in Calacal, too. $ Rather than meeting indoors, we meet in the park at the center of Calacal. This approach seems to invite any kids or passersby to stop, watch, and engage as we talk and do art together. My idea is not only to offer art lessons to this one teenager, but to anyone who expresses interest and wants to join in with what were doing. The beautiful thing is that in addition to giving feedback and pointers, I talk about the history of art, God as a creator/artist, and other concepts that connect to us as creative, artistic beings, made by the creator of our universe. $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ At this point what Im doing is very basic. But, were praying that God would do what He wants with this time!! and at the very least, it has been a great way to get to know more people in our town. Would you pray with us that God would use these art lessons to impact lives?
















B e ing

C o n n e c to rs

$ A strong desire International Teams "IT# has is to be good at connecting people, resources, and ministries with one another. Scott Olson, ITs President, told us when we were in training that if there Pray for the ministry taking were ever a conference that was about bringing people together, p l a c e a t E l Re f u g i o : collaboration, connecting people, etc., his hope is that they would specifically for the Ecuadorian come to us "IT# to look for their keynote speaker"s#. There are so groups we host throughout the many good things happening around the world in the name of Christ, year but at times we as Christian workers are pretty bad at playing nice together and pooling our efforts. Please pray for Suzy and our $ These past two months we have encountered several situations little boy; for safety and good where this idea of connecting people has really stood out to me. We health throughout the have gone to Oyacachi, a town where we partner with existing pregnancy and delivery. ministries, twice in these past two months. The first time we went I had the opportunity to visit with a man named Nestor who for some Pray for the art lessons Jim is reason opened up very quickly to me. I simply asked him how he was leading: for fr uit & Gods doing and he chose to be very vulnerable with me and shared how he leading in this new venture has been struggling and battling with various issues in his life. $ I was grateful to be a listening ear and offer words of comfort Pr a y f o r o u r c o n t i n u e d and point him to some truths of the Bible in the moment; but I was involvement in our local even more grateful that we have a relationship with the church and church; as we lead worship and Pastor who are in that town. Though God put me in his path in that preach occasionally moment, I was able to connect him to the local church and those who will be there in his hometown day after day. Pr a y for continued $ A couple of months back we spent time with a couple from our o p p o r t u n i t i e s to c o n n e c t church. The husband and I left to run an errand at one point and people: in our town of Calacal almost immediately he started confiding in me regarding a topic that and in the different towns was causing a great deal of strife and tension in their marriage. We sat where we have ministr y in his car for close to an hour talking after finishing our errand. partners. $ This past Sunday Suzy and I spent some time talking with the couple after church and were able to provide them with the name and information of a believer who is a family counselor. We know him personally and he has strong ties to our ministry at El Refugio. It was encouraging to know that they are taking steps forward and are ready/ willing to receive help to work through these problems. $ I returned to Oyacachi for the second time just this past week and was incredibly encouraged by a conversation we had with Cecilia, the woman in charge of the Compassion International feeding program being hosted at the church in Oyacachi. As a ministry, we have brought teams to this town for the past 4 years. Compassion has been there for 2, but this was the first substantial conversation weve ever really had with the program leader. I believe that Cecilia is a key to really impacting this community. She has the same vision as we do in working together as a united front to be a light in the community. We work with the school, the church, and Compassion. Her vision "and ours# is that all of us can sit together and discuss what this town most needs and how we can be a part of seeing that realized. On the 15th of this month, all parties involved will be sitting down together to do just that. Praise God for being the one who connects all of us!
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