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Fe b r u a r y / Ma r c h 2 0 1 3

Me nt or i ng E l R e f u gi o s US I nt e r ns
J i m, Su z y, Ka i a & Es p e n
has grown! On April 30th, Espen Adam Olsen was born at 8:05pm! We
have really enjoyed getting to see his personality develop over the past
three months! but as it goes with newborns, weve been running on less
sleep and it has certainly been an adjustment going from a family of 3 to a
family of 4.
In July we returned to the States to visit family for 10 days. This
was our first time being back since August of 2012. Though it was fast, we
really enjoyed seeing family. Were now in the stages of planning for our 3#
month furlough this Fall. Were excited to be able to share some of the
stories, like the ones below, with all of you in person!
Summer is in full swing! Different parts of the year take on
different rhythms, but summer is always characterized by
being a busy time here at El Refugio. We continue to host Ecuadorian groups and we also have an
influx of short#term teams from the US. A part of the work that we do is coordinate with and plan for
these teams throughout the year! so it is exciting for us to finally meet the teams, host them, and
work alongside them.
We should mention that these last few months have also been busy for us because our family
Every summer we have interns $18 years old and up% that raise
funds and join us for three months as part of the El Refugio team.
The ways in which they help out are diverse, but it has been neat to
see how our intern program has continued to be refined and
improved. Our interns help with US short#term teams, they do work
projects, but they also take spiritual#formation classes, have spanish
tutoring, and connect on a weekly basis to learn about discipleship
with full#time team members.
Suzy and I wer e a s ked t o cons i der t aki ng on t hes e
discipl eship/mentoring rol es this summer. Gl adl y, both of us
accepted. I have been meeting with David and Suzy has met with
Kayla and Izzy on a weekly basis. It has been a joy for me to see
growth in David throughout the summer. I asked him to list out as
many attributes of Christ as he could think of during our first time
together. I then challenged him to choose two that he wanted to
focus on developing this summer and upon returning to college.
Boldness and leadership were the two that he chose. Weve had a
great ti me readi ng scri pture together, tal ki ng through what
discipleship looks like practically, and just living life together in ministry. When I hosted a team in
June, David was my right#hand man. Ive loved observing his humble, servant#like attitude and having
the chance to encourage him and speak into his life while hes been here in Ecuador.
July # August 2014
Y o u n g L i f e I n E c u a d o r !
P r a y e r
R e q u e s t s
Pray for our fami l y as we
continue to adjust to being a
family of 4: and for Espen.

Pray for our 3 US interns as
they return home, that they
would continue to impact the
world in the name of Christ

Pray for Ivan & the ministry
of Young Life in Shell & Puyo

Pray for the youth who will
at t end our Soy Fni x
adventure camps from August
11 # 23
One of the huge blessings for us in the summer is taking our
short#term teams off#site to connect with and serve alongside our
different ministry partners locally and in the jungle. As a ministry and
as a famil y we try to put a lot of time and planning into these
partnerships. For that reason, its really fun to see our teams working
with and enjoying the time spent at these various locations.
One of these ministry partners is Vida Joven $Young Life%. Ivan
is an Ecuadorian who had a heart for the youth of Shell, Ecuador. The
way the story goes is that he began initiating relationships with youth
and eventuall y started having weekl y gatherings in addition to
discipleship times during the week and Bible study groups. He, along
with other volunteers, decided they liked the name Vida Joven. One
day t hey googl ed Vi da Joven and f ound out t her e wa s an
international ministry with the same name: Young Life. He contacted
the Latin American entity of Young Life, and after comparing notes,
realized their philosophy and what they were doing were the same. So,
they joined forces and Ivans ministry became the first official Young
Life chapter in Ecuador.
Weve developed a strong partnership with Ivan. He and a
number of the Young Life leaders have come up to El Refugio to go
through our facilitator training to be equipped with the tools and
training that we have to offer. Weve hosted their Young Life camps
here at El Refugio in years past. This summer one of the teams I
hosted had the opportunity to take part in the club that they hold
each week. At this point their team has grown and their holding clubs
both in Shell and a neighboring town, Puyo. Our team members
shared testimonies at both locations and took part in all of the skits,
games, and activities of the night. It is such a joy for me to see this
partnership continue to grow and to witness Ecuadorian youth being
impacted by the stories of US youth going through sometimes very
different, but at times very similar struggles and faith journeys.
Every year we at El Refugio are focusing on what
we call a milestone. The idea is to highlight and
strive to embody one of our values as a ministry.
Soy Fnix means I am Phoenix, referring to the
mythological bird that cyclically grows old,
bursts into ames, is reduced to a pile of ashes, and then is reborn from the ashes to
grow and eventually soar once again. The story of the phoenix beautifully parallels the
life and death of Christ, the idea of the old life, salvation, and the new life in Christ, as
well as the journey we are all on as believers when we experience the peaks and valleys
of life and faith. Our goal in this milestone is to look at our own lives and see how
Christ is transforming us. Are we positioning ourselves well to be living the abundant
life in Christ? Were also focusing on being agents of change in others, increasing our
intentionality in facilitating spiritual growth in others. Our 2 weeks of youth camp this
August have Soy Fnix as their theme as well, and were excited to see how God will
use this concept to impact youth.
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