Hey Everyone!

It has been quite a while since I posted anything.

I am having gall bladder removal surgery on Thursday. I have been feeling ill for about two months, but it took a while for a sure diagnosis. Then scheduling a date for the surgery took a little while as well. I will be heading to Quito for the surgery and will be there for at least 8 days for recovery. I should be back in Shell just in time for the last 2 1/2 weeks of school! Thanks for your prayers :)

In March, the NSMS school board made the decision to close the school due to extremely low projected enrollment for next year. The school has been serving missionary families for 51 years. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this ministry for the last five years.

I have accepted a position to teach upper elementary grades (4th-6th) at the Alliance Academy in Quito. (http://www.alliance.k12.ec) I do not have an exact grade level assignment yet.

  • My missionary status with Reach Beyond will remain the same. I will still be a missionary teacher raising support. (In other words, I will not receive payment from this school either.)
  • Alliance is an Preschool- 12th grade international school in the Quito, capital of Ecuador. The school has a mix of students. There are international business families who enroll their children in AAI. (There is also a small student boarding program associated with the school.) Other students are from affluent Ecuadorian families that want their children to receive a US based education and to learn English. There are also many missionaries in Quito that send their children to AAI.
  • I will have a class size of about 25 students. (I am so excited to have a full class!) I will teach completely in English, but the majority of the students will be learning English as their second (or third) language.
  • Many of the families associated with AAI are not Christ followers or even church attenders. However, because they want the high quality education that AAI provides, they sign a form that says they know that their children will be learning about Christ, salvation, and Christian values. I am thrilled with this new opportunity to be able to share Christ with parents and students alike.

I will be moving out of my apartment here in Shell and going to Quito at the beginning of June. I will be sharing an apartment with 3 other teachers from AAI. Living in Quito will be a huge adjustment. There are over 2,500,000 people living in Quito. (There are roughly 8,000 in Shell). I have felt so safe walking the streets of Shell these last 5 years. Quito will be a whole new ball game when it comes to security.

All in all, I am VERY excited about the changes, challenges, and new opportunities coming my way!


Trusting God

One of the assignments in the 10th grade Apologetics course was to study 30 names of God in 30 days. The idea was to examine one name per day. The students looked at what each name tells us about God and how this characteristic should impact how we worship Him.

I began thinking through some of those names today. 

God is Jehovah-shalom: (God of peace)

When my mind is full of "what comes next", "what ifs", "what should I do", am "I doing the right thing," it can be hard to find peace or rest for a weary brain. However, the knowledge that God is a God of peace is not only reassuring, but it encourages me to lay my burdens (including worries) at His feet.

God is Jehovah-jireh: (God who provides)

The year so far has been challenging. There is a lot of work to get done in a day. Teaching chemistry and algebra II this year has been more than a challenge. Trusting God in the midst of stress is a battle that I lose sometimes. However, the knowledge that God is the one who provides is an encouragement to keep fighting that battle. He is the One that provides the ability to complete work at all. It is He who will provide me with the ability to learn and later teach that chemistry lesson that I am struggling with.

God is Jehovah-M’kaddish: (God who sanctifies)

When I lose that battle or others, I can know that God is the One that sanctifies. He is not going to give up on me until He finishes with me. He forgives me, and He is the only One who can give me the strength to win the battle.

God is Jehovah-Nisei

This name means “God our banner.” Under His banner we go from triumph to triumph and say, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). (by the Navigators, 2007)
When the battle is won for the day, I praise God because He is the One that gave me the victory.

Prayer Requests:
1. Teaching Chemistry and Algebra II is hard :)
2. Busy Schedule
3. Missing friends

1. I am able to join my family in Alabama for Christmas!
2. Teaching 5th-8th grade science classes- It has been encouraging to have conversations about how perfectly God designed our universe
3. Students- I am thankful for the 10th grade students. They are dedicated to their work. Even though the content is hard, I can see them doing their work for the glory of the Father each and every day.

Resource: The resource that we used to study the names of God for 30 days can be found at the link below.


Small Things --- Big Impact

This summer has been wonderfully full and busy. I lived in Quito (the capital of Ecuador) for a little over a month. I had the opportunity to help out in the offices of Reach Beyond in Quito with paperwork and organization. I love this kind of work, so it was a lot of fun. However, I really missed home.

When I got back to Shell, I was really grateful for things that I missed. (Or things that were fixed while I was away) I thought I would share some of these with you. Many of them might sound really small to you, however, I can assure you, these small things can all add up to make a huge difference.

1) Church- Although I attended church in Quito, it was not my home church that I have grown to love over the last few years. My first Sunday back was so much fun. The amazing thing to me was that the church in Quito was an English speaking church. My church in Shell is all in Spanish. I couldn't believe how much I had missed singing the worship songs in Spanish. Even the greeting time (which is not my favorite) was fun.

2) Lower Altitude- Quito's altitude is over 9000 ft. After a month of being in Quito, it was so wonderful to be back in Shell (3,000 ft altitude). Breathing is so much easier here in Shell!

3) Being Home- I was so excited to be back home in Shell. I missed my apartment, my classroom, my church, and apparently the smells of Shell. (Well, maybe not all of them- dog poop never smells good). Let me explain. My second day back in Shell, I went on a walk into town. I found myself grinning ear to ear. Yes, I was excited to be back. But, what was making me grin was the smell of the street food being cooked. Now, the strange thing is, I don't usually eat the street food. (Street food is more likely to make me sick, so I tend to only buy food in restaurants). The smells of the cooking pinchos (meat on a stick) and choclo (field corn with cheese) smelled amazing. I thought to myself, I am home.

4) HOT WATER- Over the last year, my apartment has been having some hot water problems in the shower. My showers were luke warm at best. And we haven't had hot water in the sink to wash dishes in over two years. While I was gone over the summer, they worked on the hot water system. My first night back, I washed dishes with hot water, and the shower was almost scalding it got so hot!!! Hot water for showers and washing dishes is one of the things that I do not take for granted after living here in Shell.

How you can pray:

1) This school year comes with a lot of changes. I will be helping fill in for the principal while she is in the States for around 6 months. I will be doing all the administrative paperwork that comes with her job. We have a wide range of grade levels this year for only 3 teachers. So, I will be teaching 10th grade (Algebra II, Chemistry, Geography, and an Apologetics course), 5th grade math, 6th grade math, 5/6 grade science, and 7/8 Earth Science. I am excited about this new year, but I know that it will be very busy.

2) One of my best friends (the principal of the school) will be in the States with her son for 6 months. Her son will be having a surgery that he cannot have done here in Ecuador. I will miss her greatly.
Pray for Beth and her son Nanki as they leave their husband/father and live in the States for this long amount of time. Pray for them as he has surgery on his leg. Let me know if you would like more in-depth information on their situation and how you pray for them.
3) A family that I was really close to moved back to the States in June. They attended my church and helped me feel at home at this church. Although I now realize I feel at home at the church on my own, I am going to greatly miss this family and their friendship.