Saturday, September 19, 2009

mmmm, airplane food!

The University Project had a big day on Sunday-the presentation we made at DFCC seemed to go well and we got to talk to a few people after the services. And seven out of our eight students now have sponsors! It's finally starting to sink in that this is really happening. And that I have a big job to do once I get back down to Ecuador. I'm looking forward to the challenge of making this program work really well for the students in El Recreo.

My parents are going down to Ecuador with me for about two weeks! They're going to see Ecuador for the first time (not just in pictures), help me get moved in to my new place, and they're going to meet Ismael for the first time! I'm excited about that. Our flight leaves on Tuesday at 2:21 in the a.m. and we have a long, 5 hour-45 minute flight to Costa Rica, followed by a short (HA) 3 hour-40 minute flight to Guayaquil.

We've been packing our bags for the last two days. We're each allowed two checked bags, one carry-on and one personal item, and we are maxing out our allowed baggage with things I will need for my apartment. The thing I'm worried about are that we have one over-sized bag which exceeds both the size and the weight permitted for a checked bag, and the Taca website says that it will have to be checked "standby" so...hopefully A)they let us check it standby at all and don't tell us they won't allow it, and B)it will get on the flights and make it to Guayaquil. Also, two of our three carry-ons exceed the 22lb. weight limit. Hopefully they haven't started weighing carry-ons since the last time I've flown. And a few of our checked bags exceed the 50lb. weight limit as well, so we have to re-arrange some things and re-think some things, and...well...I just hope everything I want to make it down there makes it down there, and anything that doesn't...I'll just have to get over it.

I'd appreciate your prayers for our travel-that we won't have a stressful flying experience, that there is no weirdness with our bags, or with my visa, or with anything...and that we are safe. Also that visiting El Recreo will be a good experience for my parents and that they have a safe trip home in a couple weeks on the 1st of October.

I can't wait to put some pictures of my new apartment on here! :-)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The University Project

Here's a little sneak peek, my friends.

This is what will be shown during the church services at Downey First Christian Church tomorrow morning. We'll be sharing the University Project with the congregation for the first time and looking for sponsors for seven different students in Ecuador. Karen, Gabriel, Becsy, Isabel, Christian, Cristina and Pablo. May God use this project to bless their lives richly, and use them to change the world they live in. May God bless their sponsors in ways they've never imagined possible. And may God bless Gianna and Paddy for taking action in the first place to make this project happen.

All it takes is $40 a month for a student in Ecuador to get a college education. I know, unbelievable, right? We thought so too a year ago when we (Paddy, Gianna and I) decided to start the University Project. Our hope is that others will be able to get behind the vision we have as well and that we can make a big difference in Ecuador by investing in the lives of these students.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Less than two weeks and I'll be on a plane!

Things are coming together really nicely for the University Project. We have a lot of things printed and a website almost ready to go. We have the support of Downey First Christian Church and the missions team, and we're going to be presenting the project to the church this Sunday the 13th.

We want to let people know what the ministry is about and how they can get involved, and the difference they can make in the life of a young person in Ecuador.

Ironically, this presentation is probably the most important one we have to make and the one I definitely feel least prepared for. Time is running short...and I don't know if I'll have enough of it to make a video. I hope a small lack of visual media won't deter people from being a part of what's going on.

Anyway...not too much longer after that, I head back to Ecuador to run the program on that end. Please pray for us as we get things going with this project. And for the students who are hoping we will find sponsors for them. And for me as I live in a far-away place for a longer period of time this time.