Monday, November 3, 2008
I just did a quick tally and realized I've moved a total of 12 times since birth if you count my summers working in the national parks, etc. Randy says he married me to stop my moving:). He's only lived here in rural Joyce, Washington, moving from his folk's forty acres to our ten. Of course some folks have moved a whole lot more than me - and my brother is one of them.
For the past 17 years Chris, his wife Nicia, and their four wonderful kids - Andrew, Joshua, Daniel, and Kaylea have lived in Ecuador. All the kids were born there so Ecuador is their home. In just 7 days they'll be leaving permanently. Starting in March of next year, their new country is going to be Spain. Spain is the least churched country in Europe with a heavy Muslim influence. Their ministry - Team Expansion - had to be invited by another Christian ministry in order to come into the country.
I called Ecuador yesterday and talked to them as they ran around packing and selling and giving away items to church members and others. Yesterday Chris preached for the second to the last time in one of the churches their team planted in Guayaquil. Yes, they are all bilingual. Luckily the leap to Spain will just require an adjustment in dialect, not learning a whole new language.
Nicia has a wonderfully upbeat attitude about moving again. She said that it's actually a "liberating feeling" to part with possessions and clean out the house. She's lived in Chile, Africa, the US and Ecuador. And now soon-to-be Spain. They are all counting down till next Tuesday, November 11th when they'll leave Ecuador and fly into Dayton, Ohio.
So please pray for them as they try to make the best of this very busy week, saying goodbye to loved ones there, dealing with last minute expenses, packing, etc. Pray for the churches they'll leave behind and the Ecuadorian pastors and church members. Moving from country to country is no picnic! But like Nicia said, their lives have become so much richer because of it. Now that's a positive perspective.
If you've been missing the great pictures that usually go with these blog posts as much as I have, you now know why they are no longer appearing. My brother is too busy to post them! If Chris has time to read this, I hope he posts a picture of his wonderful family to put a face on this moving experience. If not, I understand! Hopefully when he has more time he'll be able to be our photographer again.
But as it is they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11: 16