We just returned from spending a month in Ecuador. Teen Missions recently purchased property in Playas and we were there to help get legal matters finalized and to host a group of volunteers from Lancaster Community Church. The first two weeks were spent taking care of the legal matters—got the land surveyed, found an architect to draw up building plans and submitted the paperwork for the permit needed. It is the rainy season in Ecuador so we were limited to what we could accomplish on the property since we couldn’t get to it due to the amount of mud and soft ground.
Before we go any further, we would like to share some “God is awesome” moments with you.
• As we shared it was the rainy season in Ecuador and we were not able to get in or out of our property due to the amount of mud and slippery soft terrain. (We were pushing the truck out of mud holes on a regular basis.) A week prior to the team’s arrival we, along with Ben Calderon (the Ecuador coordinator), and a friend of his would take time after lunch and pray for the weather to dry up. It rained every day, even on our way to the airport to pick up the team. The day they arrived the sun peeked out of the clouds and we had sunshine almost every day until we left for home.
• We were in Playas and having some difficulty finding the supplies we needed, getting the information needed, etc. We got a message from our son, Joe, that a man in his church had a contact in Ecuador and sent us his phone number. We were able to make contact. He (Ernesto) knew Playas quite well and just happened to be in town that day. Amazing, isn’t it? God placed the right person in Ohio who knew a guy in Ecuador who just happened to be in Playas the day we needed him.
Now that you know how God was in our presence we can share some sideline info.
Richard was able to meet Ernesto and he introduced Richard to Maria. She owns a hardware store and a construction company. She was very helpful with the permit process and gave us the name of an architect. She also allowed us to put a container on her property until the ground dries enough to get into our property and she will then move it to the Teen Missions property.
Concerning the rain—we shared our prayer time about the rain with Maria and she said, “Oh, no. I am praying for rain for my shrimp farm. The salinity is too high so I need the rain”. We told her we would pray for rain for her area of Ecuador and sunshine in our area….she got her shrimp in and we got sunshine! God is faithful.
Future work in Ecuador includes leading a summer team to continue work on the property. At this time we are scheduled to send the team back to Florida with our assistant leaders and remain in Ecuador until December. It’s exciting to be part of the ground work of Teen Missions in Ecuador and we look forward to all that the Lord has in store for this ministry. Hopefully, the Bible, Missionary & Work Training program and Boot Camps will be up and running in early 2017.
Since we will not be home for our usual deputation time, we took some personal days to visit our son Josh and his family. It’s our first visit to their home since they moved to Pensacola. We enjoyed helping Josh build shelves in his garage, went to the Navy Air Museum (that was very interesting…lots of history) and Morgan celebrated her sixteenth birthday. Mattie is loving Pre K and Marissa is going to Ecuador with us this summer.
Thanks to Facetime, we get to keep up with Julia and Keller (Joe’s children). Julia and Grandma like to share jokes when we “see” each other. (Orange you glad I shared this, Julia?!) We are so thankful for technology and how we have the opportunity to stay in touch with family.
- Richard had an MRI on his shoulder just before we left for Ecuador and finally got the results from this. He does not need surgery! The surgeon says to be very careful and let it heal itself.
- We are thankful for so many of you helping with our support deficit. We are almost back to where we were financially, but still need to raise about $500 monthly support.
- Wisdom as we return to Ecuador and continue work on the property and some additional paperwork that is required.
- We were overwhelmed with the one-time gifts and additional support which almost covers the loss we had following December.
- That God was present in so many ways while we were in Ecuador.
- God has provided a young couple we know to stay in our house while we remain in Ecuador this fall.
- We are thankful for our family—our parents, children and grandchildren. We love them all so much.
Once again, we thank each one of you for joining with us as we follow the Lord’s leading and serve with Teen Missions. Without you we could not do this—your prayers are felt daily.
Richard & Gina Barber