the Yost Post
Dear Family and Friends,
¡Hola! We had opportunity to practice what little Spanish we know this summer. Ana and Dunia, the two Ecuador staff who helped us, did not have much English and we did not have much Spanish. Thankfully we had a Spanish/English dictionary and made use of a lot of sign language. We enjoyed getting to know them—we’d been praying for them for several years when we pray for our overseas staff. In person it is much better!
As you can tell, we went to Ecuador this summer with a Preteen team—mostly 11 and 12 year olds. They were a good group of kids and got a lot done. Teen Missions has a new property outside of Playas, which is south of Guayaquil. Because there was essentially nothing on the property, a house was rented for us to stay in. This meant that the team left in the morning and returned in the late afternoon, 17k (10 miles) each way or a half hour drive. Consequently we had to send a lunch with the team each day as it was too far to come back for a meal. We used 123 pounds of flour and nearly a pound of yeast making the stuffed rolls that we usually sent for lunch. Because our house was right on the beach, we walked the beach most every day and collected shells and lots of sand dollars.
The main project for the team was to put in fence posts for the fence line around the property. Finding the markers for the property line was challenging at times because of thick brush, some of which was cleared; some was too thick to deal with the tools we had. Each kid developed their own specialty in the process of putting in the fence posts—some watered the hard, dry ground, some then softened the ground with a pickaxe or a spud bar, others used a post hole digger, still others dug out the hole. Someone had to make sure the fence post was level as others put the dirt in around the new post, and last but not least, someone had to tamp down the dirt around the pole. Initially we were cutting fence posts from trees on the property, but then it was decided to use bamboo poles that would last longer, which gave even more jobs for our kids to do. The poles were green, four inch in diameter and 18-22 feet long and had to be cut into thirds —so someone had to measure and another had to saw the lengths. They were able to put in 373 fence posts, each 10 feet apart. The team had to replace the wood fence posts that were done the first week before we changed to using bamboo.
After the first week of work, the teen team arrived and travel schedules changed—one truck, two teams, different living sites and different work hours. Both teams would squeeze into the back of the truck in the morning; Bob would bring our team back in the afternoon and then turn around and go back out to pick up the teen team. Sometimes the truck was left by our house, sometimes by the house the teens stayed at. At any rate, it was a lot of driving over not so great roads.
By the time the teenage team left, they had strung barbed wire on all our fence posts and had gotten a lot of work done in Ecuador. One of our leaders also stayed back when the rest of us returned to the U.S. and will be there nearly a year helping to develop the property. Several churches in town are excited to have Teen Missions in Playas and are eager to help. The plan is to run a Boot Camp for the coastal Ecuadorian teens this coming March. We would like to continue to do a Boot Camp for the mountain teens at the end of the summer. God is doing great things in Ecuador.
We had a nice trip to visit friends and relatives on the East Coast when we got back from our summer excursion. We did a bit of vacationing, too, spending a day at Mt. Vernon with my brother Jim—they’ve added quite a bit to the property since the last time we were there. On our way home from my brother’s we decided to stop at Colonial Williamsburg. We have wanted to go there for a number of years and it worked out timewise that we could stop this year. In fact, we ended up staying an extra day because the day we were going to drive south down the coast to home was the day that Hurricane Hermine decided to go north up the coast. I understand that we got mostly rain at our house as Bob emptied five inches of rain out of the rain gauge.
Back on the home front, Bob and I are catching up both at work and at home. My job of handling the investments, our loan program to churches and ministries, has managed to keep me quite busy. That and getting everything done for the fiscal year end. Bob has been doing his usual jobs of getting all the materials returned by the summer teams sorted and returned to their proper places. He has also helped out at Reception answering phones several times.
At home, we are proud to announce that we are owners of our home—the bank no longer has an interest in our house. Now we have to concentrate on fixing and/or updating the inside. The most recent project of new cupboards for the utility room will be nice once it’s done, but in the meantime, stuff is scattered everywhere! The theory is that we will work on getting rid of some of the extra stuff. We are finding that’s a lot easier said than done.
The state of our house and all the extra stuff makes me think of the extra “stuff” that we think we need. Mostly this stuff pulls us away from God. In a recent Bible study on the parable of the prodigal son, we learned the younger son, not content in what he had, wanted his inheritance “now.” When he received it, he went to a “far country” or Gentile land where he was tempted in every way—spiritually, sexually, materially. All these temptations pulled the younger son even further away from God. It is a challenge in our culture to not let all the “stuff” get in the way of what God has for us to do. Our prayer is that we will stick to the basics of what God has done for us and not let all the “stuff” in the world pull us away from God.
We are thankful to God for each one of you—you are the reason we have been able to serve the Lord here at Teen Missions. Thank you for being a part of our ministry team over the years.
Servants in Christ,
Bob and Paula Yost
955 Butia St.
Merritt Island, FL 32953