Friday, July 26, 2013

"Reunion Tour" Schedule

Hey friends & family,

This will be our last blog post from Ecuador!  Because in less than 72 hours, we'll be on an American Airlines flight bound for Miami, with a final destination in Indianapolis.  We wanted to give you all our schedule for where we're going to be and when, as we'll be touring several cities during the first few weeks of August to say many THANK YOUs and to give testimony to the work the Lord has done with and in us this past year.  So here's our schedule of where we'll be, and we truly hope to catch up with many, if not all, of you over the next few weeks:

July 30-Aug 1: INDY
     We're speaking at Manteno Nazarene Sunday morning, Aug. 4, in both services.
Aug 8-10: Moving weekend: INDY to WILMORE, KY
Aug 11-13: WILMORE
Aug 14: Speaking at Sciotoville Nazarene that Wed. night.
Aug 15-18: BELLE, WV
     Speaking at Belle Nazarene Sunday morning, Aug. 18.
Aug 18-19: FAIRMONT, WV
     Speaking at Fairmont Central Nazarene Sunday night, Aug. 18.

From there, we hope to be returning to Wilmore to settle into our new home before orientation for the first year of seminary begins the week of Aug 26-30.

Please shoot us a message on Facebook, email us, or give Ian a call or text at his number (which is the same as it used to be; Hillary's is changing) if you'd like to get together.  We know it'll be kind of a tight/rushed schedule, but we really hope to see many of you when we're in town.

Once again, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to all who have supported us this year.  It has been a wild ride, and we look forward to blessing you in our return as you've blessed us during our time abroad.  ¡Dios les bendiga!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wrapping Up

Well, we've just wrapped up our last semester with the NILI (Nazarene International Language Institute) program here in Quito, dropping our last group of students off at the Quito airport yesterday morning at the slightly early hour of 3AM.  (See below for the highlights video from the semester.)  Much has transpired this last semester, which began in late May, and we'd love to tell you all a bit about it.

For starters, we had the unique experience of sort of switching places with the two other NILI staff members we've worked alongside of this year.  That is to say, Jen & Lucy--the two primary NILI staffers--spent about 3 weeks in Indianapolis for the Church of the Nazarene's General Assembly, while Hillary and I continued to operate the NILI Program here in Ecuador.  This meant quite a bit of extra responsibility for Hillary, especially, who oversaw weekend homestays for our students with Ecuadorian host families, taught a culture & ministry class in Jen's absence, and hosted a couple of fun girls' nights at our apartment.  (While Ecuadorian and American girls came over to watch movies and paint their nails, Ian went off to the NILI office to watch sci-fi shows by himself; it was a good compromise.)
Our NILI co-workers, Jen & Lucy, at General Assembly in Indy.

A fun anecdote about "switching places" with Jen & Lucy....  While Jen & Lucy were staying in Indianapolis, Ian's parents--who live in Indy--were able to hook up with them and have a meal together.  Lucy, who has never left Ecuador prior to this trip, apparently fell in love with Golden Corral, where they all ate together one night.  Ian's parents actually used our car, a little 1998 Ford Taurus, to transport Jen & Lucy to dinner.  So while we were here in Ecuador working with NILI, our Ecuadorian friends were in Indianapolis riding in our car and eating with our parents!  :-)

Hillary's whole family with us in Quito.
During the past few weeks, we also received a visit from Hillary's parents, Mark & Marcia.
It was a joy to have them hear in Ecuador with us, and with Hillary's sister, Lauren, who also lived here in Quito for 4 years before returning to the States with Hillary's parents at the beginning of July.  Together we had fun touring Quito, and a couple other nearby locations.  Their visit made home seem not quite so far away.

Celebrating our 5-year anniversary (& Hillary's parents'
31st also) at restaurante Vista Hermosa in Quito.
During their visit, Hillary and I also celebrated our 5 year anniversary!  We wouldn't have dreamed 5 years ago that we would be celebrating that anniversary in Quito, Ecuador, but we had a special night out in the colonial part of Quito with Hillary's family, celebrating 5 wonderful years of marriage.

Anniversary dinner in beautiful colonial Quito.
Well, our time as volunteers here in Ecuador is quickly coming to a close.  As a matter of fact, as of tomorrow morning we will be one week out from our return to the States!  Our flight back to Indianapolis begins Monday morning, July 29th.  We are excited to come back to family, friends, and a meaningful future in Wilmore, KY as Ian begins seminary at Asbury and Hillary returns to her work as a social worker.  Pray for us as we wrap up our time here, that things would end well, that we would have the time and opportunity to say goodbyes to everyone (goodbyes are a BIG deal here), and that the Lord would help us through this upcoming and probably challenging transition time.  We're looking forward to visiting many friends and family members back in the States in just a couple of weeks.  We'll be visiting Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia in a whirlwind "reunion tour" during the first half of August.  Stay tuned for our final post, when we'll list our schedule for where we'll be visiting upon our return home.

Once again, it seems appropriate to say a big THANK YOU at this time to all who have supported us through finances, prayers, and encouragement over this past year.  You have been used of God in our lives, and we look forward to seeing many of you very soon!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Video Tour of Seminary Campus

So, for nearly a year now we've been living on the campus of the South American Nazarene Theological Seminary, and while we talked during our first week here about how we wanted to get some video of the campus to show everyone back home so y'all can visualize where we live... we're just getting around to that!  Oops.  Hope you enjoy this brief video tour of our campus; it truly is quite beautiful....