Since the last time I wrote, SO much has happened. For one, I am no longer traumatized by the simple questions one is asked in the checkout line at the grocery store. This is a great triumph! To again be able to exist as an intelligent adult, with opinions and the capacity to express one-self is tremendous. A huge thank you to everyone who supported me through the process & frustrations of learning Spanish.
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 25:14–30
Prayers for Ecuador:
Oh loving God, for whom all things are possible, we pray that we are moved to use our gifts, talents, abilities in your service. Help us to see those in need, the hurting, those hungry for love or community, the sick, those without sufficient resources. May we be of use to you: Let us be your loving hands, your comforting arms.
Dearest God, move us to do your will, to assist in bringing justice to those who seek it and to bring sufficient resources to those who lack. Open our eyes that we may see the poor in spirit who pass through our lives and open our hearts that we may learn to share. In the name of the most Holy, Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Ecuador:
Recently, FEDICE became aware of the Cuascota family that passed through a crisis, but is still in need. The mother of four young boys died because of medical reasons. Then, 2 years later, the father was killed in a traffic accident. The boys were taken in by their grandmother who lives in a three room, mud dwelling with her grown daughter and her daughter’s 4 year old daughter. The grandmother has serious health problems and is living with cancer, but still sells gelatina, mote (a kind of corn), mellocas (a kind of potato), and habas (fava beans) in a local market. The daughter works and goes to University. The boys are 7, 9, 11, and 15 years of age and continue to go to school.
A local church in the community made FEDICE aware of the financial need of the Cuascotas. The family could be from anywhere, but happens to be in Ecuador (could this be a situation one of your neighbors faces?). Do we at FEDICE question their need? Do we ask if they are lazy? Did they bring this on themselves because of their actions?
No, we know that could easily be one of us. The staff of FEDICE has pulled together and is helping provide some food, clothing, school supplies. We think of what projects FEDICE supports that might help the family become more self-sufficient. Could they raise guinea pigs or chickens? What could the older boys could take on? We are glad as the local soccer team begins to also help by fund raising for a larger house.
This story has not ended yet. We hope that with God’s love, FEDICE, the nearby church, and the Cuascota’s community can make a difference in these lives.
We appreciate your past prayers for FEDICE’s ministries that make it possible to help others become self-sufficient. And we thank you for your generous support. May you be moved to see the suffering in your midst and beyond and take action to share God’s love.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Marilyn Cooper and Glenn Hebert)
Mission Partners in Ecuador:
Fundacion Ecumenica Para el Desarrollo Integral Capacitacion-Education (FEDICE)
Iglesia Evangelica Unida del Ecuador (IEUE)
More information on Ecuador:
Global Ministries Missionary in Ecuador:
Marilyn Cooper, a member of United Christian Church, Austin, Texas, serves with the Ecumenical Foundation for Integral Development, Training and Education (FEDICE). She is working in Christian Education with FEDICE and the Association of Indigenous Evangelical Churches of Imbaburapreschools and community centers in Indigenous communities teaching English. Her appointment is supported by Our Churches Wider Mission, Disciples Mission Fund and your special gifts.
Glenn Hebert, a member of United Christian Church, Austin, Texas, serves with the Ecumenical Foundation for Integral Development, Training and Education (FEDICE). He is working in Christian Education with FEDICE and the Association of Indigenous Evangelical Churches of Imbabura on FEDICE website design and a blog about his experiences. His appointment is supported by Our Churches Wider Mission, Disciples Mission Fund and your special gifts.
We were both told again on Friday what fine work we do for FEDICE in Ecuador. Both Marilyn and I have written before about wondering if we really make that much of a difference. It’s hard to explain why we wonder about this because it’s not due to a lack of confidence. Marilyn claims I have a huge ego (which I insist is merely self-esteem). But we do both view ourselves as ordinary.Read more
The month of July went quickly for us. First, everything needed to be ready for our next group from the States. Then we enjoyed the work and visit from the group from Oregon.Read more
I really enjoyed myself from July 10th to July 20th, despite the work involved. Another group from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Oregon and Southwest Idaho Region was here. I knew the majority of members from previous trips, so it was like seeing old friends. New friends were easily made, also.Read more
Marilyn Cooper, a member of United Christian Church, Austin, Texas, serves in Ecuador with the Ecumenical Foundation for Integral Development, Training and Education (FEDICE). She is working in Christian Education with FEDICE and the Association of Indigenous Evangelical Churches of Imbabura.Read more
It’s true what they say — time flies when you’re having fun. It seems like just a few days since my Mom and I made an early trek to the Portland International Airport and I boarded a plane to Atlanta to embark on a new adventure. In reality, it’s been over a month and as I write this letter, it’s hard to choose what experiences to share with you — there have been so many in my short time in Ecuador.
One of my favorite songs I grew up singing in church and around campfires is, We Are One In The Spirit (They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love). For me, it epitomizes the most proufound elements of Christian values and mission. Take the second verse: