I am very proud to be a United States citizen. I love my country and very much appreciate the blessings and privileges that my citizenship affords me. Having lived overseas for many years, I am many times moved to tears upon hearing the national anthem. But on February 23rd, I felt a new pride. For the first time, Jeff and I had the privilege of voting in Ecuador. We now have our resident visas, which gives us the privilege to vote. Today I identified with the Ecuadorian people in a new and deeper way. As I got in a taxi this morning to head to the polls, it was nice to chat with the cab driver about the candidates and and ask if he had voted yet. In that 5 minute cab ride, I felt a camaraderie with the citizens of Loja as everyone made their way to the polls. As I turned in my ballot, it was gratifying to identify with over 11 million registered voters in Ecuador* (voting is mandatory, beginning at age 18).
We love Ecuador and count it a privilege to serve as missionaries in this beautiful country. Our children were born in Ecuador and have been blessed to have two home countries, two languages and two cultures. Nothing can ever change the way I feel about “The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave,” but on Sunday I felt a little swell of pride as I took my place among my friends and neighbors to elect a new mayor and other officials for the city of Loja. Pray that God will help us to make a difference both in our country of origin and in this place where He has called us to serve.