At 11:45 pm on Friday night, February 13th, I was just getting to bed, when our doorbell rang! Jeff went to answer the door as I got dressed. I heard some music coming from the street, and when I got to the door, I realized that the music was for me and Jeff. It was a “serenata” by the youth of our church, complete with violin solo. They traveled with amplifier, mixer and computer. Our whole neighborhood got a serenade that night. Three songs later I was snug in my bed thinking how nice it was for the youth to take the time to come and sing to us and wish us a happy Valentine’s Day. We were just one of many that were serenaded that night. I suppose this is one of the reasons Loja is considered the arts and music capital of Ecuador.
The ministry we call ” Pura Vida” continues to have an impact on the health and well being of the people who listen to the Pura Vida radio program and on those who attend the classes. Jeff and I have both been sharing in the class, and we continue to have people stop by the house because they have questions about health and nutrition. In the class we share the importance of taking responsability for our health. We emphasize the importance of eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Loja, Ecuador, is an ideal place to share this message, because we have so many fruits and veggies available year round. Soon I, Terri, will have the opportunity to participate in a radio program on a secular station and possibly even a local television program. We are grateful for all these opportunities, and often we are surprised that people are willing to talk not only about their physical health, but about their spiritual health as well.
On February 1st, a young woman who had heard about Pura Vida on the radio came by to talk. She explained that her mother had cancer, and that she, too, had several health problems. She also shared that she had been a victim of incest as a child and how that had been the beginning of many problems in her life. What a great opportunity to talk about the great physician and how He can transform our lives and our health. Maybe you’ve never stopped to think about how our mental and emotional state affect on our body’s ability to fight sickness. And, obviously, our physical condition can affect our emotional and mental outlook. It is a joy to know that the God who formed us and knows us perfectly is ready and willing to meet our needs and offer healing for our bodies, minds and hearts.
This Christmas was truly a Christmas to remember. Jeff and I were invited to speak at a retreat in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. We decided to take the whole family, even our spoiled English Cocker, and make some family memories along the way. It was a grueling 15 hour trip through mountains, jungle and coast. However, the opportunity to fellowship with many friends we had not seen for several years made it all worthwhile.
We enjoyed sharing biblical principles for a healthy marriage. Several couples told us the principles we shared met a very real and present need in their lives. We even had a few opportunities to counsel people during the retreat. We also had the privilege of seeing our dear friends Alberto Ayoví and his wife, Mercedes.
As we left Esmeraldas we took a detour through the jungle to a place called Shell. Shell has traditionally been the jungle outpost where many missionaries came before taking a plane or boat into more remote parts of the jungle. You may have read about five missionaries who were killed by members of the Waodani (also known as Auca) tribe. God has blessed us with opportunities to meet some of the family members of the five martyrs. It has amazed us to see how God has used this tragic event to transform the lives of the Waodani people and lead individuals around the world to serve Him as missionaries.
We had the privilege of spending Christmas day with a grandson of one of the Waodani men who was involved in killing the missionaries that fateful day in 1956. Gilberto and his wife live in Shell and continue helping the Waodani people to move into the 21st century while maintaining their culture and heritage. He is overseeing the recording of the New Testament in the language of the Waodani and is instrumental in helping the Ecuadorian government understand the needs of this rural tribe.
The Christmas story is about how Almighty God came to this earth to give His life to redeem people lost and separated from Him. How inspiring to know five men followed Christ’s example by giving their lives so that the Waodani people might understand what it means to “walk on God’s trail.” We salute the missionaries who have served this tribe for many years and in many ways. The story of the Waodani people is a story of forgiveness and transformation. If you would like to know more, check out the links below. We can’t think of a better way to spend Christmas!
This year it was our privilege to host the Thanksgiving Day meal for our SIM team here in Loja, Ecuador. It was a beautiful sunshiny day and we had wonderful food and fellowship. Many people ask me what we, as a family, eat now that we are mostly raw vegans. It was a great opportunity to share this dessert with our friends and colleagues: Raw Pumpkin Pie Brownies. When people hear that we eat raw food their imaginations kick in with some pretty wild images, but raw food and particularly raw desserts are very easy and use the most simple, natural ingredients. Best of all, they are healthier and lighter than traditional recipes. If you would like the recipe for Raw Pumpkin Pie Brownies, click on the link is below:
Giving thanks for each of you,
November 23rd-24th we were in Canguraca, a small village about 3.5 hours from Loja. There is no evangelical church in the community, but the people of the community very graciously allowed us to use the Catholic Church on Saturday night and Sunday morning for the drama group to do their presentations. Nathanael and Kaitlyn have been apart of the drama group for several months. They use the “Walk Thru the Bible” material translated to Spanish and act out the events of the Bible. This is a very powerful tool to help people get a global view of the scriptures. We are so grateful for the Greenwood family that directs this ministry. We were delighted to accompany them on this trip to Canguraca. The community seemed very responsive and grateful for their coming.
What a wonderful two day experience it was to attend the only ladies conference in our Province. There were over 500 ladies in attendance both Friday and Saturday night. Saturday morning was a special session of teaching and worship for just pastor’s wives with a Luncheon following. The wonderful thing about this conference was the spirit of unity and great fellowship. The conference theme was “Mother of Nations” taken from Deuteronomy 7 and focused on how God wants to use us as women to bless the present generation and the generations to come. I count it a privilege to be a member of the “Confraternidad de Pastoras” (Fellowship of Pastors’ wives) that hosts and plans events like this one for the province of Loja. If we continue to see unity among believers like we saw in this conference, surely we will bless the nations, and our children after us will be blessed.
I couldn’t believe my ears. I was invited to share on the local christian radio station, “Ondas de Esperanza” (Waves of Hope) about nutrition. I had been holding classes on nutritional healing in my home for a few months when this opportunity came my way. The live radio program went well and I was invited to continue sharing each Thursday on the “Aprendiendo a Vivir” (Learning to Live) show. The very next show the phone calls started pouring in. The level of interest and the number of callers really surprised me. Each week people call with questions about how to eat a whole foods plants based diet, or how to make vegetable juices and smoothies. This has turned into a full time ministry together with my blog: Pura Vida Lojana. I thank God for opening this door to speak with people about their physical and spiritual health.