May 2020

New Birth

IMG_1831

This past week we received news of newborns from three different families in three different cities in three very different circumstances. The first was a big surprise, even for her parents. A sixteen year old told her parents that she was pregnant. Her father called us for counsel. He believed that she should marry the father of the child. We recommended the opposite. A seventeen year old boy who has a reputation for getting girls pregnant is not going to be a good husband. So her parents are dealing with their new situation. We encouraged them that even an error God can turn into a blessing.
The next surprise was a blessing. A young couple had their second child. They had to take her to the hospital during the corona virus crisis, but both mom and baby are okay. The dad told me that their first child had died SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) so they are a bit worried about their second child, but we leave everything in God's hands because He is good.
The third surprise created grief. A young girl whom we have discipled some since she was single, called and told us she had a miscarriage. It took her toll on her both physically and emotionally. We grieve with them in their loss, and trust the Lord in His wisdom.
Pray for the next generation.

Everything New

IMG_1793

"I am making everything new." Rev 21:5

I'm using the verse out of context, but that does describe the present situation: Big changes!
I've lost track of how many weeks we've been under quarantine, but we're definitely into a new way of doing things. I'm amazed at how much communication is going on despite the fact that everyone stays home. I'm now part of a bible study in Latacunga. I'm helping a student in Riobamba with English classes. And I talk by phone regularly with contacts in the communities. We're more in contact than we were before! Hard to get used to just talking by phone and video, but that's the new reality, and it's going to be around for a while.

Zooming In

IMG_1788

Little by little we are seeing what our new "normality" is going to be. Many are already using ZOOM but I wasn't up to date yet. So I got my full doze on Sunday, Mother's Day, with four ZOOM meetings! - 10:30 am church service (Church Plant in Quito); 1:30 pm another church service with me giving the message (Quichua Church in Quito from Capulispungo); 4:00 pm family meeting (USA) to wish Mom Happy Mother's Day; 7:00 pm devotional with three families in Quito. Then last night I met via ZOOM with a Quichua student from Capulispungo who is studying at the University in Riobamba, helping him with his English class. So this is our new "normality." Better get used to it.

For Mother's Day, we "sent" Mom flowers from our garden, by showing her the bouquet via ZOOM. Not quite the same as home delivery, but it will have to do for now.


IMG_1781

Meditation Genesis 23

tombgordon1

Genesis 23: Abraham buys a burial site in Canaan.
Genesis 24: Abraham sends his servant to get a wife for Isaac from Ur of the Chaldeans.

I have switched my "Interpretation Lens:"

My old lens:
I would look for biblical principles in a passage. This was my traditional way of reading the bible: I never paid much attention to chapter 23, and in chapter 24 I would look for biblical principles on how to choose a wife. But why all the detail in chapter 23? (as well as chapter 24)

My new lens:
Understand the story. Forget about "biblical principles" and look at what's happening. Lots of detail means the story has great significance.

Abraham was a migrant. He came from Ur of the Chaldeans. In Canaan, he was a foreigner.
Buying a cave for a burial site means he’s establishing roots in Canaan. The idea of remaining where your ancestors are buried. He's obeying God's command to go to a new country and stay there. Yet…
Getting a wife for his son from his home country and relatives means he wants to keep his family tradition and values.

We work with the Quichua who are migrating to the cities. They are torn between lands and values. They move to the city and begin to establish roots, but, for the first couple of generations, they remain connected to their rural communities. They return every year during Carnival for a big family (and community) reunion, and many return there for their marriage ceremony. (I haven't seen yet if they return to be buried in their community cemeteries, but it wouldn't surprise me.)

The Gordon family has migrated from Scotland to New England, then to DC and Brasil, and yet the cemetery in Hazardville gives us a place and a way to connect with our ancestors. Although they have passed on, they are still a part of us and we a part of them. Soon, we too will pass on and leave our legacies to the next generation.

Hebrews 12:1 "since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses… let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us"

Photos of Gordon Generations

tombgordon2