January 2017

Being part of a team


At the request of Faby's niece, Peggy, we put together a circus for her preschoolers. Another of Faby's nieces, Pati, performs regularly as a clown for children, but this was the first time her whole family participated. I, also, did a couple of clown improvisations at a few Quichua communities during Christmas, but this time I really enjoyed being part of a team. Because of the difficult logistics in getting us together, we planned the whole program the night before, putting together our ideas, and running through a sketchy rehearsal. What I really enjoyed was that everyone added something, and everyone used their special abilities. Pati held the show together, but everyone added their semi-improvised part and enthusiasm. We actually pulled together a circus performance for the kids! Wow! Now that's teamwork!

Watch a summary video here:





Maybe it's better to wait?


It's hard to wait for something to you expect to happen. Personally, we have two major projects in the works, but I have to wait for people outside my sphere of influence to make a decision in order to begin those projects. We've been waiting for months! Then God reminded me of this cartoon which I managed to dig up deep in my archives. His timing is far superior than mine! Psalm 27:13-14



Teaching how to teach


This past week I taught "Teaching Methods" at the Semila seminary in Riobamba. I set the objective for the class: "Learn how to teach without using a monologue." The biggest challenge was for me to practice what I preach and not talk straight for more than 5 minutes without any interaction or class dynamics. On Thursday we led the seminary chapel. The "message" lasted 60 minutes, but no one "preached." We read Judges 17 and then directed a contest on questions between the men and women, followed by another contest of retelling the story as a group. Then one student led an inductive bible study. We concluded with reading related bible verses, and then a short drama. Since it was our first try, we still have much to improve. The rest of the seminary students enjoyed the change, especially the dynamics. But the real test consisted in asking the seminary students afterwards what they thought. Most responded that they really enjoyed the "message." But when we asked them what it was that we were trying to teach, several answered, "I don't remember." We need to work on that one. :) (Our main point, based on Judges 17, was that it's very easy for one to create their own religion without really knowing God.)

Retreat en Capulispungo


Believe it or not, this was the first retreat the church has ever done! They wanted to have an extended time together mostly with the leaders. We met and planned with the pastor beforehand. Saturday Faby and I would talk about marriage. All the leaders had to come with their spouses. Then Sunday, our friend Luis Moya and I would talk about the church organization: Ecuadorian laws and the church´s own bylaws. The pastor recruited the youth to do the cooking! In all, the retreat was a big success, so much that they want to do it again. Although the youth want to do a retreat first (and have adults cook for them!).
On Saturday, Faby and I combined our talks with ice-breakers. One of these was to tied the couples together and have them figure out how to separate themselves. We all had a good laugh.
On Sunday, Luis revealed to the congregation that their bylaws allowed them to be much more than a church! They are legally authorized not only to be a church, but also to work with the community in health, education, and economic projects. That was a real eye-opener that's going to take a while to digest!