June 2016



We praise God that the 5cm tumor removed from Faby's right thyroid gland was benign. We are at home in El Tingo, Quito and taking a couple of weeks to rest and recover (both of us). The surgeon gave his OK on Friday, and tomorrow we meet with the Endocrinologist to see which medicines she will need to take now that she doesn't have a thyroid gland. God is good and we praise Him for His faithfulness!

The Surgery

God´s ways are perfect! We never knew that Faby had a tumor on her right thyroid. In April she had a "carcinoma" removed from her right upper lip. In preparation for that out-patient operation, the doctor wanted an EKG. We were in Riobamba and looking for a doctor who could do the EKG. We ended up walking into a hospital and asking if any doctor there could do the exam. This doctor was not only a cardiologist, but specialized in internal medicine. Faby not only received an EKG, but a full medical checkup. He noticed the slight lump in Faby's neck, and suggested we had better check it out. That started a series of doctor's visits in Quito, plus medical exams including advanced scans, which revealed a growth on her right thyroid of about 3.5 cm. The operation this past Thursday removed a tumor of 5cm! If it hadn't been for that doctor in Riobamba we would never have known. God sent us to the right person at the right time. That first checkup was on April 22nd. Her out-patient operation on her right lip was April 27th. Her thyroid operation was June 16th. We spent five days at the hospital where I first worked in Ecuador as a nutritionist back in 1986. The surgeon was a committed Christian. Faby's operation was not an easy one, but God had his hand in everything. Even the surgeon gave thanks to God that Faby could speak after the operation. (There's always a risk in removing the thyroid gland that the nerves to the vocal chords may be affected.) We are in God's hands. Faby will still need checkups and controls, but if God still has use for us here in Ecuador, we will continue to serve Him with the Quichuas. He is faithful! 1 Cor 1:9


The Challenge

The pastor Antonio of Capulispungo has taken me to a new community where he wants to disciple the leaders of the church. So we´re putting together a six month program for them. The challenge is to take all our bible knowledge and theology and pack it into a very simple program that folks can easily understand and put in to practice. The plan is for me to teach bible for the first half of the morning, and Antonio to teach church administration for the second half. I used a very simple folder to begin with a Bible survey. Antonio was using a program developed in Europe for church multiplication. I am well aware that foreign material, although translated into Spanish, doesn´t usually "fit" into the Quichua mindset. We discussed this a bit on the way to the church. Antonio showed me the first page of his material which used the word "passion." He shared that he knew what the material wanted to communicate, but knew also that "passion" was not the right word. "Commitment" or "perseverance" communicates the idea better in the Quichua language.
Teaching the Quichua is always a challenge, but I love it! First of all, they speak Quichua, and Sunday morning, they spoke Quichua, except when talking to me. So I have to guess at what they´re saying. It´s language learning all over again. But their music keeps me connected. I have finally learned to play their music, their way, their style. So when I take the accordion and begin to play their music, they eagerly ask me to play with them. We must have played a good twenty minutes before everyone arrived, and once they did, we played it all again to "start the program." God has put me where I can use all my gifts and bless others.
(Saturday both Faby and I were in Capulispungo. Faby has a great ministry going with the women there!)

New community: San Antonio de Encalado with Pastor Antonio (in photo)

Quichua music with the accordion.

Driving back down the mountain.

The group at Capulispungo continues.

Violin Creates a Stir!

Ruben, pictured below, is a student at the Semila seminary, but he´s also a great musician. We´ve been talking for a while about training some musicians at his church, and this Sunday was the second workshop. In the first, I exhorted them to obtain their own instruments, but didn't see much response. So I was surprised when we arrived and three guitars and a charango showed up with the crowd! They are eager to learn and we're off to a good start. My prayer is to compose songs with them that teach bible passages. The violin made a big impression. Laura, in the last photo, had wanted to learn violin, so I took one with me for her to try. She didn't put it down for 2 hours! It's just a start, but I hope she will purchase her own, and then I can get her started really learning. The violin, as well as the guitar, drum, and charango, is one of the traditional instruments among the Quichua. Maybe I should say "was" because the electronic keyboard is rapidly replacing them.