Friday, October 31, 2008

The Joanna Report

Well happily I can report that Joanna is now receiving her treatment. The branch here in Ecuador and the one in Columbia stepped in and brought the medicine for her - isn't that wonderful. It will be a really good witness for the hospital nurses and doctors who have been so mean to the family.
Of course any donations received will still be put to good use as without the father, Homero, working - they still have to live. So a big thank you to you who have already donated - I know it is appreciated.

I will keep you posted as to Joanna's progress - let's hope it is all good news.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Please Please Help!

The Morocho Family with a little friend from the congregation on the far left

We have just come back from the hospital visiting Joanna (well actually we only saw her from the window, but we visited with her parents). Things are looking very grim for the little chica and we feel very powerless. She has been hemorrhaging and the doctors are giving her parents real grief about the blood issue. Joanna herself has made a stand and said she does not want to go against Jehovahs law. They are being so mean that they will not get the medicine for her chemotherapy at the discounted price (not quite sure what that was, possibly the $300 I was first told). Anyway it is now $650 a pop and she needs 15 treatments. The Hospital Liason Committee has been able to arrange to get the medicine from Columbia at $400 so they will fly a brother up there to get it as soon as the money is arranged. We have very little more that we can give so would like to be able to give help from our brothers and sisters across the pacific. Every little bit will help! If you would like to donate - please contact my sister Ann and she will give you details. I know Nancy and Homero would thank you from the bottom of their hearts. Of course we are one large family in Jehovahs organization and when one member hurts, we all do. I have to say this about this couple, they are facing real tragedy and they are only quite new in the truth but their faith is strong and they have great fortitude. The peace of Jehovah certainly is with them.

It was quite draining being at the hospital and again very frustrating when the words we wanted to say would not come out right. However I know that they appreciated just having our support - just being there was what was important.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sad News @ The Meeting Tonight

Tonight it was announced that this little girl, Joanna, has just been diagnosed with Leukemia! We are very sad as she is one of the kids that takes an interest in us and always talks to me at the meetings. The brothers asked for contributions towards her treatment because she needs chemotherapy every other day and each session costs $300. A small fortune for this family or probably 90% of the people here. Oh how we wish we were millionaires!

I had a thought in the night that maybe some of you in Kiwiland might like to donate something to our little sisters treatment. If so there are ways and means - just let me know. Plenty of people around the country have our email address or you could get in touch with anyone in the Bethlehem Congo. It would be awesome to let Joanna's parents know they have friends all the way over in NZ and they are thinking of them too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Message for Alice & Terry

Who would have thought...

Mark gave his first talk in espanol last night. It was the number 4 talk and he was assigned to the 3rd school. Funnily enough he didn't know he had it until Monday so it was a scramble to get it together and practiced (apparently no one thought it would be important for him to know). Doug kindly went through what Mark put together and changed everything around so that the audience would understand it - so thankfully he was able to do that for Mark. Excuse the sound quality of the short clip I did for you - the back school is not insulated very well and so you hear the front school very well, if not better than the speaker you want to listen to. Anyway Mark did very well - I hope they give him some more soon, it is a good learning tool.
By the way we got a nice letter at the meeting too last night - we officially have pioneer numbers - wahoo, bring it on!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A message for Becky!

Today I found out that it is all worth it. All the sore feet, all the frustration with the language, all the missing my kids, family and friends back home, all the drenchings we get when the sky suddenly opens up and all the times when I thought I would never be able to do this - it is all worth it when you find someone genuinely interested.

As some of you may know Becky and I have had some great talks with Susie the Peruvian girl. Well as some of you may also know, Becky is recuperating from the major operation she had yesterday on her neck so I had to go on my own. Well not quite on my own - I took an local sister with me but basically I had to do most of the talking. Becky would have been proud of me I am sure. We had another lovely brief study and we talked about the meetings with her also. She would like to come! Then as we were about to get up and go she asked if she could phone her friend (the one that took her book a couple of weeks ago) and would we wait till she got there- which of course we did. The friend, Maribelle, came from her work so it took a bit of time for her to get there on the bus but when she did, we were able to study with her too for about 20 minutes. We made arrangements to go back to her on Saturday. Maribelle's main question was - who is god? So of course - chapter one has been the perfect place for us to start with her. Of course I came away just about floating and as I said all the hardships we have gone through in the last 7 months don't mean a thing anymore!

1st creepy crawly!

Well here it is - the first thing that has freaked me out in 7 months! That was one big spider at the Kingdom Hall last night.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

So sometimes the sun shines!

This is just to prove that it doesn't rain all the time in Cuenca and to show you the view from our roof top. In photo number 2 - you can see a neighbor from the next building doing her washing.
We really need to get some outdoor furniture to be able to enjoy it when it does shine though.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Look what I am having for my afternoon tea!

mmmmm- vegemite on crackers!
A treat was awaiting us when we went to the post office this morning! Not one but three tubes of vegemite (now I don't have to ration out the half a jar the girls gave us) sent by my dear mother-in-law (bless her cotton picking socks!). Also a good old New Zealand Woman's weekly (oops I mean the NZ version of the Australian WW) - to catch up with all the gossip about Suzanne Paul! Afternoon tea time was Bliss! Thank you Maureen!

So does anyone have any ideas for the Vegemite Party I am going to throw? Seriously, all the americans here are fascinated with what vegemite is - they have all heard the Men-at-Work song - "Man from Down Under" where he sings about having a vegemite sandwich so I now have the wherewithall to let them taste the stuff. Of course none of them will like it - you have to be born and bred in NZ or Aussie to acquire the taste buds to cope with it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away!

The girls - jumping for joy at the thought of seeing their family and friends soon!

Well today was a bad day starting off with us having to let Bernice and Maria go. They leave the country tomorrow but had to go to Guayaquil today so they can catch their respective planes in the morning. We really enjoyed having them stay and a few tears were shed!
It was raining hard but I had my english study to go to, so Mark came with me - it took us nearly an hour in the bus to get there and when we finally did, Frances was having a few problems so couldn't study. Oh well home we came and that was good cause we could dry out.
At 3pm we braved the weather again to go to the group - and I went with Lisa up to her studies in Banos. We were soaked when we got to the first one but got through that - then decided to get ourselves home before we were washed away - it was teeming! A hot shower was on the agenda when I finally made it back to mi casa! I have been suffering badly with a very sore back so the cold rainy weather just did not help!
You get days like that here - when everything just doesn't go your way. Thankfully though there are days like yesterday when we had such success. Becky and I went to see Susie and she had visitors. They sat in the study too - 2 of them sitting with us the whole time, answering and reading the scriptures. Becky keeps saying to me how sorry she is for doing most of the talking but she doesn't realize how great it is for me to just listen and learn from her. She has a lovely Texan drawl and I can understand her spanish very well. Susie has decided to keep her baby (some of you I have told about her telling us last week that she is 1 month pregnant and her boyfriend wanted her to abort it) - the boyfriend is now gone so the poor girl is alone - but probably much better off.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

They came bearing gifts!

I know I have been very quiet on the blogging front of late but here is the reason...
I have been too busy stuffing my face with VEGEMITE!

Of course all my NZ readers will recognize Maria who has been here serving since January. The other chica is her room mate, Bernice from England. They both leave the country on Friday so they have been doing a little tour of the country before they go. We were privileged to have their company for the final few days. Both girls are an inspiration and have encouraged us greatly. We will miss them so much - of course they haven't lived that close to us but it has been nice to know they are in the country and to be able to text them every so often.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another short film from Bethyboo Studios

You may wonder about the choice of music for this film! It is not at all Ecuadorian, I know, but I just happen to like it at the moment so you have to listen to it to. It has no significance what so ever - especially the part about woman carrying huge loads - right where the singer says "this is how it's meant to be". Woman's Libbers around the world will have my "guts for garters".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Monday in Cuenca

I told you the other day about the Peruvian lady (Susie) I call on. Well we went back to her yesterday and once again she pulled out the stool for us to sit on and we were able to sit and have a chat. I asked Susie if she had the bible I had given her the other day so I could show her how to use it. No, she didn't have it because her friend had taken it and the BT book home to her house as she wanted to read it too. Ok well we carried on chatting for a while longer then I said I would come back and talk some more about her question - how do we know the bible is really from god. I nearly fell off the stool when she said "when are you coming because my friend will want to be here too". How cool is that? Arrangements are made for Friday so we shall see what happens then. The thing about this woman is she is so patient with me - Becky was with me yesterday and she is making me do the talking now, of course with a lot of help from her and it is good for me.
Becky and I then went to one of her studies who I had been to before, when the girl was pregnant and once after she had the baby. The poor girl has just lost that baby as it had something wrong with his intestines and the doctors didn't catch it in time. He died on the operating table. It is so sad but what is worse is people are telling her the baby is now in pergutory. What a cruel teaching that is. Soyla is lapping up the truth and yesterday said to Becky she really feels God sent Becky to her. It was an emotional study but so nice to be able to give a positive hope and teach the truth.
Later on in the day I was priviledged to go with Becky again - this time on her english study. Donna has just had an operation and is recuperating here in Cuenca. She came to Mark's talk on Sunday, her first, and enjoyed it. Once again awesome to see this womans eye's being opened.

Didn't have a very good finish to the day as I ended up on the bus going the wrong way and it was a little frightening because it was getting dark and I didn't know where I was. One of those situations where the only thought going through my head was - "what the heck am I doing here-alone on a bus in the middle of a third world country!"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Marks 1st Talk in Ecuador-now he just has to do 1 in spanish!

Well he did his stuff today and didn't do too bad at all., although I could tell he wasn't quite as relaxed as he is back home. The chairman acknowledged that everyone enjoyed his NZ accent - some of the audience though probably didn't understand it and I am talking about the English speaking brothers! It was nice a few from our congo turned up, I am glad they could see Mark could put two words together without long pauses, even if they didn't know what he was saying.!

It was hard to get away from the hall cause everyone so enjoys speaking in English but finally we arrived at the nice french restaurant we had eaten at the other day. I think the crowd overwhelmed them though and we waited a long time for lunch. It was fine though, we loved being with everyone. Just what I needed in fact, I have to admit to being a little homesick these last few days. It will pass though as soon as the new week starts and we get too tired to even think!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Another opps!

Have to tell you my oppsy today! I ran out of eggs while baking a cake and so went over to the little tienda (shop) across the road. "Hola" I said " Have you got any sheep?" Yep I got the words mixed up and they don't even sound the same. Sheep = ovejas= oh- vay- hahs. Eggs=huevos= way-voes. The shop assistant and I both cracked up! Hopefully won't make that mistake again!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Great Day all round!

Walking to Needgreaters Anonymous Lunch
what a bunch!
What a neat day we had today. First of all Lisa and I worked together in the morning and we had a fine old time. We went to one of my calls, who I had placed the BT book with and he had an interesting question. He firmly believes in Hell Fire and Lisa was able to show him some scriptures to refute that idea. It amazed me because I don't think I have had that same conversation for years. He went and got his own bible and it was obvious that young man really loves his bible so it was wonderful seeing him really thinking about the scriptures Lisa showed him. Of course I pretty much stood there like a dummy cause - it's a hard enough question to get round in english let alone spanish! He is happy for us to go back and talk some more so that is cool!
Then we headed over to another one of my calls - this is the second time back to her for me and like last time she went into her shack and brought out a stool for us to sit on and we went through a couple of parragraphs - awesome! Poor lady though is from Peru and has had to leave her 3 young children back there, very sad. Makes you wonder about conditions there if they are willing to immigrate here.
As the pictures show - it was another Needgreaters Anonymous meeting in town so the Willis' came with us and joined an already large crowd at the restaurant. It was interesting meeting an older sister from Germany who is a missionary. I didn't quite get the full story (too excited talking in english) but I think she has just returned to Ecuador after being sick.
After Lunch, Mark had to take the group at 3pm so we didn't have a lot of time with everyone - there is always next week though and lunch at that place only costs $2.90 so I think we will be there again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Banana "SPLIF" anyone?

You would think there definitely was alcohol in the Banana Splif cause look how it is affecting me - I look positively hammered!
By the way - I don't think they realize what Splif means - because I certainly didn't - until Marisa kindly pointed it out. Innocent me! This Banana Splif definitely did not have marijuana in it! Please forgive me if I have offended anyone - I was just pointing out the spelling mistake!