Saturday, February 21, 2009

Back in Manta

The latest. Enjoy.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just got done watching Facing the Giants with Rafa. I'd never seen it, so I was thoroughly delighted when Mark Richt walks into the movie, and Rafa understood maybe a smidge more of my fanaticism over UGA football and the sport in general. Good times. The movie was ok, a bit over the top in the amount of preaching and the gratuitous predictability, but I admit, if nothing else, Christian films are getting maybe the slightest bit better. It was better than Left Behind (not saying much, I know). It was no Mirad, Cuanto Amor though. That is an everlasting classic...the movie that David used like 6 years ago in his campaigns where the acting was so bad, they had one character who died come back later in the movie in different clothes as an extra, and he just held his head down (in a scene with like only 5 other people in it) and hoped no one would notice who he really was. Gotcha, you resurrected extra. I saw you.

Today we had 3 meetings at Murciélago, where we set up at the cement area just a spit from the beach. We had ok groups each time, like 30 people max. But the cool part was that Doris, her daughter Abigail, and Elizabeth (all from Alfa y Omega) all came out to support us, and we got to eat together afterwards as Elizabeth treated us. I played mucho guitar in between, and my fingers were about to collapse. And it showed in my playing, that's for sure. Also, there was a girl there from Dominican Republic named Maribel who was a believer and was super stoked about the meeting and everything. She came up and sang with Rafa when he took the mic on 'Tu Nombre Levantaré'. I was thankful she did that.

We were supposed to have a meeting in Parque de la Madre, but the park was pretty dead tonight even with it being Carnival and all.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I forgot one more highlight from yesterday. As we were helping Brenda move, we all forgot that we had mattresses tied on top of the truck, and at one point, a taxi driver comes flying up to us and lets us know that they have flown which point we turn around in a panic, and they had evidently fallen off a bit farther back than we thought. When we got to the spot, they were already being 'saved' for us...more correctly, claimed by someone else who already had one in his yard, and his son was carrying the other...30 seconds longer, and Brenda wouldn't have had a bed. It was pretty funny.

Today we went to Bahía with Ángel and Brenda so that they could look into doing a concert there, and so that we could potentially get in the water and do a meeting too. There turned out to be more water than beach, and it was really overcast and messy, but all the same, we got done what we went to do. We had a couple really good meals, and thoroughly enjoyed the city itself. I'd totally go back. (It's all about the Ruta del Sol.) Rafa hooked up with a Pastor there who helped us get permits to do a meeting there. We ended up doing the meeting in a skate park, and ended up with 150 people, which was apparently pretty unheard of on a Thursday night. Cool. I met a dude from Finland who heard me warming up to Pumpkins, and he told me they were his favorite band! Let me get this straight...a Finnish Pumpkins fan in Ecuador... We met a couple of random believers while we were there too, one in particular named Daniel who leads worship at his church.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Perhaps the highlight of the day was Rafa telling me about a girl he dated. Her Dad's name was Inocente, and he had 15 children.

Another pretty relaxed day. This morning we went to help Brenda move into a new house smack dab in the middle of Manta, right next to the catholic church. Ángel, Kevin, and Wacho all came along with Rafa and me to help. We had to make 3 trips, but we were done by like 12:30. Rafa and I had lunch after that. When we got home, I was a little tired, so I laid down to rest a bit. I slept till almost 5! It was so good...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Today was laid back. Rafa played for me a tape of a preacher who said that certain types of music are wrong. Needless to say, I disagreed. Ángel came over for a while, and he was on my side even though he is not a rock fan. I got very irritated at Rafa's belligerence and seemingly blind acceptance of some vague Scriptures that this guy tried to use to prove his point that certain rhythms are 'displeasing to God'. Ridiculous.

Thankfully, that discussion finally ended. We went to the mall to use the internet and eat, and there was some fashion show going on, and I had no connection, so I had to use the cafe they have there. Thankfully, I caught the fam, and we were able to talk for an hour.

Monday, February 16, 2009

So much to say for such an uneventful day...

I'm still feeling whatever it is living in my stomach. It hasn't been right since last Thursday, and I had no energy today (I also didn't have coffee this morning, could be one reason). I slept till almost noon, and fell asleep on the couch this afternoon for a bit, and didn't feel like doing much of anything. I did start some meds today. The pharmacy didn't have Cipro but they gave me something similar, and we'll see if that kills the critter. I'm about ready to be done with him. On a lighter note, Rafa and I had some great lunch good that I had 2 of them (the only soup they had was cheese soup, so I helped my self to 2 of the main dishes). And for 3 lunches, we paid $4.20 total. I love this place.

- "What will your order be sir?"
- "I'll have 2 pieces of burnt toast and a rotten egg."
- "Burnt toast and a rotten egg? What do you want that for?"
- "I've got a tapeworm, and that's good enough for him." (3 Stooges)

Rafa and I just did tuna for dinner and I had some of his world famous powdered hot chocolate to go along with it. As the meal went along, he gave me his full testimony about where he'd been since he'd come to know Christ and shared some of his scars. It was so good, and to hear someone as outwardly strong to show the openness and humility he has, it's quite 'impresionante' (there's not a better word in english to use). He spoke to a lot of the stuff that I've dealt with and that I need to hear.

"And as long as we live, every scar is a bridge to someone's broken heart...and there's no greater love, than that one shed his blood for his friends."
Thrice - "For Miles"

After dinner, he went upstairs and watched some sports show, and I wandered onto the terrace. It has been amazing weather today, and tonight has been maybe the nicest night since I've been here. And what a rarity...I could actually see stars tonight! It's pretty amazing to look up, here in the Southern Hemisphere, and really not recognize much of anything, save for Venus and Orion. Other than that, pretty much a brand new sky. I tried to actually sleep up there on the hammock, but the mosquitoes here apparently didn't read the Off contract where you treat people with said repellent as non-existent. Gringo meat is apparently worth contract violation to them. When I came inside, to my delight, Rafa was watching Grey's Anatomy with overdubs. He seemed quite amused.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Woot. What an amazing day! Went to Alfa y Omega this morning, had a good message there about the good works we do and the recompense that follows, and then was planning on playing soccer this afternoon with the same peeps from last week, but when Rafa showed up to pick me up, he told me and Ángel that there was a big game being played today in Portoviejo between Liga and Nacional. So we had some lunch, and the 3 of us and Brenda went to the game. It was awesome! It was as close to a game of American Football in terms of intensity I've seen in another sport. Several fights broke out in the crowd, obviously increasing the overall entertainment level. Nacional (Rafa's team) won 1-0 by a goal they scored in the 2nd minute of the game. It was quite appropriate that they won...their color is red. No coincidence there.

After that we headed back to Manta, grabbed a bite of encebollada for dinner, some coffee, and then to the mall so I could wish David a happy birthday and Skype with the fam for a minute. Good times, although their microphone wasn't working, so I got to blab on to them and watch them make funny faces at me. We headed to the Parque after that to do a meeting, and Ángel and Brenda still came along. We did some music beforehand, and on a fairly non-crowded night at the park, had a huge crowd. Some other folks from Rafa's church came, and after he did the message, there were still people hanging around, so we did another song, and he actually did a Q&A session, and it went really well, I certainly had not seen something like it before, not in an evangelistic campaign at least. Went great. When we left, on Ángel's request, we went and had these taco things at some random stand, and they were awesome, beans, meat, sausage, onions, guac, all sorts of goodness all wrapped in a flour tortilla. If they sold these in the States, they'd put Taco Bell out of business.

And to close, a bit from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis:

"The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water."

"Burn the fleet!
We can never go home
It's on to victory or underground
Burn the fleet!
We'll be heroes or ghosts
But we won't be turned around"
Thrice - "Burn the Fleet"


  1. Give me some prayer requests! I have been praying for your time there but I would love to have specifics.

  2. what's encebollada? something with onions?

  3. Also, it makes my heart glad to know that Stooges quotes are still an important part of your South American life. (Though I am praying for the death of the little monster that claimed your stomach as home.)

    Thanks for keeping the updates coming! Love you.

  4. I see you and I have been listening to the same album. I keep coming back to it, over and over and over again.

    Also, keep up the good work man!