We have had many wonderful weeks here with our Nazarene International Language Institute (NILI) students this summer! Both Andréa and I were able to celebrate our birthdays and were blessed to celebrate with many cakes from our students and colleagues at NILI as well as our fellow missionaries here on campus! The past few weeks have included overnight trips for our NILI students to Otavalo, where there is a marvelous Indigenous artisan market and also an overnight trip to Papallacta hot springs. We are still in awe and in constant amazement at the beauty and wonder Ecuador has to offer!
Our next few weeks will be busy as we venture tomorrow into the Oriente, the Amazonian region of Ecuador! Here our students will visit many different places of cultural and spiritual importance, as they will get to meet the Hourani tribe! This is an important aspect of NILI, that our students learn the culture of Ecuador but also advance academically and spiritually.
After our trip to the Oriente, we will be heading to the coast of Ecuador to spend a few days at the beach for our students to experience the coastal region of Ecuador. While traveling on these excursions our students are continuing to study and prepare for exams at the end of the semester, which is fast approaching! Please keep them in prayer as they are learning so many lessons and allowing God to continue to shape them during their time abroad!
Our personal prayer requests this week have to do with our own travel arrangements and current visa situation. As one can imagine, governments both here and in the States are still dealing with pandemic/post-pandemic (in the U.S.) delays. As of this writing we are currently working with our Field Strategy Coordinator Dr. Geraldo Nunes and our leadership team here to figure out the best possible solution for us to return to Ecuador for continued ministry work. Our prayer is that we would be able to gain a 2-year visa, so please be praying! We also ask that you pray for our return travel to the states, as Matt has been approved to be ordained remotely in the Virginia district on July 28th, 2:30 p.m. EST. Thank you all for your prayers and support! Dios les bendiga y bendiciones!