Update from Ecuador!

Dear praying friends,

Hope you are all well and enjoying the warmer weather months, as we are enjoying slightly cooler temperatures down here in Ecuador.

The months of May and June have been months of beginning things and taking the initiative. School has begun again and we are slowly settling in to a scheduled life again- we haven’t had that since December when we were home in Canada to visit!

Youth began May 11 and we had a rather smaller turnout this year than others, but that was according to plan. We hope to start slow and build momentum as the year goes on, instead of the other way around. We want to know who are core group is and build into them. We have begun doing this by starting small discipleship groups with the youth who were just baptized. Please pray that this would bear fruit in the youth’s lives and strong friendships would be created, both with each other and more importantly with their Savior!

Jessenia’s mom was here for a short visit and we had a lot of fun exploring Ecuador’s rich nature population by going bird-watching. She also had a chance to meet her sponsor child around the time of the girl’s birthday and so that was special all around. It is always a privilege to bear witness to the friendships that can form between sponsors and their children.

Raul has begun teaching computer class again. As there are no computers just yet, he is teaching from a textbook, but we hope to get the computer lab up and running in the near future and the kids are excited!

Thank you for partnering with us in prayer 

Jessenia and Raúl

Youth leaders at our home.

Youth leaders at our home.

Shirley’s Visit.

Shirley’s Visit.

Youth who are a part of the discipleship studies.

Youth who are a part of the discipleship studies.

How you can pray this week...

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For the last five weeks the group of staff and students pictured above have been on a mission trip in North Africa. They've been meeting and making friends through doing English presentations set up on university campuses, hanging out at popular student spots and hosting students in their apartments. They've been seeking to have spiritual conversations and share the gospel with interested students. 

As I write you I'm sitting at the airport awaiting my flight to join this mission trip for their debrief. For the next week, I have the privilege of helping them process, celebrate and evaluate what God has done on their trip. Here's how you can join me in praying for this time of debrief:

  • Pray for the different components I will be leading -  some prayer times, sharing times, an evaluation time, and an encouragement time.

  • I'll also be meeting one on one with a bunch of staff and students to do their "debrief interview." It's simply going over their answers to a series of questions that help them process their time on the mission trip. 

  • Lastly, pray that jet leg wouldn't get in the way of jumping right into things. And pray that even though I wasn't on the mission trip that I would have wisdom to know what the team needs to debrief and close the trip well. 

Thanks for partnering with me in prayer. Your prayers mean so much.

Blessings!

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Our happy family together in a room full of pink balloons on May 10.

Our happy family together in a room full of pink balloons on May 10.

Thank you so much for your fervent prayers through these last few months. Trevor has been out of the hospital for almost 2 months now after being admitted for a mental health crisis in the beginning of February. Comparing life today to 2 months ago is almost night and day. Through meeting with different doctors and nurses, going to some recovery groups, and the support of our church, the transition home has been quite smooth so far.  Trevor is able to know when he needs rest and how to prepare for a situation that would possibly be stressful for him. Unpredictable situations are especially stressful for him. But we've seen him react well even when unexpected and difficult news comes his way. Some of the big wins that we have seen through this month is Trevor being able to watch Amelia on his own and put her to bed, going to a few weddings, and playing on a recreational beach volleyball team. We have also been able to go to church again as a family.  Each day and each week has continued to help Trevor build us mental and physical strength again. We are very glad to see the improvement that Trevor has had. 

Please continue to pray for:
~ Trevor’s mental health and our wisdom to know the pace in which to try new things
~ Trevor to be patient with himself in the healing journey
~ Trevor to know how to spend his time well
~ Hannah to know how to spend her time and energy well between work and family needs
Praise God for a home nurse who is encouraging and understanding
Praise God for keeping Trevor stable even through hearing difficult news from close friends

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I, Hannah, am starting a new leg of our adventure.  One of the greatest joys that I have as a minister on university campuses, is walking alongside women and pointing them to Jesus. Just as Jesus did everyday life with his disciples, I enjoy those times of discipleship as well. I decided to transition the campus team in Waterloo so that I can have more of those 'casual' times with those that I am discipling. 
I will be joining the team that serves the University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier University and Conestoga College. On top of meeting students on campus, I am excited to have the opportunity to use our home as a place to minster to students. We live quite close to the universities in Waterloo. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." Sometimes it is the day to day living out of Christ that makes the biggest difference in a discipleship relationship.
University of Waterloo is in session in the summer, and I've had the joy of meeting with some of the students. They are a great group of students passionate about seeing people know Jesus. It is a privilege to be able to join this group of Power to Change staff and students serving on the campus.  

Meeting with the University of Waterloo student leaders during their summer semester.

Meeting with the University of Waterloo student leaders during their summer semester.

I enjoy now being able to bring Amelia along for ministry events like this women’s breakfast.

I enjoy now being able to bring Amelia along for ministry events like this women’s breakfast.

Thank you for praying for us as a family and
for our ministry to help students discover Jesus!

Update - June 2019

Dear Family of God givers and prayer warriors:

My apologies for such a long silence.  It certainly hasn’t been for a lack of appreciation.  God has used you to carry on the work.  Thank you so much.  I wrote a letter in August, 2018 which never got sent.

I arrived in Canada just a few weeks before the hurricane in September 2017.  My stay lasted until March, 2018 when I returned to still see much of the damages done.  We praise the Lord for the people he has sent our way to fix up the camp which was hit heavily.  This summer they plan to have 3 weeks of camp in July.  The chapel had minor damages on the roof and entrance gate.  Some homes of the Christians were damaged, but these are back to normal.

Emmaus office:  All of the federal prisoners were sent to the States and municipal inmates moved around, so it was difficult to get the courses to them.  We are still receiving letters from those who have reached their final destination and are anxious to continue their courses.  An ex-inmate is now using the courses in his work place to study with his co-workers.  He has a group of 20.  Sonia continues to correct the exams, and Magda writes a lot of the comments. Yolanda was helping with the computer work, but has been diagnosed with bone cancer so is getting chemo and unable to continue.

You have noticed a Canadian address above.  I returned March 30 to comply with OHIP medical requirements.  Brian Array is taking care of the Emmaus office, living in my house, and using my vehicle.  Please pray for him as he looks to the Lord for confirmation about his future ministry.  He enjoys the work, but would need financial support.  Lord willing, I return in September and Brian will go to Florida to get a job.  He is a teacher by profession. 

In March a young couple serving with Word of Life has come to Puerto Rico.  They will help our assembly with the youth.  Please pray for Ramon and Lavinia Ibanez.  They have one son and their second boy is to be born June 13.  At present they are living in my apartment which I had prepared for selling, but we will wait on the Lord’s leading.  I’m now living in a house which was given to the chapel, a wonderful provision. 

So please continue to pray for my future decisions.  I reached 80 and want to serve as long as I am able.  Great is His faithfulness!

In His loving care,

Esther Frey

Thank You for Praying for Me

A Good Monday morning to you,

I know this will be impossible for many of you, but I will be giving a report at Lincoln Road Chapel at 7 PM on June 16 on my recent trip to Kenya. If you can come, I’d love to see you there!

Since I have been home, I've been writing on our experiences in Kenya, changes we’ve made along the way and the future that we anticipate. All of that will be a part of the report on the 16th.

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The trip home was a very long one. But I returned home full of thankfulness for safety, health and fruitful times in both regions and with the board of VMK. On the last day that we were in Kenya Dave and I went with Ishmael and Moline his wife, to the national game park, a 29,000 acre game park right on the edge of Nairobi. We met this healthy -looking specimen there!

Thank you again for your support and encouragement!

Gord Martin