They say time flies, but days here are spent on a bus! Ann, kids and the Nichols spend at least 2-3 hours a day riding on at least three buses. They all are different. Just like the people. The first: private, quiet, comfortable, sitting down with time to put on makeup, makeup homework or just plain makeup stories (usually the boys). The second, piggyback bus holding at least 150 business, university and city folk usually has barely enough room to stand. The third, local bus carries both drunks and hardworking country/suburbanite ecuadorians on their way home to family or friends. Their faces are just as diverse: african blacks from the coast, kichwa indians in traditional clothing from the mountains and oriental( a region) areas and lighter latino's of spanish decent.
My friend, ministry partner and spiritual amigo Chris Nichols preached this weekend at the Alliance Academy staff retreat on Hebrews 12-13 in Quito. We all joked that it was nice to have a 'real shower' and challenged the group comfortably living within a 10 block radius of the school to do 'out of the box hygiene' and join us out in the country (Conocoto). My girls, Ann and Maggie still looked like a million bucks! What troopers....how do they do that....a couple minutes behind closed doors.....Hebrews 13:6 says " We can say with confidence 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me'" The first Jesus we say we all know about. He hung and maintains the heavens but we still insist on a weather report....what's ahead, what can I expect. We look in the mirror for answers but His face reflects the faith, hope and love found in his name alone. Its hard to get out of in front of the mirror either asking questions or looking for answers. I admit I'm guilty of the latter, just ask my family.
The second Jesus (Hey-zus) is one you probably don't know. The Lord in his wisdom, chooses to work through His people in our lives. We look for miracles, signs and positive things and He gives us Himself in the flesh. Jesus (above on a rock) is a believer who works at the foundation. He has been with them a little over a year. He is a 38 year old hard worker, on his second family (believing wife and 4 year old daughter) and is a man of action. He speaks no english and speaks little of his kids 'on the coast' who he misses terribly. He drives too fast (his job-driver), brushes/flosses too little (has two gold teeth) but is just right in the indispensible friend/accountability partner department. His family lives in Yurac, a small peasant, agricultural Kichwa (indian) community across the valley about 45 minutes away. Pastor Miguel, (foundation director) birthed one of four churches there through Jesus and his family. People living there are only one generation away from being enslaved by wealthy spainards or their very own people! Evangelical Christianity found its way there about the same time. It is the closest community to Anti Sana, an active volcano about 5-6 miles away. I came to be used to change and transform hearts/lives but the Lord is changing mine.
Thank you Lord for my Family who came willingly and is learning to love our new home. Thank you Lord for my friend who started our ministry and found this place on the web: Vickie Nichols. Thank you Lord for my dark-faced, Kichwan friend who bears your name and countenance. Thank you Lord for my friend who preached the freedom of the Word to former slaves in their language: Ronnie Brock (above). Thank you Lord for holding us captive to Your Grace!