Friday, July 20, 2012

Sweet Summertime

Blog posts have been few and far between lately...I apologize for that, but we have had an incredible time of renewing, rejuvenating and reconnecting. After school ended June 8th, we were on a plane to Birmingham June 9th. Let it be said - we waste no time. All in all we spent 3 weeks with family and friends both in Birmingham and FL. My mom and 4 sisters (along with brother-in-laws and nieces) went out of their way to travel to South Florida to celebrate Christmas in June together.
It was great to reconnect, share stories, sing a few Broadway tunes and tease each other relentlessly (a Kirby-girl tradition :-). We threw as much as we could into our 5 days together - missed birthdays (mom turns 84 in August), missed Thanksgiving meals (let's just say we ate. Alot.), and most of all - precious time together. My sisters are all wonderfully different, incredibly strong, and beautifully gifted women. They are totally in support us being here in Ecuador, although at times I heard them asking our kids aside "don't you want to come and live with Aunt Jane?, Aunt Barb?"...etc. They miss their nieces and nephews as much as we miss them and their families:-)
Back in Birmingham we ran at 110% every day. I never realized how much there is to do to prepare your family for another 365 days away from North America. Things we HAD to do: completely buy-out WalMart, eat at Chic-Fil-A, get Maggie's drivers license, eat at Zaxby's, renew mine/Bob's license, eat at our local BBQ place, get Tim's learners permit (a bust - more on that later), coordinate and drive kids to meet with friends/sleepovers/hang-out places, eat some more, replenish clothes and shoes for the coming year (Plato's Closet, anyone?) and most importantly meet with and thank our prayer partners and supporters. Did I mention that we went out to eat? Our good friends helped us pull off a support luncheon. These servant-friends cooked, served and helped coordinate a time where we could share our life and ministry in Ecuador at one time and in one place. The Rodriguez family - awesome friends and neighbors hosted all 5 of us in their home for three weeks. It was so comforting to come 'home' to their house to crash. Marita and Ed are incredible cooks, hosts and friends. Their girls selflessly gave up half of their living space for us - we are forever grateful.

Back in Ecuador we (again) hit the ground running, as our summer teams were already in full swing. Our partners, the Brock family, were still trying to unpack and get settled since just moving to Ecuador while the first two teams were underway.

Brook Hills team July 7-13
BH team leaders John and Anne Marie Touliatos
We have been non-stop ever since. We are so grateful that the teams from Northpark (AL), Brook Hills (AL), Clear Branch (AR), Benton (AR) and Wylie (TX) that have chosen to spend 2% of their year serving the lost and poor of Ecuador with us.I am still amazed at how God can use humble servants to do amazing things. These teams have shown amazing strength, patience and compassion to not only children at the orphanage, but to rural villages that have never heard the Gospel! 

Saying goodbye to friends and fellow servants
As the people of this valley have been blessed, so has our family been blessed by their presence. They have renewed and rejuvenated us by reminding us just why we are here. 

The Brock's and the Coe's are grateful for their presence, their prayers, and their passion to 'make disciples of all nations...' (Matthew 28:19)

Puede Dios recibir la gloria por todo lo que hacemos.
(May God receive the glory for all that we do)

Those we serve

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