August 2008
News From Colombia, South America

How the bananas get from the trees to the truck to your grocery store

Nuestra intimidad con Dios, que es su prioridad para nosotros, determina el impacto que causen nuestras vidas.
 Genesis 1:26

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Our Mission
To follow God's will for our lives so that we can serve Him in all we do, go wherever He leads, and share His amazing love with those around us.

Continue to support and pray for mission projects around the world:

1) Cusco, Peru - Romulo Tupa - Local Missionary; Pace Ministry - Lima, Peru
2) Guayllabamba, Ecuador - Tulcanza Family - Local Missionary Church with two outreach locations
3) El Batan Missionary Alliance Church and Ninos en Riesgo program for kids living on the streets
4) Just For Kids Orphanage and Montebello School - Valle de los Chillos, Ecuador
5) Home of Hope - Malawi, Africa, Canadian Missionaries
6) Renee in Pak.
7) Projects in the poor barrios with 1st Baptist Church of Armenia, Colombia

Photo Gallery
When the sign says"Ganado en la calle" they aren't kidding. We had to avoid them at least twice on this trip!
The gals on the right had a cardboard box set up and were selling packs of gum while their mom sold in the street.
Many corners in Quito have 2 to 6 year olds working however they can to help the family.

I loved this lady taking her pig out for a walk in Cheka; really she was staking it in a location to eat for the day.

We saw these three butterflies at the gas station in Puerto Quito at the edge of the cloud forest.

"No hay nada como la oración para ahorrar tiempo." 2 Tesalonicenses 3:1

Monthly News

You never can capture the beauty of what you see on film, but the colors and contrast were amazing in real life.
This is a typical home for the Ecuatorianos out on the coast that work in the banana and fruit fields.

You don't often think about the many ways that God blesses your life in little ways, and the fact that He actually cares about you and is watching over you constantly until you take the time to just "be" like when you are on vacation. For both of us, our favorite place to be is in Ecuador when we want to relax. I don't know what it is but we feel at home and at peace there and when I feel that way, I feel surrounded by God's love.

 More than other South American countries, Ecuador is having problems with its government, economy, the drug wars, shortages, and crime, but God has called us to be there for whatever reason and protected us from bad situations.  I really am starting to believe that there is more guerilla activity in Ecuador than Colombia and I'm not sure the new president is going to be a deterrent.

 Now don't think that bad things don't happen to us, because they do: Steve was stung by a sting ray at the beach but recovered after a day; I was stung by a bee, which if you know me, is not good, but was okay in a week; I got coated from head to toe in a mustard scam but thwarted the criminals; they said my luggage was lost between Quito and Bogotá so it couldn't go through customs but it miraculously arrived in Armenia unscathed. I always go back on the verse that God will never give you "more than you can bear."


Many thanks to all those who continue to support the building of churches in Ecuador.
 The construction in Cheka continues as manpower and money are available.
It may look messy, but they can still meet here on Sundays for services.

The projects we have been working with since 2002 continue to plug along. Because of new government rulings, pastors and churches can no longer get loans so it has hurt the new construction of two of our mission outreaches. They are working around it as they can with church members donating a window here and door there; it doesn't matter if they match. The building in Cheka has the first floor and second story construction in progress and work as the money allows.

People are again afraid to put money in the banks so they don't have money to loan and as spending increases, the costs of materials seems to go up. The government has taken over flour production, the communications systems (radio, TV), and is trying to fix prices of several other products. Bakeries have to be able to sell at least one product for .10 or they are being forced to close, but because of the difficulty getting flour, it is almost impossible and at least three chains have closed their doors.

Good and bad change has been happening since we lived there in 2002, along with a new president yearly, so the people protest when needed and roll with the changes.


You don't know crowded until you are in Atacames on a weekend. Between the vendors,
the motorcycle taxis, and one way traffic, it can get insane.

The pastor in Guayllabamba continues to train new leaders to take over the projects in that area so he can move to a new location with great potential and opportunity in a nearby growing area. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to get people to step into leadership roles and realize that the pastor can't do it all; it is the responsibility of the membership to be a part of growing the body of Christ and reaching others. Continue to pray for those that God is calling to step up and listen to His voice in this area. There are at least 12  pueblos and areas that  have lost pastors or missionaries in the last year and closed their doors because they hadn't been discipled  or grown leadership positions among the membership.  The fields are ready for harvest, but the workers are few, even those right next door that know the truth but don't want to step out of their comfort zone.

The church at Guayllabamba got a new coat of paint and attracts more pass by traffic than you would think

The Ninos en Riesgo program has gotten a shot in the arm by the President of Ecuador no less! He visited the program and offered his support to get the new building they have been trying to raise money for that will have a place for sleeping, vocational training, and other resources for the kids that live on the streets. Pray that whether or not he is using it to promote his own agenda that God can use it for good. They also can use prayer for more volunteers to help out in the weekly program. It makes me sad that I'm not there to help because the need is so great.


At the beach, there hadn't been natural gas for over a week and we saw at least two groups of 50-100 people waiting in lines for the gas truck.
You have to remember that this is gas for cooking and hot water so they haven't been able to boil water to drink, shower, etc.
Gas for cars is still 1.48, but you'll notice they didn't drive here with their tank; most use bicycles and the mototaxis to get around.

I hope that the rest of the summer is wonderful and everyone - that needs to be - is well rested and ready for the new school year. My oldest nephew starts his senior year of college, while my youngest is perfecting the crawl and stand. We have had several wonderful summer days in a row that are reminiscent of when I was a kid in upstate New York, complete with the smells that, if you close your eyes, you can put yourself back in that time and just smile at the memories.
You always hear that life is short, but I am constantly amazed at how much time we have in our lives when you think back over it and how much we can accomplish for God if we make that our focus. It's hard to believe that Steve and I will have been married 19 years this September, but we have great plans for the next 19 to do our best for God with each other.

Cathy and Steve Carpenter

Prayer Requests

Another young lady on the corner with her gum stand.
- finances to be able to travel to Ecuador to visit the projects we help with there
- good weather for at least part of the summer here in Armenia!
- good health and recovery from incidents at the beach
- opportunity for Graciela (the pastor's daughter in Guayllabama) to visit and work on her English
- chance to provide materials for the children's ministries at three of our projects
- our car is still running
- protection on our trip from thieves and unfortunate situations

- success for the English Bible study we will be starting in August/September
- a lot of opportunity to reach out to the students and staff this school year
- success for the outreach business venture with our church here in Armenia
- Just for Kids Ministry finances to support the local children at their school
- those we have met from around the world that the will have Christian influence
 in their lives and their hearts will be open to the Holy Spirit when He calls

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