Friday, November 30, 2007


I just recently heard a song that I knew, but it had been a long time since I had heard it. Some of you may be familiar with it. It is called Held by Natalie Grant. In case you haven't heard it...(you should!)...but here are the lyrics anyway.

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.

Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It’s unfair.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lillys of the valley and tomorrow.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

I am so moved by the chorus because I think it applies to so many times in my life! This is what it means to be held! We know, happily married ladies, what this means, what it feels like, the comfort and safety it brings. We know what it is to be held by our husbands...but there is NOTHING like being held by the Savior Himself and knowing it. And you SURVIVE! I think most of us know what it feels like to just barely survive. All that is left is you, and you are breathing...that's it, nothing else. Except ARE are alive, you have survived whatever it is that the Devil himself had planned for you...and you are held. My very favorite part of the song though, is this...and to KNOW that the PROMISE was when EVERYTHING FELL, we'd be HELD. The most amazing Savior did not just leave us or drop us when the rest of our lives fell...When all the balls that we are juggling drop like lead balloons to the ground...He HOLDS US. He may be holding us in pieces, broken, but that is exactly where He wants us! So that He can put us back together piece by piece with His loving gentle hand. Right?!?! And the best feeling of all is to know that you are put back together by the Father Himself.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Ok, so to all the "myspace nay-sayers" you will get a tiny bit of justification at the reading of this blog. My myspace has been majorly hacked lately and it is really starting to bug me. I have had to change my password 3 times in like 3 weeks! UUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!
For those of you unfamiliar with phishing...its basically being swindled into thinking you are not logged into a webpage and so it asks for your username and password by saying "You Must Be Logged In To Do That" So that has happened to me a ton of times over the last few weeks on my myspace. I know, I know, I signed up for myspace, I gave my password, I "logged in" to the wrong sites unknowingly. I enjoy myspace...I enjoy keeping up with people, but I have to admit...I am close to quitting, if this stupid phishing, doesn't end.
Ok so I'm done venting. A better blog later!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Week in the life...

Well, we made it! A week in Ecuador! There are so many things to tell you. Let's start with:

Monday, after we arrived we went to the market in Quito. It is an amazing place! There are rows of artisans selling their goods...tons of jewelry, panchos, t-shirts, bags, purses and more jewelry! We had a great time. Then we got on the bus and drove to Camp Chacauco...four hours! It was a really crazy ride. The lines on the roads are merely suggestions, there is no true speed limit, no use of blinkers or brakes for that matter...CRAZY! When we arrived at the camp we got to walk around on a tour and it is absolutely gorgeous, one of the most beautiful places on the planet. As we drove into the camp we saw the city of Ambato, a city of about 250,000. It is a beautiful city in the valley just below the volcano, Tungurahua. Tungurahua is the most active volcano in the world right now. It spits out puffs of steam regularly through the day and you can see the lava glow from the crater at night. It is a truly amazing see God's creation in that way.

Tuesday, we went to visit the Quichua people in Apatug...a truly wonderful people. They are an Indian people who live off the land and the missionaries at Camp Chacauco have begun a Christian work in their community and God is moving in a mighty way. After we visited the Quichua people we went back to the camp for lunch and then headed out again to a town called Banos. There we went to Pailon del Diablo, the Devil's Cauldron. It is an incredible waterfall. We walked about 25 minutes down to the bridge and the base of the waterfall...of course since we walked down...that's right we had to walk back up! Forty five minutes later we finally got to the top! It was a rough hike! The altitude was the worst part it winded all of us very quickly! After we hiked back up we went to ride a cable car. The cable car was built by the townspeople as a means to move their goods from one side of the river to the other. They still use it for that purpose today. Tuesday was a long day and we were exhausted, but it was still a true gift from God to experience it all.

Wednesday, we went to a town called Pelileo to a school the missionaries are involved in called La Paz. The children are beautiful. They enjoyed hearing Paul TRY to speak Spanish...hilarious! We took the kids pictures so that the missionaries can print them out and take them back for the children's families. We also sang and played games with the children. God does an awesome work even when we don’t speak the language. He communicated through us His love and compassion for a people that we couldn’t even speak to. I am truly, truly amazed at His ability to transcend all language barriers to communicate His love. After we left the school our leader took us into downtown Pelileo for some Quy…that’s guinea pig! Yep, I said guinea pig. It’s a delicacy in Ecuador…and it tastes like chicken…no, seriously! It tastes like dark meat chicken…a little more greasy, but still chicken-esque! That was fun! The Lord proved Himself again as we went that evening to what the missionaries call a Mission Point. It was a Bible study in a town called Poatug. We met there in a small one room church with a group of people hungry for the Word. A man named Freddy, who is part of the Camp Chacauco staff, led the worship and bible study. Freddy started with How Great Thou Art in Spanish…of course, but we (the gringos!) sang in English. How AWESOME! Here we were singing to Jesus in two different languages…the same song. It was a wonderful experience. We serve such a Holy God that He can hear the same song in two different languages at the same time! I’m not sure why it was such a surprise, but it was beautiful.

Thursday, we woke up and drove to a town called Quisapincha where there is a leather market. They have some beautiful handmade leather jackets, wallets and purses. After the leather market we drove to the Equator. How awesome is it to stand in the center of the Earth? Let me tell you…it is amazing. There is literally a line drawn down the middle. It is pretty cool to think that we were literally standing halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole! After the Equator we went to the Sol del Quito, our hotel until Friday morning. That is where I am now…so I will leave you with all of that info and a few pics and I will blog again when I get home!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


We finally made it to Quito! We got up this morning...sunday for those who are following our trip...and we ate a small breakfast, had a short prayer time with our team and then we went to the airport. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:00pm and by 11:30 we were in line to check our bags. We had to get there early because they were overbooking all the flights to try to catch up with the mess created on Friday. We checked our bags, went through security, ate some lunch and then...waited...and waited.....and waited. The time had finally come to board the plane. Paul and I had great seats towards the front of the plane so we boarded nearly last...but it was worth it.

Once we were on the plane we took off and then it began...

You see I was in the middle seat and Paul was in the window seat. On the other side of me was a man, middle aged, clean cut, obviously Ecuadorian. He sat in his seat as if he owned the plane. He had his feet stretched out with a blanket over them, and BOTH elbows occupying BOTH armrests. Paul thought I was being flirty and cuddly with him because I was leaning so far over...actually NO! I was just trying to not be that way with the man next to me who thought that he did not have to share the armrest! I want you to get a clear picture of my situation. He was not a large man, average build, but he was taking up more than his fair share of space. His arm was resting so far over on my side that I was having to lean away just to not touch him. Very annoying! So then he gets up to go to the bathroom...RELIEF! So I ask Paul to switch seats with me so that I could sleep...Oh yeah! I forgot a really funny part! As soon as he got on the plane, he took his shoes off, got his pillow and blanket out, got all cozy with his eye mask and headphones and went to sleep! Still not sharing armrest space. So back to the bathroom story...I got Paul to switch with me. When the guy came back he had shaved, put on cologne, brushed his teeth and combed his hair...mind you it is after 8:00pm! Paul literally elbow wrestled with this guy for the rest of the flight!

We landed safely in Quito and are now in the hotel getting ready to go to sleep! I hope to be able to blog during the week but I'm not sure. I will write what is going on but they may get posted all at once on thursday! See you when we get back!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Well...We are not there...yet.....

That's right, we have not made it to Quito yet! Our trip started out rather uneventfully and then.....

We flew from Dallas to Houston on a teeny tiny plane. I mean teeeeeeeeny tiny. When we walked onto the plane, Paul had to shrug his shoulders forward so as not to hit anyone or drag his shoulders on the overhead compartments the length of the plane. We were on row 18...the very last row! Yes people this plane was the smallest one we have ever flown on...

We landed in Houston safely, had a 3 hour layover, had some lunch, met our other team members for this week and then it was time to board our flight to Quito. We get on the plane...a much larger one this time...and take off on time. The flight attendants begin our dinner service and everyone begins looking out the windows at a VERY beautiful sunset and all of the sudden, we look out the OTHER side of the plane and the sunset has CHANGED SIDES! What?!? Then we hear the pilot come over the intercom and this is what he says...Tanya's paraphrased version...

"Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen. Some of you may have noticed that we have turned around. We are heading back to Houston. An airplane has skidded off the runway in Quito and has damaged the runway closing the airport. The other major airport capable to land this plane is closed due to construction, so we have been instructed to return to Houston."

WHAT?!? Ok so now what do we do? We land back in Houston and meet with our team leader. She calls the missionary in Ecuador and gets more details. The plane in Quito landed safely with 350 people on it. When it landed both rear tires blew out and it drug it's back end the length of the runway and off the end. No one was injured...PRAISE THE LORD! Quito only has one major runway so no flights are going in or out of Quito. We find out that there is another flight on Sunday and we book our group on that flight but we are not going into Quito...we are going to a town about 5 1/2 hours away from the town...we'll have to drive to the camp. So now we are in a very nice hotel in Houston, courtesy of Continental Airlines and we are going to go to the Aquarium tomorrow to kill soome time. We will begin our trip to Ecuador again on Sunday.

In light of all that has happened, please keep us in your prayers. We are still very excited to go to Camp Chacauco and we want to arrive safely. Pray for God's continued protection and guidance for the remainder of our trip.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Going to Ecuador...

Paul and I are leaving on Friday for Ecuador. I will blog from there as I get chances, so keep checking back for updates on our trip. Until then I would like to offer some prayer requests for you to pray about. There are several components all working together for us to be able to go...where are kids are staying, going to school, travel...etc.

Please pray:

*For safe travel for Paul and I to and from Ecuador
*For safe travel within Ecuador
*For Jacob who will be with Beau and Magan for a week before joing with my parents
*For Jacob as he goes to school for a week without us, that he would be able to function and not be sad
*For Jacob's teacher to have full understanding with Jacob as we are out of the country
*For Jacob to have good behavior at school and at Beau and Magan's to make the time away easier
*For Jacob's safety as we are gone
*For Caleb and Abby who will be with my parents and Paul's dad and Charleene
*For safety for Caleb and Abby as we are gone
*For Caleb and Abby to have good behavior at G-ma's and G-pa's while we are gone to make the time away easier
*For the people of Ecuador that we will be ministering to
*For the language barrier to be burst through by the Holy Spirit so that we might communicate God's love
*For Paul and I to have a refreshing time together in a beautiful country
*(This one is from the kids)For our frogs to stay alive while we are gone
*For the trip back home after Thanksgiving - that it will be a wonderful end to our time with family and friends