Ferry's In The Jungle

Ferry's In The Jungle
1 Peter 1:22b "Love one another deeply, from the heart."

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Program/Outreach!

One of our most recent joys is being a part of a new little jungle church. It's very simple and right in the middle of the glorious jungle nature. After church service a few weeks ago our small church group organized a plan to have a Christmas Outreach Program for the surrounding indigenous community. 

Ideas were tossed around for games, programming and, of course, food! Responsibilities were divided amongst the group of 20 and we were on our way. We were pleased to have a group of about 50 come and a great time was had by all. It is our prayer that these connections made bring more of the local families to our little church family. 

Our contribution of a "fishing for candy" game

Then entry to our church 

Happy girls!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Kids Serving Kids

Georgia and Reese enjoyed the opportunity to serve the Kindergarten/1st Grade class at the local missionary school. They took turns sharing what they researched about Ecuadorian Christmas traditions, did a craft with the precious kiddos and then read them How The Grinch Stole Christmas. 

Homeschooling has provided us with great flexibility to encourage Georgia and Reese to serve others. What a gift!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Another Trip Into The Jungle!

Last weekend, Chris happily accepted an invitation to spend 2 days and 1 night in a Shuar community. Trips like these are invaluable as we work to learn about each tribal group's distinct cultural norms and gather data about the felt needs of each group. This information is vital as we serve and support the leadership within each group. 

We were told the trip could take up to 7 hours on very bumpy jungle roads but Chris put his Colorado 4-Wheeling skills to work and made the trip in about 5 hours. Needless to say he was very proud of himself! 

The low-land tribal people appear to have many of the same needs and struggles. They are navigating joining the modern world while maintaining their distinct cultural identity. The tribal elders have shared their great concern that the youth don't connect to their culture and practices.  It will be a cultural loss if the desire for the modern world stamps out their traditions. The loss of tradition directly gives way to a loss of identity. Navigating life with a lack of identity leaves this next generation at risk. We see the opportunity to share about their identity in Christ while encouraging a connection to the culture from which they came. 

Even the local stopped to enjoy this rare sighting of a tapir!
Learning and sharing around a simple meal of
yucca and chicken neck soup. Yum!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Letter 2016

Merry Christmas from the jungles of Ecuador!! We pray this letter finds you very well and full of Christmas spirit! It’s hard to believe this will be our 2nd Christmas in Ecuador and 3rd Christmas living outside the US. Time flies and continents change but many of our traditions have held strong and have even grown in their importance. Now, however, they take a little more creativity and commitment. We did, however, give into an artificial tree. The idea of driving 8 hours round trip to pick one up didn’t appeal this year. Holding things loosely while still being intentional is becoming an art in our home!

Reese is almost 11 years old and continues to fill our home with joy and laughter. She has taken on quite the passion for all things dragon and is often found drawing and creating new creatures for her dragon book. Reesey-girl has also grown in her love of reading and is often seen with a book in hand or with headphones on (drowning out the loud jungle rain!) and listening to an audiobook. This brings her literature loving momma great joy! Her love of animals holds strong and she has negotiated with our neighbor, Marco, to allow her to keep a pet chicken on his land. This ability to negotiate in both English and Spanish amuses us. Can you say life skills?! 

Georgia is almost 13 and has become quite the young lady. Her love of poetry, books and art has blossomed into personal hobbies. She often asks for our attention, clears her throat and then begins reading or explaining her latest creation. Ecuador has become her land of creativity and the calm provided by a slower paced culture enhances her thoughtful and contemplative tendencies. Texting and FaceTime are now also a part of her life — hello, teenager?! — but we are very thankful for technology which allows continued connection to dear friends and family back in the US. Our kitchen is often mussed by Georgia’s latest baking project and Chris has taken to exercising a bit more to ward off any weight gain caused by this new and delicious hobby. We are sure Christmas baking this year will be extra fun and messy! 

Chris spends time with many local friends and ministry partners each day. No day is the same but they all are thread through the common string of relational ministry and empowerment. Teaching a couple of our indigenous friends to drive has been one of his latest thrills! His quiet and patient demeanor lends way to authentic connection and depth. So much of cross-cultural adaptation and connection is listening to understand and Chris’ strength in listening is definitely a strength that serves him well here in Ecuador. (Proud wife typing!) He’s taken to bread baking for artistic expression and stress relief. Our entire family thanks him! He also is enjoying teaching Georgia and Reese art class each week. His passion for art is infections and the girls are enjoying every second learning with their Dad. 

I (Tina) am busy teaching Georgia and Reese in their first year of homeschool. The opportunity to teach my girls has been the highlight of my year. Each day I am overwhelmed with their creativity and hunger for learning. It’s inspiring!! With limited availability of convenience foods, cooking 3 meals a day from scratch also fills my time and, although challenging at times, cooking remains one of my favorite hobbies. My days are also sprinkled with time spent with other ladies. I’m enjoying forming deep connections and mentor relationships with local women. The added challenge of cultural and language differences keeps me humble and on my knees. Striking a balance between our work, home-life and personal time is becoming a bit easier. It seems that being gracious with myself is a lesson I continue to learn and embrace.

While we are away from many of our dearest friends and family this holiday and living in a culture that just doesn’t hustle and bustle the way the US does, the true meaning of Christmas comes more easily into focus. It’s all about God’s love sent down with great sacrifice that forever changed the world. So we pray that you will accept and walk in this love and freely give it away to all who cross your path. God’s love in action changes everything. Merry Christmas! 

Chris, Tina, Georgia and Reese

Nerf Gun Fun!

Family fun is sometimes hards to come by in the small jungle town of Shell, Ecuador. Last year Georgia purchased a small nerf gun and we laughed so hard playing as a family. We immediately purchased 3 more and so began our family nerf wars. This is good to blow off some steam! As you can see, we take it quite seriously....