We gathered as a staff on Wednesday & took time to remember & celebrate 2013.
I enjoyed the activity quite a lot and decided we should share all that happened with you as well!
We held the Youth World Annual Team Conference in January. The Olsens officially started their work at El Refugio that month, too– though they arrived in December. We also found out in January that the Cevallos family would not be returning from their time in the US.
Our ‘Fronteras’ Internship program ended, but with it’s end, two of the 4 interns became full-time program staff members: Saúl and Esteban.
Mari Bajaña and the Klassen family were called away from ministry at El Refugio as well; but Karina Molina took a full-time position in the office, we hired Doña Piedad to work in hospitality and the kitchen, and the Darnell family joined the team as well, filling the vacant program director position!
We had a constant flow of ecuadorian groups throughout the year ranging from church groups to high schools to business groups– and the income we were able to take in from those groups is the highest we’ve ever had!
In March the LIFT team from Camp-Of-The-Woods in NY arrived and were here for 2 1/2 weeks. The Man-Up retreat with Alliance Academy males took place in April. Kaden Klassen was born. Faith Church’s missions pastor, Jim VanDuzer and his wife came to visit. We held a ropes technician training. Leader Mundial 2013 took place. We had the biggest group of Alturas interns yet: Pablo, Angela, Darwin, Wilmar, and Josué.
We started Shoeless this past year. We hosted reflection times for Quito Quest teams all throughout the summer. We hosted 5 other short-term teams from the US during the summer: Hickory Creek Community Church, First Baptist Church of Geneva, Newaygo, Westover, and Faith Church. We hosted an IMB Missionary Kid retreat. We had US interns: Ally was here for 6 months, Evan and Mark for 3 months, and Katelynn is still with us, being here for a full year.
We had Adventure Camp in August, our staff had a retreat in Pedernales, the Darnell’s moved to Calacalí in September, we had a second round of Alturas Interns (Gustavo and Brenda), and held our second facilitator training of the year.
Several backpacking trips happened with facilitators, our program staff, and Alturas interns. We hosted 2 groups from the English Fellowship Church (elders, followed by young adults), Paul led a group of Pastors in ‘shoeless’ days/activities over the course of several months, and in November we planned and hosted Renovalíder, a leadership conference for spanish speakers.
We still have 2 1/2 weeks of the year left. I’m proud to look back and see all that took place, all the lives that were touched, and all of the ways the Lord provided. More than likely all of you reading this have played some part in person, through prayer, or in support of what we do here. So: thank you. Thanks for a great year. All praise be to God for His faithfulness and goodness to us!
Enjoy the last weeks of this year and have a very Merry Christmas!