Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Visiting and being visited

Once we arrived in the U.S. from Ecuador, we spent a week in Idaho.  Our main purpose was to "de-brief" (no funny comments please) about our time in Ecuador.  A bonus was reconnecting with several families whom we served with in Shell.  The Egberth and Tacheny families were both doctor families at the Shell mission hospital.   The Egberths (from Sweden) were visiting the Tachenys in Walla Walla and drove over to Idaho.  The Olsons were both single nurses who met at the Shell hospital, while serving separately.  They have since married, moved to Idaho and had two kids.  Shari was a teacher at Nate Saint and happens to be from Idaho.  In Shell, we all enjoyed Sunday afternoon games of Ultimate Frisbee, so of course we had to schedule a game.   We all met and spent the morning playing and catching up on each other's lives.  The miracle is that no one got hurt!  That was not always the case in Shell.  Thankfully we always played with one or two doctors, a couple of nurses, and a surgeon.


All the kids with Shari.
Elias, Samuel, Josiah, Sam, Sydney, Olivia and Miriam

Sitting in the Olson's back yard shooting the breeze.





Luke and Andi with Rachel

The Ultimate field of battle.  It looks like Gabriela is about to score.



Mike and Heather enjoying lunch.



I'm not sure why we trust this woman with our kids?

The Egberths' continued their trip around the U.S. with a stop in Convoy.  



You have to take the Swedes to Pine Lake.  Fun!!!

Burgers and a sunny afternoon.  Good memories. 
Elias and Miriam stayed with us an extra week and a half.  Tincaps baseball game was a hit.  

Best friends.
Josiah took the girls for a BFF photo shoot.  


A really, really hard goodbye at O'hare.  

Right before the tears started to pour.  Good memories but hard to say goodbye.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bingo

We had a little bingo night for some of the Shell folks.  We needed to get rid of our pantry items and chocolate chips are just too valuable to simply give away.  So, we played bingo and the winners got to choose their prizes without looking.  Some got great stuff like chocolate, others got salt grinders!  It was fun and we got to "bless" others with our pantry.

The Isbell family and our next door neighbors.

The Umbles.

The Whiteheads

The Foggs

The Monteros



Lots of concentration.  You can do it Lydia!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hangar Despedida

The hangar team held a "despedida" or goodbye party for us.  They sang and told funny stories about Chad.  They also had a contest to see who knew the most about us.  For each questions they got right, they received a prize.  The questions were things like:  What is Chad's middle name?  In what State do Chad and Andi live in the U.S.?  What are Andi's parent's names?   It was a fun time and we laughed as much as we cried.  What a great team to work with.



Chad with the team.
These are the two guys that are called Chad's sons.  Richard and Josué are two guys that Chad mentored and tried to encourage over the years.  Proud of them both.
You can't say goodbye without food.  William is a great cook and we ate very well.  




Some friends from the jungle came too.  Mencay has been such a blessing in our lives.

Lydia came down from Quito for the party.  She and Olivia are like twins separated only by blood and about 5 years. 

The Tiwaeno contigent.  Obe, Alicia, and Mencay.  

A few weeks before we left the hangar guys decided  to make crabs for a group lunch.







The "Saint" house.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Quito

We made one last trip to Quito a few weeks before we left.  We got a chance to spend time with friends and former co-workers.


Lydia, Mika, and Olivia.

Mika calls us her "Gringo" parents.  We've known her since she was 13 and so blessed to see her serving the Lord so well.  

Alicia and Patricio invited us for lunch.  They were so gracious and always a blessing to us.  Alicia was our accountant in Quito for many years and always worked with a servant's heart.  


Good friends, Nelson and Esthela.  They have been a blessing to so many and we are always amazed by their energy to serve the Lord.  What examples they have been to us.  

Last trip up the Pichincha volcano.

Andi does NOT like this part.  

Had to say good bye to the crazy Martin kids too.  They are in Texas now, so we're waiting for a time to get together. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

You're probably tired of all of these "lasts" posts, but here are some more...


I probably can't write a whole lot about these photos, as the represent so many things and people that we will miss.  I don't want to short out the computer with my tears, so we'll just skip to the captions.


Josiah and his buddies made one last trip to the caves to explore. 

Jonny and Josiah, best friend since pre-school.  That's a tear jerker photo for us.  

I think this is the "before caving" picture when the guys were clean.  Steve seems pretty excited. 


Mission community wiffleball was always a favorite.  We did it several Sundays before we left and managed not to get hurt, which was a minor miracle.  Those Umbles are pretty intense.  






We spent a wonderful evening with Gloria, who worked for us for almost 12 years.  She invited us to her home and cooked us a great meal.  We spent the evening laughing and crying and being entertained by her cat.

Gloria and Andi saying good bye.  Hard...

One last trip to our favorite seafood restaurant.  They always had the coldest cokes and we would know, because we drank a lot of them.   This was actually the final day of school for the 9th grade class.

It's hard to rate the difficulty of each goodbye, but this was a hard one for sure.   Ceviche makes everything better though.


Maria has been a friend, confidant, grandmother, councilor, prayer warrior, and inspiration for us since we arrived in Shell.  She'll love you like Jesus AND give you a kick in the rear if you need it.  


Saying goodbye to Monica.  She's the Compassion child that Andi's folks have sponsored since she was about 4-5 years old. 

Good friends.  No words to describe how much we miss them.  

Andi and Jennifer enjoying bbq shrimp that Josué brought for us from the coast.  So GOOD.


Last flight as a family (+ Jonny)




We went to Sucua where we lived for our first two years in Ecuador to visit our good friends, Carlos and Silvana.  We couldn't even say good bye to them.  We just hugged/cried and got in the car.  #family

The Mariño family made us a wonderful meal, as always.  Tomás was our flight coordinator for years and Gladys was the radio operator. 

The team after Chad's last prayer circle before work.  


The kids that came out early to say goodbye to Josiah and Olivia. 

We didn't cry at all (not), as they group hugged.


Our last walk down Naciones Unidos in Quito before flying out.