Dear Friends and Family,
We hope you had an amazing Christmas celebration and are looking forward to a fantastic new year. As 2009 approaches, we am sure we are all thinking of the different things we would like to improve in our lives; it may be saving a little more money, eating a little healthier, exercising a little bit more, or spending more time with family and friends. Whatever it is, each of us is surely looking to become better than we were the year before.
Here in Ecuador there is a very unique and powerful tradition. Every year at this time you will see giant dolls lining the streets. These dolls are basically pants and shirts sewn up and stuffed with hay or paper and a stuffed head with a mask on it. These dolls are called the “old man.” Every year in Quito, on New Year’s Eve, people gather around and literally burn the “old man.” It is a powerful symbol of getting rid of the past/old and embracing the present/new. The disciples and followers of Jesus had a similar way of talking about what it was like to be “in Christ.” There is a dying that takes place - a losing of one’s own life in order to find new life. Behold, the old has gone, the new has come. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
We hope that this year, more and more that you will find yourself “in Christ.” You are the new creation! You are a temple of the Holy Spirit! What an amazing thought that is! You are a place where God dwells, a place where heaven and earth overlap! This is such a tremendous responsibility, but also a tremendous privilege. We are the salt of the earth, the city on the hill, and fountains overflowing with water that brings life. May our New Year’s Resolution be that we would all find ourselves “in Christ.”
As 2008 comes to an end we have so many things to be thankful for. We have seen God moving in so many ways here in Quito. We are so blessed to be a part of the work that he has been doing here for several years. Casa Victoria has been growing in so many ways! Each of you is a vital part of the body of Christ and your prayers, love, and support help us to be able to be a part of the growth here. We cannot thank you enough. Please know that we are so very grateful for each one of you in our lives and for all the support that you give us.
God has been taking such wonderful care of us and our needs throughout this year, and we lack for nothing. However, we are finding ourselves with some added expenses and could use a little extra financial support at this time. If you have already been giving, the please don’t feel obligated to give more, we understand very well the issues of the economy. However, we would ask that some of you prayerfully consider a one-time gift of $25, $50, $100 dollars or more. We would love to send some pictures with this email, but our computer isn’t working now, so all our pictures are locked up until we can find someone to recover our hard drive. Please pray that we can recover all the data on the computer. To participate financially in our ministry you can make your tax deductible donation to “The International Foundation.” You may send your donation to : The International Foundation, PO Box 23813, Washington, DC 20026-3813. If you send a check, please write in the memo: 876001 "Ecuador Volunteers" to ensure the donation goes to our account. We also attached a direct deposit form if that's easier for you. (Note: If your check is dated for December 31, 2008, it is tax-deductible for the 2008 fiscal year.)
Also, we covet your prayers as we transition into 2009 with the Casa Victoria community. Please continue to pray for unity amongst our “Casa Victoria Family” and for the leadership of this foundation to continue to meld together in the name of Jesus.
Once again, thank you for every ounce of love that you pour out onto our lives. We are so grateful for each of you and wish the very best for you and your family in 2009.
Grace and Peace,
Jon & Anna Eshleman
Jon and Anna Eshleman
Fundaciόn Casa Victoria
1124 Loja y Imbabura
Barrio San Roque, Quito