Saturday, January 17, 2009

change brings rest

It's raining today - and it's become "that" kind of day. The kind of day when you don't want to leave your house. The kind of day when you eat pancakes for breakfast and lounge around in your pj's for hours. The kind of day when you just don't know what else to do except snuggle on the couch.

I'm thankful for that kind of day today. I'm thankful that no matter how far away I feel from home, a day like this in Ecuador can still calm my soul.

Jon and I have been so busy lately that we feel God's direct blessing when he gives us a rainy day and forces us to rest. It's SO like Him. He knows exactly what we need when we need it.

Our busyness comes from what's been happening at Casa Victoria.

First, I'll take you all the way back to December 16th when Jon's entire family (Mom, Dad, sister, brother-in-law, 2 nephews and niece) flew into Quito for Christmas. Add 7 people to a house of 10, and you've got your hands full! I've always loved being the hostess, but this was a whole new territory! Throughout the10 days with family here, we enjoyed everything to hiking Pichincha Volcano to going bowling to shopping at the Artisan market. It was quite the adventure. We shared Christmas morning under the Christmas tree (that we had to pot in a huge terra cotta pot - No tree stands here!), stuffed ourselves with a 32-pound turkey, and played with all our new games into the wee-hours of the night. We had an absolute blast and are SO thankful that we had the opportunity to share this part of our lives with some of the people we love the most. I would love to post pictures of our adventures, however, our computer isn't working. Once it's up and running, I'll be sure to add the best of the best.

In addition to the Eshleman Family Adventures, we've also made many changes to the internship program in the house. Upon our arrival in July, Jon and I felt strongly that there needed to be a newly-structured program instituted at Casa Victoria. Prior to this time, the guys primarily worked on the renovation of the house and were under the direction of the architect and contractors (and let me tell you, the work that happened then was incredible! We have a "home" to prove it). However, just before the summer, the renovation process had (more or less) come to a close. The guys were now desiring to grow deeper in their love for God while in community with each other and the neighbors. With broad desires like this, many of the details can get lost in the chaos; and things like cleaning and cooking get forgotten about. Hence the schedule. Well, after not working under a schedule like this for quite some time, then having a couple come in a turn things in a different direction - it was a difficult transition for the guys. Animosity came out in passive ways and the spirit of the house was not what anyone desired. We all knew there needed to be a change made. (Also, in late November, Casa Victoria hired a new director - Carolina Bueno. She is amazing and her heart truly desires to see a unified community working together for the Lord.) Come mid-December, we finally decided what needed to happen. We're trying hard to lead by example and live here as mentors to the guys (as opposed to being "in charge"). The guys are leading the programs themselves now! Ivan is creating schedules for "deberes" (homework club). Oscar is heading up the kitchen (alongside me - I just LOVE cooking for all these guys!). Esteban is leading meetings. Jon continues to teach during devotional times each week. It's been amazing. The spirit in the house is incredible. The guys are taking more ownership for the actions and are all together more excited to be here. Their JOY is evident as they get excited about the little things (taking care of a plot of the garden, teaching a new concept to some neighborhood kids, etc.) We praise God alone for the change He's made in all of our hearts and how His presence continues to make such a difference in this house. He is the sole reason we all are here. And we praise Him for making us rest, unifying us through Jesus, and giving us the greatest example of "loving thy neighbor" that there ever will be.

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