WARNING...SUPER LONG POST, BUT LOTS OF GOOD STUFF HAPPENING!
Casa Adalia Updates
We recently welcomed another young lady and her baby into the home and she hopes to soon locate her other daughter who is living deep in the jungle. She lived at Casa Adalia a few years ago, but chose to leave. She is back with a new sense of motivation and desire to see her life transform.
We also welcomed one of our current girls' sister into the home. They are both doing great and we are excited to see all the God is going to do in their lives!
Self Defense Classes and Dinner with the Girls
We are continuing with teaching the girls at Casa Adalia self-defense classes. With several new girls entering the house we have had a great time with the renewed excitement. These girls are loving the classes and one in particular would be a great instructor! She takes it super seriously and learns very quickly. We are thankful for the opportunity to share this knowledge with the girls and hope they will put it to use if ever necessary.
We invite the girls over every other Wednesday for dinner and classes. We love spending time with the girls and look forward to continuing this!
MAN UP Retreat with High School Boys
Scott was asked to help lead a group of high school boys on AAI's annual Man Up Retreat.
After hearing about the stories, I'm not so sure I would call it a 'retreat', but nonetheless they had a great time! Scott was leading a group of 9th grade boys: 4 from China who don't speak much English or Spanish and 2 from Ecuador. His stories are hilarious!
Basically, the guys had to hike to the top of a small mountain with all of their camping gear, set up camp, learn how to prepare food over a campfire, take care of their precious guinea pigs (cuy), compete in rugged obstacles, no use of a bathroom or showers...share testimonies and worship together. Scott is looking forward to next year's event!
7th Grade Youth Fellowship
We have launched a new 7th Grade Youth Fellowship with our neighbors! We are alternating weeks of hosting and leading and thus far we have had great turn outs. There were 17 kids the first meeting and 27 the second meeting! We are excited to share the gospel with these kids and we have been super impressed by the participation and insight from these kiddos. During our first meeting we talked about Love and what it looks like for God to love us 'no matter what'! Our second meeting was based on repentance and what it looks like (and feels like) to ask for repentance. Several of the kids spoke up to explain it feels so freeing and like a weight has been lifted! Absolutely!
Elementary School Spiritual Emphasis Week
The Alliance Academy International expresses its mission in three words: Eternity. Excellence. Community. The students at every grade level have chapel times and Bible classes each week to encourage the "Eternity" aspect. In addition, twice per year, the elementary and secondary schools each host a Spiritual Emphasis Week. Both schools just hosted this week for the second semester. For the elementary school, the final two hours of each day consisted of worship time in the chapel, a skit to emphasize parts of our spiritual journeys (prayer, Bible reading, Scripture memorization, serving others, and building faith), and a speaker to dive further into each day's topic. Scott was asked to participate in the skits and play the role of the "Master Carpenter" who is teaching a few girls at a camp valuable lessons as they run into problems. At the end of the week, there was a time for students to join a teacher of their choice and pray. Many students committed their lives to Christ, and many others asked for prayers in their journey. Scott had a group of six boys - 5th/6th grade - commit their lives to Christ. Most said they had never made that decision before, but one said he did when he was 2nd grade, but he knew it wasn't serious for him at that time. But this time he was serious and really wanted this. (Insert an Amen!) Another 5th grade student asked for prayer in his faith-walk, because he recognized that he was looking for the approval of older students at the school rather than seeking to follow Christ. It was such a sincere and mature moment for that young man. This week was certainly valuable and beneficial to the lives of so many students at the school. The week also included a Family Night in which parents were invited to worship with their children and the teachers, watch a skit, and hear the week's guest speaker. Patrick was involved during a special worship session as he helped lead a dance through one of the worship songs. We are excited to see his growth and excitement for sharing his joy in the Lord.
Middle and High School Spiritual Emphasis Week
A few weeks ago, the secondary school (7th-12th grades) hosted their Spiritual Emphasis Week. A team from the States came down to help lead the activities during the week. Since neither of us were directly involved in the secondary school, we don't have many details to share. However, Madeleine was impacted in a very positive way throughout the week. She says she felt convicted to focus more on Christ than she has in long time. She feels as if she has focused more on things she finds negative (fears and frustrations), and she is recommitted to focusing on Christ. We are so thankful that our children are a part of school that focuses on the eternal value of the lives of the students.
Intentional Discipleship through Martial Arts
This has been a long time comin'! The schedule has finally allowed for Scott to begin a discipleship program through martial arts with some of the high school students. The focus for this semester is using physical training to help learn to improve spiritual disciplines. And with a small group of students, there will be a lot of time for relationship building to take place. A few of the boys in the group were on Scott's volleyball team earlier in the school year, and the relationships built during the season have carried over and will have an opportunity to grow deeper with more time and training together.
Patrick's Spanish Classes
What a blessing! Patrick was invited to attend private Spanish classes with one of his teachers after school at no charge. She is finishing her Master's degree and needed hands-on experience teaching Spanish. Patrick is having lots of fun and he is learning so much! In fact, she is so impressed with his progress, she has offered to continue working with him weekly after her project is completed!
Madeleine's Dinner with a Teacher
When your child has a teacher who truly loves her and invests in her daily...it's a blessing! My daughter was invited to dinner a few weeks ago by a precious teacher of hers. Madeleine has been struggling with homesickness a lot lately and has confided in a special teacher about her struggles. Not only did they go to dinner, but she took her to a "southern" restaurant here in Quito! So, very thoughtful!!! Madeleine came home super excited and she had an extra pep in her step that has been lacking in recent times! I am super appreciative!
AAI has a new program this year that focuses on creating opportunities for the spiritual development of the secondary students - including being discipled as well as serving others. (Scott's martial arts program falls under this umbrella). One of the other programs is called Guardians. This program has a secondary and upper elementary emphasis. The secondary students are learning to take a bold approach in their faith and pour into younger students. Rather than allowing the older students "own the school" simply because they are the oldest, they are encouraged to use their position to positively influence younger students. The high school students work directly with the upper elementary and middle school students in team-building activities and challenges each week. They also participate with the younger students in teacher-lead discussions about their faith. Madeleine and Patrick are both in the Guardians program and loving each week.
Coastal Ministries in Rocafuerte
Unfortunately, we have not been able to travel to the coast since Christmas due to scheduling conflicts with our commitments in Quito...and the last time Brandy was bringing a group of ladies down to serve is the day we found out our car needed major repairs.
Myrna and Gustavo will welcome 350+ kids to a week long VBS next week and we hope to travel to be with them for the final day. There is a church from another city that comes to help lead this special time for the kids! Please be in prayer for a super fruitful time!
Also, the kids on the coast are currently on their 'summer break' and many of them are 'highly encouraged' to work during this time. While our kids in the states look forward to their 'vacation' these kids are encouraged to work to help provide income for their families. Thankfully, we were able to help the burden of education costs through our Sponsorship Program last year and we excited to do the same this year. We will be purchasing school uniforms and supplies for many of these children in the next few weeks. If you are interested in making a one-time gift to help cover some of the unexpected costs, we would greatly appreciate it!
Mission Trip! Come Serve with Us!
We will be hosting a small team from our home church (Life Bible) in Canton June 1-10, 2018. We would love to invite you to join us! The only downside to this is you will need to confirm your attendance by MARCH 31! If you are interested in join us, please click the link below to let us know and we will get you more information!
We have some exciting news that we hope to announce within the next few weeks! If you receive an email labeled "COSTA SIERRA" ... open it!!
We feel the Lord has given us tools to bring about great change and we want to share it with you!
Praises and Prayer Requests
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued prayers and support!
We love you all!
The Murphy Family
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10
Christmas in the Brothels
Brandy was able to partner with Youth World/Casa Adalia in blessing the 400+ women who are working in prostitution with a Christmas celebration, a message of Hope through Jesus Christ, carols, drama, a lunch, a bag of traditional sweets and a hand-crafted jewelry box filled with a pair of earrings made by the women of Casa Adalia/Esperanzart. This was a beautiful time spent loving on these women!
We are learning more and more the importance of education. Many of these women do not know how to read or write and this ends up being an industry that attracts many of the uneducated.
Through your generosity and obedience we were able to provide a weekend of family fun and worship! On December 22 we hosted a private celebration for the 150 children who regularly attend the church in Rocafuerte. We were able to give them a new outfit, new underwear, new shoes, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, bread, milk, sugar, chocolate for baking or making hot chocolate, a traditional bag of sweets and a delicious dinner!
On December 23 we invited the community for an evening of celebration and provided 380 children and 40 adults with a delicious dinner and a traditional bag of sweets. The teen leaders from the Sponsorship Program led the service with song, dance and drama! It was beautiful!
El Redentor Receiving Christmas Boxes
80 precious children at El Redentor received their Samaritan's Purse boxes and they were thrilled! They also received a bag of sweets, which is the typical Ecuadorian Christmas gift.
Property in Rocafuerte
Well, after 4 years of praying over this property...it will soon belong to our ministry! Through your obedience and financial partnership we raised all of the funds needed to purchase this property!
The property will serve many purposes. As we are waiting for clear direction and building plans, we will begin with raising some chickens and planting fruit and vegetables. We hope to build a community center where there are always activities for the community to get involved with in a positive, Christian environment. The Lord is so faithful!
Teens in Rocafuerte Serving the Elderly
The leaders in Rocafuerte are amazing! The young men and women serving the elderly are the same young men and women YOU are sponsoring in our Sponsorship Program. They have hearts of gold and are learning to serve others in incredible ways. The leadership skills the youth leaders are instilling in these teens is priceless! Please continue to pray for the leaders and the teens!
Celebrating Christmas with Dear Friends
Being away from our Georgia family was a super challenging time for us this Christmas. This was the first time in our children's lives that they have not spent Christmas with our extended family. We have been so blessed to have the privilege of spending quality time with our family for so many years...and we are thankful for this.
This year, we spent Christmas Eve with a special family we are blessed to do life with here in Quito. On the 26th we took an adventure to a new city, Cuenca. We had a wonderful time walking around the city and taking in the beautiful fresh air.
A Brief Recap of 2017
We want to Thank You from the bottom of our heart for playing such a vital role in our ministry by joining us as a financial partner/prayer supporter. Your contribution is an incredible blessing to us as we seek to be the hands and feet of Christ, both in our community and in Ecuador. You have been such a blessing to all of the families we are so fortunate to work with day in and day out. With your help, we have been able to:
Year End Tax Statements for 2017 Giving
Thank you so very much for your support of our ministry over the last year! We truthfully cannot do what we do without your obedience! The past year has been absolutely amazing! God has blessed this ministry with the ability to serve those truly in need and your partnership makes this possible!
In an effort to reduce costs associated with administrative fees, we are emailing End of Year Tax Statements rather than mailing them. If you would prefer them to be mailed to you, simply respond and let us know!
May you be blessed with abundance!
Scott and Brandy Murphy
"GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD, HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!" - PSALMS 107:1
GIVING THANKS IN ROCAFUERTE
We had the privilege to spend a portion of our Thanksgiving in Rocafuerte with the children and families at the church. Of course, Thanksgiving is not an Ecuadorian holiday, but that doesn't mean we couldn't use that day as an opportunity to give thanks to God for the blessings He provides in our lives - and to do it with the families we are blessed to be able to share life with! We celebrated our Thanksgiving on a Friday with a dinner and service at the church. During the day, the boys played soccer, volleyball, and wrestled. The girls spent time in fellowship sharing stories, making gifts, and laughing at the boys. There was a church service that evening and a "family dinner" after the service. One of the many things that caught our attention that day was the growing number of young adults at the church service. When we first started working with Pastor Gustavo and Myrna, 99% of the church attendees were children under 12 years old. During this service, there were many more young adults than ever! It was such a blessing to see how God is working in all ages of people in the community, and it is exciting to envision how this will impact the community over the next 10-20 years. At the end of the service, we were given an opportunity to share some thoughts, and Brandy was able to share our feelings of gratitude - in Spanish! It was a great day, and we are excited to enter the Christmas season and spend more time with these beautiful families.
Pray without ceasing...and watch our Father work miracles!
The smiling, young men you see in the above picture are an answer to prayers! Trying to keep a long story relatively short, these young men have recently given their lives to Christ and have completely different personalities than when we last saw them a couple of months ago. The man in the middle is Luis. In the last year, he has taken on a leadership role within the church and is working to mentor the teen boys and young men in the church. Of the other four, two are sons of Faustino, and the other two are cousins. Quick background - we have never known Faustino without the world's largest smile and a servant's heart. However, before the Spirit changed his heart, he lived a very violent life. As a result, his family was afraid to leave their home. During one of our trips about this time last year, Brandy felt the Spirit was leading us to go to Faustino's home and pray over his family. While there, we could sense the fear that was controlling their lives. They were gracious enough to allow us to come in and talk with them and pray over them. However, they would not look up to make eye contact and spoke very little. Over the next few trips, as we felt led, we tried to provide for different needs for this family. We have joined the pastors of the church in praying for this family, and many of you have also prayed. During our Thanksgiving trip, we were blessed to be able to see the entire family - Faustino, his wife, his sons, his daughter, and his grandbabies - at the service. We found out that they have all recently given their lives to Christ. In addition, the sons are being mentored by Luis! We could see the transformation in their lives - they were smiling, at peace, more confident - and all of this is the work of the Spirit in their hearts. Please continue to pray for growth and maturity in their lives, and give thanks for the work that God has already done in this family!
We were so blessed to have another visitor with us, Kristen Matus! She came down to Ecuador to serve with our family for a week during Thanksgiving. She was able to team up with Brandy while Scott and the kids were at school for a few days. During those days, they were able to serve at the boys' home and at Casa Adalia. Once school was out for the Thanksgiving break, we travelled to the coast for a little time of relaxation at the beach (the Murphy's needed it) and time to serve in Rocafuerte. She was also able to play "Santa" for the Murphys with a few gifts from friends and families back in GA. Ms. Suzanne, if you get a chance to read this, your biscuits are now world-famous! And so are Grumps' peanut butter balls! Little blessings like these carry such a great impact. And of course, large blessings like being able to spend a week with an old friend are even greater! Thank you, Kristen, for giving some of your time to come and join us.
Trusting in the Lord...A Place of Refuge
We are completely trusting in the Lord to use our family and our home as a place of refuge and healing for a young woman, "T". We met T shortly after we moved to Ecuador while co-hosting dinners for young women living a safe house in Quito. T's life has been very difficult - sold by her mother when she was 12, lived on the streets, and experienced struggles that are far too difficult for any of us to truly imagine. For the past couple of years, she has lived in the safe house. When we first met her, she was full of life. However, after some extreme situations that she recently experienced (not associated with the safe house), she is in need of spiritual and emotional healing. After praying, we have opened our home to her. We have experienced some heartbreaking moments, yet we have also seen moments of peace come over her. She has never had a true "family" in her life, and we are not certain how God is going to use our family in her life in the future. For now, we are helping to take care of her and offering her a place of refuge. We could all use your prayers. T needs healing - lots of healing. We are praying that she will feel God's love and His presence in her life. We can see how her triumph over some of the events of her life can be such a strong testimony of God's strength and grace - and how that can be used to benefit others in similar situations. But first she needs spiritual and emotional healing. We need your prayers as well. Please pray that our home can be a place of peace and rest, and that we can be the Godly examples that she needs of a loving family. In praise, God has already been at work here - Brandy has been able to communicate with T with very little problems. We know that the language barrier was a concern for all of us before she began staying with us, however, God has worked through that concern. Please pray that the communication will continue to be Spirit-led, encouraging, and life-giving.
Hand-Painted Cross Ornaments
Would you like to support our ministry, but really don't know how!? Christmas is a perfect time, through your purchase of beautiful hand-painted cross ornaments made here in Ecuador!
How would you like to have a beautiful, hand-painted,
one-of-a-kind ornament made in Ecuador hanging on your tree this year!? Or, maybe for an ornament exchange? Or, for that hard to buy for neighbor? Teacher gift? The options are endless! Only $12 each plus shipping! Purchase 4 or more for FREE shipping!
All proceeds support our work in Ecuador!
Each cross is unique and I can't guarantee specific color scheme...but they are all beautiful!
Fundraising Campaign to Provide Blessings for Children/Families on the Coast
We are raising funds to provide children living in extreme conditions a Christmas Blessing! Things many of us take for granted, are luxuries to these precious families. For only $15 (one time donation) you can sponsor one of the beautiful children. Click the link to learn more!
We have so much gratitude in our hearts for all that that Lord is doing in our lives and all the fruit we are beginning to see within the various ministries we work with. We thank you for your continued support over the past few years as God has prepared us and then sent us to serve here full-time. Please continue to pray for us and with us as we press on! We love you!
May each of you be blessed with abundance!
Love, The Murphys
An Ecuadorian Wedding
We were invited to a beautiful Ecuadorian wedding in Rocafuerte this month. Two different couples were getting married and it was such a humbling experience. One of the couples, we have grown to adore and consider them family. Carolina and Luis were married several years ago during a legal ceremony, but not inside the church. They have a beautiful son who they are raising in a Godly home. After we arrived for the ceremony, we were humbled by a surprise invitation to play an important role in their ceremony...Scott was asked to walk Carolina down the aisle! To know how much we care about this family and how much we have grown to love them...this was one of those experiences that we will never forget!
Scott is Coaching Volleyball
Volleyball season began in early September and just ended last week. Scott had a really awesome team of young men. He is really enjoying his time with them and hopes to make a lasting, eternal impact on their lives.
Madeleine also had a great 1st season as she learned so much!
Although it was a super amazing time...we are all happy to spend more family time together!
We have kicked off our monthly RefresHer gatherings for missionary women in our community. A friend of mine started this ministry several years ago and as her family was preparing to return to the states this past summer she ask if I would be willing to keep it going. We are having a blast! Please be in prayer that this would be a beautiful time for each of us to be refreshed and form a closer community.
So, I have this super amazing friend named April Brown who desires to devote her free time helping us raise much needed funds to continue our ministry here in Ecuador...and beyond! She worked tirelessly setting up and taking down at Riverfest and spent long, hot hours selling beautiful handmade goodies from Ecuador. I have NO DOUBT that each person who entered that booth was warmly welcomed...and if you were one of those people...THANK YOU!
If you are aware of any other opportunities to sell these beautiful items, please let us know!
Shop with Purpose! Upcoming Events
One way our ministry is supported is through the sales of Ecuadorian, Artisan-Made products! The artisans of Ecuador are some of the most gifted individuals I have ever met! They make everything from jewelry to hand-carved wooden bowls to alpaca ponchos and more! We can't think of a better way to raise funds for our ministry than purchasing directly from the folks we are serving here! We enjoy spending time with these artisans learning about their hopes and dreams and how we can play a small role in helping them reach their goals!
We have amazing friends who have offered to help us sell these products! There will be a booth at Community Christian School on November 4th if you would like to stop by and pick up a few Christmas gifts!
If you are reading this and you take the time to respond to this email with your full name and address I would like to send you a simple Thank You gift for taking the time to show interest in our ministry! We know your Inbox becomes flooded with emails, but you have taken the time to learn more about all that God is doing in Ecuador! Do you understand how much this means to us? We value your prayers and words of encouragement more than you will ever know or understand!
It can get lonely at times. The burdens we have for the people of this world are, sometimes, too much to bare...and a simple scripture being sent to our inbox would wake us up and allow us to realize we don't bare this burden alone!
Being away from our family is hard. Learning to adapt to an entirely new culture is hard. Working many hours and not being able to rely on a steady paycheck...is hard. Seeing hardships all over this world and not being able to snap our fingers and it all be 'good' is hard. But, God didn't say our life would be easy...and for this we will press on. We will press on because God has never left us! We know without a shadow of a doubt He walks with us step by step and He has sent us to serve here in Ecuador. Through every trial we face we learn so much more about Who our Heavenly Father is and just how much He loves us. We are so thankful He has chosen us to be His hand and feet...and for this season...on another continent, in another country...in Ecuador.
Y'all, we live in a broken world. We see the brokenness all around us. We can't escape it. Sometimes, it leaves us feeling hopeless...overwhelmed...angry...sad. I was recently asked by one of our girls at Casa Adalia why God allows so much heartache and troubles. That can be a super tough question...especially coming from someone who has been through so much in her young life. For me personally, I know that each and every trial I have faced has taught me so much more about my Heavenly Father. I have learned from these trials and have been able to share my experience with others to give them hope. What we must know is that the Lord Jesus Christ is our One True Hope. I challenge you to turn your mess into a message and your tests into a testimony.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
The Murphy Family
Mission Outreach with the Casa Adalia gals!
We were privileged to bring the girls from Casa Adalia with us to serve on the coast! They did an amazing job teaching the women of El Redentor how to make a simple jewelry design. We were so proud of their willingness and desire to serve others! We hope to bring them with us on future trips to the coast and also get them involved in serving here in Quito, as well!
Please continue to pray for the residents, non-residents, staff and volunteers of Casa A. Join us in continuing to pray for complete restoration for these women!
River Fun with the Kids in Rocafuerte
We enjoyed an afternoon with the children from Rocafuerte at the river. We usually take the kids to the beach or play in the streets, but they all begged us to go to the river and it was a blast!! This will definitely be a monthly gathering place!
I would like to share a little more about this river...
Up until 2014 there was not a single cistern or septic system in the community. Each household gathered water from the river or collected rain water, when it was available, to drink, bathe, cook etc. In 2014 we assisted them in completing a cistern and a septic system. We take so many things for granted. While we were playing at the river, we were joined by families bathing, gathering water to bring home, washing clothes, cooking and playing. This is their reality each and every day. When I say that these families teach me more than we could ever imagine teaching them...I mean it. We love these families dearly and we are so appreciative of them!
Giving the Message in Esmeraldas
Scott shared the message with El Redentor in August and he continued his series on Discipleship. Using Matthew 16:24-25, he focused on different ways we identify ourselves with Christ, and how Jesus is actually wanting us to identify ourselves with Him, as servants to our Lord. When you look at the men who spent the most time with Jesus during His walk on Earth, the majority of their letters start out something like this:
"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ..."
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God..."
"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ..."
"Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James..."
After considering what our lives should reflect if we are truly servants of our Lord, Scott focused on what Jesus said were the two most important commandments and those commandments should be impacting our lives daily as servants. One of the last commands Jesus gave us before he ascended into Heaven was to go, baptize, and teach - Disciple. We are looking forward to the opportunity to go back to Esmeraldas and continue the topic of discipleship.
Christian Formation Communities
The Alliance Academy is starting discipleship groups for secondary students that they are calling "Christian Formation Communities". The ultimate goal of each group is for teachers to spend time intentionally developing and calling out Christian leaders. Scott was asked if he would be willing to lead a group, so naturally, he is using martial arts as the tool to form a community. "The Armory" is the community that Scott will be leading, using martial arts as a common interest to challenge students physically and spiritually. The end goal for the group is to have the students in the community lead an Outreach Training Camp at the end of the school year.
What some of you may or may not remember...is that before we sold our taekwondo school Scott really felt like he was supposed to develop a curriculum focusing on Christian values within taekwondo and implement this curriculum into all of our classes. Soon after he finished developing the curriculum, God opened doors for us to finally serve in Ecuador full-time. Isn't it amazing how God works!? Scott is now able to use this curriculum exactly the way he was hoping to!
Celebrating Madeleine's 12th Birthday at the Hot Springs
We celebrated Madeleine's 12th birthday at the hot springs just outside Quito! We brought 6 of Madeleine's friends to join us in the celebration and we all had a wonderful time. We are so blessed that our children have incredible friends here and don't mind a little brother tagging along. :) We were able to share with the kids about Madeleine's upcoming year of intentional discipleship and the challenges that go along with that! We are excited about this journey and pray she grows in incredible ways throughout this process.
Mental Challenge: Learn how to play the guitar...and lead a worship night just before turning 13!
Spiritual Challenge: Read and Journal through the entire Bible
Physical Challenge: Earn her Black Belt in taekwondo!
The Kids' First Day of School at Alliance Academy International
Our kiddos started school this week! They are super excited about entering their 2nd year at AAI and we are trusting that this will be a year of incredible growth! Please join us in praying for all the teachers, staff and students!
JOIN US OVER THANKSGIVING BREAK!!
We know it's last minute...that's how we roll sometimes...but we would love to welcome you to Ecuador over Thanksgiving Break 2017! You will have the opportunity to serve along side of our ministry in Quito and on the coast of Ecuador in Esmeraldas, in addition to exploring a bit of this beautiful country! If you are currently sponsoring a child in our sponsorship program, this is a great opportunity to spend time with them! We hope to receive our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes by this time and you will experience first hand how much these boxes mean to these children!
The in-country costs are only $500! This is super low...and includes your in country transportation, 3 meals each day, lodging (nothing fancy) and a few exciting adventurous activities if you desire!
You can book your own flight from where you prefer to travel from! Please let us know if you are interested in joining us during this time!
We love you all and appreciate your continued prayers!
"Train up a child in the way he should go and even when he is old he will not depart from it."
Madeleine Graduates from 6th Grade
Here, in Ecuador, graduating from the 6th grade is a big deal! Madeleine has successfully finished the 6th grade with many accomplishments and we are super proud of her and Patrick both! She was asked to give a speech during the graduation and she did a great job. She was given a Spanish/English Bible as a gift from the school. We ask for prayers as we enter into a year of intentional disciplining as she makes her way to 13!
Many of our close friends who have been serving here in Quito for many years have left Ecuador and are returning to the states. This transition is difficult. Please pray for our hearts as we begin the new school year without them. Also, pray we are able to connect with a great group of new missionaries moving in!
Our Kids are Spending 6 Weeks in the States with Friends and Family!
Our hope was to return to the States as a family this summer, but due to work commitments and a lack of funds it just wasn't possible for the 4 of us to go...so we decided to allow the kids to go spend much needed time with friends and family for 6 weeks! What were we thinking?? We have missed them so so much, but we know they are having a blast and it is much needed! They enjoy their time living in Ecuador, but it is very difficult being so far away from friends and family. We are looking forward to their return...along with Mema and Aunt B!!
We Welcomed 2 Precious Visitors!!
We welcomed 2 sweet visitors during June/July! April came to serve with a mission team and extended her stay to spend time with our family! April and Brandy became great friends during their first mission trip to Ecuador in 2013! Their friendship has blossomed into such a beautiful relationship and we are so thankful for April! She was kind enough to fly back to the states with our kiddos! We showed her around Quito a bit and enjoyed long talks over Ecuadorian food and coffee! :)
We met Caroline at the airport the same night we said goodbye to our children for the next 6 weeks...which was a huge blessing! She is a precious soul and we enjoyed spending time with her! This was her first mission trip and God worked through her in beautiful ways! We love you Caroline!
Serving with the Four Points/Restore 17 Team from Acworth, Georgia
We had an amazing time of fellowship with the team from Four Points Church and Restore 17 in Acworth, Georgia! We met the founders of Restore 17 on our first family trip to Ecuador the summer of 2014 while we were serving at an orphanage here. We have become great friends and partners in ministry. The work they have done in the past has been mainly with orphan care, but the pastors visited us early this year in Rocafuerte and felt a desire to contribute more time and energy in this community, as well. There were so many moments where God revealed Himself to this group and many of these stories are too deep to even understand via this update. We shared a very special time with the team and translators! We are excited to meet up with the translators in the future to develop deeper relationships with them.
The team spent 2 days serving with Myrna and Gustavo in Rocafuerte and 1 day at the orphanage in Esmeraldas. One of the young men on the team who aged out of the boys home last year experienced God in ways I can only imagine. He told us 1 day prior to leaving that he used to live in Rocafuerte. We were awed by this thought and wondered if he was serious. After serving for a few days he tells us "let me take you to show you where I used to live". Sure enough, he took his new mom and dad to the house he lived in for a short time and met his aunt and uncle. He invited them to the church the next day and they showed up! Only God can plan this! THEN, we went to the orphanage and he proceeds to tell us that he used to live there as well! It was a beautiful time of healing for him and we hope it's only the beginning of the story for all God will do in this young man's life.
We also developed a great friendship with our bus driver, Jorge. He tells us that he lived in the boys home that we worked with when he was a kid and he thanked us for all we were doing there and it meant a lot to him to see people who truly care for these kids.
There were 2 baptisms while we were on the coast, too! During our long bus rides a team member who is gifted in music led worship and it was such a beautiful time.
We are so grateful for opportunities to work with other ministries who share our same heart and same vision. When the body of Christ comes together...amazing things are birthed!
Scott has been meeting with one of the pastors from our church and another missionary for discipleship training. They are a group of guys who have a huge heart for discipling other people, so they are meeting to study the Bible and learn more about what it says about discipleship. They are able to encourage each other through the process of seeking out individuals God has placed in their path and being intentional in discipling them!
Mission Trip with the girls from Casa Adalia
We will be leaving this Friday to travel back to the coastal communities of Esmeraldas and Rocafuerte with the sweet girls from Casa Adalia to serve for a few days. We are excited about this opportunity to share time with the girls and allow them to serve others with their gifts and talents and for the Lord to speak through them to communicate with the young ladies living on the coast. Please pray for safety and health, as well as, incredible spiritual growth!
We are going to try to be more diligent about uploading updates to our facebook page more frequently so make sure you follow our page for that. Sometimes we get so caught up in the moments of ministry that we lack the time to post updates and photos. We will try to be better at this :)
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!
Many Blessings - The Murphys
We appreciate each of you so much. We are thankful for your continued prayers and support. April and May were super busy months and there's so much to share, but honestly it has also been a very emotional few months. There are details we can't share due to the privacy of ministries we work with, but it's been hard. We are also coming down to the last weeks of school and a lot of our friends who we have grown to love dearly are leaving. There are beautiful moments in ministry and difficult ones that make it hard to keep going...but we are in it for the long haul. We ask for your prayers as we continue the journey.
We launched our Child Sponsorship Program in April and we are super excited to see these children mentored by incredible friends of ours and flourish as they live each day. There are so many things that we take for granted that these children can only hope for. We have gotten to know many of these children on a personal level and we long to see them grow into confident young men and women who know where their True Hope comes from.
There are still 2 children who need sponsors. Remember, with your $25 Monthly Sponsorship, you are providing a child living in extreme conditions with 2 nutritious meals each day, an educational scholarship that assists with the fees associated with attending school, homework help each day, leadership and mentoring by incredible leaders, and a birthday present and celebration each year!
If you are interested in sponsoring 1 or more children in this program, please respond to this email (Newsletter Email) or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the password to access the page.
Brandy's Trip to the States
Brandy had an amazing time in the States April 18-28. She was able to spend quality time with friends and family, while fundraising for our ministry. Thank you all so much who hosted parties where she sold beautiful handmade items from Ecuador. If you are interested in fundraising for your upcoming mission trip, adoption or any other cause, please let us know and we will send you details!
Rain, Rain, go away...
Alliance Academy has had some unfortunate flooding due to the super heavy rains we have had in Quito. School was cancelled on one of these occasions for cleanup. Please pray that the rainy season is coming to an end and AAI is able to recover without too much financial strain.
VBS in Rocafuerte and Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes
Rocafuerte hosted an action packed week of VBS this month and ended the week by giving 250 children Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. The children enjoyed 5 days of music, activities, Bible lessons, crafts, skits and lunch each day. Myrna and Gustavo pour into these children in incredible ways. Thank you all who made the shoeboxes possible! Gustavo and Myrna pour so much into these children and we appreciate them so much!
There are many ministries who teach women a skill, oftentimes how to make jewelry, and the communities we have been working with have asked us for years to teach them. We were able to bring them supplies and give them the freedom to be creative. This small skill will provide their families with sustainable income and give them a project to look forward to several times each week. If you would like to purchase their work or special order specific colors, please let me know!
We love you all - Love, The Murphys
Brandy will be in the States from April 19-28th! She is hosting several Chocolate Tastings and Jewelry Sales to raise funds for our ministry! If you are interested in hosting one, please let us know!
Happy 10th Birthday to our baby boy!!
How in the world is he 10??
So, both of our children have now experienced a birthday in Ecuador! I feel absolutely terrible because I do not have any pictures of our celebrations!!
The week of his birthday was a school break, so we dropped the ball on having him a big birthday party :( however we showered him with lots of love on lots of occasions! He invited a few friends to his favorite place, Mr. Joy. After playing for 2 hours we treated them to Baskin Robbins ice cream! During the same week, we also invited his special friend, Melissa, bowling...and to get MORE ice cream!! He still wants to have a small party, but our schedule hasn't allowed it yet :).
This child is such an incredible blessing to us!
We welcomed a new family member...Chimbo...razo!
Soon after arriving back in Ecuador we began looking for a Golden to add to our family and there happen to be a precious pup who was found roaming the streets who needed a good home. We are so thankful to our new friends who rescued our new baby! Meet Chimbo!!
Sports Camp in Esmeraldas - April 1, 2017
Over the last few years we have developed some amazing relationships with the pastors on the coast in Esmeraldas and knowing Scott's background they have asked us on numerous occasions to lead a Sports Camp. We have met with them several times over the last 7 months to develop a plan for ongoing camps that teach biblical principles through the instruction of basic fundamentals of sports, taekwondo and life skills...such as the Fruit of the Spirit. During our 2 years of waiting on the Lord to open doors for us to serve full-time in Ecuador, Scott felt led to develop a taekwondo program that emphasizes Biblical character development. We will be leading our first official sports camp on April 1st and with all of the preparation we hope to have a great event! Please pray that these children will see Jesus in everything we do!
Valentine's Treat and Serving with Pan de Vida
February Trip to Esmeraldas
Brandy spoke to a group of women Saturday night about entrepreneurship and challenged the women to research how their hobbies can turn into a small businesses to help support their families. We had a great time and look forward to following up with them next month!
Scott was invited to give the message on Sunday morning and he spoke about spiritual warfare and shared out of Ephesians. He has been asked to give the message each month when we are serving in Esmeraldas. He will be sharing about discipleship and leading a study around Multipy - by David Platt and Francis Chan. We pray that the Holy Spirit speaks through him and encourages others to seek Him.
As if leaving family in the States wasn't hard enough...some of our closest friends that we have grown to love here...are leaving this summer. These are some of the precious friends who welcomed us with open arms and a desire to serve us as we arrived. It's hard, friends.
We look forward to welcoming new folks who will be arriving this summer, but it is still so bittersweet to be losing friends who became our family.
We ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers and remember to reach out to us if you need us to pray for you specifically.
Your words of encouragement mean the world to us!
We love you all!
Scott, Brandy, Madeleine and Patrick
- Psalm 62:8
Worship in Nono
We spent the afternoon enjoying the fresh air and friendly fellowship with amazing friends. The kids loved every minutes of riding horses and chasing each other around the ranch. The smell of the meat on the grill and casseroles that reminded me of 'home' was just what we needed as we left the States to spend time with family for Christmas. We ended the evening singing Christmas Carols around a campfire and reading about the birth of Christ. It was truly a gift!
Spending Time with Family and Supporters in Georgia for Christmas
Christmas in Roca Fuerte
We immediately began to pray about how we were going to make this happen! We knew it was a big goal, but we were going to provide these families with as much as we could. With the incredible generosity of friends and family we were able to provide:
- 500 Bags filled with cookies that were delivered on Christmas day
- 280 pairs of shoes
- 550 Christmas boxes from Samaritan's Purse (these haven't been delivered yet, but have been paid for)
- A Christmas dinner for the community of Roca Fuerte
Transformational Leadership Training
Self Defense Training for Women
We have been working with these women each week since November and have grown to love them so much. We have recently invited them to our home to share a meal with our family twice a month and our first meal was last night. Wow. I enjoyed having them here so much! We had a house full of love, laughter and baby giggles...it doesn't get much better than that! After a great meal together we went outside for the self defense class.
Understanding the NEED and looking at the statistics of domestic violence here in Ecuador will break your heart. There was recently an article in the paper explaining that as of the 23rd of January 2017 there had been 10 confirmed murders resulting from domestic violence and 2 more that were being investigated. It also stated that there are, on average, 45 calls each day of complaints from domestic violence victims. This is terrible! We are realizing how much these women truly need the knowledge to protect themselves.
They also have a ministry that reaches out to the women working in prostitution. I was able to join them last week by going to the historic district of Quito and spending time with these women on the streets praying with them and simply having meaningful conversation with them. We brought freshly made cookies and the women loved them! Please pray with us as we work with these women who think working in this industry is their only option.
Prayers are SO appreciated!
God knows our needs and He is in control!
We love you all!
May you be blessed with abundance!
The Murphy Family
We believe we are called to Know Jesus Christ, Live His Word, and Declare God's Glory! So that's what we are going to do! Join us on our Journey!