"Trust in Him at all times, you people: pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."
- Psalm 62:8
Worship in Nono
As crazy as it was, the day that we left for the States at Christmas was spent with many families from the missionary community here in Ecuador in Nono. We debated for days whether or not we would have enough time to get everything ready for the states AND spend the entire afternoon in Nono...Well, we decided it would be worth it to try ... and WOW, was it worth it!
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
During our 2 weeks in Georgia we put close to 2000 miles on our old suburban! What a blessing it was to spend time with family and friends! I am terrible at taking pictures...I always forget, but this is something I must work on...because we shared so many precious moments with family that meant the world to us and I would love to have pictures to look back on!
Christmas in Roca Fuerte
When we traveled to Roca Fuerte for Thanksgiving, we met with the pastors in Roca Fuerte and Esmeraldas to discuss their needs and hopes for the upcoming months. One of their requests was to pray about the possibility of providing the children with shoes, a Christmas box from Samaritan's Purse and a goodie bag filled with sweets (an Ecuadorian tradition for Christmas). We also discussed the need for everyday items like rice, tuna, oil, toilet paper and soap.
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:
Transformational Leadership Training
I (Brandy) started an 8 week leadership training course last week that has already been a huge blessing! It is an online course with around 10 other people from all over the world who join each other over a video conference to learn how to become better leaders. Many of the individuals in our group are serving as missionaries currently, or have in the past. Please pray that this is a time where God shapes me into a better wife, mom, friend, teammate, leader...so that I can be used by Him more effectively.
Self Defense Training for Women
I wish I had pictures to share with you to allow you to see these precious women we are blessed to work with each week, but to ensure safety for these women and their children we will not be sharing photos of them.
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.
So, it is just amazing to me how God orchestrates all of the details of our lives! As most of you know from a previous post about some of the devastating issues facing the young ladies on the coast, we have been praying and reaching out to other ministries to find out how we can help. The ladies that are taking the self defense classes are being mentored and rescued from some of these same issues through a precious ministry hear in Quito. I was invited to meet with one of the directors 2 weeks ago and then invited to attend a week-long training with them last week. Wow. It was such a blessing to spend time with these women who share my burden for the women living in such terrible situations.
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!
Friends, we ask that you please keep us in your daily prayers. We need them in a big way. When God's people seek to serve Him...the enemy doesn't like it.
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!