"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
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!