How's Pedro?

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Pedro spent 5 days and 6 nights in our home. He worked for three days welding metal to form two windows and a door for his home. Wednesday afternoon we installed his creations in the room where he plans to live from now on. Thursday we left him and made a trip to Riobamba to sell our apartment. On returning we wondered how Pedro was faring. Was he living in his home or back on the street? Monday night we rejoiced to see him not only in his new home, but with a TV and a sofa that a friend had donated. What does he do for food? He makes and sells bracelets. We continue to pray for his new faith and new life, that God will protect him and guide him every step of every day.

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Pedro

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Friday evening as we passed our park we saw two policemen giving Pedro a hard time because he was a bit tipsy. We approached in the car and Faby said, "Hop in!" Pedro is one of the park's alcoholics and we're been talking with him for several months. He owns a house but was sleeping on the street because his wife, who's a drug addict, threw him out. Well, she disappeared a few weeks ago and Pedro got his house back, but what a mess! We had offered to help him clean it up, but he didn't trust us. Now we had him in the car to begin a few days of "dis-intoxication." He slept and trembled all Saturday, and accepted our offer (finally) to clean his house. The house has no doors or windows, and in places the roof is falling in. One external room above the garage is almost livable, but only after we filled 15 sacks with trash and rotting clothes! We finished Sunday afternoon.

Pedro, by trade, is a metal craftsman. Since I have the tools he needs (arc welder, stone grinder, and spray painter) I told him he could make windows and a door for his house with all the scrap metal we have in the shed. Monday he began, and today, Tuesday the windows are complete. Tonight he puts together the door, and Lord willing, tomorrow we install the metal creations.

The plan and our prayer is for him to live in his house, and find some way of making a living. He tells me the temptation to drink comes when he has nothing to do but hang out with his friends in the park. One option is to continue making sellable items here in our house with my tools. We'll see.

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Praying for others

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I constantly think of my friends in the park. The "alcoholics." We have shared Christ with them, but the seed takes time to bear fruit. In the meantime we try to help them anyway we can. One of Faby's nephews lives with us. He sells supplies to hardware stores. I've been helping him organize his accounts. Yesterday while in church I was wondering how to find jobs for the men in the park. They guard the parked cars. God gave me an idea. Since I maintain the fountain in the park, water is no problem. Why couldn't my friends wash the parked cars? After the service we drove through the park on our way to a lunch invitation. I saw Carlos and "Bronco" (as they call him) and stopped to say "Hi!" Then I gave them the idea of washing cars. "All you really need is a bucket and a cloth." They liked the idea. Now whether they actually put it into practice is another story. But my prayer is to continually reach out to them.

Church?

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Is this a church? Almost. They're not all professing Christians, but we are gathering to discuss a community issue: security. I've been concerned for a long time that the church here in Ecuador tends to look inward and not outward. Worship services and bible studies are all an integral and necessary part of the church, but where's the community service? I once suggested to a church elder in Riobamba that instead of meeting one Sunday for worship, why don't they visit the neighborhood and talk with folks about their needs. That's a bit radical for most, but here where we live in El Tingo I'm finding that strategy very effective. We're getting to know our neighbors.
The photo captures the Friday night meeting at our home on how to use the community alarm, installed by the city hall. I felt like it was congregational meeting to discuss our daily concerns. Almost a church.

Illegal immigration

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Three weeks ago, Abel and his family flew to El Salvador to begin a journey to the US. He said he wanted to go legally, but I doubted his plan. Last week he messaged me that they were in South Mexico with a 30 day visa. He added "that things hadn't gone as planned, but that they were okay." My only prayer is for their protection. I don't support illegal immigration. Here in Ecuador, when "they get the itch to go the US," it's hard to convince them to stay. I hope and pray to be able to keep track of them and see how this adventure pans out.
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Read about their last visit to us.)