Romans 10: 14-15

But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"

Monday, September 22, 2008

videos del partido...

hey all. here are a couple videos from the ecuador bolivia soccer game i went to a few weeks ago... it was an absolute blast. crazy. but a blast. the section i was in was completely full. there were people sitting in all the aisles too. i was there for a little bit too. so it was pretty impossible to move anywhere. a definite fire hazard...oh well. only in ecuador!

a couple of crazy things i saw:

* a little kid fainted before the game started. not sure why. maybe the heat? posers. trying living in arizona for 22 years..

* almost saw a fight between an adult sitting in the aisle and a youth, who was trying to walk up the aisle. and when i say walk up the aisle i mean like climbing over people. the guy sitting down got mad bc the youth accidentally had his crotch in his face trying to get by.. whats the big deal? he's sitting in the aisle!

* i didn't see, but heard, and saw commotion from a distance that there was a fight that broke out between a lady in the stands (probably drunk) and a lady vendor. apparently the lady in the stands got kicked out.

* ecuadorian men love their beer. and more than that they love to share their beer. i saw literally 8 men share one beer. one dude one buy it, take a swig, and then pass. then the next. then the next. and so on. not sure if its bc they are trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible and save cups or if its just the cool thing to do when you are at a soccer game. whatever it is, im taking this back with me to the states! when im at a game me and my friends are gonna share... one coke. maybe even with one straw too. im totally lying. im not gonna do that. i hate drinking after people.

ok here are some videos..

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

someone's angel.. (story continued)

so i left off that i had just got the note from martha and had a brief talk with her outside of the church. i told her that i would call her and try and set up a time to meet, bc i really didn't know when i would be able to being that i was still working with the team. the good thing is that she was staying at her uncle's house so it would be easy to meet up...the bad thing about that was that she didn't want her uncle to know that she was meeting to talk to me about this. apparently he doesn't know the situation, and she was very adamant about him remaining in the dark for whatever reason. i didn't argue with her, so i told her maybe we could meet the next night after i was done with the team.

the next night i got done a little later than usual, and the plan was for martha to meet me outside of her uncle's house so we could talk about things without her uncle knowing.. (which i still didn't feel comfortable about keeping her uncle in the dark but i felt it wasn't my call to say anything..) since i was a little later getting back, we really didnt talk but for like 5 minutes. she just gave me the gist of what the problem was, and said she would go into detail later on...

she told me that she had a 19 year old daughter who ran away a few weeks ago and that she hasn't heard from her outside of one email since she left. she told me she wanted to tell me more later on when we had more time to talk, but she just wanted me to know what was going on so that i could be praying...

i walked inside the house completely lost and confused about what i should do or needed to do to help. i didn't know why she came to me, and i don't know why god brought her to me. i still had a few days with the team, and we were planning on meeting for coffee as soon as the team left. but the last night the team was here, i got pretty sick, and i was throwing up most of the night. it took me a few days after that to get my strength back and to fully recover so martha and i had to postpone meeting for a few more days...

i used the time to pray a lot and seek the lords counsel. we finally agreed to meet on a sunday evening at a coffee shop near my house. that sunday, after church i went to eat with ronnie and his family. after i got home i started to feel sick again. i just didn't feel good at all. i felt like i was trying to come down with a cold or soemthing. my head hurt. i was pretty warm too. pretty much i wasnt very excited about meeting with martha bc i was feeling so bad. we were supposed to meet at 6:00ish and i was there pretty much right on time. i got a coffee and went and sat down at a table. i was still feeling pretty bad. and i was extremely nervous. i didn't really know what i was supposed to say. i was really nervous about not having all the words in spanish to clearly express what i should say...if i ever figured out what i needed to say... and, i know i posted this before, but i really do have spanish ADD. it is sooooo hard for me to pay attention for long periods of time in spanish.

amidst me feeling sick...and having fears and doubts about the ensuing coversation...god was giving me such an overwhelming peace about being there. i knew i was there for a reason. i knew this was of god. even though i had no clue what i needed to say, i knew that god would fill my mind with the exact words, and that he would give me wisdom and discerment in that as well.

martha came in about 20 minutes late (in typical ecuadorian fashion no less).. then something amazing happened. the moment that martha walked into the coffee shop, i mean literally the exact moment... my headache went away, and i didn't feel any cold/flu symptoms at all. none. it was almost as if god was telling me, "matt, i told you, im in with you!"

we both sat down at the table i was already at, i was sipping my coffee i had, and martha was eating a piece of cake and drinking some coffee she just bought. she told me how thankful she was that i was able to meet her and help. she reiterated again to me how she knew without a shadow of a doubt that god brought me into her life to help her..she told me that prior to meeting me, she had been praying to god that he would send her an angel to help her through this. then one morning she walks into her uncle's house and sees some random, strange, punk 24 year old drinking coffee (she didn't use those exact adj. but you get the picture)whom shes never seen before in her life. martha told me that when she walked out, she asked god," god, is this him? is this my angel?" she told me that she knew that i was. that i was the angel...

we must have sat for a good hour and a half maybe two hours just talking there in the cafe. well, it was mainly martha spilling her heart. it got pretty emotional at times... she told me all about her daughter inez...who she was.. what she was like as a little girl. how when she was 4 she accpted Christ in her life, and then immediately told her mom that she wanted to put four locks on her heart because she never wanted jesus to leave. how when she was a little girl she would invite her neighbors over for bible study, and how she insisted on always having a snack of some sort. how she made her mom find prizes for her so that she could give those prizes away to the neighbors who memorized the verse of the week...

she went on and on about how her daughter had such a passion for he Lord. i was not expecting to hear that at all. i had this picture of some drug addicted, alcoholic, rule defying teenager who ran away. not someone who loved the lord. martha went on to tell me that inez had been hurt many times by the church. people within the church claiming to be someone they werent. leaders even. martha said inez was fed up by all this. she was tired of "friends" claiming to be christian and not actually living like it... i guess inez couldnt take it anymore, and she just left the church completely. eventually left her family. come to find out that she hadnt been gone for just 3 weeks, but for over 3 months.

at the end i had the opportunity to pray over martha. she gave me her daughters email address and ask me if i could write her an email.. just something. anything. i took the next day to really just pray and seek the lord, and figure out what the email needed to say. i mean what do you say to a runaway girl that you don't even know, that doesn't speak the same heart language as you do? exactly. i didn't know either. God eventually gave me the words and i sent her an email... then i waited. and prayed. and hoped that she would respond. and then waited some more...

one week went by. nothing... another week...nothing. i started to question god at this time.."God if i am this so-called 'angel' why isn't she responding? am i doing something wrong? am i not doing all that i need to be doing? i really want to help this family, but im not sure what to do anymore."

i never did hear from inez.

but something miraculous happened. i got a call from martha a few weeks ago. out of the blue. i wasnt expectig to hear from her.. she just wanted me to know that inez contacted her and that later on that day she was going to meet up with her daughter for the first time in months! i couldn't believe it. i cannot explain to you how excited i was to hear this news. martha said she just wanted me to know bc she knew i had been praying for them...

even when i felt so helpless, god was in control. when i had my doubts that this situation would ever be resolved, god was in control. to be honest, i don't know if my two hour conversation, or my email had anything to do with inez coming back in the end.. but it doesn't really matter. i guess the thing that i took away from all of this is what i can imagine god saying to all of us.. " hey, im about to go do something absolutely amazing over here..something that you couldn't dream up..something that will show how big I really you wanna join me??"

thank you Lord for letting me tag along with you on this one...

Monday, August 18, 2008

im back...

hey everyone. its been absolutely way to long since i last posted a blog. i apologize. but at the urging of mis padres and others, im back and i hope to be more regular with my posts...i wanna share a recent dad story with you guys...(sorry this is gonna be long..)

like i said in my last update, the end of july i worked with a team out in the valley. the missionary i was working with had arranged for me to stay at a local pastor's house who lives out in the valley, near where we were working. this saved me from having to travel close to an hour each way back to my house in north quito. i didn't know the pastor or his wife prior, so i was a little nervous being thrown in a house where there was going to be nothing but spanish being spoken. but to be honest, staying there turned out to be such a huge blessing.

one morning during breakfast (which consisted of freshly squeezed juice, bread, fresh fruit, and coffee) a middle aged lady walked into the kitchen. i didn't know who she was but she quickly introduced herself as being the pastor's niece. (the pastor and his wife both tienen 70 years). her name was martha, and she seemed like a very nice lady...

ok so fast forward a few days... its evening time and i am with the team at the church of the pastor whom i was staying with. the team was talking about purity, and actually this night one of the youth interns from the group was the one speaking. after the guy was done speaking the pastor got up and asked if anyone from the group would like to share a testimony. immediately everyone started to look around, wondering who was gonna be brave enough to get up there. i really didn't wanna speak, just bc i mean i live here, and i really wanted the younger members from the team to have an opportunity to share. anyways.. their youth pastor ended up going up and sharing. after he was done the pastor asked for another volunteer. but this time he didn't wait for anyone to volunteer, he just called me out! at this point i was kinda regretting staying with him at his house, bc had i not, he probably wouldn't have called me least that was my logic...

so anyways the pastor called me out, and im thinking, (sorry dad but i was) "crap, what am i going to say? i got nothing. nada." so i get up there not really sure what im gonna say or where i wanna take this exactly. but then i just felt overwhelmed by the lord telling me just to share my testimony about how i came to ecuador..the process...the struggle of it thats what i did. when i tell that story, or i guess just in general when i share something that the lord has done in my life, i tend to be very transparent. i just lay it all out there. thats kinda how god made me. so i was very very personal up there... i shared from mark 4 three things that the lord so clearly spoke to my soul during a time of desperation.. god cares/ god is in control/ and remember who god is and what he's done.

after i got done sharing i went and sat down, and then one more person got up and shared their testimony. after we were done with the service the lady i met during breakfast, martha approached me and handed me a piece of paper. she took my outside and told me that she really needed to talk to me and that she wanted me to read the piece of paper. but she was very adamant about me not telling her uncle (the pastor) about what the note said. she told me that the lord really spoke to her through my testimony and that she knew that the lord had brought me there to share for a specific reason... the note she gave me pretty much said that she had a problem with her daughter and that she felt like the lord brought me into her life to help her with the problem...

after the brief conversation with martha, and after i read the note, i was floored with so many emotions. i was in awe that God was orchestrating something so much bigger than me. i was afraid that i didnt know what i should do say. i doubted that i was the right one for the task.. but i was also excited for this opportunity to join god on this adventure.

(ok so this is getting kinda long and i am about to leave to go teach english, so i will finish this story in another post soon...hopefully tonight!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

something different...

well, today, at the urging of my gf... i did something different. this afternoon i had a conversation with ginger, and the topic was brought up that i don't seem to do too many things outside of work stuff. i guess she's somewhat right. she said, "if your not doing something work-related, you are planning or studying, or at ronnie's doing something." basically she was telling me that i needed to get out more. see things. do something. something different.

to be honest.. i kinda got a little offended. i was thinking to myself, "i didn't come here to go sightsee or to do 'different things!' i came here to be a missionary! i then went on to tell her that i don't really like going out and doing things by myself. i don't know why, i just don't. i feel weird. like a loner. i could tell that ginger was getting a little frustrated bc i wasn't getting her point. she just was suggesting that maybe i should try and do some new and fun things, not get so bogged down with things, don't be bored in my house. but i took it as, 'my gf is telling me that im boring and i pretty much suck at life bc all i do is work stuff and for fun im always with the same one friend that i have here.'

after thinking about all of this, i figured i should do something...different. i was planning on going to the mall (to the grocery store) and picking up a few things, so i thought i would take a book and just read in the food court for a bit.

and that's what i did... but what's weird about this... is i don't read. i mean outside of the bible and articles on or goazcats, i don't read. period. i don't know, i've never been much of a reader. but i remember before coming to ecuador while i was at fpo (my training) a speaker challenged us by saying, "who you are 15 years from now is going to be determined by the friends you have and the books you read." i immediately thought, "crap. i hate reading." so i guess since then i've wanted to start reading a little more.

anyways.. someone from the last team i was worked with gave me this book entitled, 'the living church,' one in which i've been meaning to get into for the past couple of weeks. so i took it with me. upon getting to the mall, i'm not sure what happened, but something really really weird happened. i mean, me reading is pretty weird. but.. i for some reason had the urge to this should shock my mom and the rest of my family, bc i hate coffee. i don't drink it. ever. outside of a few courtesy sips i drank last weekend at a bible study, i can remember the last time i had coffee. it was may of 2006, and my friend and i were up late studying (cramming) for finals, and she made me/us some coffee. it was absolutely disgusting. she even put a bunch of sugar and all that creamy stuff, but it still wasn't drinkable for me...

..but i figured that's what ppl do when they read books, they drink coffee. i had no idea which kind to get, so i thought getting a cold one would be best, kinda ease into the whole coffee drinking thing... i think i ended up getting like an oreo cappuccino or something. it wasn't all that bad.

i love the mall i went to. it sets on the base of a volcano and overlooks the valley of quito. it's a breathtaking view. so there i was with my oreo cappuccino and my book, to the outside eye, looking like i've done this a 1,000 times. so i went to find a seat, one preferably facing out to the view. the only problem is, (here's one of my qwirks) is that i don't like sitting with my back to ppl. is that weird? i think i've become more aware of this since moving to ecuador. i'm always cautious about where i sit, and where i stand, i don't know maybe i'm just paranoid. so i found a table that is facing out the windows, but right behind it is this french fry stand, which i guess would hide me in case someone wanted to come up and kill me or something...

it was really a sweet time. very relaxing. just me. and about 100 other strangers. crying babies. loud tv's. smell of greasy fast food... i read for about 3 hours. which is more than i've read in like the last year. every now and then i would just stop, and ppl watch (this is another one of my favorite things to do) and just pray over the ppl. that God would just reveal himself to them. in some way.

i really enjoyed the book. i will prolly blog about it soon. very basic but yet profound truths... so there you go. that was my afternoon. i did something different for a change. so go ahead and try it sometime. do something different. you may just end up liking it. or may just end up learning to like to coffee... (is this gonna stunt my growth?)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

a real post.

so lately a few ppl have been giving me a hard time because "all" i do is just upload videos.. so this post is dedicated to mi novia and ronnie.. i think ronnie is just a hater because he doesn't take the time to actually update his own blog. i helped him set up a blog a couple months ago, and guess how many posts he's done. yup just one!

anyways.. i just thought i'd post a lot of random stuff. just whatever comes to mind. right now i am at the clifton's house (fellow m's). i often go to church with them and then just come back to their house to chill. they are both taking a nap. i'm sitting on their couch using their laptop, and watching the lakers put the smack down on the spurs. by they way, they've showed jack nicholson and one of his famous friends, and can i just say that ppl that wear sunglasses inside really bug me. i just don't get it. cualquier..

i've recently realized that i have spanish ADD... i've been here in ecuador for almost a year, so i feel i am getting a pretty good grasp on spanish. but for the life of me whenever i have to listen to someone speak in spanish, whether it is at church or just with someone, i cannot pay attention. my mind goes else where. i could be understanding 100% of what they are saying, but then i just get bored or something, and my mind just shuts off, and i starting thinking in english. i've yet to sit through an entire sermon in spanish and have been able to follow along for the entire time.

sometimes i have a hard time understanding ppl, whether it be bc of their accent, or how fast they are speaking, or just me being tired.. so then i'm forced to have to think really hard and translate word for word in my mind.. which really takes a lot of energy, so in these instances i usually just sit there (if im with someone like ronnie who is the main person being talked at) and look interested, and every now and then add a 'si' or a 'claro' or maybe an 'interesante.'

ok well i hope this satisfies ginger... back to the game now..

Friday, April 11, 2008

last video..

this video is from our last day in Nayon. we went to this school where there were about 400 kids, and played with them, as well as did the drama for them..

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

the redeemer drama...

hey guys, here is a little of the drama that the team from fbc weston did all week.. this was i think from last wednesday in Nayon.

Jesse (doing the whippings) Sarah and Sarah holding Jesus (who was played by Regis). this was the most intense part of the drama.. these guys did an amazing job with the drama.