Wow! As we think back on all the thoughts and concerns we had when we first began this adventure there are SO many, I think I'll just focus on two.... the first was the peace of knowing this was what God was calling us to do. Second, was struggling at not being overwhelmed at the thought of reducing our 3 bedroom house, and two vehicles, down to 6 - 55 gallon drums, and a handmade crate the size of two disassembled kids bicycles. Wish we had taken more photos!!! I think I was so traumatized I couldn't take a picture!
|Joel, John, Jonathan, Marilyn, Lisa and Al Vescera - January 1988|
After we took our cargo to Charleston, SC to put on a ship bound for Ecuador, we drove around the US saying goodbye to our friends and family. I'll never forget, that as I took over driving in Virginia, I tuned the radio to a Christian station. I was looking out over the beautiful rolling green hills thinking, "what is going to happen to us now... we have no home..." The announcer enthusiastically said, "let's read our verse of the day- Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you', says the Lord, 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." It is so amazing how God is attentive to our smallest needs- though this was pretty major to me at the time.
On July 9,1988 we boarded a plane in Miami and flew to Guayaquil, Ecuador where we were received by the only missionaries we had ever personally met, Rick and Sharon LaBouef. We drove through thick fog and absolute darkness over the 13,500 ft. mountain pass into Cuenca.
|The Guido's - August 1988|
We can't say it has all been rosy, but we can say that our Lord has been with us every step of the way. From the very first step of learning Spanish, and meeting with the 15 folks who formed a house church, to where we are today, is an incredible testimony of God's faithfulness to lead us down His carefully chosen path.
I remember coming back to Cuenca after our first visit back to the United States, again driving, looking out at the spectacular, green Andes mountains, and thinking, "It sure is good to be home."
This is our last family photo: (we'll have another soon... Joel, Karyn and Cocco will be here for a visit in a week or so) This was just as we found out that they were expecting their first baby!
|Micah, Emily, Jonathan, Katrina, John, Marilyn, Lisa, Samantha, |
Christoph, Karyn, Joel
Our children have gone back to the US for college and are returning ... Jonathan came back in 2010. Lisa, Christoph and their 4 kids came in 2011. Joel and Karyn have graduated and are working very hard to pay off their student loans, and we're praying they can be down here in 3 years with their little baby, Cocco!
This picture was taken shortly after the delivery of our fifth grand child- Cocco Greene Guido. She'll be one on August 4th of this year. We're so blessed that they'll be here for a visit very soon -- we love being able to spend time with our grand kids! ....and with our kids, as well!
|Karyn, Joel and Cocco|
It has been an incredible journey, fulfilling one of our favorite verses: God "...is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, .... " Eph. 3:20 NKJV (italics mine)
Perhaps we can't expect another 25 years, but we have learned to appreciate each day the Lord gives us, and look forward to see the mighty ways He's moving throughout His kingdom. And we count ourselves more blessed than you can know, because with your generous support and prayers, we can live this life, in this place He has put in our hearts and called home.