We’ve been here almost 4 weeks now.  What can we say but WOW! – Wonderful things are happening each day, each week.  The best part is meeting such wonderful people already, both Cuencanans and Americans.  

Friday was a real treat for us.  Our landlords, Nilo and Ana took us to their farm in Nutli, about 8 minutes from where we currently live in their charming “casa” (house).  What a view.  Here’s Ana and Nilo, a picture of their living room taken from the loft, and a marvelous view of Cuenca from their mountaintop.

The day before, (Thursday), was very special.   We visisted a school started by a young pastor. Our friend and CEO of Unsion Television, Bill McDonald took us there to the school – he wanted us to see this very special work which had been started by him.  “Bolley” is his nickname – short for Bolivar!
Bill McDonald has been heading up Unsion for 7 years now.  Unsion is regarded as the number one station in Cuenca.  Through Bill’s enablement, we will be starting an English Bible Study in January at the station.  We are hoping not only for English participants, but also for Spanish ones who either know English or are learning English.
Going to this school was a special treat.  The children are what we would call in America “latch key” children, whose parents work and need a place for their kids to come after school.  At this school they receive lunch, further instruction, they can play, and they also hear about the love of Jesus Christ.  WOW!
Couldn’t resist taking a picture of some of them! 

On Sunday, we visited a nearby church in the community and made our way through an all Spanish service.  The language was not fully comprehendable, but no problem comprehending the love of Christ.  We followed along nicely in our Spanish/American Bible.  The pastor spoke very clearly and succinctly.  We even recognized a chorus sung in the States which they sang.  The sweetest part was when a widow woman, who spoke nothing but Spanish, invited us to her home for juice.  Although we had to work at communicating with each other, again there was no problem communicating the love of Christ Jesus.  This was so special!

Yesterday was such a marvelous day too.  Sue had lunch with her newfound American friend, Connie.  Connie and her husband, Mark have been in Cuenca for 6 months.  However, Sue introduced her to Yucca Fritas – they both had a plateful for lunch!  Except Sue had a plateful of “broccoli vapor!” (Steamed Broccoli!).  Yucca Frita is grown like a potato except it is very light.  “Frita” means fried however, they are fried very lightly – the oil does not “stick” to the yucca like it does with potatoes, so therefore it’s not heavy.
And of course, Sue’s favorite these days is “Agua Con Gas!” (Naturally carbonated water!) 

It was wonderful to share and be with Connie.  And how marvelous to have found a kindred spirit so many miles from home.  We’ll be together again for sure!

Gary was off with Arturo – a native who specializes in helping Americans when they come to Cuenca!  Arturo helped us with our bank account at Banco Pichincha among other things.  Gary took him to VAZ Corp, a financial institution where we also have met some new friends and have opened an account. 

After Sue was finished with her lunch, she met Gary at VAZ Corp and we chatted with our friend, (amiga) Diana.  Diana is the manager of the department and helped us GREATLY with establishing an account there which was very much needed for our visa.

Diana invited us to go to lunch with her and her fellow employee and friend, Marisela.  So off we went.  Gary had not eaten, so Diana treated Gary to a wonderful lunch at a nearby hotel, where she and Marisela eat everyday for only $2.50.  It was such fun getting to know Diana and Marisela more – such two wonderful ladies and now very special friends.  

Diana’s birthday was this past Saturday.  Gary gave her a small book “The Gospel of Juan” written in Spanish.  She was so appreciative and it meant much to her.  As she teared up, her comment is that she is trusting in God.  Nothing could be more dear to us than to have them brought into our lives.  Marisela is left, Diana is to the right.

Part of a day includes riding the bus and/or taxi to town, stopping by the Super Maxi, meeting new people all along the way.  Days are full and each day brings something special. 

Stay tuned as we continue our journey in Cuenca!

Hasta Luego!

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