JULY 2019
Dearest Friends ,

Over the last couple months we have been learning a lot; about ourselves, about the needs and current realities in Ecuador and about God. Every week we meet as a couple to review our goals and assess our progress. Our role as Alteco Country Coordinators is to be catalytic in the strengthening of the tribal church through a movement of cooperation. Making the transition from things being done "for" the tribal people of the Amazon to things being done "with" them can be challenging but this transition is absolutely essential for our tribal brothers and sisters to grow and thrive.

The saying that "the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit" is very true in our ministry. In the past couple months we've seen two steps forward and one step backwards play out over and over again. When we get discouraged we are reminded that the ministry of Alteco and the Three Waves Movement is a long game; a long game very worth playing but a long game indeed. To raise up the tribal church through a ministry of cooperation will be a supernatural work. Plain and simple.

In this update you will see pictures representing the many facets of our ministry. We intentionally engage with foreigners, nationals (latinos) and tribal peoples on a daily basis. Every day we plant seeds telling our tribal brothers and sisters they can lead the march. Every day we plant seeds telling our national brothers and sisters they can play an active, intimate role in the needs in their own backyard. Every day we plant seeds telling our foreign brothers and sisters that we value their involvement and need their support to raise up the tribal church. Together we are better.

Thank you for praying for us as we lead this march. To be truthful, the days can be hard and the nights can lack rest. There is a cost to live and serve in this way but we know that every seed planted is worth the effort -- so that our friends will live Free and Whole and Hopeful.

Much love,
Chris, Tina, Georgia and Reese
Baptisms - Reese's closest friend here in Ecuador was Baptized! Chris was able to be a part of this special day.
A glimpse into our life and ministry...
Church Minga (work project) - roof raising, Sunday School, chicken grilling... You name it, we do it to build intimate relationships for cultural understanding and longterm, sustainable impact.
Construction Projects - Chris uses his many handy skills to rub shoulders with other men. Here Chris helped build a big-girl bed for our little friend Amy. Her daddy has been an encouragement in our lives and we see God working in his heart and community. This relationship is proof that planting little seeds year after year can produce big growth.
Women's Retreat - Tina coordinated a women's retreat for missionary women working in our area. It was 2 days of deep study, prayer, mutual encouragement and spa time! (pictured above) Together we are better!
Team Meetings - Being that our ministry team is spread across two continents and many different countries we often meet on Skype. Here you see us after a 3 hour long chat (let's be real...it was a major counseling session!) with our mentors and Alteco founders Paul and Robin Johnson. We are so thankful for those who have gone before us and can coach us as we learn, grow and serve the beautiful people of Ecuador.
Cooperation with Other Ministries
Local Leadership Training School - We were able to join one of the week-long modules at a Bible training school near Shell. Tribal leaders travel out of the jungle for one week every two months to receive Bible teaching to equip them for their life and ministry in their community. We believe God will continue to raise up leaders through this ministry and that we will be able to partner in the future.
Community Work Projects - Chris has traveled into a Shuar jungle community two times in the past couple months to support our friends in a community water project. Learning from others, observing different approaches to community impact and encouraging our co-laborers is so important in our role. God is at work and working together broadens our impact and is a beautiful testimony of the love and grace of Christ.
Coming Up
Community Garden Project: A dear Achuar friend recently approached us with the idea to begin a community garden project in their community. This is the same community that lost a young man to AIDS and we've been praying for our friends as they are light and representatives of hope in their community. In the coming weeks we will help begin this project and believe the impact will be great. Please be praying. For background on this story read here.
Chris walking into the neighborhood that will host the community garden
Leadership Meetings in Columbia: The Three Waves Team (i.e. the South American Leadership Team made up of 3 tribal leaders, 3 latin leaders and 3 foreign leaders) will hold their annual meetings in Bogota, Columbia mid-August. As Tina serves on this leadership team, our entire family will travel to Columbia to attend this key meeting. During this trip we will also attend two other conferences related to tribal leadership development, partnership and long-term strategy for holistic tribal ministry. In all, these meetings will span 2 weeks. Our co-workers from over 5 countries (as well as Gilberto and Silvia from Ecuador!) will attend and participate. Each member of our team look forward to this important time together. Working as a team and being spread all over South American can be challenging and these times together are absolutely essential. Please be praying for wisdom, unity and mutual encouragement.
Your faithful support makes our life and work in Ecuador possible.

2019 is a BIG YEAR and we are already planning for 2020 - thank you for your monthly support and one-time gifts. Both are needed!