Dearest friends and family,
We have been back in Ecuador for a little over a month now and it has been great. We would like to ask for continued prayers in this process of purchasing the new building for the church. We are so very close to the end, and we thank God that we have been able to get this far and also thank the different people in the process, especially Patricia M. here in Quito who has been doing so much of the footwork and meticulous legal work to get this far. Also we thank God for the wonderful people who have donated funds.
We would also like to request more prayers as the church continues to work together with the pastoral team that has been in leadership for the past 4 months. Peter has been working with the Ecuadorian Evangelical Church, which is an indigenous Kichwa speaking group of churches that has worked with MMN and MBM mission workers in the past, as they discern about joining the Quito Mennonite Church conference or developing their own independent but fraternal Mennonite conference. Peter would also appreciate prayers as he starts teaching some classes on Historiography and Thesis writing at an indigenous seminary in Riobamba.
Two weeks ago the new team of Journey International volunteers arrived in Quito, they are three young women, Quinn, Shannon and Karina, who will be working here in Ecuador supporting the church for the next 10 months. We have received them in our house and have put them directly to work helping Delicia with a new project.
According to smallfootprintfamily.com an average baby that uses disposable diapers (which is about 90% to 95% of the US, and possibly similar in Ecuador) will use an average of 6-8 disposable diapers a day which will in turn create 2,000 lbs. of garbage by the time the baby is 2 years old. This also means that an average family in Quito would spend about $60 – $85 a month for the first 2 years or so which is a total of more than $1,500.
This means less diapers in landfills and less money spent potentially than in the U.S., but it also means babies are more likely to get rashes and infections.
Together with the Refugee Project here at the Quito Mennonite Church we have started a small project to supply cloth reusable diapers to refugee families with babies and small toddlers. The plan is to help families by giving them diapers that they can use over and over again, and even pass on to future siblings or relatives, also keep disposables (the Refugee Project had been giving about 15 disposable diapers a month to families previously) out of the trash, and a third part of our approach has also been to give some small employment to a few refugee women.
Delicia had started several years ago making cloth diapers and covers for Aliyah with Becky, Peter’s mother, and now has been making some more for Ariana, (since a lot of Aliyah’s small ones had been passed on to other babies). As we delved into this new diaper project we were able to get a donation of waterproof diaper fabric from http://www.diaperfabricdirect.com (Thanks so much!!!) as well as good deals on other supplies such as snaps and elastic. The cotton diaper cloth was purchased locally and an Afghani refugee women was hired to sew 240 of those diapers, and another Afghani refugee was hired to sew several inserts. Delicia has been working with the Journey International team and with two women from the church to sew the diaper covers. Delicia was able to give the first set of diapers and covers and the mother was very excited to receive the diapers for her little one.
We appreciate your continued prayers for our work here in Ecuador and for the church.
Peter, Delicia, Aliyah and Ariana