Today I am reminded of Psalm 138

Date: 
2017-01-29 00:00:00

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

 

 

Today I am reminded of Psalm 139

Date: 
2017-01-29 00:00:00

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

 

 

A little about…

Date: 
2017-01-18 00:00:00

Wednesday! This is my long day. I start work at Carmen Bajo around 8:30AM, teach 2 two hour sewing sessions, break for lunch, resume teaching until 4:30PM and then head down the hill to the church to help with an evening women’s group until 7PM. This is a typical day… well actually there is no “typical day” at Carmen Bajo. Often a student doesn’t show up for class and I am left to fill the time slot allotted for teaching. A very meaningful and overwhelming task at hand is organizing the sewing room–wow, such a tiny space that houses so many things! So. Many. Things. 

From what I understand, the sewing program is somewhat of a revolving door. Sewing instructors come and go, leaving behind their project materials. Consequently the sewing room has evolved into a drive-by project room for Carmen Bajo. Unfinished projects and their trail of scraps are stuffed into every drawer, cabinet, and shelf. This disorganization (which could obviously be a hinderance to productive) has somehow become an encouraging reminder of the bigger picture at hand, a nod to those who have gone before me with the same mission in mind — spreading the love of Christ through sewing. Every scrap of useless fabric and garbage bag of uncompleted projects reminds me of Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Let me pick up where one has left off and continue running the race set before me. 

 

xoxo!

Work at Carmen Bajo

Date: 
2017-01-12 00:00:00

Life is unpredictable when you are living 9,350 feet above sea level, but at least the views are incredible! On Tuesday I started my project at the sewing studio in Carmen Bajo, a low-to-no-income neighborhood located on a steep mountainside in Quito. The facility at Carmen Bajo serves the community in multiple ways– child daycare, elementary education, sewing classes for teenage girls, an evening group for women, kitchen jobs, and young adult education. The ministry site reaches deep into the community of Carmen Bajo.  You can feel the joy and hope we have in Christ as soon as you enter the building. I am so blessed to be part of such a special place.   

For the sewing project I work with four girls ages 17-22. Pamela, Katy, Merrily and Pamela. Their bright faces and eager hearts give me the encouragement I need, especially when I know little sewing vocabulary in Spanish. Even the simplest task, such as asking the girls to thread a needle, can be quite difficult and takes several attempts at guessing the right word. The silver lining, I am learning more Spanish, and they more English.  I planned to have a translator but here in “Flexaudor”, you need to roll with the punches. Plans frequently fall through and it’s often up to you to find an alternative solution. Thankfully, the Lord knew my path before I set out! Without knowing, I purchased sewing patterns with English and Spanish instructions. From what I can tell, two of the girls can’t read but at least I can read to them and together we can figure it out! 

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:24

Morning by morning…

Date: 
2017-01-06 00:00:00

I’m here in the busy city of Quito! It’s just as I remember it to be– busy streets, barking dogs, chilly mornings, rainy afternoons, and delicious food! I am so grateful to be back and excited for the upcoming weeks. Just in these first few days, God has already provided many amazing graces and I look forward to seeing His hand move throughout this trip. 

Thank you all for your prayers!  

“Morning by morning, o Lord, you hear my voice; morning by morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:5

Besos, 

Leah

Meet SAMS-USA: Missionaries Roberto and Cameron Vivanco

Meet SAMS-USA: Missionaries Roberto and Cameron Vivanco

Robert is from Quito, Ecuador and Cameron is from Durham, NC. Their sending church is St. Matthew’s Spartanburg, SC. They are serving in Quito, Ecuador.

Our Ministry:
Cameron serves as the Director of the Short Term Ministry Department at Youth World. On average there are 300 people a year that come through this interdenominational para church organization to serve and to learn. She also teaches youth ministry and short-term mission classes with a youth ministry training and resourcing branch of Youth World.

Roberto serves as the Worship leader at an English speaking church, as well as a music ministry/ band called Gedeon. He also runs a Christian recording studio. Roberto has is degree in Pastrol theology from seminary school at SEMISUD in Ecuador.

They serve, intentionally forming relationships and discipling almost every socio-economic level in Ecuador from the poverty class (where the majority of the short-term teams and individuals minister) to middle class (training and resourcing youth ministries as well as local church bands that want to record worship music) to upper English speaking class (at the English speaking church).

They feel their ministry is to promote empowerment, discipleship, training, leadership development, opportunities to record music and song to further the gospel. They help support fellow NGO’s with video and music production so that they may further their ministries as well.

A special ministry program they have is a scholarship program called Education = Hope, which exists to provide for the education on children in desperate and difficult places.

Our Calling:
God started calling me (Cameron) to the mission field in the fall of 1998. I was working as a full-time youth minister in SC and had a very skewed perception of what a missionary was (I thought they were doctors, teachers or Bible beating freaks) and the last thing I would ever want to be was a missionary! I was at a national youth worker’s convention when God, being much bigger and wiser than I am, began to change my perception of missionaries and the reality that someone with my gifts and passion could and perhaps even should go into mission. God opened the door to work with Youth World in Ecuador which exists to address the reality that 95% of the world’s trained youth leaders live in N. America working with roughly 5% of the world’s youth population. Our mission statement reads Youth World exists to identify, train and equip leaders to impact young people and their families to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

So my call was to continue in youth ministry, but in a different context. I was elated when I felt like God was calling me to Ecuador, for about three seconds, and then I was terrified. I did not speak Spanish, or even know where Ecuador was on a map! I spoke with my rector and he help set up a discernment committee, and then began conversations with SAMS about how to work with a multidenominational organization (like Youth World) but still stay linked to my Episcopal church and background.

If you are being called to support the Vivancos, visit their giving page.

Pray for Ecuador and the vision God has given us for ministry here

Roberto and Cameron Vivanco