Jon DeBell's Blog

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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


With the community dogs barking through the night here in Conocoto and the roosters comencing their crowing around 4:30 every morning it seemed a good idea to try ear plugs. Megan gave me some wax-like ones she bought and they worked pretty well.

A few nights ago I crawled into bed and inserted one in my left ear and fell asleep with the one for my other ear still in my hand. Early in the morning I woke up to a rooster's crowing and was vaguely aware of chewing gum in my mouth, but I immediately fell back to sleep. When Evan woke me up a while later I was still chewing that nappy gum. It didn't taste very good to say the least.

All of a sudden I thought, "Oh no!" and pulled that gum out of my mouth...and yes, it was the ear plug. Confession is good for the soul so I told the girls and we all laughed 'til we almost cried.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bueno Es Alabar & Pan De Vida

I went to church this morning. It was different to say the least!

I had information that a little storefront Assembly of God church started a 9am. I got there a few minutes early but couldn't find anyone who knew anything about the church. So I walked on down the old highway into the center of Conocoto, an outlying town from Quito. I asked several people if there was an "Iglesia Bautista" in town. Several nodded and I kept getting pointed toward the Baptist church. I turned the corner with a man almost dragging me toward the front of the building. Immediately I recognized the structure as the landmark Catholic cathedral of the town.

Since I was there I went in and sat down on the back pew. I looked at my watch and realized that the service at East would be starting in just a few minutes. I prayed for the church and for Ennis and Kathy as they led the worship this morning.

I decided to get up and continue my quest for an evangelical service to attend. I headed toward a church near Evan's preschool, but when I got there it too was locked up. What to do?!

I was almost frustrated enough to head home as I stood in the street and gazed at the church. Just then I spied a man, woman and child exiting their home and walking out into the street just beyond me. I saw the woman carrying something--a Bible! I quickly caught up to them and inquired where they were going. Despite having to converse almost totally in Spanish I discovered they were going to an evangelical worship service! Naturally I invited myself to go with them--and they agreed.

Several blocks later we arrived at the Christian Center of Faith and Hope. And I was shown the love of Christ there too. I received a wonderful welcome from the eventual 70 or so worshippers who gathered together. Although I only understood a portion of what was being said, I was incredibly blessed. Our God reigns over all the earth. He has Christ-followers the world over. He is a friend of the downtrodden. He is worthy of our praise. And we did!

I'll share more about my experience, the band, the music, the spirit and Spirit when I'm back in Charlotte in 8 days. I just wanted to take this opportunity to testify that when we put something into going to the house of the Lord, we receive so much more back in return. I trust you made the effort to woship our glorious Savior on this His day!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Evan's Ecuadorian Birthday!

I never dreamed I'd visit Ecuador in my lifetime--let alone 4 times! But here I am enjoying this trip and finding moments that will occupy a special place in my memory as long as I live. Of course I'm enjoying spending time with Erin and Megan. We've found ourselves laughing at and with each other many times today. But the focus of everyone in the house has been on Evan. As he said repeatedly on his birthday, "Para Evan!"

Here are some pics for family and friends to enjoy. (Sorry I'm having trouble reducing the pixels in order to upload to the blog. Will attempt to solve problem manana!)