Copy

Living under a New Norm.

A big hola from Ecuador! A lot has been going on here, and it is crazy to think of how much time has passed! It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day, especially with our lives finally having something of normality again, albeit a normal that is very different from what it used to be!

It can also be very hard to remember that our new norm can be very different from what you are currently living in. It is amazing when I stop and think or read about the differences between Ecuador and the USA, or other countries.
I often tend to forget that the number of restrictions we have on us, and the number of deaths that we see all around us, and the things we are dealing with on a daily basis here are the same across the world, and yet there is so much that is different, too.

So, I want to share with you what we have been doing, and what our new normal is because although the coronavirus is still heavily affecting our country, we are starting to accustom ourselves to a new way of life.
Check the end of the email for an amazing video of the hymn In Christ Alone sung in one of the native dialects, by a Christian group in Peru wearing native mountain dress!
From the beginning of this crisis, the Ecuadorian government has taken a very aggressive approach on what actions they take in the face of the pandemic. A state of emergency was declared when we had less than 50 confirmed cases, and being a very socialistic country, the number of restrictions on privileges and liberties that the general population normally has have been very strict.

For a couple of months, there was a 15-hour curfew in place, 7 days a week. All public transportation was closed, all stores except for the very basic ones were closed, and personal transportation was restricted to two days a week, per your license plate number and national ID number, which if they didn't coincide, meant that you could only go out once a week.

Wearing masks and social distancing of 1.5-2 meters has been in place almost from the beginning, with fines being given to anyone that doesn't comply. All of the schools and almost all of the jobs were required to be done from home, except for those working in stores or trucking, and if your job wasn't one that could be done from home, or you didn't have internet for work/school, you had to find a way to either make do without, or go out and find work hoping you don't get caught.
Punishment for breaking the driving restrictions and/or curfew is still in place, and include heavy fines and 1-3 year jail time.
The government has tried to help those from the lower classes, giving a small percentage of them an aide of $60, and not charging electricity, but with the economic problems that the country has been in, they haven't been able to do much to relieve the situation.

Currently, they have lifted a number of restrictions, allowing most people to go about their work. However, there still are many restrictions as far as who can work, the number of hours you can work, etc..
We are still under a curfew that goes from 9-5 on weeknights, and 7-5 on weekends, as well as the abolition of sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the weekends, because of the number of people getting together and partying. Meetings in groups of more than 25 people are strictly prohibited, and then only among family...Church services are either prohibited or strictly controlled with a greatly reduced number of attendees and duration.

We are currently able to use public transportation whenever we need within the curfew hours, but only to travel locally, and using your personal vehicle is still restricted to certain days. Technically only one person per family is allowed to go out and buy groceries, but at least here in Tena that is not enforced, so we have gone out as a family a few times, to alleviate the pressure on the boys and Cinthia from being shut in at home for months on an end.
Government confirmed cases:  94,459          COVID-19 related deaths:   9,458
Locally, in the last month many more cases have sprung up, and there are currently over 1,000 in the province where we live, most of them in the city that is 15 minutes away. A number of people we know have recently lost family members to the virus, and there are a lot of people treating cases with natural and ancestral remedies, rather than going to the hospital which cannot handle all of the health emergencies.
A friend of ours was recently admitted to the hospital with an emergency appendix operation, during which they found a suspicious lump and sent it to be tested for cancer. Even though she had just had surgery, and was still waiting for the test results, they still rushed her out of the hospital the next day to free up the hospital bed.

This is the same story all over the country. The hospital systems are still collapsed, with people not being allowed in unless they are in extreme danger, so as not to become infected by the virus. Many health workers have gotten the virus from inadequate protection, and the hospitals do not have what is needed to keep up with the demand.

During this time, we are so thankful to be together and to be safe and healthy. God has been so good to us, and even with uncertainties all around us, we know that our confidence is placed firmly in Christ, and Him alone!

Despite not being able to travel to the communities, or hold our kids' clubs, we are doing a lot of ministry right from home. We have been in constant contact with the pastors that have access to cell phone service, and have also been doing a bit of teaching/counseling over the phone.

A few of the kids' clubs are working, but all of the ones in the jungle area are closed, as the local and government restrictions are a lot stronger here. We have started to make some material and videos, and publish it online, through Whatsapp and Facebook, for the kids that do have access to the internet.
PRAISE REPORT:

Through the online sharing of the word, and the sharing of the food kits, a number of people have given their lives to the Lord, and the faith of many of God's children has been strengthened! GOD IS GOOD!
We have been so blessed with people who have contacted us about partnering with our food kits program!! We have had people both contact us directly, and also others partner through our mission, Foundation for Missions. 

For the past three months we have been handing out food kits to families that have been affected directly by the crisis' that Ecuador is going through, both the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis; and a number of them have lost family members to the virus. We have been in quarantine and restrictions for close to 150 days now, and even though over half of the population are now allowed to go back to work, it is with less work time and less pay, and there are still those that can´t work at all.
You can read more about the food kits and people that families that we have been able to assist here.
Check out the whole photo album! More pictures added!
We are so thankful for donations that have come in to help with making and handing out of food kits to those that have been greatly affected by the virus, either having lost a family member or not being able to go out and work.

In times like these, it may feel like we have to pick and choose, to know that we won't be able to help everyone that greatly needs it...but knowing that the food is a Godsend to those we are able to help, makes all the difference. 

We plan on handing out many more kits, so if you are able to partner with us, with $15 can put together a food kit that will feed a family for almost a week!
If you are able to partner with our ministry, and help give a meal to those these families that need them, please contact us. You can donate online below.
Partner here!
As there are several options on the website, please send us an email to let us know that you are giving for this specific purpose.

PRAYER REQUESTS

  1. Pray for pastor Octavio and his family, as they are going through the loss of two nephews in just under a month's time.
  2. Pray for pastor Bryan as he is facing decisions and change in his ministry, even as both of his parents are struggling with cancer.
  3. Pray for a dozen different families, brothers and sisters in Christ, that have lost a father, husband, wife, son, or daughter to the virus.
  4. Pray for the hundreds of families that we have been giving out food kits too...that God would continue to provide the means to keep handing out food, and that they would see and receive the love of Christ shown through this.
  5. Pray that God will open the doors and show us the right vehicle for our ministry. We are praying that He will provide a trusty, not too old pick-up that fits our budget.
  6. Pray for our the many pastors, churches, communities, and kids clubs as we go through this time, for safety, comfort, and assurance that God is in control, and that only in Him will we put out trust!
More and more people are not receiving our updates and shares on our Facebook page, and receiving our emails. You can check our Page and Website to see if you missed anything! You can also reply to send a message and ask how were doing!
The hymn "In Christ Alone" sung in Quechua, a native language that comes directly from the Incans, with many different dialects spoken in Ecuador and Peru.
Many blessings from our family, you are in our prayers!!! Stay safe!
We would like to ask you to prayerfully consider personally being part of our ministry here in the Amazon jungle region of Ecuador. It is through your prayers and partnership that God's word can comfort the least of these, break chains in the Ecuadorian youth, build his church and equip the future generation of Ecuadorians to reach their own with our Savior's love.

When you give financially, when you present us before God in your prayers, or when you share about our ministry and what God is doing here in Ecuador with others, maybe with your church or a friend/colleague, you are a part of what God does here!

Your one time or recurring financial partnership can be made online at foundationformissions.com. Here you school down to Missionary/Ambassador, and select Mark and Cinthia Blosser, Ecuador. You can also send a check made out to:

The Foundation
PO Box 560233
Orlando, FL
32856-0233 USA
(In the memo just write Mark and Cinthia Blosser, Ecuador)

You can also donate in Canada and right here in Ecuador. Please write to us at helpingothers89@mail.com, or respond to this email to find out more.
All donations are tax deductible and will be used to further Gods' kingdom.

If you wish for your donations to go to a specific need, such as vehicle, sunday school material, food kits, etc you may tag it as such and shoot us a quick note!
We love to hear what God is doing in your life, how we can better pray for you, and that you are praying for us. Please take the time to write and let us know!
Website
Facebook Page
YouTube
Missions Page
Copyright © 2020 Mark and Cinthia in Ecuador, All rights reserved.