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April Update
Stewart & Anna-Claire Cusick

What have we been at?

Well other than visiting Shell and the hospital (which you can read about below, apologies it’s a bit long), not much, just learning language.  We are currently locked up in our homestay for the weekend, good for studying not good for our sanity!!  This is because the country has just implemented restrictions for last weekend and the following 3 that you have to be in your house from 8pm on Friday and can’t leave until 5am on Monday.  Also, during the week, you have to be in the house from 8pm and you can’t leave until 5am.  The reason for the lockdown is that the hospitals are full, especially where we are in Quito, the infection rates are high and the medics are being worked to the bone.  Hopefully, the restriction work and people will be able to get back you their jobs soon as so many people have very little money for food etc at the minute.
Our trip to Shell and the Hospital…

We did make it to Shell thankfully, it was a bit touch and go at one point with new restriction brought in for the holidays.  The journey there was lovely and its was great to see parts of the country other than Quito.  We arrived on the Friday afternoon and as soon we got our room, we received a called from Dr. Wolff telling us to come and see the hospital now as he wasn’t free the rest of the weekend.  It was a bit of a mad dash up to the hospital from the hotel especially as had just been traveling for 6 hours.  However, when we got their Dr Wolff and his wife (also Doctor) gave us a lightning tour of the place.  It was so quick and unexpected that we forgot to take any photos whoops!  However you can see the photo above of the hospital and the new sign out front.  We can report that the hospital was a lot bigger than we expected and very well kept.  There are lots of renovations and improvements going on and they have big plans for the place.  They have lots of equipment and funding which is good.  We also found out that they have managed to purchase the property instead of renting.  The one thing that they could really do with more of is staff, so it’s good we will be there soon!
After the hospital we visited the Salazars who are long term friends of the Deerings (missionaries in Glenabbey who worked in the hospital over 15 years ago).  They had text us the night before we left to ask us to come for dinner and then go to a worship night in the Steve Saint memorial house. 
They were lovely and are currently working on water and sanitation projects in the Jungle as part of Voz y Manos (Reach Beyond in Ecuador).  At the worship night we meet lots of missionaries that live in the town, most of which seemed to be from Texas.  We meet up with another mission couple Johnathan and Bekah Pifer who, the next week, we had dinner with in Quito while they were visiting.
From Saturday morning till Sunday evening, we spoke only in our limited Spanish.  This is because the next morning we woke to meet Hanna Ericksson, a friend of Latin Link Ecuador, she works with a couple of tribes in the Jungle a few hours from Shell.  She also doesn’t speak any English.  We also meet the Bezemer family who are part of Latin Link, Jaap works in the hospital as a Doctor and Linda is a mum of 6 children.  They also chose not to speak in English, as Linda only has limited English.  They also run a tribal church in a village near Shell called Sacha Runa, he is the pastor and she runs the Sunday School.  We attended the Church on Sunday which was great to experience.  These guys work really hard in the hospital and church, but he is also doing a PHD and she helps to provide the education material for the kids in the village during lockdown.  During our time with the family and Hanna we had some very deep discussions and also did a few bible studies.  It pushed our Spanish to the limits and I felt a bit ill afterwards due to the mental effort required!  See below the church they work in, the family and the entrance to the town with the statue.
Finally in Shell we meet up with Ian and Linda McFarland on the Sunday night, he’s an Omagh man and she is from Oregon.  We bumped into Linda while at Dr Wolff’s house and she invited us round for a feed.  They are in their 60’s and due to retire next year, they work for Voz y Manos also and run Medical Caravans into the jungle to the remote tribes.  It was good to hear a familiar accent and speak in English again!  After that we headed to Banos a tourist town an hour away for 2 nights of rest for Stewart’s birthday.  That's us getting soaked in the image when we visited the waterfall.  The trip as a whole was class as the day before we left, we had nothing planned but ended up almost too busy!  We got to network with so many other missionaries and we felt really welcomed to Shell.

What are our next plans…

Well Anna-Claire had decided to go ahead and take the Spanish medical exam on the 21st of May, but as am writing this she has found out that it has been presponed.  This is probably a good thing as she is also currently studying for an exam on June 8th that was cancelled last year.  Thankfully, she is being kept busy with this as it gives me a chance to study Spanish in the evening and catch up with her!  Other than that, we have no other major plans partly due to the lockdown in country and our focus on language for the next few months.
Prayer Requests
  • For the medical staff of Ecuador and the conditions in the hospitals.
  • Anna-claires exam on the 8th of June and time to study.
  • That we can keep positive during the lockdown and focused on our studies.
We are extremely grateful for all your loving prayers and support.
Please become part of our work
For those of you who are interested in our support group feel free to contact Hannah Das  We meet once a month on a Thursday via zoom for prayer and a catch up.  We love to hear about peoples lives back home so please join us.
Support Link
Please see our contact information below.

UK Tel: +447969386770
Ecuador Tel: +593989899371

UK Tel: +447821224993
Ecuador Tel: +593989890445

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Stewart and Anna-Claire Cusick Latin Link · 4 The Folly, · Antrim, Co. Antrim BT41 1LY · United Kingdom

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