Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Look Back...
  • February 12 - 16 : Ecuador celebrated "Carnaval". David and I both had some time off work and enjoyed spending some extra time with friends.
  • March 4 - 5: Three Alas de Socorro employees went on a short mission trip to a village in the jungle that has refused missionaries for about 3 years. They recently told Alas that they would like to have missionaries start coming back to teach them about the Bible! The trip included activities with children, singing, and preaching. Alas hopes to begin regular mission trips to this, and other villages. Many employees are excited about this opportunity.
  • March: Nate Saint Memorial School participated in a school-wide Read-A-Thon. We set a goal of 50,000 pages and went above and beyond that - almost 70,000 pages! Our students were rewarded with a very yummy sundae bar, complete with homemade ice cream and over 10 toppings!
  • February/March: Our school was blessed to have several volunteers come to teach art, music, and P.E. as well as share during our chapel time each Monday. Volunteers included grandparents of students, a niece of a fellow missionary, a church group (the same church that built our school library) and a college group.
  • March 29: Our students presented an Easter chapel which included music, drama, and reciting scripture. They did an amazing job and really conveyed the joy of Christ's resurrection.
  • April 4: David and I celebrated Easter with a 5:00am church service, a brunch with other MAF missionaries, and a cook out at our cousin's house. We are also spending Easter weekend with Nanki, who is staying with us for a few days.
  • April 1 - 6: NSMS is out of class for Spring Break. Beth was able to travel to Quito for a couple days with fellow teacher Shari Meuser for a relaxing vacation.
Looking ahead - How you can pray and praise with us!

  • Praise God for his Son, Jesus, who gives us forgiveness, hope, and joy!
  • Pray for David as he will be traveling to Miami for a week along with other MAF directors from the Latin America region. Pray that it will be an informative and refreshing time for all in attendance to the meetings. David will be gone from April 11 - 17.
  • Praise God for good health for both of us. Beth was recently sick with a bacterial infection as well as a cold but is feeling much better.
  • Pray for the finances at Alas. They have suspended flying non-emergency health flights because the government has failed to pay them for the past five months. Pray for wisdom for the David and the rest of the board as they are making decisions of how to address this situation further.
  • Pray for Beth's Kindergarten class as she will have two "new" students joining after Spring Break. One student has been in the States for over a month and the other is a new student for the first time this year. Pray for easy transitions for the entire class.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 2010

Below are some updates from Shell! I will be sending out a printed "snail-mail" newsletter in the next week or two. If you do not already receive my printed newsletters, please send me your address and I'll get you added to the list!

A Look Back...

  • December 19th: David and I arrived in the United States for the very first time together!
  • December 24th: We were able to celebrate Christmas with my parents, brothers and sisters-in-law and niece.
  • December 28th: My sister was able to join us for another celebration. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law could not make it.
  • December 30th: David and I hopped on a plane and flew back to Ecuador.
  • December 31st/January 1st: We celebrated the New Year with David's extended family...about 60 people!
  • January 6th: Classes started back at NSMS and David was already back at the hanger, working away.
  • January 8th: I received a Visa stamped in my passport that says I am officially an Ecuadorian resident!
  • January 13th: David and I grieved with the LaBouef family as they buried their 2 year old son.
  • January 30th: I organized a cookout with David's friends to celebrate his birthday (which was on February 1st).
Looking ahead - How you can pray and praise with us!

  • Praise God for the amazing visit we had to the States and for the chance for family and friends to finally meet David.
  • Pray for the LaBouef family as they continue to deal with day-to-day life without Joshua. Pray for Matthew, a student in my class, who is old enough to understand the loss and sees how it effects his parents.
  • Praise for the opportunities God is giving me and David to become involved in the ministry of "Casa de Fe", the orphanage here in Shell. Rosa (12 years) and Nanki (4 months) are now both attending church with us each Sunday and spending part of the afternoon together. (See their attached picture!)
  • Pray for Nanki as he will have surgery on his leg the week of February 22nd. A group of volunteers is coming from the States to perform several surgeries, including Nanki's. It looks as though they will need to straighten and lengthen his bone.
  • Praise for God meeting all of our practical needs (food, shelter, clothing) as well as some blessings (trip to the States, the purchase of a used recliner and couch).
  • Pray for our relationship with Rosa, that we will be able to demonstrate what a true love relationship should be. She comes from an abusive background and has a distorted view of husbands and fathers.
December 2009

A Look Back...

  • November 13th: Our school held a Poetry Night. It was a huge success!
  • November 26th: I was able to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal for David and his dad. I loved sharing some of my culture with them.
  • November 27th: The MAF missionary community shared a progressive Thanksgiving dinner. We loved sharing food and just spending time together with our MAF family here in Shell.
  • December 5th: David and I were blessed to attend the wedding of his cousin in a nearby city. It was great to see David's family that live away and we don't get a chance to visit very often.
  • December 10th: Our school presented a Christmas program to kick off the Christmas season. Many people from the missionary community attended, as well as several Ecuadorian friends. I was able to bring my Spotlight students since we usually have English practice on Thursday evenings. They really enjoyed singing some Christmas carols in English!

Looking ahead - How you can pray and praise with us!

  • Praise God that David received a 5-year visa for the States!!! Thank you for all of your prayers concerning this recent request.
  • Pray for safety as we travel to the States to visit family and friends. We leave Ecuador on December 19th and return on the 30th. We hope to see as many people as possible while we are in for this short visit, but family is definitely a priority for us. This will be David's first trip to the States. We're excited he will finally get a chance to see where I grew up and to meet more family and friends that weren't able to attend the wedding, especially my grandparents.
  • Praise God for the blessing that baby Nanki has been to us. He is a joy to have each week and it's been something new that David and I are able to experience together. We're getting plenty of practice changing dirty diapers!
  • Praise God that meetings David led with the ALAS employees were a success. They were able to make a clear plan for the next year of service.
  • Pray for my relationship with Rosa, a 12-year old girl from Casa de Fe (where Nanki also lives). Because the children at the orphanage don't receive much one-on-one attention, I am hoping to spend more time with Rosa, who comes from a very difficult childhood. We made and decorated Christmas cookies together and I plan to continue to cook with her on a regular basis. She is a sweet girl with a great attitude, but is still healing from her past. Pray that Rosa will experience God's unconditional love and form a relationship with Him.
November 2009

Here's a little update of what Beth and David are up to in Shell, Ecuador!
  • October 8th - Beth celebrated her 28th birthday with a party from students, dinner with friends, and a trip to nearby BaƱos with David and friends.
  • October 23rd, 24th, and 25th - David attended a mission's conference in Machala (the coast of Ecuador) to represent Alas de Socorro del Ecuador. He had a great time meeting other Latin American missionaries in Ecuador and was able to share about the ministry of ADSE with others.
  • October 31st - Our church had an evangelistic outreach in "downtown" Shell, with worship, a video created by the youth group, and a short message. Many people attended and heard how they can have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • November 1st - We started taking care of a baby Nanki who lives at the orphanage (Casa de Fe) here in Shell. Every Sunday we will watch Nanki for the morning and part of the afternoon to give Patti Sue (who runs the orphanage) a break from taking four babies to church with her. If you want to read more about the ministry of Casa de Fe go to
  • November 4th - Beth led parent/teacher conferences at school. She feels blessed to have the support of the parents of her students and appreciates their help in the classroom from time to time.
  • November 7th - We attended the funeral of Elian Orellana, a 6-year-old boy from our church who has been battling cancer. The funeral was very God-honoring and the family focused on God's wisdom throughout the service. Please continue to pray for the Orellana family as they deal with their loss.
Ways you can pray and offer praise with us:
  • Pray for David as he has an appointment with the US Embassy on Tuesday, November 10th, at 9:00am. He is applying for a tourist Visa so we can visit West Virginia around Christmas time.
  • Ecuador is experiencing severe droughts right now and the government has started rationing our electricity (which is run by dams) every day. Pray for rain!
  • Praise God for a generator the MAF missionaries are allowed to share with the hanger during our black outs. It keeps our food from spoiling by keeping our freezers and refrigerators running, allows us to have water through our electric water pump, and also allows us to have fans running during these extremely hot and humid days.
  • Pray for a meeting that the employees and missionaries of ADSE will have on Friday, November 13th discussing plans for 2010. David will be leading this meeting.
  • Praise God for the opportunity we have to help at Casa de Fe by taking care of Nanki each week.
  • Pray for Nanki's club foot, that money will be provided for the surgery he needs so he can return to the jungle to live with his family.
  • Pray for the Orellana family at this time of loss.

October 2009 Update

I will be sending a prayer letter out in the next couple weeks, so this monthly update will be a short one! Just wanted to let you all know that I recently put some pictures up on the internet if you care to check them out. I've also put a link below to our wedding photographers' blog. He put up a few pictures, as well as a video.

Beth and David
September 2009

A little update on what's been going on in my life and ministry in Shell, Ecuador.

  • July 20th - Celebrated in the wedding of a good friend in West Virginia: Praise God for the wonderful visit I had with family and friends.
  • August 8th - David and I exchanged vows in front of our family and friends in Shell. (See attached pictures!): Pray that God will give us wisdom as we adjust to living and serving together.
  • September 2nd - I started my first day of school teaching Kindergarten. I have 8 students this year. I am also teaching 2nd grade Science and Social Studies each afternoon, as well as Art to the entire school two afternoons a week: Pray for patience and creativity as I teach our youngest students.
A look into the future!
  • September 7th - David submits his final project for this semester and has a month of vacation: Praise that we have more time together in the evenings, when he is normally in class!
  • September 11th - "Back-to-School Night": Pray that I will clearly communicate my goals and expectations to the parents of my students.
We are blessed by your continued prayers!
Beth and David - Or is it David and Beth??? :-)
So, for some reason, this whole blogging thing has been a real challenge for me to keep up with. I don't know why, but sending out monthly e-mail updates is much more my style. So, I've decided to keep up with this blog, posting my monthly updates here, as well!

That said, I will post previous updates I've sent out. And, when March rolls around, you'll see a new one!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wow...I have REALLY slacked off on this whole blogging thing! I could give you a million excuses, like a ton to do at the end of the school year, going to the States to be in a wedding and to visit with family and friends, planning my own wedding, and then, getting married! But, I guess the main excuse I have is just that I haven't taken the time to sit down and do this thing. Not that that's really an excuse, but you know what I mean.

So, here's a quick run-down on my summer and then there will hopefully be more consistent updates from now on!

  • May/June: I spent most of these months trying to finish teaching all of my curriculum this year to my 1st/2nd graders. It was a big goal for me, since I've never been able to do that since teaching multiple grades in a shorter school year. It took a lot of extra planning time, but we got it all in! :-) I also spent these months saying goodbye to several missionary families who were leaving...some moving on to other mission fields, others moving back to the States to move on to other things. It was sad and emotional, like always, but I still am always thanking God that I have the opportunity to meet so many people from all over the world right here in little Shell.
  • June/July: I had some friends, Jason and Sarah Frazer, along with little Jack, visit to get a first-hand look at missions. We had a great time, some great conversations, and I think they left with a clearer view of medical missions and can now pray more specifically of how God might use them in international missions. I also traveled to the States for my good friend Martha's wedding, was able to meet my niece Taylor, and was also able to catch up with friends and family.
  • July/August: I returned to Shell to finish planning my wedding with David Montero. My mom and friend Tina, arrive on July 25, 15 other family and friends arrived on August 1, and David and I were finally married on August 8!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Semana Santa: Palm Sunday - Resurrection Sunday!

I had a VERY full Easter weekend. It all started on Friday night, when I went to church to hear David preach. Almost 3 hours later, we left! Yes, that's right. I sat through a 3 hour church service in Spanish. Don't worry...David didn't preach that entire time! :-) After the service was over, we were all served empanadas and coffee. However, my night did not end there! David's uncles, aunts, and cousins were all at an uncle's house making humitas. Of course, when we got there, the fun was just beginning. I've come to the conclusion that any family event here doesn't really start until after 10:00pm, no matter what time they tell you to be there! David was cracking everyone up at his uncle's house. It was one of those moments where I thought, "I really wish I knew why this was so funny!" It's one thing to understand the words, it's a completely different thing to understand the humor behind the words. David says the same about my English. Apparently whenever I'm with "gringos" I make everyone laugh and he doesn't understand why it is so funny. Well, at least our friends think we're funny! :-)

Saturday I was able to spend time with my good friend Daniela and our other friend Bradley. We went to a bird "zoo" in Puyo and saw some pretty awesome birds from all around the world. Later, David had a soccer game, but ended up not being able to play because he had the wrong kind of shoes. (How that makes any kind of difference on an outdoor soccer field, I have no idea. Looks like he'll need to buy new ones!)

Sunday we had an Easter church service at 5:00am. Yep, that's right. 5:00 in the morning! I can't remember that last time I was up that early. And of course this one couldn't be shorter than the Good Friday service. It was another 3 hour service! However, we were rewarded again with chicken salad sandwiches afterward! :-)

After our little snack, we all headed to the river for some baptisms. My friend, Daniela, got baptized! She was so excited about getting baptized on Easter Sunday and was even more excited to be able to share that day with family and friends. There were also six other people getting baptized that morning. It was amazing to be out in God's creation, sharing in the obedience of his young children!

After the baptism I had some friends over for breakfast to celebrate Daniela's decision. It was really fun to celebrate with many of the youth from the church, with whom David had worked as a youth pastor for several years. We had a great time enjoying some yummy food and just talking. Of course, it didn't last too long since everyone had been up since before 5:00am.

After a nice long Sunday afternoon nap (gotta love those!) our church had yet another activity that evening. They marched around Shell for about 30 minutes with lanterns and banners. They called it "March for Christ's Victory" and had banners with phrases like, "Vote For Christ". (Elections are later this month so there are political banners EVERYWHERE!) The march ended up at an outdoor basketball court where we watched a film about Jesus' life told by Mary Magdalene. A LOT of people walking by stopped in to watch the film and sing some praise songs. It was a great weekend, remembering Christ's death and celebrating His resurrection!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I thought I'd fill you in on what I did last weekend to give you a little taste of my every day life here in Shell. My weekend started out with our usual "young people" a.k.a. "singles" a.k.a. "people without families" get-together. (It's called a lot of things, because most people don't like being labeled as single!) Anyway, I started hosting dinners my first year here in Shell for the other young/single missionaries. But, it had died off recently due to the lack of other single missionaries. So, we've decided to start it back up again. It's always fun to get together after the work week and just relax. And of course, it's always even more fun when food is involved! Sometimes people bring the random instruments they play and we sing praise and worship songs together. It's always a good time!

On Saturday, I went to Ambato, a city about 2 1/2 hours from Shell, with David and a group of my girlfriends. Probably the reason that missionaries from Shell go to Ambato about 95% of the time is for the shopping! Ambato has an actual MALL with a GROCERY STORE! It's pretty exciting. :-) Here in Shell, we buy our "groceries" at one store, our fruits and veggies at a market, and our meats from a butcher. So, as you can imagine, going to an actual grocery store, similar to a Super Wal-Mart, is pretty exciting for us. And every time I go, I get super-excited about the littlest things. Last time I went I found spicy brown mustard and couldn't wait to get home and eat some on a ham sandwich! Of course, I had to buy the sliced ham in Ambato, too, but it all worked out.

Sunday was "Dia de Mujer" - Day of the Woman. How can you not love a country that celebrates women?!?! Young or old, single or married, every female in Ecuador gets an entire day to celebrate the fact that she was born a female! Random people give you roses on the street, everyone tells you "Happy Day", and churches have special programs to celebrate the female gender. Our church had special music, a drama, and a time of prayer for all of the women as we went up in front of the church. And before we left, they gave us each a rose and a piece of chocolate. Boy, do they know how to treat women or what?!?! :-) They also had cake after the service. It was pretty awesome!

My friend, Melissa, got baptized on Sunday, so that was pretty awesome, too! Melissa works as a teacher at the orphanage in Shell, Casa de Fe. (Click here to read more about the amazing ministry at Casa de Fe!) She was baptized as a baby and has recently felt convicted to get baptized again when she actually understands what it symbolizes. She decided to invite a few friends and children from the orphanage to be a part of her baptism in the river near the construction site for the new orphanage. And Melissa asked David to perform the baptism. It was really exciting to see him in that role and I was even able to translate David's mini-sermon before he baptized her. (Some people present weren't fluent in Spanish, including Melissa.) After the baptism, some of the older children from the orphanage started asking questions about baptism, so David is going to go on Saturday to talk to them some more about baptism and explain it in more detail. Wouldn't it be awesome if some of the children followed God's command from watching the example of Melissa?

And although this might not sound like a very exciting thing for you, it was for me. I FINALLY caught a rat that had been in my house for over a week. I was so excited to hear the trap go off! :-) And even more excited to get that rat out of my house. Although I'm not so sure it can compete with buying groceries from a "real" grocery store, getting roses and chocolate, and seeing my friend get baptized.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

I'm blogging! I've finally joined the rest of the world, specifically the missionary world, and decided to start a blog. I hope this blog will help my friends, family, and other supporters get a feeling of my every day life as a missionary teacher here in Shell, Ecuador. Please read these blogs, pray for me, and then post comments and let me know what you think!

Some question you might have about me:

Who are you and who is that handsome guy in the picture with you? - Well, I am a missionary with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Shell, Ecuador where I have been teaching at Nate Saint Memorial School for three years now! And that hunk in the picture with me is my fiance, David Montero. You'll hear more about him in a later blog!

Where are you from? - I am originally from West Virginia, where I grew up near Huntington. However, I also had the awesome opportunity to live in Shell, Ecuador on short-term occasions as a child. My father was a doctor in a mission hospital in Shell and I attended eighth grade at Nate Saint Memorial School. And God's brought me back here once again to teach other missionaries' kids in the same school! (It's a tad out-dated, but click here to read more about the school where I teach.)

Why did you move to Ecuador? - The short version - God told me to!

The long version - I have a relationship with God that allows me to follow His leading and trust Him for the very best with my life. I can look back now and see how God prepared me to come to Shell almost three years. Every path He's taken me down has led me here. And now that I'm here, I have no doubt this is where God wants me living and serving Him. And after following His leading, He's also blessed with with an amazing husband-to-be, whom I never would have met if I hadn't followed God's steps as He led me to Shell.

How can I support you? - Well, first and foremost, PRAY! I have no doubt that God can use me as a teacher because of His strength, patience, and encouragement through the prayers of those He's brought across my path. If you are interested in supporting me financially, visit