Monday, December 27, 2010

Fogg going away open house

Hello all,

I would like to invite (possibly re-invite) all of you to our "Going Away" open house.

Wednesday December 29 from 7-9 pm.

It will be at Park Christian Reformed Church on 32nd Street in Holland, (next to Tuesink's Farm).
        1496 West 32nd Street - Holland, MI 49423

You do not need to RSVP, but if you know you are coming, please drop us a note so we can have enough cake for everyone.

We hope you can make it.
 
Thank you for everything each one of you has done to build into our lives to help prepare us for this journey.

Blessed to be a blessing,

Eric & Renee Fogg Family.

*Please send us an e-mail if you would like to be put on our quarterly e-news letter or on our prayer team.*

--
Eric and Renee Fogg Family

Missionaries to Shell Ecuador for HCJB Global
- Community development with water projects and hygiene education

Blog: www.ericandrenee.com

Skype: ericandrenee.fogg

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Picture Style #2

We ordered footlockers a month ago - our choice of colors consisted of orange, lime green or fuschia. We ordered 2 lime green ones. Then we decided we liked them a lot so we ordered 2 more - lime green was out of stock - so fuschia it is - at least we won't lose our luggage!

Our final weeks in Michigan - picture style!

We thought we would give you a picture glimpse of our last few weeks. Above - one of our kitchen cupboards- it has not been that bare since we moved in 14.5 years ago.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Packing has begun

Well, its not much, but its started.

The packing process is a real reminder of the "yeah" and "yucks" of going.

Each item in the house and every item we own has the four boxes.  Take it with us to Costa Rica (we can only take what we can carry), take it with us to Ecuador (we can take 10 quantity 55 gallon drums to be shipped one year from now), store it permanently (as long as it all fits on a 15 foot by 20 foot area) or get rid of it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our day at the Denver Zoo!


A taste of New Guinea Pidgin

This is an official language - not kidding!

Below is a brief conversation between two people that have just met. See if you can figure it out.

Gude

Gude

Nem bilong mi Soak, na yu husat?

Nem biklong mi Maruap.

Sekan

Ating mi mas igo nau.

Orait, mi lukim yu bihain.

Gude.

Let me know what you think - perhaps someday I will translate for you and demonstrate the appropriate motions with it! :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Definitely not a linguist - yet?

Wow!

Have we learned about the word Yet! I may not speak Spanish YET, but I am working on it.

This week has not been anything like we had thought. We came into the PILAT training being told that "all languages were the same at root." This is not exactly true. We did learn the common denominator - "you are human"!!!! Nothing else is the same.

We have spent 5 days with Dwight & Barbara Gradin and their team of linguists. We have learned phonetics, a new alphabet, a new language and have also learned how to give ourselvesia headache. Turns out that you can write language three ways. Your language, another language or phonetically. We have spent 5 days making hundreds of sounds from foreign languages to allow each of us to better hear and listen to how our mouths work.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekend photos

View of the Eisenhower tunnel from Loveland pass.

11,500 feet - we tried to make a snowman but it was not good packing snow.
Lake Dillon - just west of the Loveland Pass.
Burial site of Buffalo Bill.

Long weekend

The boys with their new friends - too bad their friends are moving to Tanzania!
Adrianne and her new friend - Morgan!
Adrianne versus the lady camel. A farm
nearby has 2 camels mixed in with their horses.
This past Friday at noon we had to say goodbye to new friends. Our 3 week cultural awareness training ended. Many of those who left will be leaving for their respective fields in January like ourselves. We gave them a "healthy" goodbye by lining the street and waving and hollering as they drove out of sight.

11 "units" (families, singles, couples) are staying on for the next 2 weeks of language acquisition training. Of those 11 units 8 of them left for other locations for the long weekend. Our family, one other family and one single remain. It went from chaos to really quiet!

Friday we were able to watch the 4 kids of the other family while they went out. Yesterday we took a day trip to Dillion, CO - just on the other side of the Eisenhower tunnel. On our return trip we went over the Loveland Pass so that the boys could rock hunt at 12,200 feet. It was a glorious, sunny day. 43* at the pass. 73* in Palmer Lake at our home away from home. The ski resorts were packed.

Today we were able to connect with the son of some friends. He is a 1st year cadet at the Air Force Academy. We were able to worship at a local church and eat lunch.

Tomorrow at 4:00, 6 new "units" arrive to begin the next step in our training. Although it has been exhausting, we have also enjoyed the time away from the many things that keep us busy - sometimes overly so at our home.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grief and Loss

Yesterday our morning session focused on going through the process of letting go and grieving our losses in the areas of safety, identity, home, competency, and support system when we leave for the mission field.

We have been extremely busy over the past few months and having to sit down and focus on the losses made us realize how much we truly will miss.

Our group was incredibly open and honest about their losses and it was a very emotional time of accepting our new reality.

During this time our kids were on a 6 miles hike - teaching them about endurance. Our kids enjoyed it a great deal and learned some valuable life lessons from it.

We are half way through our training here at MTI. The dorm style living has it pros and cons. A big Pro is that we have gotten to know people on an intimate basis rather quickly. The con is sickness. One person gets something and it goes around and around. Currently I am on the recovery side of a throat/cough bug. A few people are down with the flu.

This weekend is transition time so about 2/3's of our group will be leaving and 6 more families will join us for the next portion of training which is language acquisition. We are looking forward to having a long weekend and seeing some sites.

Please continue to pray for our house as it remains for sale. Interest has picked up since we lowered the price, yet again, but no offers.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MTI photos 2

Our home away from home.
The family with a storm trooper in downtown Monument
on Saturday. It took this man 4 months to make the
costume. Worthy of being in the movie!



6 MTI participants ran in a 5K on Saturday. Above are 2 of them. The race was run on the Santa Fe Trail which is directly behing MTI so 20 of us went to cheer them on.
Walking across a bridge in class.

MTI Photos

Bowling at Pinz Bowling Center with 25 of us.
More bowling.
Relaxing.

A group in the training room.
The view from our room, known as elephant rock.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Taken Hostage!

5x8x5 plywood box. 2x 3 foot opening in one side. 6 air holes drilled in the top. 18 people squeezed in. You must remain quiet - you are being hunted. The air is stale and it is mostly dark.
I am separated from Eric. The kids are not involved.

Every 10-15 minutes a note is dropped through one of the air holes. A decision needs to be made. Are you willing to take in 5 more people? One of them may be a spy for the government - they could give you away.

Another note - select 5 people who are to be released. How to select? Do you believe the note?

The moms of the group are selected, after all they have children. The "bad guy" enters. He demands that 1 mom sit in a chair blocking the opening. A pillow case is put over her head. A male is selected to lay face down under the chair. The "bad guy" pulls out a gun and begins waving it around. He finally lowers it and points it ............. at me! He demands I crawl out - under the chair, over the man lying down. I am stuck -the "bad guy" is getting antsy, his volumne goes up 2 notches. The 15 remaining people in the plywood box begin pushing. I am out.

"FACE THE WALL - HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK". I comply.

"CRAWL OVER HERE AND LAY FACE DOWN". I comply.

A gunshot. So much for escape. Am I dead?

2 more people lie down on the floor. Many shots ring out.

A foot in my back - "GET UP NOW!" I comply. (Apparently I'm not dead.)

"SIT IN THIS CHAIR". I sit. "HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD".

A gun is pointed at my head, another at my jugular. The "bad guy" demands that the missionaries start coming out of the box. If any of them try anything - I am the recipient of a bullet.


The simulation ends - my heart rate slowly returns to normal. I realize that I was ready to meet my Lord and Saviour. No thoughts of leaving this world behind - just shoot me and get it over with. I know where I am going.

This was how I spent my morning at training today. Today's topic - "Who you really are under stress."

Where was Eric? In another box with 20 other people.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Church - or was it?

Our family along with two single people from training wanted to go to a Spanish Church in town. As far as we could tell there was one in Colorado Springs (30 minutes away) so off we went. Directions were good and we arrived on time to a very nice small church in a older neighborhood. It was all boarded up with a lock on the door. Hmmm.......

Plan "B". Everyone was a little disappointed so we drove around the neighborhood and found a Christian Church that was just about to begin. We arrived at this small ch
urch (maybe 70 people) about 5 minutes early and were directed downstairs for "before church coffee and doughnuts". Now I know you cannot judge a book by its cover, but only one person in the church greeted us. During the "meet and greet" time it went something like this, "HI, I'm Eric." Other person, "mornin". Next person, "Good morning, I'm Eric". Other person, "morning."
A little disappointing to say the least and very sad.

It was not long before the worship started and I was impressed by the little band and choice of songs. The songs were contemporary but sung with the joy of a wet dish towel. During the service, The Lord's Supper was served but all of us missed it as we were used to having a "ceremony" if you will and this was a passing around of the elements with everyone taking the wafer and juice and eating/drinking it right away. We realized we "missed it" when the man stood up to give announcements and announced the speaker. The speaker was obviously a person the church knew well (although it wasn't obvious to us until 1/2 way through the sermon). He had been an itinerant pastor at the church a few years prior. During his time as itinerant pastor he admitted that he was struggling with the sovereignty of God (PTL for honestly!). After a permanent pe
rson was found he returned to his hometown and got involved with wine, women and song. At this point we realized that this "sermon" was his confession, testimony to the church. He was very open and raw and had come to tell of his journey, Gods Grace and his struggles. He was not yet done with his struggle and had not yet fully accepted the Lord's forgiveness.

When the service ended he walked out the back. After we were released I expected many parishioners to approach this man and offer him forgiveness and grace. Not one person did. They all walked out to their cars and left (The Broncos were playing). Some of our group approached him to offer words of encouragement. He is a hurting man. We left feeling very heavy and sad.

So my question is- were we with the church
or just in a building with other people?

I know the church is made up of of messed up, sinful people and we meet 1 or 2 times a week, generally
in a building; but doesn't that meeting involve God's grace? His Love? Our acceptance of others as He accepted us - sins and all? If those are not present - is it the church?


We have been and will be this week challenged with "confronting when necessary", exiting our worlds to enter into the other persons world and seeking Gods grace and understanding in the process. The training last week was rather intense introspective work. We have had some good talks with new friends and our family while processing all of this and I can tell that more are to come.

On the lighter side, we took our mini van - yes the van up to about 10,000 feet on a small one way dirt trail over the mountain pass between Palmer Lake and Woodland Park, Colorado. It was a fantastic view but not exactly the adventure we expected. We were in for a 20 minute drive. Drive up the mountain a little way and then turn around and come down. Not so. No turn around available- so what to do but keep going up. 2 hours later we arrived back where we started from after going over the mountain and then around it to avoid going back over it again. We had a fun time. We stopped and felt our first snow of the yea
r and got some great shots of Pikes Peak. One is below.
Kids at the Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs. Very Interesting place to visit if you have an hour to two.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We are leaving on a jet plane!

Leaving on a jet plane - January 2, 2011. Yes it is official, we have been given permission to attend language school in San Jose, Costa Rica beginning January 4, 2011.

Yesterday, prior to our arrival at MTI we were at HCJB Global Headquarters in Colorado Springs. Our supervisor gave us permission to turn in our paperwork for language school because the paperwork is due in 11 days. We are not 100% funded however. We still need people who are willing to come along side of us and partner with us to raise another $500.00 per month.

We are so thankful for the partners that we currently have. Financial and prayer partners. You all have been a huge blessing to us.

Currently we are at Missionary Training Institute - there are 44 of us here. 6 families with children, 6 married couples without kids and 15 single people. We are one of the "older" couples here. Average age is around 30 and they are from all areas of the country and will be going to every continent (exception Antartica!). A great group of people to spend the next 3 weeks with learning about cultural adaptation. Many of them will be continuing on in the language acquisition program with us too. We are thankful that there are plenty of boys for Kevin and Joshua to play with and even another 12 year old girl for Adrianne.

No easing into the classes today! They get right to the punch. If today is any indication it will be an intense 5 weeks here. We would welcome your prayers and mail if you so desire! Mailing address is: Missionary Training Institute
P.O. Box 1220
Palmer Lake, CO 80133

We will do our best to keep you up to date!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Perserverance through photos

Can I please have a carrot? When we tried to leave and I put up my window, this friendly burro licked it! So glad they don't drool! :)


One of three narrow one lane tunnels we traveled through today.

Crazy Horse Monument
This profile picture is for you mom! :)

Today, our second "family reconnecting" day, was spent viewing large scale works of art and God's awesome, imaginative nature. The theme for the day really was about perseverance. The carver of Mt. Rushmore worked hard and persevered through the Great Depression in order to complete his dream - or mostly complete it. He died 6 months prior to the completion of his project. His son finished it.

This made me think about the many people that we all have in contact with each day. We may be the first step in their process of getting to know Christ on a personal level. We may only meet this person one time and may not be (most likely) the one to lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We may never see the relationship come to completion - but we need to persevere and be one of the steps. Our children or grandchildren or even great-grandchildren may be the generation to complete the tasks and relationships that we started. If we don't start though - there will be nothing to complete!

Our second stop was Crazy Horse - now this project ( in my opinion) is crazy. The project began in 1942 - just a few years after Mt. Rushmore was completed. From the casual observer (which I am) the project has not progressed very far since I was a kid. Talk about perseverance. The project is being worked on with public funds - no government involvement here. The sculpture is only about 1/10th completed and they have been working on it for 68 years! Are we willing to persevere and pray for a family member's salvation for 68 years?

Our third and last stop was Custer State Park - what a glorious place! If you ever get a chance to visit - it is so worth the $15.00 fee to enter. We climbed rocks, hiked around the lake that National Treasure 2 was partially filmed at (VERY partially filmed). We drove around more hairpin turns (when the sign says 5MPH - you know it is a hairpin turn)than I care to count. We went up and down and up again - to the point that our new front brakes were smoking a bit. We saw pronghorns, mule deer, turkeys, buffalo and "the friendly burros." See photos for the burros - I can honestly say that I have never seen the inside of a burros mouth so closely before nor been sneezed on one before - until today. PTL the antibacterial wipes! :)

While driving around this beautiful park we went through 3 very narrow tunnels - again a sign of perseverance. These were not natural tunnels created by God - these were carved out of the mountain, by man, tunnels. One narrow lane - much like the road to heaven. Only one car at a time could enter - what a blessing that all of us have the opportunity to enter heaven - it is not for one man or even one carload. If you haven't taken that opportunity - find someone you know who has and ask them. If you have taken the opportunity then make sure you are part of giving the opportunity to others!

There are so many aspects of our day that we have not shared and so many more photos but our family time is precious so I am off to watch 3 crazy kids in the pool! Blessings.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More photos


Top- the infamous Wall Drug - the kids counted 46 billboards for Wall Drug from the MN/SD border.

Bottom- A baby rattlesnake that was sunning himself on the loop road in the Badlands. We drove within a foot of him and he was not going to move- but his rattle was going!

I had typed out a longer blog about skunks, wallets (Eric dropped his in a parking lot and we did not know it until 130 miles later!), giants, etc... but somehow it is lost in computer space so pictures will have to do!

Skunks, Giants, Wallets and Rattlesnakes





Feeding prairie dogs, kids in the badlands, the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, MN (5:00am and 36 degrees!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A day late and a dollar or two short

To be here or not to be here - that is the question. Initially we were scheduled to leave for our training yesterday - needless to say I am typing this from my kitchen. In order to maintain our sanity and get the large "to do" list done we chose to sleep in our own beds last night and enjoy the beautiful Michigan weather.

So today is the day. At this time we are taking it one hour at a time as far as the leave time. Kids, much to their chagrin are doing homework (mean old mom) and I am cleaning and packing. Eric is off running a long list of errands.

Many people have asked about the training. It is required by HCJB Global but HCJB Global does not host it. It is hosted by Missionary Training Institute, which is located about 10 miles north of HCJB in Palmer Lake, CO. We will be with other missionaries from all different agencies while receiving language training and cultural adaptation training.

On the drive out we hope to stop and see Mt. Rushmore/Badlands and the ever popular Wall Drug!

Our training will end a few days before Thanksgiving and then Lord willing we will return here for 5 weeks before leaving for Costa Rica.

Language school has not been confirmed yet as we are still short of our minimum monthly goal that is required. This means we need families to partner with us for another $500.00 per month before October 28 - in 15 days. The Lord has continued to provide partners for us and we know He will complete what He started. We anticipate this completion yet this fall, however if it is not His timing then we will be here through April and begin language school in May.

Many blessings to you all!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Balance-an illusion?

Balance - that seems to be a word that is eluding our family at the moment. We feel as if our daily activities are on the fast track lately. Our scheduled leave date is October 12 for Colorado. 13 days from now. There are several things we would like to accomplish prior to leaving and each day we make a list of things to do. Each day more items are added to the list while only a few are subtracted. At times (more and more) this is frustrating.

Biblically in Isaiah it tells us to wait upon the Lord in order to renew our strength. This discipline, (and it is one!), gets harder as the list gets longer. Waiting, for me, means sitting quietly for 15 minutes while my mind goes through my entire do list (generally I write it down) and then attempting to just be still. Apparently I need more practice in that area! In spite of my inadequacies in the "being still" department He still is giving me strength for each day.

I have to chuckle as I write this because I had to stop several times while typing to write down something else I remembered needs to be done. I have a feeling that we will be on the cell phone calling family and friends while driving to Colorado asking them to "do this or that" because we forgot.

Thank you for your on-going support through prayer and finances. Depending on how you figure the numbers we are at 90-93% of required funding. This number may change as health care costs are expected to rise in 2011. Please pray for the sale of our home. We recently had it appraised and again have lowered the price to correspond with the appraisal. We know God has just the right buyer in mind!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thank you!

Family and Friends, Thank you seems so inadequate to describe how we feel after yesterday's fund raiser.

Jose and his staff at The Fat Burrito said it was their busiest day ever since they opened 5 years ago. They did an awesome job making up their famous burritos, along with the other 30 items on their menu!

We were so blessed to see people from our home church, our adopted Spanish church and the church across the street from our house eating and laughing together. It was a true picture of "the church" - no denominational barriers.

We apologize for the time delay as the sheer volume of people between 5:00-6:30 was intense. We understand that many of you had other commitments and could not stay. Jose felt bad about that as well however he and his staff worked so hard without a break. At the end of the night the main cook was resting his head on the counter. :)

Thank you for blessing us and Jose with business. We hope you will visit his restaurant again soon.

Yes, I know many of you are asking, "So how much was raised?" Drum roll please................

Because of your and Jose's generosity - $1920.00! To God be the glory!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

October - our "month" of change

October seems to be "our month." This past week while mentally preparing for the upcoming training I realized that many life changing events have happened to our family in the month of October. Without the first event, there would be no family. :)

One "fateful" day in October of 1993 in a cow barn (the cows were temporarily removed!) Eric and I met. 14 years, 3 kids, 1 business, 5 moves, 8 short term mission trips later,

October of 2007 - we felt the Lord calling us into full time missionary service.

October of 2009 - we were officially offered positions with HCJB Global in Shell, Ecuador.

October of 2010 - we will be participating in the last training required of us here in the USA in order to move on to language school.

Lord willing - October of 2011 we will be in our new home in Shell.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Houston, We Have Lift Off!!!

We have lift off! (or at least permission to attend the training in Colorado!). The Lord provided a new monthly supporter and one of our current supporters decided to "up" their monthly support amount. With this news we have reached 86% of our funding and this allows us to forge ahead with our training at Mission Training Institute in Monument, Colorado.

Training will begin on Monday, October 18 and end on November 19. We will be leaving on October 11th or 12th in order to drive out there and see a few sites on the way.

Training will consist of 2 weeks of "How to learn a foreign language" and 3 weeks of cross cultural preparation. Our children will be in age appropriate level classes and will be studying the same material (while also trying to keep up with a few of their "regular" school subjects).

We are excited to be this far in the journey and at times overwhelmed. You all may be receiving an "SOS" call in the next 4 weeks saying, "Help -we've fallen (while carrying furniture and boxes)and we need your help to get the couch off from us! :)

At this time we are anticipating the possibility of having to move out of our home prior to our Colorado departure as well. This is a new development, as we thought we would move out in late December prior to our move to Costa Rica. We can say the journey has been painful, exhilarating, tiring, joyful, slow (and yet somehow fast), and character building but never once has it been BORING!

Our journey is not yet over though. We still need to reach 100% of our goal by October 26 in order to attend language school in January. In plain terms this means we need $1500.00 more in monthly commitments. We are continuing to trust that He will provide and that you will pray about your involvement. We would love to have you all come down for a work visit in 2012/2013/2014.

With anticipation,

The Fogg Family

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Food and missions - hand in hand

Do you like Mexican food? Do you have a heart for missions?

Wow! God is good. The owner of The Fat Burrito in Holland is a member of our Spanish church. He has made a fabulous offer.

On Monday, September 20th between 2:00 - 6:00 pm, The Fat Burrito is hosting a fundraiser for our family.

If you pay cash, then 50% of the money brought in that afternoon/evening will be donated to our ministry fund.

If you have never eaten there - you are in for a treat. They offer the biggest, and most delicious burritos I have ever eaten (and I've been to Mexico 7 times!). Check out the menu.

Mark your calendar for a late lunch or early dinner and we will send out more information soon!!

Invite all your friends!

If you have an idea that you may come, then please send us a note so we can have a very rough idea of how many people might arrive so we can prepare the food amounts.

The Fat Burrito (map)
3013 West Shore Drive
Holland, MI 49424

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Just in Time

This week has been a week of blessings and responsibilities - again. We were asked to speak at our Spanish Church last week(in English -we would have been there for 3 hours if we had to communicate in Spanish ;)! We gave our testimony and a little sermonette on perseverance. God was definitely at work - many people approached us afterwards with words of encouragement, stories of perseverance and struggles that they too need to choose to persevere through. Many people said our testimony came at just the right time.

We were humbled by the response and by how God has used the past 3 years of preparing us to on the mission field to minister to people here in their own struggles. He has guided us through the process of giving up our earthly possessions, "chipping off" our old habits and rebuilding our character from the ground up.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kids Corner--Leaf Cutter Ant

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! In Ecuador there are many different varieties of bugs and they generally are much larger than we have here in the United States. One fascinating bug that we saw while in Ecuador was the leaf cutter ant.

Leaf Cutter Ant

The leaf cutter ant works during the day by biting off large pieces of leaves and then bringing them into their nest. They then use the cuttings to grow a fungus which is their source of food. Their nests can be as much as 20 feet under the ground!

What interesting bugs have you seen around the world?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

About HCJB Global

What is HCJB Global?

HCJB Global is an interdenominational organization whose passion is to make disciples of Jesus Christ through Christian broadcasting (more than 120 languages/dialects), while meeting the basic needs in healthcare and community development. HCJB Global also provides training to indigenous believers so that they can effectively reach their communities for Jesus Christ.

What does HCJB Global stand for?

HCJB began as the call letters for a radio station in Ecuador. HCJB stands for Heralding Christ Jesus Blessings, or in Spanish, Hoy Cristo Jesus Bendice.

How did HCJB Global begin?

In 1927, Clarence and Katherine Jones felt called by God to begin a missionary radio station in Latin America. After they were denied approval by various countries they were finally able to secure the necessary paperwork in Quito, Ecuador. Their first live radio program was on Christmas Day in 1931.

If you would like to support us as HCJB Global appointees to Shell, Ecuador, please visit the HCJB Global Donations website. Thank you!

Friday, August 20, 2010

August Newsletter

Our August Newsletter was sent out yesterday. Keep your eyes open for it.

The return address is HCJB World Radio. Due to a mistake our names were omitted from the return address. The envelope does have a bright blue flower on it though - handstamped by Eric himself.

Blessings!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Meeting Steve Saint

Eric recently had the opportunity to attend the Osh Kosh Fly In, a yearly air show and gathering of thousands of planes in Wisconsin. His purpose in going was to meet Steve Saint, son of martyred missionary Nate Saint. Many years after his father was killed by the Huadoni Indians Steve took his family to live with the same tribe (who became Christians after the killings took place - see the movie "End of the Spear" or "Behond the Gates of Splendor.") The Indians asked Steve to help them become more "modern" as society was fast approaching the jungle. Part of that process led to Steve creating a "flying car". The flying car would allow Indians in the Ecuadorian jungle the ability to transport people to medical centers as well as carry cargo that normally would have to be walked in for 3-4 days.

Steve Saint, Hugo (pastor of our Spanish Church), Eric Fogg

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blessings in Abundance

Have you ever felt unworthy? That is how our family is feeling right now. Over these past few months we have been so blessed with the generosity of friends and family that we feel unworthy to receive the gifts.

Earlier in the summer we had talked about the possibility of leaving for some required training in July. That did not work out, so although we were a little disappointed we knew God must have a reason for it and so far we have seen several.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Support

God has just blessed us with 3 more monthly supporters. We are now at 65% of our goal. Praise His Name!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blessed

We are feeling so blessed right now!

We have had 4 new monthly supporter come on board with us over the past 2 weeks and have met many new people who are interested in our journey. With the new supporters we are now at 63% of our goal.

We are also looking at the house NOT selling as a blessing right now because we are enjoying the beautiful weather and watching the birds and baby turkeys wander in our yard. 6 kids are currently chasing each other in circles in the front yard and I don't have to worry about them being too close to the road.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Departure Delay

I apologize again for the delay in passing along information. We have been busily trying to get our summer figured out. Two weeks ago we made the decision to NOT leave in July. Our funding is still coming in which we are very thankful for and we are now at 55%, however our home has not sold and we are not comfortable leaving that in limbo.

Although the decision is disappointing we are looking forward to our summer here. We know that the Lord wants us here for a reason so we are keeping our eyes open as to what that reason is. Already we have been able to be part of several families lives that are struggling - which we would not have been able to do if we were focused on leaving.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brief Update

So sorry for the delay in between posts. Since the last post we have continued with our fundraising efforts, sold the industrial building (Yeah!) and are generally going through 14 years of accumulated "stuff" to see what to keep and what to sell or give away.

Eric continues to work on restoring the research vessel - the project should end in 2 weeks and he has 2 more projects lined up after that. I am landscaping my neighbors yard and continuing volunteer at the kids schools and a resale store.

Our home is still on the market - but no serious lookers yet. We are looking at the possibility of renting it for awhile.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Visiting Beaver Island

Above is Renee demonstrating a health and hygiene lesson to the congregation of Lighthouse Community Church on Beaver Island.

Last week for us was a week to relax a little with the kids while being able to talk with folks about Ecuador and what the Lord has called us to do there.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Continued Blessings

Almost daily we are reminded of our many blessings. Over the past 2 weeks we have had the opportunity to meet with 11 couples and speak at 2 churches about our journey to Ecuador. Each time we tell our story it "fires us up" and gives us the energy to keep pushing forward.

Although the path continues to have small pebbles and sometimes large rocks in the way we are continually reminded of how blessed we are to live in Holland and to be given the opportunity to speak openly about Jesus Christ. We have running water - that is clean!- and a flushing toilet that doesn't dump the contents into the nearest river and a roof over our heads. We are blessed!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Check it out

For those of you who receive this blog automatically I would ask you to check out the actual site of www.ericandrenee.com. A good friend of ours, along with a friend of his, just redid parts of the site and it is amazing.

Take the time to check out all of the new information in the side bar and the new header. Thanks Tom and Mike!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Crossing Hurdles

This morning we had the privilege of meeting with a mission committee of a local church and then introduce ourselves to the congregation. Each time we have that opportunity it reminds us not only of the task before us but also of how people view us. (Strange- perhaps?? :)) Seriously though we are excited about where we are going, however we would like to believe that we would be just as excited to stay if that is where God called us. As Christians we need to have the joy of Christ period. Our purpose is to honor and glorify Him and that can be done in our homes, in our schools and in our workplaces. It does not have to be done in a foreign country in order to be considered faithful.

Recently we heard a statistic that it takes 100 people to "stay" or be the sending agency for every 1 person that goes to a foreign country. If that is true then our family of 5 needs at least 500 of you to "stay". Everyone who prays for us, provides for us financially and visits us will meet the Ecuadorians someday in heaven who accept Christ because we went. We are just a part of the body - not the whole and we thoroughly enjoy seeing how the different and very unique arms, voices, legs, and heads function right here in our home town.

Blessings to you all!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

We posted this blog a couple of months ago but due to the increased amount of people viewing our blog and asking questions we thought we should post it again.

1) When we commit to a monthly gift, when should we start sending it to HCJB Global?

First, I would like to thank all of you who have felt the Lord leading you in this direction. HCJB Global requires that we have 100% of our funds raised prior to our departure. This does not mean that we have to have all of the "cash" prior to leaving but it does mean that we have to have a certain amount of reserve and monthly commitments for the rest of our time. It is most helpful to have the monthly commitments start as soon as you commit. This allows a reserve to build for initial expenses of attending language school and the initial setting up of our house in Ecuador. It also allows HCJB Global to keep track of the amount we yet need to raise in order to complete our time in Ecuador. The goal is to be able to stay in Ecuador for our 3 year contract and not have to leave the field due to lack of funds.

All money received prior to our departure is kept in our account until 100% of the funds are committed and we leave for training and language school. No monies will be used for non-mission purposes before we leave.

2) If enough money is not raised what will you do?

God has directed us to go into his mission field. If we do not raise enough money to leave by July 2010 then we will continue to raise money until we can go. This is not a matter of "if we raise enough money then we will go". We are trusting that God will compete the work that he has started in us.

3) When will you leave?

This depends on several things (the sale of our building and home and raising 100% of our funds). It is our desire to leave in July of 2010 for several reasons. We are required to attend a missionary training school in Colorado for 6 weeks prior to attending language school. A session begins mid-July and goes through August. Language school in Costa Rica begins in September. If we were to leave in July we could attend training school and fly directly to Costa Rica and from there to Ecuador. If there is a delay then we would need to attend training school and return to Michigan for a few months, raise funds and then head to Language school. Leaving in July would also allow our kids to complete their schooling year in MI and begin a new schooling year in Costa Rica versus taking them out mid way through the schooling year.

4) How long are you going for?

We have committed to a three year contract with HCJB Global. After three years HCJB Global will evaluate us and we them in order to determine our next step. We have been told to "go" so we will wait for Gods continued directions and follow them when His plan for us changes.

5) Can we have our monthly commitment taken out by automatic withdrawal?

Yes, HCJB Global offers this option on their response card and website. Their website can be accessed through our blog site as well. It can be done on credit card, debit card or through your bank account. Please let us know if you need a response card.

We hope this helps to answer some of your questions. Please feel free to contact us with any further questions. We would love to tell you about Ecuador and how God is working in our lives. We welcome your partnership with us on this journey and we can't wait to have you come down and visit us on the edge of the Amazon!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Training and Development

Wow, what an interesting 10 days. Currently we are on a Boeing 777 from Denver to Chicago. Renee and I have spent the last 10 days at HCJB Global headquarters in Colorado Springs.

We arrived last Wednesday and checked into “Glen Eyrie”. This is a piece of property owned by the Navigators, a mission agency. The property boasts an old castle with nearly 1,000 acres of grounds and a breathtaking view of the mountains. This is the off season for Glen Eyrie and the place was affordable and deserted. We were only able to take two short hikes into the mountains due to meetings however it was beautiful.

We were with 2 other appointees for all of our meetings. John from Buffalo, New York who is an electrical engineer and will be going to the HCJB Global Technology center in Elkhart, Indiana and Jennifer from Alabama who is a teacher hoping to teach missionary kids in Ecuador. John and Jennifer grew into good friends over the week and we are very privileged to have gotten to know them.

Day seminars covered phone etiquette, presentation skills, “how the internal portions of the mission work”, where and how internal money is spent, cross cultural training and more. We also had 2 evening presentations at people’s homes, chapel every morning and meals with the staff. The main office has a kitchen and each department of the mission took a different day and prepared a lunch meal for the appointees (that’s us – people accepted to the mission, but not yet fully funded). We had a great time getting to meet everyone. We really felt the power of the larger team and the larger reality of how the organization works. The days were long and at the end we were all very tired. We are glad we came and have already begun to use some of the skills we learned from our training.

The kids have really missed us. They have been to both sides of the grandparents, aunts and uncle’s houses and friends. Joshua unfortunately came down with the flu today. We are hoping that he does not pass it around the circle to all the rest of us.

We have had some real God stories while we were there. We received several gifts from generous hearts that allowed us to go from 22% to 33% funded. I am sorry we have not yet had the opportunity to thank each and every one of you in person, but we will soon.

It is exciting to be between Gods resources and Gods opportunities. I know that we have always been in this place as Christians every since we were saved, but somehow this seems more real. In every area of my past work life, I have always had a very direct impact on how profitable the work was. This is no longer the case and I am still adjusting to the new environment. God not only needs to provide for the going, but he needs to provide for the work, not just physical work, but prepare both our hearts and the hearts of the ones we speak with everyday. I love the new environment, but it has tested our faith on more than one occasion already. We have been told over and over by former missionaries at HCJB Global that we have not seen anything yet. Trials and victories intensify as the work goes on.

As a family we started two weeks ago to attend a Spanish speaking church in Holland. We will still be attending our home church first service, but will be attending Spanish church second service. Sunshine met the pastor at “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” class at Western Seminary and he has offered to take us under his wing to allow us to learn Spanish faster. We are trying to intensify our pre-learning to allow us to not only spend less time at language school in Costa Rica and get to Ecuador sooner, but to soften the headache we know is coming. Nearly every person has told us that stepping into language school as a “new born” was the hardest year of their life.

We would love it if you looked over some of the new features that our friend Tom has put on this site. Connections to HCJB Global’s you-tube, squidoo, dig, wickipedia and others have been added. He has also graciously added news and weather from Ecuador so that all of you can keep in touch. I have no idea how he does all this stuff, but its great!

Below are a few photos of time in Colorado Springs. Thank you for all of your support - we couldn't do it without you!



Bighorn sheep wandering on the property.
Us, John and Jennifer (the other 2 appointees)

After a 45 minute hike we came across this frozen waterfall.


Pikes Peak



The Castle where we had breakfast every morning.











Sunday, January 24, 2010

Time is marching on.

So... what have the Fogg's been up to lately?

Well since Christmas we have been busy preparing for our upcoming Training and Development in Colorado Springs. This has involved fundraising, hosting dessert nights, calling people, writing notes, putting together a power point presentation and photo book and in general, lots of talking about Ecuador. :)

We leave for Colorado this Wednesday and will return next week Friday. We were told that we will be occupied from 8 am until 8 pm most days. Pray for endurance and health for us as you think about it. Our children will be staying here in Michigan with friends and relatives so they can continue with their schooling.

Eric continues to work on the restoration of a boat for income and meets with people on a regular basis for fundraising. He is also diligently trying to sell our industrial building and continuing to study Spanish via Rosetta Stone.

I just completed my last seminar for this 3 year period in order to renew my OTR licensure and am involved in 2 nighttime Bible classes in order to complete my Bible credits needed for HCJB. I have also been scrubbing the house to within an inch of its life in preparation for our second open house which took place this past Saturday. Only 1 person came through - however it only takes one to buy it! I am also volunteering at each of my kids schools 1-2 times per week and going through boxes of accumulated items in order to sell them/store them/give them away.

Just today Eric and the kids attended a Spanish church here in town and we hope to continue this each Sunday after our "own" service at Central Wesleyan. We are trying to "immerse" ourselves in the Spanish population and language as much as we can prior to leaving. We have so much to learn!

As for fundraising- the Lord continues to bless us with gifts of all sorts and amounts. It is very humbling. Currently we are at about 20% of our needed monthly funding. Every week we are blessed with 2-3 more partners in this journey. Our good friend and IT expert has also made it easier for donations by adding a link to HCJB on our blog page. This will allow online giving and save the paper and stamp.

We are continuing to trust that the Lord has our departure date in the palm of his hands and are trying to "stay in the moment" versus rushing ahead. Life can be short as we were reminded this week. A missionary couple we met in Ecuador lost their 2 year old grandson this past week when he fell in to a tank of water and drowned. We met their grandson briefly when we were in Shell.
Pray for the LeBoefs as you think on them also.

Blessings to you and your family!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Waiting, hoping and trusting

I'm not sure anything grips me more or yanks at my heartstrings more than to see men, woman and children suffering - as they are in Haiti. My initial response is - let's go! I'm not an RN or MD but I can comfort and hold and distribute food and help with clean water sources - anything to feel like I'm doing something to help. However, Haiti is not the path that the Lord has us on and therein lies the waiting and hoping and trusting.

Perhaps I am to use this time to re-acquaint myself with suffering in impoverished countries. It has been 9 months since we returned from Ecuador and as time passes it becomes easier to fall back into the "norm" of an American lifestyle. Haiti for me personifies poverty, sickness (both spiritual and physical) and death. Haiti brings back the feelings of helplessness when seeing the magnitude of the poverty problem - the feeling of being one "nut" in a peanut factory. Yes- I used "nut" on purpose! The Lord has used Haiti to renew in me a passion for the hurting, suffering people of Ecuador. Hurting, suffering people are everywhere but for now Ecuador is our calling. We will continue our journey.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Good evening family and friends,

I would like to thank all of you for the wonderful response we have received from our newsletter.

We have received many questions from the newsletter and we would like to clarify some of the more common questions that have arisen.

Here we go:

1) When we commit to a monthly gift, when should we start sending it to HCJB Global?

First, I would like to thank all of you who have felt the Lord leading you in this direction. HCJB Global requires that we have 100% of our funds raised prior to our departure. This does not mean that we have to have all of the "cash" prior to leaving but it does mean that we have to have a certain amount of reserve and monthly commitments for the rest of our time. It is most helpful to have the monthly commitments start as soon as you commit. This allows a reserve to build for initial expenses of attending to language school and the initial setting up of our house in Ecuador. It also allows HCJB Global to keep track of the amount we yet need to raise in order to complete our time in Ecuador. The goal is to be able to stay in Ecuador for our 3 year contract and not have to leave the field due to lack of funds. All money received prior to our departure is kept in our account until 100% of the funds are committed and we leave for training and language school. No monies will be used for non-mission purposes before we leave.

2) If enough money is not raised what will you do?

God has directed us to go into his mission field. If we do not raise enough money to leave by July 2010 then we will continue to raise money until we can go. This is not a matter of "if we raise enough money then we will go". We are trusting that God will compete the work that he has started in us.

3) When will you leave?

This depends on several things (the sale of our building and home and raising 100% of our funds). It is our desire to leave in July of 2010 for several reasons. We are required to attend a missionary training school in Colorado for 6 weeks prior to attending language school. A session begins mid-July and goes through August. Language school in Costa Rica begins in September. If we were to leave in July we could attend training school and fly directly to Costa Rica and from there to Ecuador. If there is a delay then we would need to attend training school and return to Michigan for a few months, raise funds and then head to Language school. Leaving in July would also allow our kids to complete their schooling year in MI and begin a new schooling year in Costa Rica versus taking them out mid way through the schooling year.

4) How long are you going for?

We have committed to a three year contract with HCJB Global. After three years HCJB Global will evaluate us and we them in order to determine our next step. We have been told to "go" so we will wait for Gods continued directions and follow them when His plan for us changes.

5) Can we have our monthly commitment taken out by automatic withdrawal?

Yes, HCJB Global offers this option on their response card. It can be done on credit card, debit card or through your bank account. Please let us know if you need a response card.

We hope this helps to answer some of your questions. Please feel free to contact us with any further questions. We would love to tell you about Ecuador and how God is working in our lives. We welcome your partnership with us on this journey and we can't wait to have you come down and visit us on the edge of the Amazon!

God Bless you all,

Fogg's

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

bagels and blessings

Our God is so good and faithful - why do we doubt that sometimes?

So as the economy worsens we are having to fully rely on Him to meet our needs and He has - more than we deserve. The other day while talking with a friend about food budgets - she mentioned that a friend of hers picks up unsold bagels a few times a week at a local bagel company and then distributes them. She asked if we were interested in doing a pick-up occasionally. Of course we were and 3 days later my friend called to tell us she had a couple of bags of bagels for us. What she failed to say was that each bag was a 35 gallon trash bag! What fun to repackage the bagels and distribute them to 6 other families while being blessed ourselves with a couple of months worth. Yummy! :)

We have also been blessed with the addition of 6 families who have partnered with us financially on a monthly basis in our calling to Ecuador. This means we are approximately 11% funded. We so appreciate every dollar and will honor it to the best of our ability. A commitment of $5.00 or $10.00 per month makes a big difference. We are excited to meet our next partners. Someday we hope to introduce our partners to the Indians of the Amazon who were impacted with the love of Christ through their giving.

Eric was also blessed with a raise at his work and our family has been healthy for the most part. We are blessed to sit under Biblical teaching at our church, to have friends to check up on us and pray for us and a roof over our heads during this cold, snowy weather.

The other day while listening to a Christian radio station they were discussing prayer. The gentleman on the radio said he prayed, "Big, Hairy, Audacious prayers". I like that thought. It is up to God to move - but I want Him to know that I am praying big, hairy, audacious prayers so that He can show up in big, hairy, audacious ways! Encouraging you to do the same!

Blessings,

Renee
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