Bethany Hess        Network 21 Missions
Day after thanksgiving…

The four of us spent our thanksgiving in Santiago, Chile. We did the usual, got ingredients, cooked majority of the day, ate a lot, but all of this was a bit different in ChileJ .

First, we took a taxi to the supermarket. We spent around two hours there because everything was in Spanish…imagine trying to find cream cheese and sour cream in Spanish. To our delight, we did find a turkey and even a turkey bag! A few ingredients were not found, but we made due. Now back to the church to cook! We immediately get in the kitchen(around 2pm, yikes!) prepare the turkey, and we are ready for the oven! To turn on the oven you have to turn on the gas and then light the bottom with a match. We did it, no continuous flame. We did it again, no flame, and again, and again. We had many new friends trying to help, but still no flame. Oh no! our entire meal has to go in the oven, the turkey, the stuffing, the corn casserole, the broccoli casserole, the crust for the desserts. It looked like our thanksgiving meal was going to be mashed potatoes and rollsJ .

Do not let my short, little sentences fool you, we were starting to hyperventilate, not really but the air was getting a bit thick! Praying over the ovenJ , in walks a lady we have never seen before. She found a way to rig the oven to have a continuous flame! Ok, now it Is 3:30pm and the turkey just found its’ place in the oven. Murtel, the turkey, was so excited!

We cooked and cooked, set the table, and sat down for dinner at 7pm. It was so cool, we were joined by a few new friends from the church. Massiel, a precious, young woman, who was so excited, this was her first thanksgiving! We were also joined by Rodrigo , who is showing us around town in a couple hours, and Andrea, the dedicated, and fun church secretary.

After we filled our bellies, we passed around a candle (one of my family’s traditions), and spoke of the last year, what God had done in our lives, what we are thankful for, and our hopes for the next year. That moment made the entire, frazzled day a blur….this is what thanksgiving day is all about! Giving thanks with friends and family!

our time away has been a good experience thus far...
i am constantly learning more about what the kingdom of God actually looks like. 
right now, i do believe that God has directied lukus and i to take this year to go and see what He is doing in different cultures and in different areas of need, and serve wherever we are needed. 
in order to continue doing this, lukus and i still need around $15,ooo to get us through the year.  i am asking you as my family in Christ to pray about giving a one time donation or monthly support to help  us finish what God has directed us to do. 
please do not feel obligated to give....i truly desire for you to pray to see where God would have you place the money....whether it be lukus and i, or else where!
thank you to  all of you who have given, and have been faithful with monthly support...we haven't missed a meal yet:)
love, love

you can make out checks to Network 21 Missions,
 and get sending info on

here in the galapagos we have been teaching english at the church.  we  have classes monday through thursday from 7-9 pm.  vanessas and i are teaching the beginner class, and lukus and estrellita are teaching the intermediate/advanced class.  during the days we  are usually planning for the classes...sometimes for vanessa and i that includes going to the interenet cafe and looking up many, many pictures to use for the class.  we then go back to our host home and make power point slides for the class.  and think up activities that apply to the topic.  we just finished our third week of classes.  it has been really cool to see the progress in their english.  some of our students only knew how to say hello when the classes begin.  they have been such hard working students.  our class usually runs around 30 people...varying in age.  we have one more week of classes here in the galapagos....we are sad to have to leave our faithful students/friends!  we have also been doing a few other things spread throughout the week.  every week people from the church go to surrounding areas to meet new people and establish relationships there.  last week we went to santa rosa.  lukus and i were grouped up with marialisa.  we went to a few different houses meeting the people there and seeing if they had anything they wanted prayer for.  one lady, luz maria, who is pretty up there in years, was so full of laughter.  it was wonderful to be around such a fun spirit! 
while here, we are also helping marialisa with the children's service on friday afternoons. 
the church here has been so welcoming and appreciative.  every time we go to a church service they bring us each a bottled water (which is really nice b/c it is pretty hot in there. no AC).  anyways, they are just really hospitable people!!!
something we are need to strive for.  hospitality was one of the main things the early church was known for. after  being here,   i think we need to get back to those roots.
well, i better be off.  love you all! 
miss you all!
The other day Lukus and I were walking along the beach. It was beautiful! The white sand and the multi blue ocean coming up to visit it. The weather was perfect, and the view was incredible!
We continued further along the coast than usual, and came upon a new beach, one that is a bit less trafficked. Sadly, the beauty of the beach was disrupted by the trash strewn all about.

I wanted to take a photo of the cleaned up beach as well as the disrupted beach…creating an ad that read, “ Stop destroying the potential! Pick up your trash!”
(Don’t worry, I’m not planning to pick up advertising.)

I was thinking…………this entitlement to use the land as our dumping ground is just not Biblical, it is wrong.
God created this land and said that it was good. He created you and I and said that it was good.
He has given us the responsibility to be good stewards of our bodies, our family, and among other things, good stewards of this land.
Since when did we start (or continue) to push this issue to the “liberals” or “hippies”?
Where have we gone?
God has called us as believers, to a different way or standard of living.
Just to name a few…

Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
We have to stop starving it of nutrition, stop feeding it with brainless entertainment.

Love your enemy----
Anyone can love the loveable. Only God and his people can truly love the unlovable…..whoever that might be for you----the rich, the poor, the irritating, the ignorant…whoever! God’s love is the only love that will not burn out!

Keep your family God-centered.
Once again, this is something God created, and He said that it was good. We cannot continue to break it a part. Or no longer consider it sacred.

Our money is God’s, not our own.
We must stop using it as our motivation or delight. We are to delight in the Lord!

Be a good environmental steward.

God created this land and said that it was good. It is our responsibility, not liberals or hippies(although their help is appreciated), to care about this land and the effects our dumping has on it. Do we want the beauty God has created to continue being tampered with because of our trash/ laziness/ comfort?
Come on! We have got to wake up!
We can no longer ignore our responsibility. We must be true to the Word of God. We must be examples of God’s idea of not only living, but being alive in this world!

America alone has created an island of plastic that continues to grow in the ocean. Is this because of our lack of information maybe, or apathy?
We are all in this together. Right now we are contributing to the well being/ health of the next generation(s).
We are not entitled to anything. Why do we live as though we are?
We must stop waiting for someone else or leaving it entirely to someone else.

This is not God-centered,

it is self-centered.


please give us the grace to be true to Your Word…to care for all you have entrusted to us!