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THE ELDREDGE FAMILY MISSIONARY NEWSLETTER - APRIL 2001

BIG, BIG News!     Written by John  Eldredge

challenging us lately to really ask Him for His perfect will.  So we did.  We surrendered and said: "God what do you want? Africa? China? Mexico? California? Or What?" We were finally totally open to His will.
After fasting and prayer, He spoke to us.  We felt the call to return to Ecuador and to work with missionaries we had met there previously.  When we called Ecuador, we spoke with Becky Renalli (the wife of Missionary Pastor Chris Ranalli). 

   Greetings Friends & Family:
Exciting times are ahead!  As we have mentioned in our newsletter, our "big, big news" has set off some major changes in our ministry and for our family. 
We will be working with Missionary Pastors Chris & Becky Ranalli in South Quito, where many in their congregation are made up of the very poor, the indigenous and those considered "undesirable" in their nation of Ecuador.
As we make final preparations to leave California, we want to thank our family and many special friends.   Some wonderful and lasting relationships have been established here and we are very grateful for the love and support we have received in the last few months. We love  and appreciate you all!
Please keep us in your prayers as we will be leaving sunny Southern California via van for sunny, humid Florida mid-April, bee-lining through Texas to visit friends and then on to Mexico.  There we will be visiting with a successful missionary pastor in Monterrey, Mexico for a week and a half (more about that in our next newsletter).  We expect to learn a lot from this missionary pastor during our visit there. 
Then it will be off to Florida, hopefully arriving sometime mid-May and settling there for a few months to efficiently raise support, travel and speak in churches there, in the north east and where ever else the Lord opens the door. 
Again we ask that you keep us in prayer as we travel and during our  few months in Florida, that all our steps will be ordered by the Lord.
     Love and blessings to all!          - JoAnna   

As I think all of you know, life with God is always  interesting and exciting!  We must always be ready to obey Him no matter what He tells us to do.  The Bible says in        I Cor. 13:12 that "we see in a mirror dimly" and that "we know in part." 
When we left Ecuador, we felt our time back in the States would be long.  However, we could only see a little of what God had in mind.  He has been

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The Blessings Begin  Written by JoAnna Eldredge

We have some great praise reports to share since making our decision to return to Ecuador!  We both had prayed and really felt God wanted us to return to Florida to raise our support.  We also felt led to call a friend there who was really excited about us returning to Ecuador and who God has used to help us find affordable housing there.
We also bought a van a few days ago for an incredible price.  The former owners are Christians we had never met, but after prayer Jere & Robyn felt led to lower their price $500 less than what they had already been offered!  A couple

of days later we were able to sell our Toyota Tercel for our asking price within hours of our ad coming out in the paper.  Praise the Lord!
God has really been moving on our behalf ever since we've decided to "obey" what he has told us to do.  All the glory goes Him!

Just about the very first words out of her mouth were: "Have you heard from God yet about working with us down here?" 
Needless to say, that was a confirmation to what God had just placed in our hearts.  Since then, all those close to us have been confirming this decision as well.  Maybe we should have just left Ecuador for a couple months.  I cannot say that I know for sure.  But as someone close

to me once said (my lovely sister Cathy):  "Don't be preoccupied by what you may have missed, but ask God what He wants you to do today."   We took that advice and that is why I am writing to you today.  God is wanting us to return to Ecuador.  We know what this entails in joys and trials, but only God's will can bring true joy and anointing on our lives! 

After the Lord had given us the "where", we knew we needed to seek Him for the "how".   So after speaking with Chris Ranalli to find out what we needed to get to Ecuador, we returned to prayer until God gave us His plan.  After a couple days of prayer we felt He was telling us to return to Florida and begin raising the support we needed for Ecuador. Once we made the decision to obey Him re: Florida (another step of faith), He provided an open door in St. Petersburg.  The Lord had confirmed His will to us again, proving that He is always faithful to His Word!
The job ahead…  Learning from past experiences we have decided to be straightforward when it comes to what we need to survive on the mission field.  We will be doing a lot more traveling within Ecuador and putting funds into the new church.  It was told to us by the Ranallis that we will need to raise $2,000 a month in financial support before we can return.   Ecuador has changed a lot economically since we have been there last.  Ecuador now uses American currency, which is good, but because of the change, inflation has gone through the roof!  Though it is still a little cheaper there than it is in the States, the inflation has risen 30% in just a short span of time. 

Knowing this, we have been advised to work hard in raising sufficient support so that our family can remain in Ecuador.  We will also need to change our missionary visa status to a residence status, which costs more up front but is much more economical and practical in the long run.   
How you can help? 
Most importantly, we ask that you pray for us.  We need the confidence that comes from knowing that our friends are praying for us and are available for us to bring prayer requests to.  We believe that a strong foundation of prayer is powerful and crucial in achieving God's ministry.
Also, we ask that you seriously ask the Lord what you can do to help us financially.  We are specifically praying for people who feel led to support us on a
monthly basis
We want to end our letter by letting everyone know how very grateful and encouraged we are by the love and support of our friends and family, and that we are excited to re-enter the call the Lord has prepared for us in Ecuador, South America!

Special Note:
We want to leave you with this encouraging reminder: 
" … knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (perseverance).  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect  (mature in Christ) and complete, lacking nothing."     James 1:34 NKJ
In a nutshell, our trials
can help us!
Until All Have Heard,

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