Tag Archives: jungle missionary


adjective – of, relating to, or dependent on charity; charitable

Re: Amazon.com for Amazonia

Dear Friends,

A mother showed up at the Foundation just this week with her 12-year-old daughter in tow. She was there to give her child to the Hope House. She had not contacted us before, nor had she filled out the required paperwork. When pressed as to why she wanted her daughter to be a part of the House, she merely replied, “I don’t want her anymore.”

Unfortunately, in one concise and unemotional sentence, she described the plight of many of the young women here in the jungle. They simply are not wanted. Even worse is these young women are repeatedly told this information. They grow up believing they are of no value and no one will really ever want them.

Here at the Hope House, we are changing that line of thinking. Our mission is to raise Godly young woman by helping them discover their identity in Christ and also providing them a quality education. Before entering the house, many girls would face a life with no future and continue to be fed the lie that they are unwanted and worthless. But here at the Hope House, they are learning to love themselves and find value in the gifts and personalities that God uniquely designed for them.

Along from spiritual discipleship, we strive to provide each girl with a strong education. From school uniforms to after-school tutors, we see to every educational need. And now we are planning to meet another.

As a former English teacher, I was saddened by the lack of availability of books for the youth of our town. Not one bookstore can be found in our community!  Books open up new worlds, new ideas, and even help discover dreams. This is a blessing that I want for our girls here.

We’ve decided to create a library here at the Hope House. But we need your help!  Our goals is to purchase 4-5 Kindles as well as soft and hardback books in Spanish. The greatest part is that this investment will not only be for the girls at the house now, but will serve the girls for years to come.

We have decided to purchase all books through Amazon since we can easily download books for the Kindles as well as locate books in Spanish and have them shipped here. If you would like to be a part of helping build the Hope House library, here’s what you can do.

  1. Purchase an amazon gift card and send it directly to my Hall Family Mission email.  (Please note: this would not be a tax-deductible gift.) I will in turn send you an update of exactly what was purchased using the card.
  2. Make a one-time donation to the Ecuador Hope House World Missions Account via the AGWM website. (See link here.) If you choose to do this, please email me and let me know the amount you donated, so it can be set aside for the library.
  3. You can purchase books in Spanish directly from our Amazon Wish List. (See link here.)
  4. Finally, if you have recently updated your Kindle to a new model, you could donate the old one.  Simply contact me on how to send it.

If you have any questions, please contact me via email (alicia@hallfamilymission.com). Our goal is to have this library up and running by October 1st.  I cannot wait to share with you the impact that reading will have on the lives of these already amazing young women.

Thank you, dear readers, for believing in this blog and this ministry.

For the girls,


juxtaposition: part dos


noun – the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect

So my last post on life here versus there (juxtaposition part uno) received a lot of positive feedback.  Many of my readers are definitely interested in my crazy jungle life, but since I’ve grown acclimated to the culture, I rarely think about the differences anymore.  However, over the last few weeks, I’ve purposely taken notes just so I can share them with you.

1. Dish washing is a whole new experience. Well, the reality is that dish washing is dish washing and no matter where you live: it still stinks that you have to do it. However, here in the jungle, we don’t wash dishes with a sink full of sudsy hot water.  In fact, most houses don’t even have hot water running to the kitchen sink (because obviously, if you needed hot water, you could heat it up on the stove). Even more interesting is the fact that our dish soap comes in hard cakes not bottles of liquid.  I have to admit that I’ve grown a fan of this hard cake version. I simply scrape my cleaning sponge over the soap cake and start scrubbing.  What about dishwashers, you say?  Yea, they don’t exist.

2. There’s no cheesing it up during a photo.  Yep, that’s right. In general when taking pictures with the locals here in the jungle, they don’t smile. It’s not that they are unhappy, the culture doesn’t see smiling as a required part of a good photo. It’s one of those things that strikes me as so unconventional that I have a hard time understanding it. If you think about it, “Queso” doesn’t quite make for as cute of a smile as “Cheese!”

3. There’s no such thing as a line.  Now, I will admit, this one has been DIFFICULT to get used to.  For example, let’s say that you are standing in line at the grocery store with about 20 items or so, it’s not uncommon for someone who has less than you to come up and hand their items directly to the cashier who promptly rings them up while you wait.  (Even though it was your turn next.)  Don’t be alarmed but that could happen at least two more times before you ever get to check out.  The motto we learned in language school really helps out in these kinds of situations:  “Tranquilo” which loosely translated means “just chill.”

4. There’s no such thing as a free refill.  I’ll just let that sink in.  There’s no need for explanation.

5. U.S. movie titles don’t exactly translate in a word for word manner.  My favorite translation is for a movie I have not seen and do not plan to see in the future, but perhaps is the best example of my point.  Remember the movie Magic Mike which hit the theaters last summer? If you aren’t familiar with the content, it’s basically a movie about male strippers.  If you wanted to purchase that movie on DVD, the title options would be as follows: #1 Trabajo Sexy (translated means Sexy Work)  or #2 Streepers (which obviously means Strippers, but the idea of having the long “e” sound in the middle made me laugh hysterically).  Translating titles is one of my favorite pastimes when we visit the video store.

6. It’s the buyer’s responsibility to have correct change. This whole concept to me is so foreign (duh, I live in a foreign country). When purchasing an item, one will frequently be asked for correct change. If you don’t have it,  some vendors seem very displeased. Not sure if not having change is an inconvenience or if it’s just easier to not bother with it.  However, I can tell that after seeing the LONG LINES snaking out of the local banks, I would probably not be so concerned with having change for all of my customers as well.

7. Clothing sales racks are virtually non-existent.  As the Clearance Rack Queen, this concept has seriously dampened my shopping options. Truthfully, clothes here tend to be expensive, and I need a sale just to be able to afford them. Why no sales? Well, it’s always summer here so there’s no reason to move merchandise out to make room for the new fall line. This has been great for our family budget, but not so great for my fashion needs.

Once again, my new world juxtaposes with my old one, but I’ve come to accept all these differences and even find that I like some things in my new world better than the old. Notice I said “some things.” I’m still a huge believer in free refills!