2013 Reflections

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3

Happy New Year from Ecuador!  Around here, the Año Viejo has been created, which is a monigote (large dummy), a representative of the old year.  It is burned at midnight to symbolize the out with the old, in with the new.  We are anticipating a loud night, complete with fires, loud music, parties, and fireworks until late New Year’s Day morning.  We’ve been to town, checked out all the artistic renditions, had some pasta de chocolate, and have been playing family games all evening in the comfort of our casa,

Seeing as it is December 31st, the evening seems to naturally lend itself to reflection and reminiscing.  While we have certainly done that year to year, this past 365 days has proven to probably be the year sporting the biggest changes for our family.  In lieu of a Christmas letter this year, we thought we would share a bit of a recap:

November 2012:

  • Shared with our families how God was working in our life and instructing us to “get mobile”
  • God truly asking us for obedience without all the puzzle pieces in place
  • We meet with Pastor Kirk and Gloria to tell them how God is working in our life and he shares how he was compelled to share Proverbs 16:3 with us that day – one of many confirmations in this path


December 2012:

  • Joshua gets a deer hunting with Grandpa Bierle and Uncle Steve
  • Plans being made to further heed God’s call to Ecuador – we realize this will may be our last Christmas at our house


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  • God provides a young, godly chiropractor to begin the transition as owner of Brad’s practice
  • Kids continue their dog sitting jobs and brave the frigid temperatures
  • Kids begin to talk about Ecuador in “real time” – what we should do there, what they think their home will be like…we see them embracing the changes to come by trusting us as we trust our heavenly Father.

    Certain distinctive relationships move us to act differently, love more deeply, and risk boldly.  Such was Jesus’s effect upon the apprentices.  They did not want the sort of life they once had apart from him.  They’d been ruined for the ordinary.  What they saw in him transcended everything they hoped to get out of this world.  And when push came to shove, they just couldn’t leave him.  He had the secret – the words of eternal life.                                                                                                       —Sacrilege, p. 219



  • Letter sent to all Brad’s patients regarding the upcoming transition
  • God continues to speak to us in a variety of ways, strengthening and confirming his leading in our life on a daily basis in ways we would have never imagined
  • The whirlwind of transition begins, but we feel an overwhelming sense of peace with every step taken



  • Spoke at Abiding Savior to share how God is working in our life along with two other couples experiencing a similar leading
  • Continue to marvel at how God was putting the pieces together with each and every step he put before us.  He was ever faithful in showing us the “next thing” we needed
  • A potential buyer is solidified for our home without needing to list it – a couple placed on our hearts back in November
  • Sarah decides that moving to another continent is easier than addressing a letter.



  • Continued preparation in all areas of life (work, home, church, family) to be ready to follow God’s leading (So thankful for the prayer warriors who walked this journey with us – and continue to do so!)
  • Unexpected ice storm creates a mass amount of clean up at home and office



  • Dr.Levi Darling takes over Brad’s practice – changes for staff and patients but God is ever faithful!
  • We travel to Quito, Ecuador for vision trip and pray for confirmation of God’s will with this move
  • The Travis family welcomes us to Quito and become a vital part of our transition
  • Able to attend graduations for two of our godchildren – Martha Fritz and Ali Mogck

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  • The month is a whirlwind filled with Jacob’s baseball (thankful for the graciousness of team parents who stepped in to help us out), lots of continued purging, and finishing school.  Josh and Tessa make the most of time with friends while they can

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  • Tessa gets her ears pierced
  • Bierle Blessing Bonanza is held to sell our household items and ask for prayer support
  • Packing and giving away of all our household items is completed
  • Our home is sold to dear friends (Pastor Wade and Michele) who will love it as we did
  • Brad’s parents graciously allow us to live with them for 3 weeks
  • Goodbyes are said to dear church family, friends, and family

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  • Jacob successfully finishes baseball season and we leave from the state tournament to Minneapolis to spend a final couple days with Sarah’s family before departure
  • We arrive at Alliance Academy International, Quito, Ecuador, on August 6th, 2013 and live in the school dorm for the first month, gaining special friendships for a lifetime

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  • We move to Calacali, Ecuador, to further support the ministry of the AAI Discipleship and Ministry Center.  God continues to define our roles and ministry and we seek his direction in all that we do and say
  • Brad begins leading Discipleship/Accountability/Nurturing (DNA) group for high school sports group


  • Schooling at home begins for all three kids with mom and dad as teachers
  • We continue to host and support the groups coming to Calacali

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  • We get our Ecuadorian visas and celebrate Thanksgiving with our new “family”

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  • Brad gets his Ecuadorian driver’s license so our bus trips might be greatly reduced as we now have the option to use the school vans and potentially purchase a car
  • We host our first Christmas away from home with friends from Germany, Canada, Korea, China, and America

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We marvel at the changes of this past year.  We are amazed at God’s graciousness in safety and transition.  We praise Him daily for children who have not only embraced their new life, but have been examples to us, as parents, in how to step away from the worldly items we often claim near and dear, with the focus on the eternal.  We are in awe of God’s faithfulness that pours over us as we learn to fully trust in the Lord for each and every day’s provisions.  We are thankful for the peace he provides when we fully let him lead, rather than follow our own earthly desires.  Finally, we are humbled by the Christ-child who has taken people like us and released us from the bondage of sin so we might live together with him for eternity.  How can we not praise him?  How can we not seek him daily and follow him in every way?  This amazing gift is free for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.  Romans 6: 22-23

It took us years to let God take full control of our life.  We gave him parts, but not our all.  Experience true freedom in him.  Give your life fully to him today.  You may not be called to Ecuador, but you are called to HIM.  Listen to his voice.  Follow Him.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and forever.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


18 thoughts on “2013 Reflections

  1. Michele Mobley

    So sweet to read this. God’s story is so good! Your living it is humbling snd encouraging to my soul. We love you.

    1. Sarah Post author

      The Mobley family will always have a special place in this plan of God’s and in our hearts. Always. Love you, friend!

    1. Sarah Post author

      Shanna, I always see your smiling face and bubbly personality when I read your comments. You are such an encouragement to us. Love to see your updates on FB, and thanks for praying for us!

    1. Sarah Post author

      So good to hear from you! How are you? Trust everything is going well for you. Thanks for the encouragement. We’ll keep posting – hope to be more diligent now. Take care and stay in touch.

  2. Paul and Tress

    Brad,Sarah,Josh,Tessa,Jacob…Love to see your pics of smiling faces and new friends. Your example of God’s leading is an inspiration to all and your reminder to get rid of “stuff” is right on!
    Happy New Year to you all and God’s richest blessings to each one of you.

    Paul and Tress

    1. Sarah Post author

      Paul and Tress, We think of you often and pray for you! Please let us know how the ministry is going in the Hills! You will always be on our hearts as we ventured forth in this journey together. Thank you for the encouragement and prayers.

  3. Mark and Barb

    Wonderful hearing from you. Love the pictures and reading about all that is going on. We miss you, but so thankful for the imprint you are leaving on the hearts of all you minister to and with in Ecuador. Happy New Year!

    1. Sarah Post author

      Thanks for writing Mark and Barb! We miss you guys! Nothing better than stopping by church and seeing your beautiful welcoming smile and having a little chat! Hope you are doing well and had a wonderful Christmas with your family – I’m sure it was bittersweet. That granddaughter of yours is sure a beauty!!

  4. Richard Hauffe

    Arya, Rufus and Maggie miss you! And so do the two-legged residents of our house. You were so wonderful with our pets and we haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement. Buster passed away in September from his kidney issues. He was an odd but loving kitty.

    It’s 8 below here, but we’re sending warm thoughts!

    1. Sarah Post author

      Richard and Mary, thanks for the response. I am going to make sure to tell the kids about your post. They will be so happy to hear an update. Right now, the plan is for Jacob to come back for the summer to play baseball and stay at the grandparents…maybe he’ll have a chance to fill in some gaps for you. 🙂 Sorry to hear about Buster. So hard to lose a special pet.

      Hope all is well for you.

  5. Dana Tucker


    I swear I had you on my mind just yesterday, then today I find your “Reflections” post in my inbox. I am SO glad to hear from you, and it was fun to sit, read, and “catch up” on the Bierle family adventure. Wow! is the first thing that comes to mind! 🙂 You can add our prayers to your warrior list. And we can’t wait to hear more about life in Ecuador. Remember the walking stick, dear friend? Well, this was a BIG one, huh?
    Hugs from Tennessee!
    Dana (and Houston, too!)

    1. Sarah Post author

      Oh, Dana! So good to hear from you! How I miss you, my friend!! How are things? Please send an update when you can. Thanks so much for being a prayer warrior for us. We know God has indeed been holding us in the palm of his hand through these past months – we can feel the prayer support of all those around us. And, YES, this was a big one. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing from you again.

  6. Mary Clare Coyle

    Sarah and Brad,
    I have tears of joy in following and learning the latest. What a great example for all of us to trust in the Lord — much easier said than done but you are doing. Wonderful to hear from you and kisses to all. Mary Clare

    1. Sarah Post author

      Mary Clare,

      Dear friend – thank you for the note. It means so much to us to hear from people and it brightened my day to see your precious name on my screen. I think of you often and wonder how you are. I think so fondly of all the time we were blessed to work together and share special memories. Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

  7. Betty Jones

    Sarah, Brad, Joshua, Jacob and Tessa–

    How wonderful to ‘spend time with you’ this morning–surely a gift from God! Thanks so much for the updates–I don’t know how you find the time, but Love hearing from you!

    Miss you all, but are so thankful you are faithfully following God’s call! You are all in my daily prayers; it’s an honor to lift you up to the Lord, and somehow, the distance between us doesn’t seem so great in the warmth of His presence!

    Glad to hear ‘snail-mail’ will reach you, and I hope Tessa got the notes from the 6th graders at Abiding Savior:) We’d like to keep in touch!

    Your reminder to ‘Give Him our All’ is right on!! Personally, I’m striving to ‘de-clutter’ my life so I may devote more productive TIME to His work, and less time dodging ‘obstacles’!

    Holding you always in my heart, in Jesus’ love,

    1. Sarah Post author

      Thanks for the note. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year time! Thank you for lifting us up to the Lord…as you well know, we fully believe in the power of prayer and not only know but BELIEVE that it is sustaining us day in and day out. We are SO thankful for all those praying on our behalf.

      I wanted to let you know that Tessa did get the notes from the 6th graders. What a special, special gift to have mail. Such a fun surprise and we were thrilled to see their names and notes. PLEASE make sure to thank them for taking the time to send those greetings, and tell them how much we appreciated it. It brought to mind faces and friends…and that’s always a good thing. 🙂

      Stay the course – having those daily things that suck us in are ways the devil pulls us away from the things that matter. We are in a constant battle to balance the necessities and the extras! May God give us the discernment to know the difference.

      Thanks again – we can’t wait to see you again!


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