Posted by: calloftheandes | June 4, 2012

Reflection: Douces Ponder 21 Years of Mission Work in Ecuador

Dr. Richard and Marian Douce

Marian Douce, an information technology (IT) and leadership development specialist with HCJB Global served with her husband, Dr. Richard Douce, in Ecuador for 21 years. Here are her thoughts upon retiring from the mission and returning to Michigan where they now live.

As we left Ecuador, a German saying seemed apt to describe our move back to the U.S.: One eye smiling and one eye crying.

Well, both eyes were crying in those final days in Ecuador.

Lord, You’ve got to take care of Sarita…. And put your arms around Ceci…. And please guide our friends in the Camino de la Luz (path of light) Bible study…. And give my HCJB friends strength…. And, and, and….

“Wait a minute Marian.” God interrupts my anxious thoughts. “Don’t you think I care?”

Yes, of course you do.

“And do you not think that I have a plan?”

Of course you do … better than mine!

“And if I cause some pain, don’t you think that I have good reasons? Can you trust me with this, Marian?”

Yup, you’re right. Sorry, I’ll dry my eyes.

Our apartment echoes now. We’re so grateful for friends who helped us sell nearly everything!

The new owner takes the car tomorrow, so I drove the car for the last time tonight to Bible study with Sarita. She is growing strong in the Lord and will continue growing in the Camino de la Luz(Way of Light) Bible study.

Friends from the Camino de la Luz Bible study wish Dick and Marian well at a final meal together

In all the “goodbye-ing” we’ve discovered that a couple of our former family practice residents who had been atheists decided to follow Jesus. Those three years of Bible reading sank in!

Juan Roldán, one of our best friends who studied the Bible with us for years, replaced Dick as the new medical director at Hospital Vozandes-Quito.

On the other side of this move, Cindy helped get our Michigan house ready. Art cleaned the carpets and mowed the lawn. Mark fixed the oven. Bobbie loaned us a car.

Duane and Bonnie (also former missionaries) will be mentoring us through the transition. Brad had a garden ready for Dick to dig in. Family members are so glad that we are returning. Thank you dear family and friends in the U.S. for welcoming us, and in Quito for helping us leave well.

That eye is smiling!

Dr. Douce headed a medical team that treated cholera in Haiti in 2011

Throughout the years the Douces have hosted hundreds of Ecuadorians via Camino de la Luz and other Bible studies, teaching attendees the basic tenets of Christianity and inviting them to follow Jesus. Richard also helped educate some 180 family practice residents as well as hundreds of medical students and interns. They discipled Ecuadorian physicians who came to Christ while in Quito.

At the request of Ecuador’s Ministry of Health, Richard helped with the treatment of AIDS and tuberculosis and was a consultant during outbreaks of yellow fever, H1N1, cholera, measles and a mysterious killer in the rainforest that turned out to be bat rabies. They also spent four months in Malawi serving at an HIV/AIDS clinic, and Richard joined a medical team in Haiti in 2011 to treat cholera patients.

Marian led the mission’s global IT team and coached people on ministry management. She spent several months coaching in the South America office of AWANA.

Some management coaching was done informally, such as by hosting ladies for a cookie bake during the winter holiday season

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