The last 10 days, we've been blessed to have a family from Austin Ave. here to visit us. The Chessers are a dear family to our team, because Rodney and Tracie came with us on our initial survey trip of the city (not to mention the fact we love their girls, Chelsea and Ruthie). They came bringing care packages from Austin Ave. (including a horse shoe game set for Josh!), and we spent a wonderful time in fellowship during their stay. We took a day trip to a popular family site about half an hour from Cochabamba. It's next to a lake, and so had a variety of activities: playgrounds, paddle boats, a zip line (which Michaela went on with Josh!), and a restaurant that serves local fish. The Chessers spent a night at each family's home, and we enjoyed the personal time we had with them. To wrap up their visit, we hosted another grill out/game night at our house. We enjoyed the new horse shoe pits, good food, and a round of Mafia (and the kids loved the new sand box Josh built for Michaela). The Chessers were also able to be here for several landmark events in the life of the church (our first meeting in our contact center, and the finding of the location of the future church building). We are so thankful to have friends in Jesus like the Chessers, and especially grateful for the encouragement they were able to bring from our Austin Ave.
**For lots of fun pictures of the Chessers visit (including some random pictures of Cochabamba and our new meeting place), please click on our flickr badge.
Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13
But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.... “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13
Monday, July 31, 2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
We went to the doctor this week for an ultrasound at 24 weeks to find out what we're having. And the doctor is 100% sure that it is another little girl! So Michaela will have a little sister, pretty close in age. We're thrilled, of course. Like I told Josh, so many practical things are easier with having 2 girls so close in age (sharing clothes, sharing a room, already knowing how to change her diaper!), but mostly I'm thankful that Michaela will have a sister and I'm praying that they will grow up to be as good of friends as I am with my sister. I treasure my relationship with my sister so much! I love you, Laura!
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
As a reward for Josh finally finishing Quechua the first week in July, we decided to take a little family vacation time! It's been a busy few months, and we figured that from here on out it will only get busier (starting small groups, beginning the contact center, planning for the church launch, finding a location for the church to meet, not to mention the fact that a pregnant woman in her 3rd trimester - or for that matter, a newborn baby - can't travel very well!) We were a little limited in our options of where to go, because we can't leave the country as our visas are in process, and we can't go someplace tropical, because this pregnant woman hasn't had her yellow fever shot! We wanted to see a part of Bolivia we haven't seen before, so in the end, we went south, close to the Argentine border, to a city called Tarija. Our tour book describes it as a "Mediterranean" type climate, very similar to where we live. And this is the area of Bolivia that is the wine producing region! It was lovely! We stayed at a resort on a cliff overlooking a river and the city. It was perfect for our family, quiet, beautiful gardens, a playground for Michaela, a jacuzzi, a frigobar in our room (to keep Michaela's milk), a restaurant open around the clock (most restaurants work on Bolivian time - a 1:00 lunch and a 7:00 dinner, which makes it hard with little ones). The city of Tarija was smaller than Cochabamba, but very well maintained. We walked into town one day, took a tour of the local lake, hiked down to the river around our hotel. But mostly we just rested. Read, talked. Played with Michaela. Enjoyed our first family vacation with Michaela. We're thankful for the overwhelming blessings He puts in our lives - including the priveledge of being able to vacation in places like Tarija!
One of the great things about having a house and a garden is being able to have barbecues! Josh got another excuse to use his grill on the 4th of July. We decided the 4th couldn't go by uncelebrated - even in Bolivia - and so invited the team and some American friends from the language school over for a grill out. It was a great experience - hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, baked beans, apple pie. All the great American favorites. And we even mangaged to find Dr. Pepper and Root Beer. After dinner, we lit sparklers and some fire crackers (to the dismay of the babies!), and Josh initiated (and won!) the bobbing for apples contest (although it feels a little different in 60 degree weather, instead of 100!) As 2 missionary kids should know, it's important to celebrate the traditions of both your host and your home culture. It helps our kids maintain their "dual" identity.