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

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

To Obtain One Bolivian Drivers License You Must...

1. Take at least 15 trips to transito (this is not exagerated!)
2. Take 2 trips to Interpol to obtain one background check costing 40Bs.
3. Take 2 trips to the police station to obtain one request for a background check and one background check (for which you have to purchase a special form) in total costing 35Bs.
4. Take the theoretical exam on a Thursday night (in Spanish) covering signs, road rules (are there any in Bolivia??), and car mechanics.
5. Have at least 10 copies of your Bolivian ID card, 5 copies of your passport, one copy of your birth certificate, one copy of your American drivers license, one copy of the theoretical exam, one copy of the list of the theoretical exam saying you passed.....
6. Have 2 pictures 3x3cm on a blue background costing 15 Bs for the files and one digital picture for the actual license.
7. Stand in line for 2 hours to have an eye exam which costs 50 Bs.
8. Stand in 7 other lines at other desks.
9. Pay 160 Bs. for the actual license.

However, I am very proud to say that after a year of driving without a Bolivian license, I am now a legal driver in Boliva! (Although, for the record, they probably wouldn't give me many problems so long as I had my American license to show - many of my ex-pat lady friends drive without licenses).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Granddaddy

Last week we got an email from my mom saying that my granddaddy was on his way to a cardiac center in Michigan, as they were pretty sure he had had a heart attack. Turns out they aren't sure if he did or not, but his heart was in pretty bad shape and they decided to do quadruple bipass surgery. After a few days of waiting due to some blood and pulmonary problems, they did what seemed to be a successful triple bipass surgery. But complications developed, as often do in 83 year old men, my granddaddy had some breathing problems, developed pneumonia, had to have a temporary pacemaker installed etc.

Needless to say, it's been a difficult couple of weeks for my family. My mom has taken off work temporarily to be able to be with my grandmother and granddaddy at the hospital. I just got an email from my dad saying that things continue to look bad for granddaddy - and that within another week, they'll have to make some tough decisions about medical care, seeing as his chances of recovery are slim.

I was very thankful when I heard of the successful surgery - I guess I started thinking about how nice it would be to have Granddaddy to be able to meet Eliana and the new little great-grandaughter that will be joining our family before we go back next June on furlough. But maybe God is ready for this great servant of his to join the ranks in heaven.

Growing up in Kenya had some sacrifices to it. I didn't get to spend much time with my grandparents. But I have always loved and respected my grandparents so much. My granddaddy has been preaching for all of his adult life - up until the Sunday before these heart problems occured - and has touched countless lives for Jesus. He is a joyful, humble, people-loving servant of the Lord, and I am so proud to have him as a grandfather. He never forgets a person's name once he meets them (a talet I wish I inherited!)

Anyway, I guess I am requesting your prayers for my grandfather and my whole family as they face this together. I knew being gone for 2 and a half years that both Josh and I might have to face some family loss from afar. But it still makes me sad to think I might never get to see his baby blue eyes smiling again - and let my 2 little girls meet him.

Thank you for your prayers and your love and support. I am so thankful for the Christian faith - for being able to face times like this with the hope of heaven and the love of Christ.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Eliana!

We celebrated Eliana's first birthday on Saturday with a traditional Bolivian birthday party, a saltenada (which means you serve saltenas, a Bolivian meat pastry, and cake midway through the morning). It wasn't a very big affair, but we invited the people who are important in Eliana's life - our Bolivian homestay family, members of the church, the team etc. It was a fun time of food, fellowship, and even a couple games of horseshoes (thanks again to the Chessers for bringing the equipment down, we sure have gotten good use out of it!). Here are some pictures from the day.

The birthday girl

The big sister

The birthday cake

The kids table

The guests


The pregnant ladies

Thursday, October 18, 2007


- the clouds hugging the mountains
- a nap with both girls asleep to the sound of the first good rain of the season trickling outside
- a tousle-headed 2 year old upon just waking up
- baby babble and a snaggle-toothed grin
- a fresh glass of lemonade shared with Eli Arcos on a spur of the moment visit
- chocolate ice-cream and 20 minutes of uninterrupted conversation with my husband in the middle of running errands
- the joy of Swahili choruses on a tape long unlistened to
- fresh baked chocolate chip (yes, I actually found chocolate chips here!) cookies
- early morning waking to the birds singing and the movement of new life inside

As they say in Africa: "God is good, all the time!"

Monday, October 15, 2007

And the Verdict Is.....

It's another girl! We went this morning for another ultrasound - a place that was recommended to us by another ex-pat lady who had 2 kids here. The doctor was really nice, gave us a CD and everything of the ultrasound, very sure that it is a girl, and it cost us all of $12. One of the perks of living in Cochabamba. Of course, we are excited to have 3 girls so close in age! And the doctor said she looks beautiful. Josh is now officially what they call a chanclatero here (a word we'd never heard before coming to Bolivia that technically means "sandle man" but refers to a man who has all girls). We know God has special plans in store for our 3 beautiful little ladies.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Update on Eliana

Well, it's been an interesting experience getting the tests done on Eliana after her urinary tract infection. It seemed like we had several hiccups in the process.

Hiccup #1- We got back from our trip to Sucre and had Eliana's tests scheduled for the next day. Only thing was we woke up to find the whole city shut down because the transportistas (taxi and bus drivers) had the whole city blockaded in protest of road conditions. We couldn't even get to the grocery store, much less get Eliana downtown for her tests. So we rescheduled.

Hiccup #2- For some reason (although the clinic was very professional), we had to bring our own medical supplies for the tests. So Monday morning rolled around, and we went out to the pharmacy to buy 2 siringes, a bag of hydration fluid, and an infant feeding tube to use as a catheter. We stopped at several pharmacies (including the major chain pharmacy in Cochabamba) and no one had the feeding tube. So we went to the main hospital and tried both the main pharmacy there as well as the pharmacy in the pediatric section. Strike again. As a last resort, I headed to the children's hospital. On the way, I saw a pharmacy they had recommended at the hospital. So on the off chance they would have the catheter, I stopped. Wonder of wonders, they had it! I paid all of three bolivianos for the thing I had been all over the city for (that's about 50 cents).

Hiccup #3- I arrived with Eliana at the clinic and waited while they got everything set up. Right as we were being called back, they looked at me and said, "Oh, are you pregnant?" Obviously. I would not be able to accompany my child to one of the tests seeing as it was an x-ray. Nice of them to tell me this beforehand! So I had to call Josh who was at home with Michaela, and he had to wake her up and come down so we could have someone present with Eliana during the bcug test.

Hiccup #4- We went to pick up the results from the test the next day and to drop them by our pediatrician's office. Only to find out our pediatricain had been in a major car accident that afternoon and was hospitalized. Needless to say, I nearly freaked out - I've become so dependent on this man with everything that's happened with the girls the last few months. Not to mention the fact I know he has a family and I have no idea where he stands with the Lord. Come to find out, he was in stable condition and concious, but had broken his hip and so would be on bed-rest for a couple months at least. At which point, I called for back up. We went to language school with an American pediatrician who is now working for a whole health organization in the city. I called him up and asked him to read the results for us so we would know where to go from here.

Results being that Eliana does not have any kind of reflux and everything looks completely normal with her urinary tract system. We can now stop the antibiotic and there's no need for a surgery of any kind. Praise God!

I couldn't resist including this picture of Eliana. I tried hard to get a picture of her 2 teeth, but couldn't seem to get it timed right. Trish gave me this one - even though it only has the 1 tooth, I think it's pretty cute.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

An Independent Streak

So last month we celebrated Nathan Bull's 2nd birthday (happy birthday, Nathan!). I don't know what it was about his party - it was a nice but simple celebration with just our team. But Michaela is still talking about it! Maybe she's finally figured out what birthdays are all about - or maybe it was the Bull's new apartment - or maybe it was Nathan's new trike.

The next day, she told me she was going to Nathan's birthday. She got on her little push car and rode it around the house. Then she took it outside and asked me to carry it down the stairs. Then she asked me to open the gate. Since we live in the country, I did, thinking "What could it hurt?" and told her to turn around when she got to the end of our driveway - about 100 meters long. She took off down our gravel road riding her her car - when it got too hard on the gravel she pushed or pulled it. She got to the end of the road, turned the corner and kept going. At which point I went after her. When I got to her, she was still bound a determined to go to Nathan's birthday (their apartment is a good 20 minute drive from our house)- she threw a fit when I made her come home, got a spanking for it and cried the whole way back to the house.

And that's not the only run in we've had with Michaela's independent streak. She wants to do everything by her self - her most common saying is "Lala do it!"

I pray every day for wisdom as He helps guide me through the muddy waters of parenting.

Michaela and Nathan on his birthday trike

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Well, I've been having technological problems - which is the reason why this update is so delayed. But finally I have been able to download the pictures from our trip to Sucre. We were blessed to be able to take a long weekend to go visit Josh's sister in Sucre, Bolivia, the judicial capital of Bolivia (also known as the White City: it's a beautiful colonial city with all the buildings painted white). They arrived with a team of 2 families and 3 singles from the Quito School of Biblical Studies back in April. We were very exicted to have another work started in Bolivia, not to mention the fact that now we have family a little closer. We had a wonderful time staying with Jenny, her husband, Erik, and our precious little nephew Zion. They have a nice home right near the center of town and Jenny saved my sanity by giving us two rooms (Eliana sleeps so much better that way at this point). Zion is exactly one month older than Eliana, but is already walking, climbing stairs and getting off of furniture himself! Amazing! He and Michaela and Eliana had a lot of fun playing together. It was a blessing to be able to worship with the newly forming church body there in their contact center (which is like a little coffee shop), and to see how Jenny and Erik and their team are getting into people's lives there. We were also able to visit the dinosaur park there, and a children's park on Sunday that has rides for kids. But the highlight was definitely celebrating Zion's birthday. It's nice to be able to be a little more involved in at least one of our nieces' and nephews' lives. Travel there and back was a little challenging as it always is in Bolivia - Josh took an overnight 10 hour bus (got on the wrong bus initially, and had a cramped, uncomfortable trip), and I flew with the girls (you try flying with a 2 year old, a one year old and being 5 months pregnant!). I told Josh I don't want to travel any more until this baby is born! But we are very thankful for the time that we had in Sucre.

The 3 cousins

My beautiful family!

Zion sharing cake with Jenny and Erik

Zion's cake. Jenny made carrot cake in bread pans, and one of their teammates, Angela, decorated it like a circus train. Super cute! And only slightly ruined by the fact that their dog, Cosita, licked off some of the icing before we could enjoy it. Needless to say, Jenny was very upset!

At the dinosaur park. A mining company discovered a wall covered with hundreds of fossilized dinosaur prints. It is now a tourist attraction complete with lifesized models of the dinosaurs. Michaela loved it!

Michaela playing at the dinosaur park

Worship with the church in Sucre