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, September 30, 2008

Deja vu...

So the last few days I've been organizing baby stuff (I'm sending some of our stuff to Jenny and Erik in Sucre. We sure have a ton of baby girl clothes!), and putting away 6-9 month clothes that Jana's outgrown and getting out 12 month clothes... I got a little nostalgic as I did it, because it seems like I just packed those clothes away 6 months ago for Eliana. It's hard to believe Jana's growing so fast! I think Eliana's going to be the 'little' one of the family. Anyway, here are some of the things Jana's doing now...
-sitting up great!
-going from sitting to tummy. Every time she does this she gets this look on her face like she's not sure whether she should be excited or cry!
-eating lots: apples, banana, papaya, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, green beans, peas, bread and crackers, dry cereal, baby cereal, avocado, juice
-grabbing everything!
-still no teeth, although I think one's on its way in
-babbling: mama, baba, gaga

Friday, September 19, 2008

Church Retreat

Well, I promised some pictures of our church retreat, and finally am getting around to posting them. We got away for a night and a day to a retreat center called Casa Campestre. I think everyone really enjoyed it. We had some time to share our vision with the church, classes for the kids, and of course, lots of time for fellowship and games. Unfortunately, Josh got really sick half-way through and we had to bow out early, but I think it went well over all. It seems like these special times are critical in helping people make their decision for Christ, and 2 men, Javier and Alvaro, were baptized last Sunday. Praise God! Last Sunday as well, we had a car wash and hamburger sale to help the youth raise money for a youth conference trip to Asuncion, Paraguay in January. Josh is plannning on accompanying them - it will be at least 2 days in a bus to get there. So there's lots going on as always.

Gary and Josh and the kids - we had some team prayer and reflection time the night before the church retreat.

One of our kid's classes - we used the theme superheroes of the Bible.

Some fellowship time

Some of our youth. The youth group is really growing!

Alvaro's baptism

Washing cars after church on Sunday

Grilling hamburgers

Officially a Facebook member!

Just a FYI - I finally got around to creating a facebook account - so I hope to meet lots of friends there! Thanks, Butch, for creating the incentive to do it by uploading some pictures I wanted to download : )

Taste of Home

Well, in spite of blockades and political turmoil, a very exciting event has taken place in Cochabamba - the opening of a new grocery store, Hipermaxi, which is actually a branch of a chain in Santa Cruz. I went today for the first time, and although prices are comparable to the other large grocery store in Cochabamba, they had an array of import stuff from the States that I have rarely or never seen here including but not limited to...
Blueberry and cranberry muffin mix!
Large boxes of honest to goodness granola bars!
Velveeta cheese!
Large jars of crunchy Jiffy peanut butter!
Dr. Pepper!
Japanese curry mix (thought of Rusty Campbell when I saw this one)!
Yoohoo boxes (thought of Josh Harrold)!
Starbucks frapaccinos!
Tons of boxed cake and cookie mixes!
Tons of flavors of cake icing!
Chocolate chips!
Smiley potatos (the frozen kind that you bake in the oven)!
Frozen chicken nuggets (although to be fair, these actually came from Brazil)!
Stage 3 Gerber baby food!
Cans and cans of Doritos and Cheetos!
And although I wanted to spend a lot of money - you would have been proud of my self-control (well, I would hardly call it self-control, more like lack of cold-hard-cash, being the end of the month)! I only bought a couple fun things. And, Jenny and Erik, I'm already planning a care package for you guys when you get back (to be sent along with the baby swing!)

Monday, September 15, 2008


Besides labor and delivery and the first 2 months of waking every 2 hours for feedings, potty training is the most tiring part of parenting that I've experienced so far! And we're right in the midst of it with Eliana. One day down... I don't even want to think about how many we might have to go!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Prayers Requested

Well, generally speaking, my posts are of a non-political nature (I leave that to my much more talented teammate, Jeff Forbess), but due to some recent events that you may be aware of (and the fact that the Forbesses are traveling Stateside), I decided to post a few tidbits of information and request your prayers for Bolivia.

Over recent days, the political situation here has gone downhill. Violence has spiked in several provinces, namely Santa Cruz, and there have been several confrontations and resulting deaths between governmental troops and local citizens protesting on several levels: mostly against the president. A few weeks ago, there was a vote to see whether or not the president should stay - and although he won the vote (although there was some question of authenticity), several provinces still are seeking their autonomy (something like what each individual state in the US has). There are also some bad feelings between those who live in the lowlands and the more indigenious highlanders - as in all situations a lot of factors wiegh in. Regardless, the government is now cracking down on protests in Santa Cruz and the result has not been pretty. The city is now blockaded - meaning no transportation goes in or out (except for the airport, although there are protests there too, and AA has canceled all flights to Bolivia). As a result - we are experiencing gasoline, natural gas, and meat shortages (as all of those things generally are shipped in from Santa Cruz). And because of meat shortages, the price of chicken is now going up. Other than that, we are thankful to be experiencing peace here for the meantime in Cochabamba - although there is an air of watchfulness, as if that too might change any day. Every other major city is experiencing some share of violence or discontent.

In addition to all this, Bolivia is now straining relations with the US by expelling the DEA from the Chapare region (their headquarters are in Cochabamba) and declaring our ambassador persona non grata for some alleged form of conspiracy. See the following news article for more information. (As a show of support for Bolivia, Venezuela's Chavez has done the same to their US ambassador). So far, the US's reaction has been to express their concern and disapppoinment, and to wait for official diplomatic communication (see the US embassy website). And as far as US citizens are concerned, the US embassy is only recommending careful common sense and avoidance of troubled areas. However, among governmental circles, there is definitely an anti-American sentiment right now, which doesn't bode well for us as we are still in the process of pursuing our permanent visas.

Your prayers for the country of Boliva would be appreciated, as would your continued prayers for our work here and the pursuit of our visas. We're so grateful to have so many who provide spiritual support for us here!

Monday, September 08, 2008

A New Cousin!

We want to say welcome to our new niece and cousin, Mia Yaretzi Reyes, born Saturday morning in Gualdajara, Mexico. We are happy for Jenny and Erik and Zion, and thankful for her safe delivery and arrival. We are excited to welcome them back soon to Bolivia!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

And what do you do when...

Your children take terrible naps and you have a lot of time to kill during the afternoon? This is what we did...

We helped our neighbor, Florencio, and his wife (who attend a local evangelical Quechua speaking congregation) collect all the tarata tree seed pods in our yard. Tarata trees are a type of tree here in Bolivia and the seed pods are used for curing leather. Every year in springtime when they fall off the trees, our neighbors ask if they can come and collect them.

We got out the finger paint (thanks, Laura and Rusty!) and made symmetrical butterflies. My art loving Michaela loved it. I'm going to half to make it a goal to do one artsy craft a week.

It turns out the reason that the girls didn't take good naps is because Eliana was coming down with an ear and throat infection. She ran a mid-grade fever for a couple days before we took her into the doctor - but she's on an antibiotic now and doing much better. Stay tuned for pictures from our church retreat - soon to be posted.