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, June 16, 2009

Jana Banana

Men's Annual Camping Trip

The men held their annual camping trip a couple weekends ago - a little later than usual - which meant it was much colder! But they drove up in the mountains about an hour from Cochabamba and camped near some hot springs, which helped take the bite off the cold weather. Josh said it was a good time of fellowship and much enjoyed by all. We are very thankful for the brothers in Christ that God has brought to our body here.

Crossing a bridge on the road to Liriuni - scary!

The hot springs

Breakfast around the campfire

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

US Trip - May 2008

And I'm finally getting my act (and my pictures) to update you all on our trip to the US to see family.

We flew into Dallas on Tuesday, May 5th, where my parents picked us up. Eliana gave my mom the biggest hug when we walked out of baggage claim - it was so sweet! We spent the night with my Uncle Ken and his wife Barbara - how nice to sleep in a real home instead of a hotel - and enjoyed visiting with them in their beautiful home.

The next day we drove to Abilene and spent 5 days staying with the Guilds, old friends and teammates of my parents. I was very thankful for their gracious hospitality in putting up with our whole crew for that long (and for their fenced in back yard!) Thank goodness that they are ex-missionaries, grandparents, and parents of missionaries - so they fully understood the intricacies of international traveling with little kids and the blessing it was for our family to be all together - even for a couple of days.

We spent a lot of time helping my brother get set up in his new apartment, and enjoyed meeting his lovely girlfriend, Janille Woods, who we all liked a lot! She was great with the kids - and made best friends with Michaela when she brought over a craft for them all to do together. I got to have lunch with our good friends the Holways too, which was a highlight of my time, and visit my favorite Christian bookstore - Mardels! On Saturday, my brother graduated from Abilene Christian University with a degree in political science and high honors! We are very proud of you, Matthew!

On Saturday night, the girls and I borrowed my parents' van and made the drive to Brownwood where we stayed with the Bowens and enjoyed worshipping with our sponsoring congregation on Sunday morning.

Since that Sunday was Mother's Day, we made the drive back to Abilene that afternoon, so all 3 siblings could be with my mom that evening. We talked about going someplace nice - but with 5 kids age 4 and under, opted for a picnic at a park. We had a lot of fun playing with the kids.

Monday we began the loooong trek to Michigan. My sister and I and the 3 littlest kids rode in one van, while my mom and dad and the 2 oldest went in the other. Between a month old baby needing to nurse every 2 hours and a 2 year old needing to go potty every 30 minutes (at least that's what it seemed like!) - we made a lot of stops. It took us 3 full days of driving to reach Livonia - and although I was afraid my parents might be ready to put us on a plane back to Bolivia by the time we arrived :) - they were very gracious and patient through it all. We ate a lot of fast food - for the added advantage of indoor playgrounds - and stopped at Cracker Barrel a couple times too. We also managed to stop at hotels with pools - which was fun... and my sister and I had a lot of visiting time in the car - which was GREAT!

Our last day of travel, we stopped to have dinner with my grandmother. It was wonderful to be able to visit with her and eat her yummy homecooked food...

We had one day in Livonia to recuperate from the travels - and then the girls and I borrowed the car again for the day and drove across the border into Canada to meet our good friends the Fords. We had lunch at 'Old McDonald's' (as my girls call it) and had a good visit while the kids played.

The next 10 days were filled with fun and fellowship with my family - and of course, shopping!

We went to Greenfield Village (a live museum in Detroit) and rode the carousel and the train and a horsedrawn carriage...

To the zoo...

Out to eat Ethiopian food for my and Rusty's birthday - yum!!

And of course the highlight of our trip was meeting our new nephew/cousin - baby Stephen.

Not to mention - time with family!

All in all, this trip was a blessing (not to mention the most uneventful one I've had in years!) - I got to be there for another key moment in my brother's life, meet my new nephew, and see my sister and her family one more time before they move off to Africa. And although it seemed to fly by to us, it was time to come back. The girls were ready to see their daddy - and I was ready to come home to the love of my life. I hope my husband knows how much it meant to me for him to sacrifice the time with us and the money for us to go... He missed us a lot - and dealt with our absence by working 70 hour weeks! We have been enjoying our time together since being home - and we brought him lots of goodies for his birthday!

Note: Check back in a couple days for more pictures - I'm in the process of getting them from my parents...