Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Maybe NEXT week will be normal!

The Interns.

Adrian, Me and Jaclyn.

Michelle, Me and Jaclyn.

Greetings Folks,
Hope you are all enjoying the spring weather wherever you are. (Or fall if you’re in South America). The seasons don’t really change that much from one to the next except it rains less now. So enjoy the change!!
This week has not really been normal either. We spent the weekend hanging low. None of us were really feeling well so just took it easy. I did however get to go running a few times this weekend which made me oh-so-happy!! (and sore!)
On Saturday we had a meeting with a missionary here with Food for the Hungry. His name is Nate and he works with some pig farmers here trying to help them get the stock healthier and bring in new stock through Artificial Insemination (AI). I was so energized to see how someone with experience in that field (no pun intended!) is able to transfer it here to help these farmers and in return help the economy. He also said that he’s seen how helping people in this grassroots way gives him opportunities to share about Christ. Yeah!! He also told me that I can come see the pig farms sometime!! He is building bunkbeds for the new orphanages, so we are going to help him look for grants to get this program up and going. (A pig from the Chapare).
On Tuesday we went out to the school where the Timmer girls attend (Carachipampa Christian School) for their annual field days. It’s a great family time at the end of the year where the kids all compete in track and field activities. We interns were recruited to help time the races. Today Jaclyn and I participated in the adult relay. Our team got first place too!!
On Friday I am having my wisdom teeth taken out. I’m a little nervous, just because I don’t really like feeling like I am not in control of my body…and I hear that the anesthesia kinda takes over… Sooo hopefully no videos of my out of mind experience will surface on the net…! The dentist that is doing the surgery did the Timmer’s older daughters surgery, and she goes to the Young Professionals group that we attend at the international church here, so it should be safe.
On Tuesday afternoon we went to see the orphanages that my friend Jennifer runs here. (Hogares de Amor). She has two homes one for 0-3 year olds, and one for 3-11 year olds. Each home has about 17 kids. It was so neat to see. Each home was so orderly, the kids were so happy (mainly because they were napping when we got there). She has like 15 Bolivians on staff split between the two homes and they also periodically have volunteers that come to help. The older kids even take violin lessons!! As I saw the pictures on the wall of Jennifer with all of the kids, I couldn’t help thinking of the amazing difference she is making in these kids lives. She’s been here for almost 4 years, and has seen 6 kids from here homes be adopted. She has pictures of all of them on the walls, and pictures of the adopted ones with their newfound families. One picture in particular was of a family from Spain. They had twins and then adopted a little girl and the picture on the wall had them all looking so happy and one of the twins with his hands raised in victory! Apparently it was a long hard process, but they had won and received a beautiful girl into their family. It was adorable!
Soo…that’s my week in a nutshell. Thursday is a national holiday so we will be having some people from the young adults group over. Should be fun.
Happy May!!
By the way...check out my FOTO blog to see new updates.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company...


Today is April 25, 2008. The Bedford (New Hampshire) team is leaving tonight, though it feels like they just got here! They have been a tremendous blessing. It’s so interesting the change in dynamic from team to team. We especially enjoyed being spoiled by this team though. They were so welcoming and accepting of us. I got a lot of good advice from them on relationships, encouragement in the work I’m doing here, and felt as though I was the one who received the biggest blessing. But I know everyone here was encouraged by this amazing team as well. We’ve gotten to do a lot of cool things this week. We did some maintenance on the two orphanages, spent a lot of time playing with the kiddos, went to the malnutrition center…which was amazing! We got to see what the Patiño foundation does here for the malnourished kids and help to feed them and play with them. We also did a bread run in Sipe Sipe…well the panaderia was out of bread so I guess it was more of a “Banana Run”, we took fruit, cereal, milk and candy.

We also got to participate in the Team times of praise and worship and they even let me play their guitar!!

These next two weeks we’ll be settling into “routine”…whatever that is! My two roomies are getting closer to their departure dates, which none of us like to think about-but it’s a reality that we must face. Justin left on Sunday. So now it’s just Adrian and the girls. There will be a few more interns coming next month.

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday and I’ve been thinking a lot lately how much a father can influence the lives of his children…maybe especially his daughters. So, for all of you dads out there please don’t ever forget that you have a powerful God-ordained role to influence, encourage and challenge your kids. So do it!

Well, I guess that’s it for now.

The Lord bless and keep you,


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Another bunch of goodbyes

Today was the day the World Racers left. It was three of the best weeks ever!! It was incredibly encouraging to spend all day every day with a group of kids who are totally on fire for God. I felt so loved and accepted by each of them and immensely enjoyed their company, comic relief and conversations—I feel like I learned a whole lot more about leadership, interpersonal skills and saw some different perspectives of relating to God that helped me to learn more about what I believe and why and how I show that to others. I’ll link their blog to my page so you can see what they’re all about. That´s almost the whole team on the day we climbed the mountain.
One of the last big events with the AIM World Racers was a toe surgery in the living room of the Hacienda! I was surprised by the amount of people who chose to watch, and maybe even more so by the fact that Matt allowed them to watch. Our good friend Jorge is a doctor here in Coch. He attends the Cochabamba International Church where my roommates and the Timmers go, I met Jorge through the Young Professionals group that we interns attend. He was on call to us basically the whole time the team was here. I think he probably treated like 5 or 6 of the World Racers. He’s a great guy, a prayer warrior and a doctor with a heart for the poor of Bolivia. What an example to us all!
We went to Villa Israel in the afternoon with our NEW INTERN!!! Adrian is his name, he’s from Tasmania, Australia. He got here yesterday and he’ll be here through the middle of August. So be praying for him as he adjusts to life here in Bolivia. We all (especially Justin) are excited to have him here.
Saturday was Day of the Child here in Bolivia. We split into 2 groups and went to each of the orphanages in the morning. We played games with the kids, had snacks and “entertainment” (Two of the World Race guys did a “Magic Show”. Then in the afternoon we went to baby washing which was cancelled due to the health issues with Mickey (the guy who leads baby washing). So we played games with the kiddos.
Sunday I went to my church which had a special service for Día del Niño. In the afternoon I went to a futbol (soccer) game with some guys from the World Race Team. It was very entertaining. Cochabamba played against Santa Cruz. They tied two to two.
We have another small team coming on Saturday from New Hampshire, I think.
P.S. Check out my FOTO blog as I am going to try to put up a LOT of pictures today. :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

April 9

We just got back from the Chapare about 30 minutes ago. Did I mention that I LOVE it there?! I do—and even more so every time I go! We arrived last Monday by bus, all but 3 of us (2 girls were sick so they stayed back with Michelle who took them to the doctor and made sure they were following doctor’s orders). The mosquitos were sooo much better this time than ever before. But we also slept in tents, so I’m sure that helped too.
We got a lot accomplished. We painted/varnished the entire house inside and out. We also built staircases, dug trenches for the sewer, cleaned, cooked, and a few other miscellaneous things. We attended church services at the local church. One night we put on a kids program (it was rather spontaneous but God still shows up even when we’re not expecting to have to do a service) with skits, stretches, testimonies, and songs. It was very fun and the kids loved it! The people were very kind and the kids were rather amused by us. They loved to just sit and watch us eat or work and help when they could.
We’ve been super encouraged by this team. It’s an amazing group of people. I know that it’s going to be an adjustment when they leave. I’m going to attach a link to their blog so you can check out what they are doing.
On Friday all but two of the guys went to the other construction site in the Chapare. Things didn’t pan out there so they came back to Coch to help with some maintenance at the orphanages here. Us girls (and the 2 guys) continued working super fuerte, though and finished on Monday. Then we spent a day at the lake since we worked all day Saturday, and took Remberto, Vick and the kids out for a fish dinner. We also were able to share with Remberto how incredibly blessed we were by his servants heart. He was so good about making sure we had everything we needed and more. We chose Philipians as our book for the time in Chapare and Remberto was a perfect example of having the mind of Christ Jesus in considering others better than ourselves. It was a great time of encouragement to our brother and sister, and the team even spearheaded an effort to take up a love offering, around $90 USD. I was so proud of all of them! Oh, and I got to hold Remberto’s baby girl. She still doesn’t have a name yet but she is precious!!
I’ve been reading in Genesis and just finished reading the story about Joseph. He had an amazing attitude in spite of all of the crazy horrible things that happened to him. It just reminds me to have a good attitude even when we have communication errors, or feel like we’re not making a difference, God is sovereign and He (fortunately) has a much bigger plan than what we can see. So yeah…check it out when you get a chance, it’s in the end of Genesis.
Well, we’re back in Coch with a ton of laundry to do!!! Blessings to you all!!!
Much love.