April 3, 2013
Sadly our cat was not here. She died while we were gone, probably from rat poison. So we found a kitty in town and brought her home. The shop keeper gave it for free. What a blessing.
One of the first jobs for everyone was to harvest the rice. The students planted it last year and it was already ripe. We had only a few weeks to harvest it before it fell and rotted. We even cancelled one day of class as the rice was falling to make sure to get it all in.
We started school as normal. We had an orientation day, and the first Sunday was also our school's anniversary celebration so we had half a day of fixing up the school and then fun activities, a little music concert and a special meal.
In the last picture we are saying goodbye to Soledad. She graduated last year and is moving to Guyana to attend one of our missionary training schools. Our love and prayers go with her.
More has happened since I started writing this update, including an internet outage. Min is preparing a post to fill in the details.
February 20, 2013
This past Sunday, Scott and I were planning to bus it all the way to Guayaramerin, where the school is. But since it is the rainy season, people were telling us that it could take 2 or more days. Some said that they were bussing it for 3-4 days one time. But we knew that if we didn't leave soon, the heavier rains would fall and then it would take longer to get to our school. An hour before boarding the bus, a friend called and was really concerned that I was going to bus it all the way. She heard from someone who just travelled those roads that the roads were super bumpy and she was afraid that I would miscarry, would get a bladdder infection--the buses stop every 5-7 hours to let people use the bathrooms...etc.. Well we really didn't have another option to get back to the school and she wanted us, at least me, to fly. We told her that we didn't have that option, so very last minute, she came up with the money to fly from Trinidad to Riveralta, a city an hour away from Guayaramerin. So Scott and I got on a bus Sunday night with 6 other missionaries all headed up to the same place. It took 9 hours overnight to Trinidad. Then two other missionary women and I got on the last plane to Riveralta (all the flights were full), and arrived at the school Monday afternoon, THANK GOD!
Scott and the the 2 husbunds of the other missionary ladies took the bus from Trinidad to Guayaramerin, which took like 36 hours...All the luggages were like 20 something pieces. Most of us were coming from the States, so it only made sense that the bus was the best option to carry a lot of stuff. Thank God Scott and the other men arrived last night close to midnight. Scott was telling me that the bus sometimes would be on a ferry to cross rivers and then once they were on their way, it was sometimes scary coz the roads would be really slippery and sometimes the bus would lean over to the right, and that would scare people and send them hopping over to the left side to balance the bus. He said this kept happening. I've heard from a friend who has bussed it many times, that one time she saw a bus that totally flipped over on its side. I'm just glad and thankful. that I didn't have to bus it.
I really wanted to pick up Raisin, our sausage dog, on Monday, but I was too tired and decided that it would be better to wait for Scott to pick her up, as she is extremely attached to Scott and super loyal. Last time we left for the States and came back in 2 months, she followed Scott around for 2 weeks, just to make sure he never left her again! We heard from a friend we gave one of Raisin's to, that she was depressed with the family we left her with in town. It only makes sense since she is a total country dog and runs around everywhere. It was hard to wait for Scott to make it here because I wanted to get her back so bad. Well! today is the day!!! We just arrived in town, and here I am updating you before we pick up our little dog. I'm so excited. Who'd ever think that your pets would be in your dreams?? Mine was!
Oh and another thing! I couldn't move in to where we used to live coz...there are 8 bats living there :( I remember last year when we came to help the school, they had no where to put us and decided to put us in the half of that duplex. Well surprise surprise, it seemed like whoever last lived there left it in a wreck, as in the floors had huge holes in it, the screens were falling apart and not to mention that there was a thick layer of bat poop everywhere. I don't think anyone lived there for more than 3 months or so. I remember it took us 4 days to just clean, and another 2 days or so for Scott to buy some screening and fix all the windows and the doors. I'm really happy that Scott can fix anything!!! He has a natural talent for this. He even cut out a little dog door for Raisin :) At first I didn't want to live there, because I've heard that bat poop can release an airborn fungus that may cause acute pulmonary histoplasmosis (you can look this up), but after it was all clean, it seemed better. I really don't want to go through all the cleaning again, plus we have to wash all our clothes that may have been peed on by rats or that just stink coz the humidity is so bad. We will attempt to clean the place this afternoon some, after we get back from town.
On a downside, our cat, Olive is missing. We left her with a family that said they would take care of her, but then they decided to to on a trip or something, anyways, the missionaries at the school said they haven't seen her, and another lady said that a while back they were poisoning rats and that they found a dead cat in one of the houses. I know our cat is a great hunter, and it scares me to think that she caught a rat that had been poisoned and died. It makes me even more sad, if she's gone for good, coz she was more Scott's cat. He asked for her when he arrived and I told him that she's missing. He seemed kinda sad coz this cat would sit on his shoulder and go on walks with us. She really was an awesome cat. She even took care of 2 puppies when Raisin wasn't around. I'm still praying that we find her. If not, Scott and I may try to find another cat, but its hard, coz every cat is different...different personality..etc., smart/dumb...etc. you name it.
Oh and another thing. I can't believe that I'm back at the school. In the jungle once again! One thing's for sure, the "no-seeums" (little gnats that bite you a lot and get away with it coz you cant see em), sure did a good job in welcoming me back. It only took but a moment to look at my feet that were covered in little pink bumps ALL OVER, my legs too...to finally believe that I was back. Bummer. For instance, I was picking guavas off a tree for a minute or so and red ants started biting me. I found one on my arm, biting me for all he was worth. When I pulled him off, his head stayed stuck on my arm. I guess that bite cost him his life.The biting bugs are still something I haven't gotten used to. Last night I couldn't stop scratching, next thing I know, I'm waking up :) I'm just thankful that Scott is back and is safe from that long trip. He bussed it a total of 45 hours or so.
There's a lot of cleaning to do, as rats and other small animals have invaded other homes and taken over. Its not a pleasant thing or an easy job, but it must be done! So once we get our place all cleaned up and all our clothes washed, Scott and I plan to start a little garden. This sounds pretty ambitious! Well, we'll see, coz we only have 3 weeks or so before school starts and the students get here. Scott has been working on his lesson plans already!
Well, this is where we are right now. As far as we know, our baby is doing great! I am extremely anemic... My Hemoglobin and Hematocrit were very low. More so with the Hgb. It was at a 9. So I'm trying my best to eat iron rich foods. I just feel exhausted all the time and I guess the heat doesn't help much. I'm taking in extra Ca+ and Mg, along with supplements. and alot of citrus fruits. I'm also going to try to sproud mong beans to have something fresh to eat. I brought a kilo of sesame seeds and a quarter kilo of chia seeds with me. I know sesame has lots of Ca+ but I was reading that Chia seeds have 3X the amount of Ca+ regular milk has and has all the essential amino acids and other vitamins. I don't remember all that I read but basically it sounded like a super food :)
Please continue to keep us in your prayers and when you're not too busy, we would also like to hear from you and how you are doing. We think of you all and pray for you. Thank you each for you love and care, support and prayers. We appreciate you.
January 30, 2013
We've made it back to Bolivia! We're staying in Santa Cruz until mid-February and then we'll make the journey to Guayaramerin to teach at the school again. We've been blessed to enjoy all of the tropical fruits that are in season here! Mangoes, achachairu, pineapple, coconut, etc. We got 50 little mangoes for $1 one day. We had to cut them up and freeze them for smoothies, but wow what a price.
Just before we left the U.S. we found out some good news! Min was feeling very sick and it turns out she is pregnant! We calculate that our little one will be born around August or September this year. We're looking forward to it, and we're reading up on what we need to know. I'm glad to be here during this time, as there is an abundance of healthy food in Santa Cruz.
Last weekend we visited another ministry in the area; a missionary health and evangelistic school about an hour away from where we are staying. It's WAY out in the country. A small group of us boarded a taxi to get to the main road, then a bus to El Torno. We hopped off and found a pickup truck willing to take us to Quebrada Leon for $1.50 each. This was the long part.
The road is only 11 kilometers, but it takes 45 minutes to navigate it because it is so rough, and you have to cross 6 rivers. As we traveled on this road, the countryside became more and more beautiful. There were orchards filled with citrus and other fruit trees, mountains came into view, and everything seemed peaceful. It got better and better until we arrived at the school property. We had a wonderful sabbath with the volunteers and a few students there, and on Sunday everyone went to visit a waterfall nearby.
One day I was exploring the school's land with some friends and we ran across some of the neighbor's cows. Apparently the cows are welcome because they keep the grass from growing too high and they fertilize the land. One of my friends tossed a sweet lime at one and it started following us and I got a little worried because of their big horns. However, when it got to me it just stopped and looked at me expectantly. I reached up and picked a sweet lime and offered it to the cow. She took it! In one lick it was gone. Here's the video:
(The video isn´t showing. I´ll get it from my friend and post it later. It´s on my facebook page for now)
What fun! It wouldn't let me pet it though. So far I've gotten to help another volunteer weld together a roofing frame and other odd jobs around the TV station in Santa Cruz. I offered bible studies to a local taxi driver and he actually seemed interested! Please pray that he'll give me a call. He reads the Bible to his family on weekends sometimes. We're also praying for many volunteers this year for the Familia Feliz orphanage and other missions. You can find the needs at www.gospelministry.org if you feel led by the Lord to do so.
Scott and Min
January 6, 2013
We've updated the blog title to reflect the name of our ministry. To be specific, the name of our ministry is Bolivia Adventist Missions, and we are a member of the worldwide mission organization Gospel Ministries, International.
We also updated the "How to Help" page. There is a list of needs to pray for or contribute to, and new instructions for donating. Just to re-iterate: we do not ask others for funding for our project, we go directly to God and expect Him to provide all our needs for doing His work. We do not believe it is wrong to ask others to help, but we are doing this to show the world (and ourselves) that God can and will provide the needs of the people working for Him, whether they have rich friends and relatives, or they are poor and unknown. May it be a testimony that anyone who is called by God can step forward and expect God to open the way before them and provide for them as they pursue missionary work. For more great testimonies you can visit the Gospel Ministries International website at www.gospelministry.org and click on the Resources tab.
Min and I have finished with most of our plans while visiting the United States this year, and will be traveling soon to Bolivia. The school year doesn't start for a few more months, so we'll use this time to prepare and hopefully to build a little house for ourselves at the school. I'll be doing some flight training most likely, and being oriented on the flying routes near the school. We've received a lot of school supplies and other useful items from friends and family, and are excited to get back to work in Bolivia. We look forward to seeing the students as well. May God work through us to prepare many more people for heaven!
December 10, 2012
I'm sorry for the long wait with no post. Here's what happened:
After the truck accident, we had to wait 3 days before someone with a strong enough cable came by who pulled us out. We had students and staff taking shifts sitting in the truck so no-one would steal parts off of it or something. We were so grateful to get it out, and with very minor damage.
Several of the girls in the back were injured, and Min gave countless massages to them in the girls dorm in the evenings. They appreciated her so much, she would come back home often with fruit they gave her. I also noticed that even after they were all healed, the girls were more open with her and gave her lots of hugs. Min says they are emotionally closed off to new people at first, but when they trust you, they show lots of love. She says many of them had a very disfunctional home life growing up. For some it was so bad that they don't even want to go home to visit on their vacations. I hope at least they find the closest thing to a loving Christian family here at our school; Even though they were not privileged to grow up with one. Knowing this makes me appreciate my family a lot. Thanks Mom and Dad!
We continued teaching all the way until near the end of 3rd trimester. The whole time I was struggling to keep up as best I could with the class syllabus. I joined the school as a teacher 2 weeks before the end of 1st trimester, so I was behind to begin with. Also against me were my spanish speaking skills and the fact that I had to come up with my own lesson plans, homework assignments, tests and quizzes. Also when students wouldn't do their homework, procrastinate, wouldn't study, be late to class, etc, I had to come up with appropriate consequences. I've never taught so there was a STEEP learning curve. It's only by God's grace that I finished the year out, got our grades in, and felt confident that we covered the material as best we could in the time we had. Sometimes I forget that I majored in Physics and took Chemistry maybe 3 times. They don't need to understand it like I do yet! Overall I was very happy and relieved when all was finished. We had two students that tried very hard, but I was sure they would fail. As much as I liked their attitude, I couldn't pass them if they didn't know the material. I also had pity on them because they were teaching the primary kids during their work time, which is a big job and often steals their free time when they could be doing homework or asking for extra help. However, by God's grace, even though they failed the 3rd trimester miserably, when their grades were averaged over all three trimesters, THEY PASSED! Praise the Lord. God rewarded them for their efforts.
The other big news in the last few months is that I came down with Typhoid fever. I didn't know what it was to begin with but the first day I had a 104 degree fever that lasted all day, and finally quit at night. Min took care of me as each day it happened again and again for 3 weeks. I took every natural remedy we had available: raw garlic, GSE, cat's claw herb, echinacea, and goldenseal. I had a cough, so I would put my head over a pot of steaming eucaliptus water and inhale it to clear my lungs out. I can't thank Min enough for all of the care she gave me during that time. The fevers eventually disappeared and the headaches improved, but my family and the leaders of our ministry were concerned for my health, and wanted me to be tested to know exactly what it was. My parents were able to pay for a flight to Santa Cruz were the test facilities are more advanced, and after several tests my malady was identified. By God's grace it was Paratyphoid B and Typhoid O that I had. There is a more severe form out there that can stay in your system for years, but I was spared from that.
I am in good health now, and we are in the United States visiting family. Thank you for your prayers, I know they were effectual. We'll be heading back at the end of this month and we're looking forward to it!
April 19, 2012
April 19, 2012
We've been so busy at this school! Here is an update from Min followed by a few comments from me:
Something bad happened last Friday. The day started off like a normal day. The whole week, we were preparing for Communion on Friday night, as the worships in the morning where about preparing our hearts...etc.. This day, the girls dean and director of the school took some kids in the big truck to the river for their swimming classes. Now this truck is huge! Its like a huge vegetable truck or like one of those trucks that carry livestock. The cargo area of the truck is hard wood. Anyway, the kids piled in the truck and away they went. I went to the river to wash my clothes and Scott went to town to do some errands. Then around 12pm I saw a small pick-up truck pull up , then all of a sudden people started swarming around it and some were crying and people were calling for someone to come help. I ran over there to find out that there had been an accident. I saw two girls, wet from swimming, one was laying on the back of the truck, crying with some cuts, and the other one was in the cab in pain. Apparently, the kids that had gone swimming earlier in the morning were ready to come home. When the truck tried to do a 3-point-turn and for some reason, the brakes failed and the truck suddenly rolled backwards down the embankment into the river. When this happened the kids couldn't hold on and fell on top of other kids, squishing them against the bottom of the truck.
Five girls were hurt. But at the time I ran over there, we really didn't know what the situation was exactly. One girl told me that the truck fell off the bridge into the river and I was thinking the worst. I saw one of the teachers, who was a paramedic, trying to stabilize one girl just in case she had any spinal injuries...it was a lot of stress, confusion, and not knowing for sure how badly injured the girls were. We didn't know if there were any broken bones..etc. I was scared for one girl because she was pinned to the bottom since all the kids fell on her, and she wasn't moving very much. It was a very stressful time, because some of the kids' parents who live near the river came with and were distressed and crying and telling us that their kid was dying and we needed to do something quick...etc. You know, when a kid is injured and the parent is there, it is very difficult to calm the kid down, especially when the parent is crying. Most parents were angry too. It was a tense situation; very emotionally stressing. During this chaos, one girl found out that her sister was injured and when she saw her sister, she went into a panic and started hyperventilating. The injured girls were rushed to the hospital in town as soon as possible, while we stayed and prayed to God that they would be alright. By then most of the girls were crying and everyone was scared.
This one girl who went into a panic, stopped breathing and it was quite an ordeal to get her breathing again. As soon as I would get her to breathe, she would do so for about 30 seconds or so, then her eyes would roll back, and she would stop breathing again. This went on and on for 15 minutes or more. She wasn't even in the accident, but I was more worried about here, because her pulse was starting to get faint, and I knew that if she didn't start breathing pretty soon, I would have to breathe for her. Long story short she started breathing on her own. Thank God. Three other girls were injured and taken to the hospital. It was hard to just sit and wait at the school not knowing how serious the injuries were, but all we could was pray, and pray we did! At the hospital the girls had to wait till 5 or 6pm just to get the x-rays done. They mostly had muscular injuries, some girls had injured knees and most of them injured their backs, none of them fractured any bones. Thank you Jesus. There was one girl that hit her head really hard and I was concerned that she may have a slight hemorrhage since after the accident her vision was affected and she started getting dizzy. But thank God, she is getting better now. The girls that got hurt got some massages and hydrotherapy from me, which they enjoyed. Today, all the girls seem to be doing better, except for one girl, whom the director took to the doctor to make sure she didn't have any nerve damage to her legs. Apparently her injured leg doesn't have the same sensation as the good leg... We are praying for her too.
It just seemed like the Devil threw an attack at this school and of all days, for we were supposed to have Communion that night. Well it was canceled, obviously. Most kids were traumatized. From 6-930pm Scott and I sat and watched the truck to make sure that no one came and stole parts. This past Sunday they were able to get the truck out, with the help of another truck, but now it has to be fixed since the brakes are bad. Monday morning, Scott drove the truck to town. I didn't want him to do it since I was scared that with the breaks malfunctioning, I didn't want him to be in a situation where he couldn't stop and hit someone or another vehicle. But thank God, Scott went around 5am to town when there were hardly any cars and was able to put it the shop to be fixed. This afternoon we will be checking on the truck to see if they are able to fix it or what kind of parts the mechanic may need. I'm just thankful that in spite of the accident that God protected the kids and that no one died. And that the injuries are not life-threatening. We are still taking care of the girls injured and praying for a quick recovery.
With so many kids here, I'm worried sometimes that something life-threatening may occur and we may not be able to get them to Santa Cruz and they may die. We are out in the middle of no where and even in Guayara, there isn't any emergency type of help or "hospitals" that can take care of something serious. Another reason why the director says "We need a plane stationed here." This is very important because, usually if someone gets hurt and needs to be flown out, the director has to call the pilot in Santa Cruz, but its 3.5 hours flight away, and by the time he is able to come it may be 8 hours later, or even not till the next day. We are praying that there can be a plane stationed here, just in case any emergencies take place, Scott can take them to Santa Cruz. I'm afraid in serious circumstances, the patient may die due to too much time wasted.
As you already know, Scott and I moved to Guayaramerin, which is at the northeastern tip of Bolivia, literally on the border of Brazil. There's a primary and secondary school here that we are helping out with. Scott is teaching Chemistry, Physics and Math, and I'm teaching piano and Choir. Scott has found it challenging to be teaching in Spanish...the first couple days it was frustrating not knowing Spanish terms and looking them up in the dictionary. But he is trying his best and the students seem to be understanding and respectful even when he can't communicate well.
We are both learning Spanish faster than we ever had before :) I have 10 piano students and they seem to be loving it! However, I don't have my keyboard with me since there was a problem with 6 keys and we left it in Santa Cruz to be fixed. Well, it looks like they don't have the right part for it, so for now I don't have a keyboard, but at the school there is one, so thank God we can use that. I've never taught choir before and thought that it wouldn't be too hard...however many of the kids need to learn how to carry a tune. I didn't think I would have to deal with this problem, but its been a challenge just trying to teach kids the melody of a song and making sure that when we begin or end on one note that I'm not hearing 5 or 6 different notes :)
I don't know what to do about the kids not being able to sing in tune... I thought about separating the ones that can carry a tune and the ones that can't. But then again, I don't want to do that because I realize that most of the kids that can't sing in tune were raised in homes where they never heard music or sang before...and I don't want them to feel like they're not good enough...etc. I at the least want them to try and try and improve. Its frustrating, but oh how they love to sing. You know what, I am more thankful that I grew up in a home where my parents sang and that I got the opportunity to learn how to sing and play different instruments. What I consider easy and natural, as in singing, is not to most kids here. I realize that I am blessed. Lately we have been borrowing a guitar that a student has here and Scott has been doing really well, learning how to play it. He really likes the guitar! Someday we want to get one in town.
We've been here 3 weeks already and are starting to get into the routine of things. Its so much different than living in Santa Cruz. Well, for one, we are "faculty" which means that we have some 50+ pairs of eyes watching whatever we do and how we act, say things, etc.. I'm realizing more and more that we are examples to these kids. The kids that are in secondary school just warmed up to us really fast and love talking with us. Over here, half the students have class in the morning while the other half work in the rice fields, cooking, cutting the grass, getting firewood...etc. And then after lunch, they switch. The students here work very hard and aren't lazy for the most part. I've worked in the "chaco", or rice fields, with the kids and I've had numerous opportunities to speak in Spanish for hours and learn not just the language but talk one on one with the kids...and this gives me opportunities to listen to their experiences from where they come from. Other times they have questions about me or just want to talk about something. Most kids come from broken homes, or where the father drinks and is violent or where one or both parents left the home. So they have their baggage with them, but I also see that they are just so happy to be here and they laugh and smile and are really thankful to be at this school. There's a roof over their head, rice to eat every day, and a small river to wash in, and they are thankful!
Since we've been here, there have been challenges I am still getting used to. We eat mostly white rice and beans with a little salad. I like rice, but I may be cured of it by the time I leave here! There are also lots of bugs here. Every week I'm seeing something bite me that I've not seen the previous week.
I really like the worships and the singing kids (even if they don't sing in tune), and the fact that we are out 2 kilometers off the main road, its quiet and you can hear the birds and there's nature all around you. Just the other day I saw a wild pig that was about the size of a piglet. And today as Scott and I were walking the 2 km to the main road to hitch a ride to town, we saw HUGE iridescent blue butterflies that had a wingspan of 8 inches!!! So beautiful.
Anyway, Scott and I are doing fine, praise the Lord! Thank you to my friends and family for your love and support and for your prayers. We need them every day. Thank you so much for being there. We love and miss you.
And from Scott:
Driving the truck to town to get it fixed was a scary thing. Fortunately a student and I went through the cycle of bleeding the air out of the brake system three times and finally I had enough braking power that I decided to make the trip to town. I had to drive very slow through town, shifting down to 1st gear and pumping the brakes rapidly to stop at the intersections. God blessed and I made it all the way to the mechanic without a problem. It turns out there is a hole in one of the rubber seals in the master cylinder. The school uses the truck at least once a week to bring students to town for Service Day, and to bring home food for the school. They fill the tanks with diesel and siphon it out later to power the electrical generator at the school when they need to. On Service Day the students break into groups and go to different parts of our area, doing service for those in need and trying to be a good witness for Jesus Christ. I really like the idea and the kids love to do it. Especially they look forward to going down the river to visit the people who live along side it. They have a long wooden boat with a motor just big enough for a group of kids and teacher to ride in. They load it in the truck early in the morning on Service Day and drop it off in the river.
With all this happening every week I'm determined to fix the truck as fast as possible. I am in town today to get the final verdict on what parts need replacing and what the total cost will be. Then I will be traveling sometime to Riberalta, the larger town 1.5 hours away. There we can hopefully find replacement parts and bring them back to the mechanic.
I really have enjoyed playing the guitar recently. I took some lessons when I was just out of high school, but what I learned never came together very well. Now I've been playing hymns and with some help from Min, it's all coming together. I'm now able to quickly pick out the chords for most songs based on the key it's in and start playing along right away. Often I change to the wrong chord the first time through, but by the 2nd or 3rd time through it sounds good! I'm so thankful. We should be getting our own guitar soon. Originally Min wanted to learn, and I'm getting all of the practice. I want her to learn too.
I've gotten to see God's hand at work here. The students are great. They are teenage kids, but for the most part very respectful, helpful and caring. During their free time I often hear the sound of their plastic recorder flutes playing hymns. Or I hear singing. The boys are skilled at construction and one showed me how to lay bricks this week. I went to harvest rice with them, and got a visual lesson of "the harvest is great but the laborers are few" (Luke 10:2) There is a huge area of wetland in the back of the school where rice is growing. As I looked over it and at the 10 students that were with me I didn't know how it was all going to be harvested before it fell over and was not harvest-able. I'm sure the practical labor teaches the students valuable lessons, and working alongside their teachers gives them more love and respect for us. Fruit is scarce here and expensive, so we've tried to maintain a little stock of it at home to supplement our meals. We ran out last week, but God provided in different ways. Some of the students wanted to thank Min for massaging them after the truck accident, and gave her oranges and tangerines from a stock their parents had given them. As I was waiting by the truck when it was in the water, some students came on a motorcycle from the nearby village, carrying fruit. They gave me some oranges and a big chirimoya (custard apple)! The students were without calculators and needed them for my class, so Min and I looked for some simple solar powered calculators in town, hoping to get enough for them at least to share. Praise the Lord, we found a school supply shop with just the kind we were looking for, and for only $2-$4 apiece. We were able to get enough for each student to share with one other. They were very pleased!
God is clearly working on me and I know He's using me to help these students. I hear that many of them want to be missionaries when they leave here. I pray that they will be a blessing wherever they go. Please pray for us and the students.
March 14, 2012
Today, Scott and I took the missionary van to pick up a missionary couple,
Clint and Mindy, from the hospital in town. They work at a missionary
school in Guayaramerin, 3.5 hours by flight from where we are. This past
Friday, there was an emergency to pick up Mindy, who was 5 months pregnant,
and started going into labor. It happens to be that when she was 3 months
pregnant, her placenta started to detach and she had to stay on bedrest for
about 2 months to help the placenta re-attach itself. Unfortunately, she
started to bleed and went into labor last Thursday night when they placed
the call for help. Our main pilot, Herman, couldn't pick her up that night
since the runway closest to the school didn't have lights. So he flew first
thing in the morning and took her to a good hospital here. She had to have
a C-section since the placenta started to come out first. The baby was lost
in this process. I feel very sad for both of them. This is the
2nd miscarriage she has had. They looked ok when we picked
them up, but I could tell that they were sad.
We had the funeral yesterday and they buried their child
together, saying their good-byes in private. With all this that has
happened, this couple will be leaving to go back to Canada this coming
Thursday. They have been through a lot, and they need time to heal.
The director of the school in Guayara, Suzie Cornejo (she's an American
nurse, married to a South American), accompanied Mindy and Clint during the
flight and took care of Mindy in the hospital. Just yesterday, Suzie
mentioned that they need someone to teach science classes and possibly a
music class. With Mindy and Clint leaving now, and another missionary
couple who is out of the country, they are short-staffed, and desperately
need help out there. The school in Guayara has about 30
preschool/elementary kids, and about 40 high school kids. Only the high
school kids board since they come from all over Bolivia. Many come from
broken homes, or have been abused in some kind of way.
Anyway, Scott and I felt that we needed to pray and ask God what to do
since we felt that there was a need that we could possibly fill. Scott is
strong in the sciences and I love music. We have never taught before, and
this factor intimidated us. So we prayed about it, and talked with Suzie,
and she was so excited saying "This is an answer to prayer!" The staff at
the school were praying that God would send the right people to them, and
someone else that was supposed to come ended up not being able to.
So Scott and I now have decided to pack up our few belongings and join the
missionary school in Guayara. We are hoping to fly out there this Wednesday
or Thursday. We are excited and nervous because it's a new place and things
will be very different there. But we know that God is leading us there.
Suzie says that fruit is expensive there, and other people tell me that
people don't have much variation in their diet: Rice and beans, beans and
rice… This will be a challenge for me, since we live close to Santa Cruz
(about 30 minutes by car) and here, fruits are in abundance, there is more
variety of food to buy, and food is cheaper. I didn't realize how blessed
we were until I thought about not being able to have that variety in our
diet. Other than this, we know that it's going to be a little hotter over
there, and we will be washing our clothes in the river J Kinda like
We will be living in the hut that Mindy and Clint were staying in. Right
now, someone is packing up their few belongings and putting it on a plane.
We don't know if they will be coming back to Bolivia or not. We hope they
do, though. So for now, Scott and I will be packing up our things and
running to town to get some supplies we may need while we are out there. I
understand that were we will be going to, there will be electricity (this
is a recent thing, since they didn't used to before), cell signal and a
small town 35 minutes away if we need to get something. As excited and
nervous as we are, Scott and I just want God to lead and guide us, and to
try our very best to be of help there during this time. For the time being,
we plan to be there until other volunteers re-place us. There is also talk
that if they get permission for another plane to fly, that Scott will be
stationed in Guayara and fly from there. We don't know what God has planned
for now, but we trust that He is with us. We talked to David Gates, the
director of the ministry about what he thought about our plans to help out
the school and he approved our decision and says that its great that we are
willing to help them out during this time, since the Bolivian government
could shut down the school if the required classes aren't being taught. We
don't want this to happen, since this school teaches young people about God
and trains them how to reach out to others. Scott and I hope to be good
examples to the kids there, because 75% of them come from non-Christian
homes. Please pray for us, as this is a big change in roles we are filling.
Pray that God will give us strength, wisdom and courage to face whatever
comes with this new adventure!
When Scott and I
back to Bolivia, the airplanes still didn't have permission to fly, so
Scott has been doing other things that have been keeping him busy. It so
happened to be that the cook left again for 2+ months to plan her wedding
in Guyana, her homeland, and during this time I filled in for her. I also
taught piano to the 8 missionary kids here. I enjoyed this very much! Scott
has been such a big help to me with running the kitchen. He has gone to the
market many times to buy food for the week and just did all he could to
lighten my load. I am so thankful for him!!!
I am glad to say that the cook came back 2 weeks ago, and things are a lot
better, in that Scott and I can focus on other things now. I just help
mostly for lunch now and help clean-up…etc. Although I was super excited
that the cook came back, I also knew that she was physically exhausted when
she left and I decided that things would go better if she had some help.
She appreciated this very much.
Before our decision to move to Guayara, we were approved to build on a plot
of land that was part of the pilot's side of the property here in Santa
Cruz. You can imagine how excited Scott and I have been. We worked on
designing our small 2 bedroom house and clearing some land for making our
garden. By the way, clearing a 10X10ft piece of land for the garden was so
exhausting and hard work! I slashed away with a machete, and Scott dug away
with a hoe we got from town.
During this past couple months, a lot of construction was taking place.
Three missionary homes are in the process of being built, and Scott has
been helping with this too. Also, he is one of 2 people that are allowed to
drive missionaries to town with the van. A new Romanian family moved down
here 3 months ago and Scott has been really kind in taking them where they
need to go into town and translate for them…showing them the way…which bus
to take…etc. A couple months back, Scott helped Norbert, the Romanian man,
start a couple beehives over here. Of course the bees had to be bought from
town and this took a while, mostly of going back and forth and helping
Norbert find the best bees and buy whatever he needed. Another set of bees
had to be bought since one beehive disappeared! Well, right now, the bees
are doing great and Norbert and his family are slowly adjusting to the life
down here. They are learning that things in South America don't go as fast
as in the States or Europe. They used to be so frustrated that things
happen so slow over here and people don't seem to care to be on timeJ But
now, they are accepting a different culture and learning Spanish. (From
Scott: "One hard thing to do is to be on time and very productive, even
when it seems like the whole world around you isn't.")
I will miss the people over here, but I know I will make more friends in
Guayara. This is the newest news I can tell you right now. I am happy that
we can take Raisin, our sausage puppy, with us AND our kitty cat, Olive.
Scott absolutely loves his kitty cat!!! She's 99% black with tiny white
hairs on her chest. She will run up Scott's back and sit on his shoulder
when he goes for a walk. Olive loves to take walks with Scott in the
morning. So ya, Scott walks the dog and the cat in the morning. Raisin, our
dog, used to be terrified of Olive, but now they play together. Actually,
Raisin mostly bullies Olive, and sometimes Scott has to "save" the kitty!
We are very happy together and with our pets. And we are learning more and
more about each other. One thing that we are working on is dying to self
(Gal. 2:20). When self is alive, its so easy to be selfish…but when we ask
God to help us, its amazing how He changes our attitude and actions for the
Yesterday Scott and I went to the US consulate to try and see if they could
do my fingerprints that are required for my US Immigration papers that I
will need to send back to the US. Unfortunately, they couldn't do it here
and referred us to La Paz, a main city here, which is an 18 hour bus ride.
We emailed the Consulate there, and called, but we haven't gotten a
response. If we aren't able to get the fingerprints done in La Paz, our
next option is Lima, Peru. We are trying our best to get this done before
heading out to Guayara because we hear that doing paperwork from way out
there is very difficult. We will see what happens. For now we will miss the
free flight to Guayara this week and try to catch the one going in the next
two weeks, and see if we can get the fingerprinting done.
Take care and may God bless you.