2010   July News   2010

Sometimes you’ve got to “show up” before you speak up. No one really wants to hear what we have to say
about the love of Jesus until they’ve seen it in our lives (Matthew 5:16).

Our Mission
Photo Gallery
Monthly News
Prayer Requests

Our Mission
To follow God's will for our lives so that we can serve Him in all we do,
go wherever He leads, and share His amazing love with those around us.

Missions to pray for in South America
1) Cusco, Peru - Romulo Tupa - Local Missionary
2) Guayllabamba, Ecuador - Tulcanaza Family - Local Missionary Church outreach locations
3) El Batan Missionary Alliance Church - Ninos en Riesgo program for the street kids
4) Just For Kids Orphanage - Valle de los Chillos, Ecuador
5) Lima, Peru - The Pace Family - church planting, school, missions
6) Foster Care Home -  Cochabama, Bolivia

While we were in Bolivia, we were able to meet with the coordinator of several mission organizations around Cochabamba. One of the projects we were able to spend a couple days with was a refugio para ninos that was similar to a foster care house in the state. Unlike the states though, there is a team of volunteers that come in each day to stay and work with the kids. Their goal is to reconnect families and children when possible through counseling. The staff echoed the same theme we heard in Ecuador that time and volunteers are their biggest needs. They have patrons and supporters for financial needs, but not the volunteers to grow the program. The program has a huge house with room for more than the 14 children currently there. They have space for organization offices, workshops, classes, mission groups, and a separate space for a couple to help on weekends.


With this program, the kids have one year in the house, and if their situation can't be resolved, they are moved to another more long term program. The house can continually be changing, but they really work to teach the kids to get along and work with each and a variety of situations that I think helps to prepare them for the other challenges in their lives. The house has separate floors for boys and girls and sets limits for working together and separately.

We were able to spend the afternoon playing futbol and other games with the kids and teach them how
to make peanut butter balls. You could tell that the attention and time with them just playing, helping,
or talking was what the kids craved most.

Photo Gallery

Playing with light and texture is always interesting and can even be a little crabby.
Who would have thought llamas and flamingos would be together at the same lake.

Hard to believe, but this is a "subdivision" on the edge of the little town we
had lunch one day. It is kind of a Flintstone's Bedrock taken to a different level.

We didn't see any llamas crossing at the signs, but they sure were
crossing everywhere else! The llamas were like deer in the states, grazing
everywhere you looked.

We saw several new birds as well, though I can't tell
you their names!

Monthly News

Our first toll station

We decided to stay in South America for the summer and travel to Ecuador and Bolivia. In all honesty, we traveled four countries for the price of just airline tickets to the states so it was worth the trade, plus, we had no desire to participate in the heat wave that seemed to be everywhere a relative lived! We started in Ecuador and visited projects in Quito. We were able to donate an LCD projector to the church in Guayllabamba to help them with their services and Bible Institute classes. We spent a few days at the beach and then headed to La Paz.

Our big trip was to the Salar de Uyuni. It started out with a ten hour overnight bus ride from La Paz to Uyuni where we met our guide and headed out over the salt flats. Luckily it was a comfortable bus with reclining seats and heat. I still don't do that well on buses so I had cracked the window a little before we left. I tossed and turned and woke up with blasts of frozen air in my face as the pounding on the dirt roads had opened the window about a foot and because of the cold, had frozen over with ice. I couldn't get it shut and the people behind me were not happy so I had to wake Steve to break the window free to shut it; I looked at it as refreshing moment on the ride.

We would drive for three days and cover over 600 miles on roads that
only pack animals should have been on before our trip would be complete.

I liked this picture of La Paz because it shows the hillside that is
covered with houses


 The most amazing sight we saw were the Andean Flamingos that were in the lagunas.
The water had to be freezing as there was snow and ice on the water as well so they
must have some pretty insulated feathers and tough feet.

The salt that is processed for use is a relatively small section of the overall flats which is 4,086 miles in size. It is done by hand, scrapped from the ground and then transferred for processing. Up close, the salt looks like ice and has a variety of textures. The flats look like snow, but is actually a salt lake bed with 23 islands that dot the surface.

Some of the islands had lots of cactus, while others were barren. The farther we drove on the flats, the more
texture we saw. Luckily the guide know where he was going as you can see the road below.

In case you missed that, you pretty much follow trails and make your own road. The dust was not the
swirling kind but the invasive kind that gets on both sides of your sunglasses and inside the
fabric of your clothes so you feel like a cowboy coming off the plains that needs a hot bath.

close up of the salt

Steve at the gysers and the road with the gysers in the distance

As we left the salt flats, we headed into a mountainous area that got more desert-like as we went.
I always think of Honduras as full of children and I'll remember Bolivia for the most rocks I've ever
seen in one place in my life. Fields of rock were lined with walls of rock next to mountains of rocks. I kept
thinking about being a kid and having to pick rocks from the garden for my folks and thought if you
were a kid in this place, you wouldn't know where to start!

In one area were dozens of gysers that were bubbling and steaming that, of course, had no safety rails

or warnings so you could fall right in if you wanted to. They are working to harness the energy and apparently
there are now about three times as many gysers than four years ago so it seems to be an increasing resource.
It was funny though that we would drive around for awhile, no signs anywhere, and we'd drive over a hill
and be at the next "sight". It was only us and the driver in our car and about six other similar groups we'd see
occasionally as we went through the days, or see them at the hotels at night.

Llamas were everywhere, as well as some vicuna and alpaca which are in the same family. The vicuna are
thinner and smaller with finer fur; they reminded me more of deer.
Because it was winter, there wasn't any rain
and it was dusty and really dry. We went
through two bottles of lotion and still felt like alligators.

Sights on the drive included the "road," and several recently discovered tombs and caves.

You really can't see too many llama drives but you can see too many mummified people!

This is the first hotel we stayed at called the Salt Hotel. As the name states,
everything was made of salt - the walls, tables, chairs, beds, etc. They also used
flattened dried catcus to make the doors and cabinets. It is located right on the
edge of the salt flats with lots of llama views.

I didn't even think about gas as we traveled and eventually realized that the tank on the roof rack
was full of gas, along with two spare tires, one of which we needed to use!

Several recently discovered caves showed evidence of the previous lake with fossilized algae and
cactus. The little town above actually had a souvenir shop! When we pulled into town, we didn't
see a single person, but when we beeped the horn, people spilled out of everywhere and
helped us out.

Part of our trip took us to the border of Bolivia and Chile and you can see the volcano
blowing smoke in the picture above as it is an active one. You can take a train right across
the border into Chile.

My friend told us that we had the best hotel in the area which may be true
as it is the only hotel in the middle of the desert, aka, middle of nowhere.
As you can see, there are no power lines so it all operates on solar and
a generator. Hence, only electricity, heat, and hot water from 8 AM to 8 PM so
plan accordingly and know where your flashlight is and find someone
to keep you warm. We had to get up at 5:00 in the morning to leave so it is
dark, cold, and the candle won't light and that is the time they
chose to ask me to fill out a guest survey. Really? Bad timing.

Anywhere there is white, is either salt, borax, or snow. There were many
lagunas and lakes with different mineral deposits creating the various colors.

Village of Tarata

Famous for being the birthplace of four of Bolivia's presidents, Tarata is a colonial town that
still has a lot of the old architecture. You can even work right on the street doing shoe repairs.

All in all it was an exciting and interesting trip. We got to visit with my friend, Lily, and her family in Cochabamba and to see more of the country.  It was amazing that in one day we could go from the highest capital city the world, La Paz, to sea level in Lima, Peru, to the second highest capital city, Quito, and back to Medellin, Colombia. Imagine if the Wright brothers could see what their idea turned into. We are now preparing for some visitors from the States here this week and next and then time to go back to school. This will be our last year in Colombia so we will be looking ahead to see what will be next.

Cathy and Steve

Prayer Requests and Praises

- Safe and good experience for Santiago, an exchange student living with my brother and his family in NY for the summer
- save travels over the summer
- opportunity to get involved with another outreach program in Bolivia
- ability to provide an LCD projector for the church in Guayllabamba
- the engagement of our niece, Sara, to a nice young man in the Marines
- God's daily blessing and protection in our lives
- new addition to Tim and Erin's family
- being able to spend time with my Bolivian sister after 30 years being out of contact

- pray for the health and recovery from upcoming surgeries for my friend Lily's father in Bolivia
- my brother Steven and recovery from a deviated septum operation
- traveling mercies for those returning to and coming to visit Colombia - no passport issues
- good last month for Andrea in her pregnancy
- nephews headed off to college for the first time - God to guide their paths and protect them from Satan's traps
- all to finish strong as Steve heads into the last classes to finish his degree
- the US economy and leaders to work for what is best for America and not their parties or other countries