2010 January News 2010

En el dia del bien goza del bien; y en el dia de la adversidad considera. Dios hizo tanto lo uno como lo otro, a fin de que el hombre nada halle despues de el. Ecl. 7:14

God lets us know through His word that good and bad will be a part of our lives, but He is there for both and a part of both so we need to remember that and call on His name in all stages of our lives.

Our Mission
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Our Mission

Wash day in the Bolivian countryside

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.

Continue to support foreign missions around the world:

1) Cusco, Peru - Romulo Tupa - Local Missionary; Lima, Peru - Pace family and their school
2) Guayllabamba, Ecuador - Tulcanza Family -
     Local Missionary Church with two outreach locations - Chimburlo, Cheka
3) El Batan Missionary Alliance Church - Ninos de la calle en riesgo
4) Just For Kids Orphanage - Valle de los Chillos, Ecuador
5) Home of Hope - Malawi, Africa, Canadian Missionaries
6) Missionaries and mission trips that God plants in our hearts - Renee in Pak especially

Photo Gallery - Christmas in Bolivia

Back in 1978, we had an exchange student live with my family in Norwich,New York, from Bolivia. Thirty years later, we found each other again through the magic of the internet and Steve and I were able to visit her in Bolivia this past December. I hope you enjoy the pictures of our trip! I started out with about 700 pictures and narrowed them down to about 300 so you are only getting a glimpse of the highlights.

The hillsides of Cochabamba Bolivia, home of our exchange student, Liliana Bottega! The altitude was almost equal to Quito.

In La Paz -- well over twice the altitude of Denver at 13,450 feet -- we saw lots of interesting sights. This is part of the "Witches Market" where you can find a cure for almost anything. Below you can see dried llama fetuses (hanging from the wall) that are commonly used for new construction sites to keep out evil spirits. The picture on the right shows a pile of items that you can select that you need protection for in the new year: money, family, house, car, baby, job. They are made out of wax and then you set it on fire so the energy goes to the right spirits.

If your brain is tired, your child cranky, or you think your toe may fall off, this is the place to find the cure!

The baby of course is just watching the store and has no magical value!

We went to this store several times because there was just too
much to look at and you never knew what you might find!

The hats on the ladies depend on their marital status and
the region of the country they are from. The are descedent from the English Bowler
and were originally worn by the men but used by the women.

Looking out the hotel in La Paz, you can see the rocky hills
that lead up to the snow-capped Andes.

For me, there is always something interesting on every corner, as well as
architecture and buildings that are unique in their appearance.

We were able to go to a show that presented a variety of dances with really
  unique costumes for each different story or region. It is hard to see the
intricacy of the costumes in the pictures -- and of course you can't
hear the music -- but take my word for it that it was amazing!

The devil is a popular costume and character in the legends and
stories of Bolivia. If you have seen "The Devil's Miner," the documentary
about the silver mines in Bolivia, you saw how the various spirits,especially
el Tio, the devil image, influence the lives of many of the people.


This was my favorite costume. The detail is amazing!

 The main character had quite the entourage that focused on him throughout
the dance.

The part of the costume I really loved was the boots covered in bells!
It really gave meaning to the expression "I'll be there with bells on."

Many of the stores sold masks that are used in a lot of the parades and
for the various dances.

Like most South American cities, the churches were elaborate and on
every town square. It seemed that either giants or dwarfs attended
the services because the doors were either huge and massive or short and narrow.
The statue of Christ that overlooks the city is the largest in the world - even
taller than the more famous statue in Brazil.

At the church in Copacabana, there are several interesting rituals.
First, people bring their new/new to them cars to get blessed. They buy
decorations and items that represent what blessings they want and put them
around their vehicles.There is also a hallway of candles (Capilla de Vellas) where you can  pray for blessings for your life from the Virgin of Copcabana, the patron
saint of Bolivia.

The difficult part for me was the confusion that seemed to exist for the people,
that they prayed and adored the Virgin more as a god, and that she would perform
the miracles instead of acting as an intercessor to go to God for them. I am grateful
    that I have realized that I am worthy and God wants that personal relationship
with me so I can talk directly to Him.

In front of the church were booths to buy the decorations for your car

and the items to represent what you wanted to be blessed with in the coming year.

There were probably 40 cars, buses, taxis, and trucks lined up waiting and this
happens every single day of the year at this church.

Also in Copacabana, you could see venders of "puffed corn/wheat"
by the wheelbarrow full. Everyone seemed to like it and it tasted like
Sugar Smacks cereal to us.

View of Copacabana, Bolivia, at the end of Lake Titicaca

If you ever wondered if the handicrafts are really made by hand,
here is someone actual working in their store making tapestries.


We took a boat tour around Lake Titicaca and they even let us row the boat!
We were able to see Inca ruins and participate in a Shaman ceremony.

The mountain and lake views were amazing. You could image
the times of the Incas and the peace of living in the middle of
all this grandeur.


Lake Titicaca is divided between Peru and Bolivia.

There had to be at least a few bird pictures!


The countryside was dotted with adobe brick houses
that are made from the soil around them.

As we got off the boat and hiked through the ruins, we saw
lots of countryside. Our boat was rowed by a very strong
Boliviano for 40 minutes across the lake and then we hiked back
across through the mountains.


We were able to enjoy time with Lily and Oscar and see lots of new places!

The stones and formations were very similar to the constructions in Machu Pichu
as the Incas were spread from Cusco in Peru all throughout Bolivia before the
Spaniards came and took over.

We were able to participate in a Shaman ceremony where he blessed us all and
asked for a blessed new year for all of us. The little girl sold me a "sacred rock"
for about 14 cents.

My sales girl was very persuasive and got a good laugh when a cow snuck up
behind me and scared a yelp out of me. I could hear her imitating me to
her sister and they were laughing and laughing.

It was amazing the amount of wonderful artwork that was
painted throughout the city of La Paz. This is part of a panorama
of people in Bolivia's history. The detail was insane and the
size incredible; there was probably 100 people represented.

I don't know if you knew that Bolivia was a top producer of potatoes,
27 varieties I believe, so you don't have to go to Idaho or Ireland any more!
Here are the workers out in the fields.

You have to love an outrageous situation like the need for a lot of wires.
This was common on every corner and not even the scariest location.

The streets had a lot of character and interesting elements. This gentleman has
peeled a lot of oranges.

One of the big exports of Bolivia is the coca leaf, used in cocaine production.
It is supported by the government as a way to help the country economically.
Many people chew the leaves for energy and it is supposed to take away hunger
. You can buy a bag of the leaves almost anywhere. The same goes for Coca-Cola,
though not related, and we enjoyed the Coke Christmas tree
in the parking lot of the grocery store.

Since love and friendship seemed to be shown through food, it
seemed that all we did was eat! We didn't eat the chunos - frozen dried potatoes - on the rightbecause we were already full. (ha, ha) Neither of us are really drinkers, so it
was interesting that people assumed it was because we are Christians,
not because we don't really like the taste or want to waste the calories
when chocolate is probably also available! Jesus never said he was against drinking,
just drunkeness because that can lead to clouded judgment and poor choices,
but streets the devil likes to find you on.

So, that was our trip. Hope you enjoyed your virtual glimpse of Bolivia!

Cathy and Steve

Prayer Requests and Praises

Opportunities to reach out to those around us wherever we travel and live
The mission in Chimburlo for the workers and outreach to the children and teens
   Steve's work in finishing his college degree

   Missionaries serving around the world for physical health and spiritual guidance

   A mission team to come and partner with us this July to get these seed churches on their way

Continued growth in the mission churches in Ecuador

New opportunities in Bolivia

  Safe travel and health over the holidays

Continued safety living here in Colombia

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