Monday, October 10, 2011


Yes, it's true. We hit the 6 month mark last Saturday. Can you believe we've been gone from home and in Bolivia for 6 months?? Wow! It has really flown by and by God's amazing grace, it's all been good! No, these past 6 months have not been without their many challenges, but all in all, as we reflect on the transition period, God was glorified and we are truly amazed at how he has provided for us and allowed us to be here. We continue to be humbled by your love, prayers, and financial support. We love to pray for you all so please let us know how we can lift you up.

We are getting settled into a routine now that we have been in school for more than 6 weeks. The boys are all doing well - they are true champs! It has been a hard season for them, getting used to being in a formal school setting again and having so much homework, but they are really persevering through the daily challenges. I am so proud of them - they are my heroes! Last week and this week the boys participated/are participating in what their school calls "Outdoor Education Camps". The elementary camp was last week for 3 days, so Liam and Jude went to a camp nearby to participate in that. This week is the high school camp (which is 7-12th grades) and they are going to a camp about 2 hours away called "Camp Kewina". Aidan and Lowell both went - Aidan as a camp participant and Lowell to help lead the worship and supervise the approximately 80 kids that are attending. Aidan also has the opportunity to go with a small group of students on an overnight hike and tent camping trip for 2 of the days of camp this week. We are so thankful that the boys got this opportunity considering they had to miss church camp with our home church and family camp this past summer. Small things that ease the pain of homesickness just a little.

Lowell and I are enjoying the student ministry at CIC. We named the group "The Mix" because of the great mixture of nationalities, languages, and schools that are represented by the group. Lowell and the boys are still leading the music and we are hoping to take the group through the Crazy Love study by Francis Chan soon (as soon as it arrives in the mail!). We are both busy teaching at the boys' school as well. I am enjoying using my art abilities and knowledge to teach the high schoolers plus minister to them as I do it! Lowell's ministry there is a bit more involved, as he helps lead the worship for the chapel days and is teaching the entire high school (7-12th gr.) Christmas music for the school program. Lowell was able to take a group of the students recently to an event to raise money and awareness for a local ministry that helps support all of the "street kids" here in Coch. There are hundreds of kids, all ages, that live on the streets and hang out in the streets during the day, trying to beg for money to survive. Many of them will try to wash your car windows for you to make money, or even juggle rocks or do cartwheels in front of your car so you will "pay them for their entertainment". Sadly, many of these kids use the money they "earn" to buy glue that they sniff and get high on. I have seen kids as young as 7 or 8 years old sniffing glue, and even a young pregnant girl doing it on the side of the street. Please pray for this ministry that reaches out to these kids and that they will respond well.

Olivia is struggling a bit with wanting to go to school every day. She would so much rather stay at home. She has also been quite homesick and is missing her dear friends so much. She literally holds a photo of her best friend from back home and cries. Please pray that the Lord will comfort her and help her to feel happy and content and safe here. She has made some good friends at school and church, but needs a lot of reassurance and love still. She is speaking Spanish up a storm, though!

I must admit, that I too, have been quite homesick lately. I believe it is the "6 month mark blues". I have really been missing my dear friends, my home church, and my family. I also believe that when you are on the mission field, one of the most difficult times emotionally is the holidays. As you all approach the fall season and the two major holidays of the year in the states, we are here...thinking of it all. I love autumn and everything that goes along with it, especially Thanksgiving. It has just turned spring here in Coch, and it is beautiful. The rains have begun (with much more to come, we hear) and everything is "springy"! It will be very strange to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in warm, sunny weather. Well, ok...I know we're from Texas and all, but you know what I mean!! Praise God, we have made some dear friends who are also missionaries struggling with being away from family throughout the holiday season, and we plan to celebrate with a big Thanksgiving feast in true American tradition!

**We asked for prayer for one of our empleadas (maids), and she has begun to attend our church regularly now!! She is becoming a dear friend and I pray that our lives will exude the joy and love of Christ to her!
**A good vehicle! Pray we can get our Bolivian drivers licenses soon.
**Persevering and strong kids!

Prayer Requests:
**Continued strength and perseverance through the schoolwork - for all of us!
**For the feelings of homesickness to subside and be overcome with the joy of being here - doing God's will!!
**That the Bolivians we encounter every day would know we are Christians by our love. And that they would DESIRE that love!
**For God's continued restoration for challenging issues in our lives.
**Spiritual growth, deep love, and strength for mine and Lowell's marriage.

Blessings upon each and every one of you!!! We love you!

Shay, for the whole family :o)