Friday, March 30, 2012


  "What?! Seriously?! You've got to be kidding me. One year? You guys have been here a year already?!!" Yeppers. This was the response recently from a friend we met just a couple of weeks after arriving last April.  He just couldn't believe it! And honestly, it is so hard for us to believe as well. I have to say that for me (Shay), this has been the fastest year of my life! No lie.  We plan to celebrate in style with the fam and honor our kids for being true champions. We plan to praise the Lord greatly for His constant love, provision, and blessings. We plan to look back and see how the Lord has worked in our lives and changed us. We plan to record all of the wonderful things He has done!! Initially, our plan was to take this first year to adapt to the culture, learn the language, build relationships, and really seek out exactly what the Lord wanted us to do with our time here. So far, I believe we have accomplished those goals (with God's help and guidance, of course). No, we do not speak Spanish fluently like natives...yet. Yes, there are many, many things about this culture that bug us and frustrate the heck out of us and that we will never agree with or understand. But, we have adapted and learned to be flexible and learned to deal with whatever comes our way - even at a moment's notice. Hopefully, when we do, we are doing so lovingly and graciously and through our actions and words, are sharing the love of Christ. We are abundantly blessed with friends here and continue to build relationships with folks at church and school and out and about in the city. We feel led, at this point, to continue helping lead the music and worship ministry and youth ministry at CIC and to finish out the school year at CCS, teaching art, music, leading chapel worship time and coaching basketball. We will serve and help in any other capacity the Lord leads us to throughout our next year in Bolivia. I (Shay) still desire to volunteer at one of the local orphanages that a friend of ours runs, but the way just has not been made yet. Our desire, as a family, is also to participate in more ministry outreaches, within the city and in the outlying jungle or mountain areas of Bolivia. We can't wait to see what our 2nd year in Bolivia brings!!!! Here are some photos to enjoy......

Olivia with our pet bunny, Peter

And...Olivia with Maddie, our now inside doggie. Yes, sometimes she loves the pets a little too much!

One of the best views of Mt. Tunari we've had from our 3rd story window this year! of the many amazing sunsets we are blessed to enjoy almost every evening out our dining room window. God is such an incredible artist.

Lowell leading worship at Cochabamba International Church

Aidan playing drums for the main service at CIC

A typical Sunday morning worship service at CIC - a beautiful mixture of nationalities and languages, all worshiping together!

This is how we roll in Coch
Shay's art room at Carachipampa Christian School

Liam lovin' on a sweet orphan at Casa de Amor (house of love)

Who looks most scary? Jude, Shay, or the totem pole dude?!

Please pray for this beautiful city!

We just can't find a way to express our deep thanks and gratitude to all of you that have supported us in this journey! We know that it would not be possible for us to be here without your love, support, and prayers. Please continue to let us know how we can pray for you - we love to lift our supporters up in prayer and know what is going on in your lives back home. And we humbly ask that you continue to pray for us and send us an encouraging note via email or facebook every once in awhile. You have no idea how it strengthens us to know family and friends back home are thinking of us and praying for us. A HUGE special thank you goes out to those of you who have taken the time (and spent the $) to send us care packages. They are exactly that! a box (or envelope)!! It makes us feel so loved, cared for, and not forgotten!

Woot Woot!! Here's to our first successful year in Bolivia!! YAY GOD!!

Un fuerte abrazo y un beso para todos (a big hug and kiss to everyone!! yes....we greet almost everyone with a kiss on the cheek here, just like the Bible says!) -

Shay, for all