December News

May the joy of Christ be with you this holiday season
and the celebration of our Savior's birth give you
joy and happiness in His free gift of salvation to those
that place their faith in Him!

Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo

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.

Continue to support mission projects around the world:
1) Cusco, Peru - Romulo Tupa - Local Missionary
2) Guayllabamba, Ecuador - Tulcanza Family - Local Missionary Church with two 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) Home of Hope - Malawi, Africa, Canadian Missionaries
6) Missionaries and mission trips that God plants in our hearts
7) Lima, Peru - The Pace Family, Victor in seminary school

The kids all think I'm a great photographer, but it is really the luck of looking the right way at the right time!

December Mission Trip
We are excited to be able to fund and participate in all the projects that we had planned during our time in Quito! Our home church families and friends came through for us to help the Ninos en Riesgo, our projects in Guayllabamba, and the outreach at El Batan Iglesia in Quito. We will report in January with pictures the results of those projects. Not to us, but to God be the glory and His name be spread to all the corners of the world!

Photo Gallery

One of the traditions for Christmas in Colombia is the lighting of decorated lumunaries. Unlike the standard white paper bag of the states, these are elaborate pieces of art that line the streets in several cities like Quimbaya where different neighborhoods sponsor there street and have their own unique designs.

I will have more pictures next month of the wonderful decorations here in Armenia as they will welcome Navidad on December 15th! This place makes the Mall of Georgia decorations look like a kindergarten class project!


  In our interesting sightings category, we have two winners this month! Not many places do you see an electrician on a motorcycle with his cable and ladder; that is quite the feat!

Our second winner is a tractor trailer with not one or two or even three trailers, but four! They are used to transport the cut sugar cane to the processing plants. Hopefully the "peligro" or "DANGER" will be enough of a safety feature!

Monthly News

With the holiday season in full swing, we are amazed daily at the wonders of God around us and the nearness of His presence. There are so many people that are so close to having that personal relationship with him yet many of us hope for the "magic" of the holiday season to make the difference and bridge that gap. We have to share the message that the birth of Christ is wonderful but the true gift is in his death on the cross for us and that our faith in him is what will give us that everlasting life with him in heaven.

For many years I went through the rituals and everything the church told me to do and thought that I could never be closer to God because I wasn't worthy. But the Bible tells me differently, that God cares about me personally, as crazy at that seems at times to me, because who I am? But who I am is a creation of God in His likeness and I don't need an intercessor, and a hundred Hail Marys isn't going to save or change me. The change is my desire to do His will in my life because I want to please God and for him to be pleased with me as His servant. I will not be saved based on my works but my faith and it is that faith that draws me closer to Him and the desire to do good and please Him.

People often say but if you are saved by faith, why do good or be a good person? Honestly, you can act as you choose, but as the Bible says, "All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial." 1Cor.11-23 My joy is in what God allows me to do with my life all around the world and the huge blessings daily, both the good and the hard to handle days, because both are necessary to mold us into the kind of people that can handle any kind of situation, and in turn, help others in those situations.

Like this crazy bug on my balcony, we never know where the journey will go, but God will be there and have the tools ready that we need if only we'll ask. Perception is all in the eye of the beholder though because when I think I am calm, my students think I'm ready to blow! I have never been a talk it out and beat an issue to death kind of person; I'm pretty cut and dry, just give me the facts, decide, and move on. You also can't wear me down with pleading, begging, or hounding. Those are all trials God is letting me face here in Colombia to develop some other level of patience that I may never achieve but I'll keep trying!

We thought this picture of two Blue Crowned Motmots was  great until we had three on the balcony today!

We leave for Quito at the end of the week and are looking forward to talking with our contacts again and setting up plans for the future. The Ninos en Riesgo program is expanding with a shelter for the kids to spend the nights to get them off the streets and the older boys of the program that have accepted Christ are being trained to work as leaders. It is a huge step in the program to finally be able to make that next move to show the kids that God is here for you and we are here to help you grow in your faith as well as give you a chance at a future.

Unfortunately the rains dampened the lantern lighting, but you can see the cool mix of old and new buildings in Qimbaya that shows the Spanish influence.

We are finishing up the semester this week and Steve and I commented that we both finally have all the names down! When everyone has two first and two last names, it is a little harder! The school has been a good experience so far and the students a good group to work with. We have a couple openings if you know a teacher that wants a little adventure teaching in Colombia for six months; just contact us!

Steve and I did the canopy zip lines one Saturday and you can see him flying through the air!

For fun one weekend, Steve and I went out to a place in the country that has a canopy adventure with 12 ziplines through the forests. Usually, this is not my thing, but I like to try and challenge myself to push my personal envelope every so often. I am happy to say that the guide only had to push me off the platform twice and that's only because I told him to do it so I would go. It doesn't look as high up as it really was in the pictures, but we were probably between 40 - 60 ft. off the ground; high enough for me!

We don't get close ups of parrots very often so I was pleased to get this picture

Another interesting sight we saw recently was how they harvest what most Americans would call "bamboo" but is guadua here. It is the toughest grass I've ever seen and you'll see it here in every thing from home to bridge construction.

All the work is done by hand as it is sliced, split, and scraped. You can make a roof or walls with the flat pieces and supports for almost anything with the cut sections.

The rains continue daily here which is a good thing for the environment, yet I feel guilty for having so much here when other places at home in Georgia are so short. If there is any plus for those in GA it would be that all your clothes aren't moldy and damp and your passport doesn't have to be under a book to keep from curling up and falling apart! (You do have to look for bugs in your shoes sometimes as well, so I guess that's a wash.)

The Jeep Willy is the popular vehicle of transport and can be seen hauling all kinds of stuff and people

Since my students access the webpage for their work as well, they often ask me what our "mission" is since our website is CarpsonaMission. Our mission is to travel the world and and go where we feel God is sending us and try our best to be a Christ like example to those that we encounter. For those that are hungry and thirsty, I pray we are there to offer food and drink. For any strangers that feel alone and without hope, I pray that we are there to offer them comfort, shelter, and friendship.

Sometimes I feel the classroom is the best and worst place to be that example because it offers many opportunities for success and positive influences, but also a lot of pitfalls and times I disappoint myself because I didn't say what I wanted to the way I wanted to say it. I want to be a workman approved by God and recognizing our shortcomings can only help us to improve. Jesus Christ is the perfect example to follow and God, like my dad, only wants me to keep working and striving to be better and will love me no matter what regardless.

His love came down at Christmas time! Grab it and share it!
Cathy and Steve

Prayer Requests and Praises

- funds raised to support the December Mission Projects in Quito
- good ending to the first semester at school

- the opportunity to travel back to the states to share our experiences with our home churches
- many successes and opportunities reported from our fellow missionaries around the world

- lives changed and salvations for the kids that will be ministered to over Christmas in Quito
- what the new year will bring us here and what we can get involved in
- opportunity to teach an English class at church as an outreach to the members
- our jobs will continue to be a blessing for us and those we teach

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