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.
to support mission projects around the world:
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
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
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!
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!
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 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.
thought this picture of two Blue Crowned Motmots was great until
we had three on the balcony today!
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
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!
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!
Steve and I did the canopy zip lines one Saturday and you can see him
flying through the air!
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
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
- 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
- our jobs will continue to be a blessing for us and those we teach
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