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) Missionaries and mission trips that God plants in our hearts
6) Lima, Peru - The Pace Family, Victor in seminary school
is amazing all that is going on below you that you aren't aware of!
This is the view from the cable cars in Medellin
View of the lights on
the river in Medellin
As the Christmas season
approaches, everywhere in Colombia is covered
and decorated in lights. Medellin
is most famous for their display that can
be seen on several sections of the
river and various neighborhoods
I wish the pictures
could capture the magic of the neigborhoods all throughout
town as everyone put out lights
and decorations. It was on the edge of
tacky, but in a cool way as
everyone gets together to be a part of the season.
We were fortunate to have a cab driver that
knew all the places to go and showed
us things that you don't see on the tour.
The light display on the river
went for two miles
Each section of the river had a
different theme and characters to see
These are the first
black birds of paradise I had seen in this garden display
Graciela went with us
and enjoyed the beauty of Medellin
As the year comes to an end, we think
about what we have accomplished and what we hope to do in the following
year. We both are continuing with our college classes and looking into
our options of staying abroad or returning to the states. We are
praying for guidance from God for a sign for a specific direction. I
could go either way, but I think Steve misses the combo meals at
Captain D's! (ha ha)
More lights and
decorations and Medellin
Both create an illusion from something
else; one with lights and the other with flowers.
With Graciela visiting us from Ecuador
-- the daughter of the pastor that we work with in Guayllabamba -- we
visited Bogota and Medellin to show her the sights. She has gone from
never having flown before, to three flights in one vacation! I think we
all have learned a lot about ourselves during her visit and hopefully
are better people because of it. I think the biggest lesson for me is
to remember is that patience is a virtue and to treat others as Jesus
would, regardless of what I get in return. We continue to plan for our
mission trip to Ecuador in July and while we have a team coming, we
still need to raise funds to complete the actual work. It's interesting
that whenever we talk to the folks back home, they tell us how horrible
things are economically, but after living in South America for four
years and seeing lots of parts of the world, we have to remind them
even with all that, the poorest people in the United States probably
live better than 80% of the rest of the world.
One of the neatest parts of Navidad in
Latin America for me are the displays of the Nativity. They are usually
huge displays on a porch or in the front of a store that have a
cornucopia of scenes, various signed animals, villagers, and houses.
Sometimes Baby Jesus is six times as big as Mary and the camels like
dogs compared to the sheperds, but it is fun because it is like a
Where's Waldo puzzle.
I just liked this guy at the park
looking at the lights!
The Nativity display outside the
Rosales Plaza in Bogota
One thing you don't see in the
states -- but I have seen in Germany --is a single serve cigarette
machine. There is even a lighter chained to the side to help you out.
On the other hand, Colombia just passed a law that bans smoking inside
public buildings and restaurants.
Even with all the selection of
candy you see below, the kids still say the candy from the United
States is the best and would trade almost anything for some. It does
look more inviting than it actually tastes, but there are some taste
sensations that are unique to Colombia.
The Candy Man in
The theives and the police from our
robbery in Bogota
<>We were definitely blessed and watched
over by God while we were in Bogota. Steve got his
pocket picked at the train station but
realized it within a couple minutes. They got his wallet but no money,
so we went to look in the trash cans thinking they may
have thrown it away since it only had credit cards and ID. (It always
works that way on TV) While we were looking, we saw the police at the
next station and they had the guy that Steve recognized as the one that
next to him. They had been recognized by another person that had
been robbed by them the previous week and the police had detained them.
The one thief
that robbed Steve was really cocky because he had already passed off
the wallet to
his partner, but the police had both of them and found his wallet on
the other guy.
Five hours later, Steve had them behind bars and justice was served for
at least a little while. There is no way all the factors that fell into
place just happened and as a rule, people don't catch thieves ten yards
from where they were robbed. We try to remember to thank God for His
role in the day every time we think about how blessed we are that the
situation turned out the way it did.
Scenes in the street
in Zipaquira, home of the Cathedral de Sal
The town square in Zipaquira
Santa went crazy on our hotel!
We have one more week of school and then we are off to Italy. Pray for
safety for everyone traveling this holiday season, and for God to put
people in our paths that we can share His love with. We don't feel like
we have the opportunities here for mission work the way we often think
of "mission work," and have to remind ourselves that wherever you are
you can work for God; every place has people that need Jesus in their
His love came down
at Christmas time,
Cathy and Steve
but his death on the cross at Easter gives us eternal life!
- funds raised to support the July
Mission Projects in Quito
- good ending to the first semester at school
- the opportunity to travel and
- new opportunities to work for God throughout the world
- continued good health
- opportunities to sponsor four students at a youth retreat
- chance for Graciela to visit us for two months to work on her English
- a group of 12 people coming to work in Ecuador
- my dad's recovery from his accident
- healing for some families we have been praying for
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