Armenia, Colombia
July 2007

You cannot do a kindess too soon,
 for you never know how soon it will be too late

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 missions 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 de la calle en riesgo
4) Just For Kids Orphanage - Valle de los Chillos, Ecuador
5) Home of Hope - Malawi, Africa, Canadian Missionaries
6) Renee - missionary to the Middle East

Photo Gallery
Click here for pictures of our day in Salento 

This is the view from our apartment. There is a park across the street with lots of different birds. Every day we can see the rain in the distance on the hills of the coffee plantations.

The view from our balcony
Monthly News

Leaving the country is always an adventure, especially when you are trying to take all you need in four really heavy suitcases. We were blessed in Atlanta that Steve had volunteered to interpret for a menagerie of Guatemalans which got us in good when it came to how much our suitcases really weighed. The clerks were in a generous mood and the Chestnut Mountain Church pen they were using that someone had left behind seemed like a good omen to start the day. I got to have my standard Burger King meal and though I enjoyed it, I did not relish it as my last for a while because who knew there would not be one in Armenia. We did leave two hours late from ATL and thought we'd miss the connection, but that plane left two hours late as well and we did miss the next connection. The airline put us up at a hotel in Bogotá, minus one piece of luggage lost somewhere between here and there. You may think that is not so bad, but when it is 25% of everything you have, it can be bad. For the two days it took to find it, all we could think was, "Oh, man! That's in the blue suitcase!" God delivered it though and we were especially grateful.

Armenia is like living in a Florida atmosphere without the humidity but located in upstate New York. The scenery is outdoorsy, woodsy, and beautiful with cow dotted landscapes, yet the flowers, weather, and architecture is relaxed Sunshine State. The people are warm and friendly and it is safe to walk anywhere near where we are. We had to go to Pereira to pick up our bag and when the driver had to ask directions everyone was helpful and said welcome! They are very proud of their new mall here, but it is where Quito was ten years ago and the US 50 years ago. Food is more expensive and you can't get half the imported items from the states we could before. Hence, we won't be eating any peanut butter sandwiches!

The housing wasn't exactly what we expected, but flexibility has become our middle name. It would like to be our first name, but sometimes you just have to put your foot down. We, again, are in a building with no elevator and moved up to the fourth floor. The altitude isn't as big an issue as before, but the stairs can get you breathing hard still. Places to get economical furniture and such are hard to find and the places we have looked equal the prices in the states. On half the salary, I don't think that is going to happen. We may have to just get some blocks of wood to jack up the livingroom and bed! The laundry gets done by the locals as shown in the picture, but I don't think that will work for us; I know it worked in the old days, but maybe clothes were tougher as well.

We have a baby fridge again and assorted bathrooms with various knobs and no knobs, windows that sort of latch, a tile floor that needs to be at the beach, and closets that test our muscles as they were painted shut. We debated when the school told us that they would provide furnished housing exactly what that would mean. It is pretty Spartan, but more than livable. Most of it would be okay if we were a foot or two shorter as it sits really low to the ground; why I don't know as Colombians aren't inherently short. You couldn't hurt yourself falling out of bed unless you tried really hard. Hopefully you'd kill any stray palmetto bugs if you did. Yes, bugs do seem to be plentiful here.

We did see our first natural gas car engine when the taxi driver stopped for gas and they brought a little hose to the front of the car. There is a huge tank behind the back seat; I don't know what happens in a crash, but we didn't have to find out! Driving is better than Quito, but with more motorcycles and scooters, though the drivers aren't driving on the horn. It was nice to see that public urination isn't an issue here as it was in Ecuador! No pee smelling streets, trees, or sidewalks!

We went to the Christiana Alliance Church for our first Sunday here to check it out and were immediately whisked into the pastor's office on arrival at the gate to be questioned as to our purpose, background, etc. It was a little weird and they were very nice; just wanted to be sure we would be comfortable there and what to expect. He gave us several other places to check out as well. The pastor was a good speaker and we learned from the sermon, but the two hours before of intense group prayer and singing without any help with the words was a little long.

We have a couple weeks to get it together before starting to work at the school to get to know our way around and meet the other teachers, etc. My biggest prayer is for a washer and dryer. I tried to hand wash a shirt that got something spilled on it in a suitcase during the trip and unknowingly picked up a bottle of lavender general purpose cleaner, which looked like a detergent bottle in my defense. Needless to say, the shirt still has the stain but it is harder to see through all the purple blotches; apparently the floor won't turn purple but your clothes will. The biggest frustration for me has been trying to figure out the conversion rate and then trying to figure out what all the different bills are. You would think a college graduate could do that, but when a Coke is 150,500 pesos, your mind can go blank as you have 1000, 10,000, 20,000, 100,000 bills, some 200 coins and other worthless change to confuse you. I feel like a moron as I look at the money in my hand, back at the register, (there's no way to hear the number and try and change it in my head!) back at my hand, and so forth. I made it through two purchases without Steve today and didn't get ripped off so maybe there is hope.

July has only begun so we'll see what God has in store for us!

Prayer Requests and Praises

        - To be able to be a witness to the new teachers joining us at the school
            - Continued safety and good health
                - Patience and guidance as Steve starts his job as a teacher
                    - As God guides us, the other opportunity for Steve job wise
                            - success and guidance in the school year 2007-2008
                                   - Cathy can figure out the money conversion and what all the bills are worth
                                            - our Spanish can somehow become one that is understood here

- no issues and good health in all ways so far
        - all our suitcases were found and all was intact!
                - the safety and ease of living in Armenia after all the "stories"
                        - internet in the home!
                               - a washer and dryer, though used and hard to find, washing clothes  at this moment!
                                        - the smell out of the used furniture and light bulbs for all!
                                              - total healing for our niece from a freak kidney incident

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