Sunday, April 29, 2007

Church updates....

This past Thursday night we were so privileged to be present as our new sister Talia took on the Lord in baptism! Jeff, Katie, and Gary have been studying with Talia and recently she made the most precious decision to be baptized. So Jeff found a local hotel that would allow us to use their pool and off we went! Her family and many who have been attending the church here with us were able to be there along with the team and what a beautiful time it was! It is always something so touching to me to watch someone enter the family of Christ and begin a new walk with the Lord and this time was no exception!

Katie & Talia (doing what we Church of Christers do best... celebrating with yummies!)

Celebrating Talia's baptism at the Sandoval's

As if that wasn't blessing enough last week, we were so blessed to have the new Sucre, Bolivia mission team here this weekend to visit and do some shopping (as they're all getting settle into their new homes in Sucre). They are a team of two families, two single guys and a single gal. We are SO excited (did I mention we're excited?) to have them here working for the Lord and with us in Bolivia! One of the family units on the Sucre team is Josh's youngest sister, her husband and son and so Josh's parents were also in this weekend visiting. We had potluck after church today and with the Sucre team we knew it would be a full house, and a happy one! But then we were so blessed to have 5 or more first time visitors... many of whom were family members of Cochabambinos who have been attending church with us here. So overall it was an amazing Sunday here for the church in Cochabamba.

The Sucre team was able to share some of their faith stories and their vision for the work in Sucre. As I sat listening to my brothers in Christ share stories of how God had transformed their lives', their families' and their life visions' tears of joy streamed down my face! It always moves me to listen to how God has pursued relationship with those I meet, and it humbled me today to know that I am able to call such amazing brothers and sisters not only family, but partners in the work here. Please continue to pray for the work here... for Talia and her new walk with the Lord... for the church here as it continues to amaze us with who God is bringing to himself through our being here... and for the team in Sucre as they get settled in their new homes and new work here in Bolivia! God is so good and today I was blessed to be witness to just a glimpse of how good!


So last Saturday Nathan decided to grace us with his precious presence at 6:00 pm. I chose not to wake him up and in the long run I think it was the way to go for little man. He was only up until about 10:00 which is not totally out of the norm for him anyway, so it appears that Nathan's become the champ of long Saturday afternoon naps. We had a repeat four hour nap again yesterday. I did finally have to wake him up yesterday evening at 6:30 because we had to make a grocery store run before it got too dark. I guess we'll just have to stay tuned to see where the road of nap time will lead us this week :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

And what would you do?

It's officially 5:35 pm... you started off your morning listening to Disney Playhouse and feeding your little guy yogurt (which by the way he's not so crazy about, but is good for antibiotics!) and then it was off to downtown to say by to Jamie and Hannah (who are on their way back to the states for a visit) and then on to the market (which only took an hour today, man I'm getting good) and then back to the house, when Daddy says hey let's go for a ride out to some lumber yards, at which time you unpack the things that need to go into the refrigerator, realizing one of your bags of milk has busted in transit (you're loving Bolivia for it's "all good things must come in plastic bag" system at this point :) and pack up your two guys and head off for a ride.

After bargaining at the lumber yard, chasing Nathan around, learning that Nathan has quite an arm when it comes to rock throwing (we're definitely going to have to work on that one... as in NOT beaning everyone in the head with rocks) you head back home and Nathan passess out in route. Upon arrival (1'ish) you unpack Nathan from his car seat... change his clothes for naptime since in transition he awoke, give him his milk and blankie, and he eventually falls back asleep... BUT we're going on 5 hours later folks and that kiddo is still passed out upstairs.

Now tell me listening... ahem... reading audience, what do you do? Do you dare risk waking a sleeping child? The usual rule in the Bull house is a definite NO, maintain the sleep at all cost! But, it's nearing dinner time, and I'm wondering, how late is this crazy thing going to be up tonight because of his marathon nap? Do I approach the sleeping beast, or let him lie? That is the question...

Monday, April 16, 2007

I miss....

Texas in the spring! All you wonderful Texans out there, enjoy the wildflowers for us!

(Thank you Vickie for the picture... you're so good to send us great pictures from home and we so appreciate our glimpses of Brownwood from afar!)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Boys will be Boys...

Well, just in case anyone in the world was wondering what the raised impression of the floor tiles at the church building looks like... Nathan's got you covered :) After a tumble this morning during church, this is what was left on my sweet boy's forehead.

After a few minutes of crying, he realized it was time for Sunday school and was fine :) But I just couldn't help sharing the very unique goose egg that Nathan's sporting right now :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

No Rest for the Weary

This will be short and sweet as I've run out of words (as I've heard before :) It appears that although the parasites are gone... we now have a type of amoeba that has taken up residence in the precious body of my sweet boy. We started medicine today and will continue it for 10 days trying to get rid of the ugly bug... but my heart is hurting, my spirit is weak, and I feel under attack. I know many say we as Christians should take as a compliment, that Satan sees us as enough of a threat to attack. But I can tell you I'm a little to weary to feel complimented, just angry, irritated, and alot of other yucky emotions right now... praying they will go away soon... so thankful that aside from a being fussy, Nathan's pretty much himself... I'm just feeling as his mommy, and the caretaker of this home, a little violated. And though I know the word violated is a strong word, it puts into words perfectly how I am feeling right now... I do everything I humanly know to do to keep our home sanitary despite living in a city that's not always "clean". And so to have this continue to happen to Nathan just makes me feel lousy, like I'm letting him down as his mommy. I'm so sorry for the "yuckies" that have been voiced here, but mission work, like life, is full of ups and downs. I sure am ready for some of the ups to start coming our way. Thank you for being a listening ear, and a prayer support!

(The emotions and ideas voiced in this post are in no way a reflection of how Nathan is doing :) ... aside from the slightly increased fussiness, majorly increased number of dirty diapers, and some discomfort in his tummy, he's really doing well... so know that he's going to survive... and have fun doing it, I just needed to voice some frustrations and am thankful for friends and family who read and have given me a place to voice frustrations when I need to! Thank you!)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday was beautiful, sunny and cool here in Cochabamba! It was a crazy morning around the Bull house, trying to make it out the door on time (which for those who know me well enough... know is an almost impossible task). But we did finally make it to church and were blessed to have close to 50 people in attendance this morning to worship our Lord and celebrate the resurrection of His son! The kids participated in a resurrection eggs type activity which they really seemed to enjoy (even though they were made from plastic bags instead of Easter eggs, despite Julie's galant effort to find Easter eggs... sometimes on the mission field you just have to improvise :) So I thought I would include a couple of pictures from this morning's worship and a new picture of our family that we took this morning! Enjoy and God bless!

Worship this morning (and for those of you who are familiar with worship in Latin America... this picture doesn't show the last 10 people who trickled in during service :)

The kiddos presenting their improvised Resurrection Eggs.

Josh leading children's worship songs... Nathan was there I promise, if you look to the right you'll see the top of his little head :)

What? Two new family pictures in a week? Who would have thought?

Who's that handsome little man? It's my Nathan :)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Team Retreat

This last week we as a team were blessed to have Dale Hawley come down from the states to do a sort of team dynamics retreat for us. Dale was the facilitator of our first team workshop in Brownwood before leaving the states for Bolivia and so that was a blessing to, in that he already had a feel for us individually and as a team (although so much has changed in our lives since then :) We headed out of town to a hotel of sorts, set on grounds with cabins, a pool and room for our kiddos to run crazy and had a really good few days. Team dynamics are always a tricky thing, but I think I speak for Gary and I both in saying that this week was such a blessing. To be able to work together to better our relationships, learn even more about each other, and move forward with new perspective, new resolve and new hope in our relationships is so exciting to me! So thank you to all who were praying for us in our time together! Know that God is good and He was so present in working among us as humans, teammates, and brothers and sisters!

A new family picture we snapped in our time at Camp Campestre. Sorry for the long face on Nathan... we'll work harder for a smile next time, but the playground right beside where we were standing was too tempting for our little man (who by the way, climbs ladders really well now since he had lots of practice on the slide during the week) to endure another picture, hoping for that precious smile that we all love so much. Maybe next time (but then with little one's there's really no guarantee now is there :)

One thing I've learned...

So one thing that I've learned in my limited time as a mommy is that when little man is ready to get home, you stop the car for nothing, no man, or woman, and definitely no errands :) But when you come across a sign as perfect as this, you can endure the few minutes of whining to capture your name painted beautifully (ha ha) on a Bolivian wall on the side of the road. Nathan's daddy couldn't help himself... so he jumped out and I captured the moment next to a work of art :)

The results are in...

Well the results are in... and drumroll please... it looks like Nathan is parasite free! What a blessing! I am so sorry for taking so long to post, but kind of wanted to wait until I had some real news to share. Times were rough here around the Bull house, but we know God was here because we're all still alive (as in no one killed each other :) and we're all feeling better! Nathan's symptoms continued for about a week and he was miserable... feeling miserable and miserable to be around. But after the antibiotics kicked in and the vomiting came to a stop, things got a little easier. For a few days all he wanted to eat was oatmeal (don't ask because I honestly have no idea :) but then slowly but surely branched back out into the world of food. He lost about 3 pounds which is alot for a little man's body. But we're working on fattening him back up :) and having that funny loving chubby bubby that we're used to! It's just so very nice to have my son back, to play, to tickle, to color and to laugh together is all the medicine that this mommy needs! So thank you so very much for all your prayers and support! It was such a tremendous comfort to know that in the moments of insanity, there were people who care about us, love us, and were lifting us up in continual prayer... for healing, comfort, strength and wisdom! What an amazing support system we have in you our friends and family! God bless you each and know that we love you so dearly!!!

(rough translation... NO MORE PARASITES to be found!!!)