Monday, February 18, 2013

Technology in the jungle

What do you do if you can't speak the language of the people you are working with?  You use technology!

Many of the people in Oromomo speak Spanish.  I speak Spanish.  So, no problem.  However, the majority of the women over the age of 30 do NOT speak Spanish, they speak Yura-Care or Chimani.  I don't speak those.  But, if you look really, really, really hard on the internet you can find resources in those languages.

Before going on this trip I downloaded a movie based on the books of John and Luke in both Chimani and Yura-Care onto my iPad.  

Wow, what a blessing!  We were able to share Jesus' life story with the women in their "heart" language.  Here we are drinking coffee and watching the movie.  

They were so captured by the movie and message they wouldn't even make a sound!  They even forgot to drink their coffee until it was over!

My next goal is to get a small, battery powered projector to connect to the iPad - this way I can show the movies to bigger audiences.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pet to Snack - The realities of life

This post is an attempt to help you to better understand the life of the people in the jungle.  To show the hardships and dependency they have on the river and land to provide their daily meals.

The birds in this picture are some pets of one of the families we were working with this past week.  The girls hand fed them plantains everyday.  They cared for them, loved on them and had a special basket where the birds sleep at night  - away from predators and danger.

However, one day, these tiny, tiny birds were out on the ground loose - doing what birds do, whatever that is.  One got stepped on and killed.  The ants came immediately and ate the eyes out before one girl found the body.

Instead of burying the pet and lamenting the loss, she saw a change from a pet to food  - protein - a snack.  So, she very naturally plucked the feathers, skewered it and then grilled it.

This may seem a bit harsh for some, but to her it was as natural as could be.  There was no use in wasting good fresh meat.  The people there, as Tito said daily, "Eat fish for breakfast, fish for lunch and fish for dinner."  He also told us one night that we were lucky to have fish because many were having trouble catching right now.  Chicken and beef are for special occasions.

 So, the idea of a snack that wasn't fish was a great idea for her.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I have just returned from a week in the jungle.  Claudia and I flew in last Saturday, February 9 after being delayed 2 days by rain.  We were in Oromomo the entire time.  The main purpose of the visit was to encourage the new believers there in the village, especially Tito and Dilma.  Dilma just had a baby two months ago.  They also just returned to Oromomo seven weeks ago ( 1 week after having the baby).  She was a little down and needed some encouragement.
Dilma and Jabez (2 months old)

Mariana - 2 1/2 years old - she is just beginning to really talk

Lizbeth - 4 years old - a little parrot - she repeats EVERYTHING you say

Me and Jabez ( it is a boy)
Imagine being one of the few Christians in your village or community.  Everyone knows you have been away for a year studying the Bible and they are expecting you to act and be different.  It is a lot of stress.  
After finding out about Dilma, I knew that God was telling me to go and encourage her, spend time with her and help her.
Also, on the flip side, Tito, is very encouraged.  He is leading church services and having Bible studies.  There are many new believers in the village and many more that are showing interest. It is awesome to see how God is working there after so many years without any real progress.

Tito and Armando (from CIC)

REVIEW:  Tito and Dilma are the family that was burned a year and half ago.  Dilma and the girls came and lived with me when they got out of the hospital.  Later, when Tito was released, they all lived here at the Word of Life camp and went to the Evangelism and Discipleship Center for a year.
Tito and his family in front of their house - I squat, they squat, I stand, they stand, not a great picture . . . 

There were also five guys from the Cochabamba International Church (CIC).  They arrived with us on Saturday and then flew out on Wednesday.
The beginning of the service

We had church on Sunday.  It started with just a few people, but as the singing continued, the church continued to fill up.  By the end of the service, the church was full and people were standing in the doorway.

End of the service, standing room only
Later, we divided them up by men, women and children and had a more personal Bible study time.   After the service, Josefina, Dilma’s aunt, accepted Christ!
Claudia sharing with the women under the apple tree

Again on Sunday night we had another service and about 20 people came.

Once the week started, Claudia and I got busy spending time with the women that are always at Dilma’s house; her mother-in-law, aunts, and cousins.  Dilma shared with us that her mother-in-law did not want to accept Christ, that she and Tito had shared and Nasaria had rejected it.  I took a video on my ipad of the life of Christ in Yura-CarĂ© and shared it with them.   We continued to share and on Tuesday Nasaria also accepted Christ.  She even later shared this privately with her son, Tito, which was encouraging to us.

Dilma, Claudia and Nasaria - we took coffee to them and shared from the Bible

We didn’t spend all our time talking about God and reading the Bible.  The majority of the time with the women was spent just doing what they were doing:  cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, making necklaces, weaving mattresses, taking care of the children etc.  It is a different type of discipleship there.  You cannot go with a set schedule or plan, it must be flexible.
Washing clothes in the river - notice Jabez in the bathtub/crib

Everything depends on the weather.  If it is sunny, you work to remove the weeds that have grown up around the house, you clean and wash clothes.  If it is raining, you sit under the hatata roof and make necklaces or weave.  When it rains you wait for it to stop so you can build the fire and feed the kids.  If there is no fish, you eat platanos – fried, boiled or mashed.

Nasaria weaving a reed mattress
The girls before bath-time in the river
I did do a bit of medicine while I was there, worms, headache and cough. . . 
In the lull of work we would grab a few minutes and share with them from the Bible.  Or while they were cooking over the fire, we would read a chapter from Genesis.  - All very impromptu and unscheduled -   I think that frustration would set in if you had too strict of a plan.

All in all, I think it was a great trip.  I think we accomplished much.  I know that God provided and protected us the entire time – of this I have no doubt.

Tomorrow, check back here to see how a pet becomes a snack. . . .

Dilma, Mariainez, Lorenzo the parrot and Claudia

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Potosi, Bolivia

Some friends and I took a three day trip to Potosi, Bolivia.  Here are a few of the photos.

Drinking mate on the street - Jessica, Irma, Claudia

Plaza Principal

Overlooking the city of Potosi

Before going into the silver mines

During a tour of a Carmelite monsatery,
we are considering becoming Carmelite nuns  - we decided against it!

Plaza Principal

On the roof of La Iglesia de la Merced

The streets have so much character

On the roof of La Merced.  The tower is from the Plaza Principal

Taking a break on the street, eating figs

Real Potosi vs. San Jose - Final score 0 - 0

On the way to Mira Flores, hot springs
Hot springs, we went swimming in a pool there - VERY  HOT!

Our bus broke down on the way back to Cochabamba, we had to hitch rides with other buses