Monday, December 05, 2005

Beams Bytes -- December 2005

Dear ones,

This is Vanessa writing this month. Wow! Christmas is here! It is hard to believe this will be our second Christmas in Bolivia. In a way this is a difficult time for us because this is when we used to be close to our family and friends (you all) and of course we start to miss a lot of the things we used to take for granted: such as: snow, oh the snow! The beautiful sky line and cozy times in and out with the people we love. But also this is a very good and alive time in our lives as we get to witness miracles in people’s lives.

I would love to share some of those miracles with you guys. The first one and a big one is that our friend Rob Free has miraculously survived a horrible car accident three weeks ago. Not even the doctors can believe or explain why he is alive! He is now home and getting ready to go to the US with his family for further medical evaluation. To all of those who prayed for Rob thank you very very much.

Another huge miracle is that our friends from Talita Cumi got a house as a gift from one of their supporters and will now be able to start the process of separating the boys from the girls.

One miracle all five of us are very happy about and thankful for is that this year we got to see many people whom we love and hadn’t seen in for ever, like Danny’s parents Ronnie and Carrol, my grandparents Elva and Julio (hadn’t spend time with them in 7 years), our friends Lynn and John from our home church Crossroads Christian, and last but not least we will go pick up Nathaniel from the airport on the 12th!!

Some new things going on. Danny is leaving to go to Peru again tomorrow morning to visit some already existing World Concern development projects in Puno and to start a new one up in Abancay one of the poorest areas of my country.

Also we will have a Christmas presentation on the 22nd for two of the children’s homes. I have a group of 7 very talented and eager young people learning to be puppeteers.

As always I have a long list of prayer requests, but also would like to tell you guys that we really appreciate your prayers. Because the Lord listens to you we are here and we are safe and sound.

Keep praying for our friend Rob Free, he is a pilot with South American Mission. Even though lots of healing and recovery has already taken place his eyes still need another miracle. He has lost control of movement and is having a hard time. Please pray for Rob, Mary Leah and their four kids as they get ready to go back for all the emotional trial that awaits them facing their unknown future and also for financial help as they will need it to travel and for medical bills. Although I remain calm and know the Lord is Lord and Rob was serving Him when he had his accident. Also pray for me as I will be missing Mary Leah a lot while she is gone.

Please pray for all the water drilling and alpaca projects Danny is involved in. Pray that all the people involved will see Jesus’ hand helping them and will feel blessed. Pray for Danny as he travels. Pray for all the airplanes and buses and cities to be safe and for the Lord to give him wisdom in all his actions. Pray for the kids and I that the Lord will protect us, as He has done every minute of our lives already.

Pray for Talita Cumi as they start the renovation process of part of the house they just got and for Christ is Coming Boys home as they start raising financial support to build their own place.

Pray for Bolivia as a country, pray the Lord Himself will choose the next president and that whoever that may be, we and other missionaries still will be free to share our faith and work safely in the name of Jesus.

Pray for Nathaniel and his mom, she will stay in the US while he flies by himself to come here to us. He will have several hours in Panama by himself. Please pray for protection and for safety.

Dear friends again thank you all for all your support and love this year of 2005. We love you and hope you all spend a wonderful Christmas time together with your family and other loved ones and that the Lord Jesus will use you to make his promises come true in people around you today.

Oh yes! And do not, I repeat DO NOT forget to throw some snow balls and make a bunch of snow angels and snowmen, and please think about us when you do, that will make us happy!

Vanessa, for all the Beams


Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Beams Bytes – November 2005

Dear Friends and Family,

Have you ever ridden on a bus for over 100 hours on curvy gravel mountain roads, staying just ahead of washed out bridges and mud slides? I don’t necessarily recommend it. The scenery is beautiful, but the curves begin to get to you after a while.

I (Danny) just returned from an overland trip to Lima, Peru where I went to consult on a project for a SAM (South American Mission) missionary couple beginning a new ministry in Puerto Supe. Cesar and Grace Cubas were missionaries in Santa Cruz for over twenty years, but recently felt called to ministry in Cesar’s home town of Puerto Supe, which is a economically depressed fishing village on the desert coast of Peru, about four hours north of Lima. The Cubas’ feel called to begin a holistic ministry focusing on spiritual as well as physical needs. World Concern will be working closely with them as they develop their own small enterprise development and business training project.

On the way back through Lima, I picked up Vanessa’s grandparents, Julio and Elva (who live in Lima), and we took buses back to La Paz where we visited with Victor (Vanessa’s uncle and Elva’s son), who Elva had not seen in over 12 years. And then it was on to Santa Cruz on another overnight bus. Vanessa is super excited that her grandparens will spend about a month here with us.

Be praying for our plans to expand World Concern projects into new areas of Peru in the coming months. I will be taking another trip to Peru the first two weeks of December. Matthew Zoller, a World Concern collegue, and I will visit a World Concern project in Puno, Peru that helps llama and alpaca herders improve their production and market their products (hides and meat). Then we will be traveling through Cusco, and further north to Abancay, a small highland Peruvian town where we will meet with David and Heidi Coombs, who are Wycliff missionaries, and an association of quechua evangelical churches which is interested in partnering on some economic development projects.

We are also excited about a visit of several friends from our home church in Kentucky, Crossroads Christian, who are flying in tomorrow morning. We look forward to sharing out life and minsitry with them and hope that a larger mission team will be soon to follow.

Vanessa has begun a Bible study with several Bolivian ladies who are working their way through the “Purpose Driven Life” study. Pray that they will all make a commitment to follow Christ. As well, continue to pray for her puppet ministry and her involvement with several orphanages.

Are you asking yourself why I (or anyone in their right mind) would ride on a bus half way across a continent and back for 100 hours when I could have taken a plane from Santa Cruz to Lima in 2 ½ hours? It is because we are really strapped for cash. We are behind in our budget and do not have any funds for ministry expenses. We love you all and appreciate every prayer and every dime that you invest in our ministry. As the Christmas season (the giving season) approaches this year, prayerfully consider giving a special gift to the people of Bolivia and Peru through this ministry. Through World Concern projects, we are ministering to people in both “word and deed,” sharing the gospel message of Christ and attempting to relieve the physical suffering of poverty.

P.S. Those of you who know me well, know that a big reason I took a bus was because I love the adventure of travel and seeing new places and people. You also know that I love photography. I put up quite a few new pictures of La Paz and Puerto Supe on our website at: www.pbase.com/beamsclan.

In His Grace,Danny


Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Monday, October 10, 2005

Beams Bytes – October 2005

Dear Friends and Family,

As Christ followers, we are called to be Christ’s “hands and feet” here on this earth, bearing witness to His love and helping the less fortunate. I’m sure your heart goes out to those in need, but it seems in these times there are more tragedies than we can possibly respond too. I’m sure everyone of you knows someone who was affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Tsunami, and now an earthquake in South Asia are tragedies too big to even comprehend mentally. I would encourage each one of you who receive our letters to think about how God has blessed your lives spiritually and financially and how you might be able to invest your blessings in the lives of people around the world who do not have even one percent of the income that we have in the United States.

While Bolivia may not have recently been hit by a colossal storm or earthquake, the majority of its citizens live in chronic poverty. The unequal distribution of wealth is extremely noticeable here. The upper and middle class who live in urban areas live a comfortable life. When you fly into Santa Cruz you see large houses, shopping malls, and new Land Rovers. You don’t see the poverty until you get out into the fringes of the city where families with six kids live in one small rented room. Where every time it rains their yards and streets fill with nasty flood water and trash. In rural communities children often do not go to school because it is too far to the nearest school and they do not have the extra money to buy shoes or school supplies. Bolivia has one of the highest levels of poverty and inequality in Latin America. The wealthiest 10% of people in Bolivia earn an average of 25 times more than the poorest 40% of the population. In rural communities, fully 60% of the population is categorized as “extremely poor,” meaning they do not earn enough money to meet their most basic needs of food and shelter. Most people working in rural areas earn less than $2 a day. And believe me, that is not enough money to feed a family. How would you like to eat only rice, beans, and noodles every day, or sometimes go completely without?

Vanessa and I have chosen to be God’s “hands and feet” here in Bolivia. We chose to work as missionaries with World Concern because World Concern focuses on integrated or holistic ministry, meaning that we share the love of Christ through “word and deed,” addressing the spiritual and physical needs of the most poor in Bolivia. While it may not be as glamorous as helping storm victims, the work does have a long term affect on the fight against poverty. If we can introduce a family the importance of living a healthy Christ-centered life and can help them begin to generate enough income to support their families, we can have a positive impact on their lives and their communities for generations to come. We want to show them that they are loved, and respected, and cared about as equals. Becoming educated, their children will have a hope and a vision for a better future that does not include chronic hunger and misery. Bolivia is not a basket case, there are opportunities here for financial progress and it is World Concern’s mission to help share Gods love and to help reduce poverty through long-term economic development projects that will help raise income in a sustainable fashion.

And we are asking you, our friends and family back home, to journey with us in this ministry and to invest in God’s work here in Bolivia. You can become God’s “hands and feet” here in Bolivia through investing in our ministry. I hate sounding like a broken record, but we are significantly behind in our support this year. Since the beginning of the fiscal year in July we are $4,400 behind our budget. We need to raise approximately $3,800 a month for living expenses, insurance, and ministry funds. So far this year we have raised an average of $2,300 a month. We are extremely grateful for the sacrifice many of you are making for this ministry. God is blessing your investment. For others, the enthusiasm of supporting a new missionary family may be wearing off. Our prayer is that many of you would make a new or renewed commitment to supporting our ministry on a monthly basis. If you would like to set up an automatic monthly payment that is debited from your bank account please let us know and we can arrange it with the central office. Even $10 or $25 a month would a tremendous blessing. If your church or someone else you know might be interested in supporting this ministry, please share our prayer letters and our website with them, or let us know their address and we will put them on our mailing list.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

In His Grace,Danny


Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Monkey Business

On Monday and Tuesday, Vanessa, Isaiah and I went up to Samaipata to help drill a water well. Drilling in the mountains is more difficult than down in the lowlands because of the variable terrian. We are trying to develop some new techniques that will make it easier to get through rocks. We were drilling at the home of a family with a small zoo. They have several kinds of monkeys, as well as parrots and some other exotic jungle creatures. Several of the monkeys are treated as members of the family and they have never met a stranger. This particular fellow, named Nunu, would not let go of Vanessa. He acted like a small child. Isaiah picked Vanessa a flower and then Nunu picked Vanessa a leaf. He handed the leaf to Vanessa and took Isaiah's flower away and ate it. Nunu loves to hang out in the trees and jump on your head as you walk by underneath the branches.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Beams Bytes – September 2005

Beloved Friends and Family,

It’s me, Vanessa. It has been a while since I have written the newsletter. We have been doing well. The other day a friend commented on how much better adjusted I am to Bolivia now compared to a year ago. I had two thoughts then. The first one was: “Wow! I’ve been in Bolivia over a year. Never thought I would make it! And the second one was: “Yeah! I am no longer afraid of everything, (at least not of most things)” It is so true, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

We have several praises to give to the Lord. Here they are: Our dear friend Meghan McFaden (Luciana’s teacher last year) and her husband, who were living in New Orleans, are safe after Hurricane Katrina. Also, I am starting a new puppet ministry with children of missionaries and orphan teenagers, and we will have our first presentation this coming Saturday.

Our three children are healthy and enjoying life, and although Nathaniel is far away from us right now we are able to talk to him every single week and keep up with his crazy adventures. Danny has had several successful trips to other towns to drill water wells and has also had the opportunity to share his faith with several young men. I have had the opportunity of being a substitute teacher at the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center and enjoyed the school atmosphere and the students’ good sense of humor and wonderful respectful behavior. We’ve also had another birthday party for the kids from Talita Cumi and celebrated 9 birthdays and it was the last birthday party for Mery (6) who got adopted by a wonderful missionary family together with her brother and sister, Praise the Lord!! Her new mom came to the party with her, it was just awesome to see the sparkle in her eyes as she proudly told me she has a new family. Our church, Trinity Christian has found a pastor. And what Nathaniel described as a miracle, I have started working out every morning at a nearby gym together with other missionary ladies and teenage girls from the Talita Cumi Orphan Home.

Thanks to the Owingsville Baptist WMU, we were also able to take Jhonny, a young boy from the Cristo Viene Boys Home, to the doctor to take care of a skin disease. Thank you guys and thank you Jesus for moving through your people.

Ok, as I am sure most of you dear ones know, there are tons of needs in this country. I mean needs so huge I can’t even begin to describe. But I am aware now that I in my whole life time will not even be able to solve all of them. But if by living here I can make a positive, encouraging and loving contribution to one person’s life that will enough.

I have been sharing Jesus with several people but I have three in mind right now who can really use some prayer for their salvation and lots of additional blessings in their lives. One of them is my hairdresser Lupe, she and her husband are having relationship problems. She is seeking God and would like to raise her children in a Christian home. Her husband claims to be a devout Catholic but acts in a rather abusive way. This week though they have both agreed to talk to Danny and I for some kind of counseling session. I can pretty much see your faces going: “Danny and Vanessa counseling…?” Well everything is possible with Jesus, right? I am just kidding I am very scared at the thought but I really want this guy to see another man just like him who is willing to take care of his children, cook, clean, and be supportive of his wife if necessary. By the way, Praise the Lord for my husband!!! And pray for us for good listening skills and good and patient responses.
Another person I would like you to pray for is my friend Sol, she has a baby girl and lives up in the mountains where there is no electricity or clean water. She has no husband. Pray that she will make a decision to accept Christ in her life and follow only Him. Finally, pray for my aunt Flor who lives in La Paz. She accepted Christ several months ago when she and her daughter Kira came to visit us in Santa Cruz. Pray for her husband Victor and his salvation and for a good supporting church for all three of them.

As always dear and missed friends and family please pray for us all. Pray for good health, protection and enough financial supporters so we can meet our yearly budget.

Please know that we love you, miss you, many times dream about you and will love seeing you all either here in Bolivia or where you are right now.
With lots of love,
Vanessa, for the Beams


Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Friday, August 26, 2005

Well Drilling School


Welcome to well drilling school. Ivo (pictured with Vanessa and Isaiah) found out about Terry Waller's well drilling technique from an internet search and came all the way from Cameroon, Africa to learn how to drill wells so he could return to his rural community and provide water for his family and community. This method of drilling wells is just as efficient but about 10 times less expensive than any other popular "low-tech" method. It is becoming well known in the development community and many people are contacting us to receive training in this method. After the well drilling class, Ivo became stranded in Santa Cruz with travel permit problems so we hosted him in our home for several days while he waited for things to get sorted out. We enjoyed his humor and polite personality and hearing about life in Cameroon.

The following week I spent four days in the community of San Lorenzo, accompanying Terry on another well drilling class. Gary (in the gray hat and sun glasses) came from Texas to learn the technique. Gary hopes to teach volunteer teams the method in the U.S. so they can travel to other places around the world to teach local people the method. When communities provide their own labor they can dig a well and put in a hand pump, all with locally available materials, for about $2 a meter (or $100 for a 50 meter well). The man in the red hat is Carlos, a Colombian who is living in Bolivia. He wants to learn how to drill wells so he can help bring water to several communities in the mountains east of Santa Cruz. It is much harder to be sure of hitting water in the mountains, but Carlos is optimistic and wants to give it a shot.

Danny

Monday, August 08, 2005

Latest Family Photo


Here is our latest family photograph. It was taken at the local sand dunes a couple of weeks before Nathaniel went back to the States for the school year. We have quite a few new pictures up in our photo gallery. Just follow the link to the right. Enjoy.

Danny

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Saturday Morning

Vanessa and I are not doing much today. It is Bolivia's Independence Day so everything is closed. Vanessa and I rode our bicycles eleven miles this morning. We have a bike path down the middle of a highway to a nearby town called La Guardia. It is flat and not the most beautiful ride in the world, but it is convenient and a good place to get a work out. We would both like to lose a little weight (me more than her). I started going to a gym three mornings a week in June, but then I dislocated a finger wakeboarding, and then I had back trouble, so I haven't been back to the gym for a couple of weeks.

Luciana had a friend, Sierra, spend the night last night. Sierra fell off of her horse several weeks ago and cracked her pelvis. She is walking some now, but it still looks painful. Last night we took the kids to the movies to see the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sierra's family is from the U.S. Her father bought a large farm here and is growing rice. They are also quite involved in church and mission activities. I hope some day soon to go out and visit his farm.

Danny

Thursday, August 04, 2005

New Shoes For Cristo Viene Boys Home

Yesterday Vanessa and I delivered the new shoes for 30 boys at Cristo Viene Boys Home that were purchased with a gift from the Owingsville Baptist Church WMU. Danny's parents visited the home on their recent visit to Santa Cruz and had a chance to meet the boys. I think for many of these boys these must be the first pair of new shoes they have ever had in their lives. Lorenzo, the home director, said that just days before he heard about the gift he had been praying for new shoes for the boys. He said all they had was rubber tire sandals and that they all need shoes so for school and church. Thanks Owingsville WMU for putting a smile and quickening the step of these beautiful children.

More new Shoes



Just a couple more pictures of the boys getting their shoes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Beams Bytes -- August 2005

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you so much for praying for Bolivia and the political crisis here. Things have calmed down considerable and we are awaiting national elections for a new president in December. We had a nice relaxing visit with Ronnie and Carrol Beams (Danny’s parents) in July. We traveled to see some of the nearby mountain communities and of course we did a good bit of eating and shopping around Santa Cruz. Their visit made us miss home and the good fellowship we had with all of our family and friends in the States. We are still adjusting to family life without Nathaniel. He went back to Kentucky with Danny’s folks and will be spending the coming school year with his mom in Lexington. Pray that he adjusts well to his new school and friends. Luciana will be starting the fifth grade at Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center next week. Both she and Isaiah are healthy and smart.

Ronnie and Carrol also had a chance to visit the Cristo Viene Boys Home during their visit and brought with them a gift of new shoes for each of the 30 boys from the Owingsville Baptist WMU. Vanessa and I had the chance to deliver the shoes this last week. The boys were excited to have shoes for school and church. As you can see from the photographs, their faces were just beaming. We wanted to send a special thanks to the WMU for this beautiful gift.

Our ministries are continuing to be blessed by God, reaching many people for Christ and having a significant impact on family income. Vanessa continues to working with the children of the Talita Cumi Orphanage and with the Centro de Vida pregnancy crisis center. Vanessa is also gearing up for a puppet ministry thanks to the puppet donations and support of Betty Alexander, a good friend from Benbrook, Texas and a retired missionary from Chile. Danny is working on plans for expanding World Concern projects into Central America and Peru, and continues with his involvement in the micro credit, water, and appropriate technology programs in Bolivia.

We appreciate your continued support of this ministry and are sure that God will bless your investment in His work here in Latin America. I know many of you are already making a sacrifice to support this ministry, but if you are still thinking about making a monthly pledge, please go ahead and make the commitment. We are still a good bit under budget and need at least another $1000 a month in pledges to meet our expenses. Continue to pray for those whose lives we touch for new opportunities to bring the grace and hope of Christ to these people. We would love to hear news from home and from each of you are getting along. Please drop us an email if you have time.

In His Grace,Danny


Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Beams Bytes – July 2005

Dear Friends and Family,

July is upon us. While you are basking in warm summer sunshine, we are experiencing Bolivia’s winter months. It’s not bad really, cold fronts called “surazos” blow in every couple of weeks from the south and bring cold wind and rain. It’s funny to watch the Bolivians put on coats, hats, gloves and scarves when it gets down into the 50s. The political situation in Bolivia has been crazy lately. You have probably even seen Bolivia on CNN. The former president was forced to resign and a new interim president appointed until elections can be held later this year. This is nothing new for Bolivia. I heard that Bolivia has had an average of more than one president per year since its independence from Spain in the 1820s. We lived through some pretty tense days several weeks ago as talk of civil war was running high, but now things have calmed down. Continue to pray for peace in Bolivia and that God’s hand will direct its future. The poor majority are tired of being taken advantage of by wealthy Bolivians and multinational corporations who are extracting the wealth of Bolivia’s natural resources for personal gain and are investing little in true long-term economic development that will benefit everyone.

Especially pray for our eco-tourism project and animal healthcare training program in Yapacani. This is a politically volatile area and some local leaders do not approve of our presence in the zone and are making life difficult for our trainers and local participants.

Another big prayer concern is for the World Concern Latin American Area Office based here in Santa Cruz. Because of a budget crisis in the home office in Seattle, our area office budget will be severely cut the coming year, making it hard to think about expanding our work into other countries. We are making a concerted effort to begin new projects in Peru and several countries in Central America this year. Danny will probably be traveling to Peru and Honduras later this year to establish new contacts. But establishing new projects is the easy part—poverty is easy to find, and we are not short on project ideas. The difficult part is finding financial partners who are willing to invest in projects.

We are anxiously looking forward to a visit from Danny’s parents, Ronnie and Carol Beams, later this month. Remember that the invitation is open for any of you to come for a visit. We have several extra bedrooms and you are welcome to stay for a week or a month. I’m sure you would be a blessing to the Bolivian people and that you would grow through such an experience. We continue to pray for each of you as you are serving in your own families and ministries at home. Your continued support of our work here is a blessing to us.

In His Grace,Danny


Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Bolivia in Crisis

I wanted to share this editorial about Bolivia that was published in the New York Times last week. It was written by an ex-pat who lives just up the highway from us in Samaipata. Hopefully it will give you some insight into what we have been going through recently.

Danny


Op-Ed Contributor
Poor Little Rich Country


By WILLIAM POWERS
Published: June 11, 2005
Samaipata, Bolivia
MY taxi is stuck behind Indian roadblocks. Three hundred farmers, many of them Quechua in colorful ponchos, just took control of the only highway near this small town in central Bolivia, right below a jaguar-shaped Inca temple. I can escape neither east to the sweltering boomtown of Santa Cruz nor west toward the windswept Andean capital, La Paz, where tens of thousands of Aymara Indians are on the march. I get through, but only after abandoning my taxi and making my way on foot.

For three weeks, the country has been paralyzed by blockades and protests; a few days after my experience at the roadblock, the uprising forced the president, Carlos Mesa, to resign. The protesters want to nationalize Bolivia's vast natural gas reserves, South America's second largest; BP has quintupled its estimate of Bolivia's proven reserves to 29 trillion cubic feet, worth a whopping $250 billion. The Indians are in a showdown with the International Monetary Fund and companies like British Gas, Repsol of Spain and Brazil's Petrobras that have already invested billions of dollars in exploration and extraction.
Many are calling the remarkable past five years in Bolivia a war against globalization. In a limited way, they're right. McDonald's closed its outlets here, unable to lure Bolivians away from their saice and salteñas. Demonstrators in bowler hats forced out Bechtel and Suez water privatizers; blocked an income tax urged by the mighty I.M.F.; and ousted President Mesa's predecessor, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozado, who spoke Spanish with a heavy American accent, over his plan to export Bolivian gas to California through Chile.
But this is not about walling off a Wal-Mart-free utopia; it's more of a struggle over who has power here. An American Indian majority is standing up to the light-skinned, European elite and its corruption-fueled relationships with the world.
You might say that Bolivia has colonized itself. When the Spanish Empire closed shop here in 1825, the Europeans who stayed on didn't seem to notice - and still don't. Even within Latin America, the region with the greatest wealth inequality in the world according to the World Bank, Bolivia is considered one of the most corrupt, per Transparency International's annual index of political dishonesty. It's also divided along a razor-sharp racial edge.
Highland and Amazon peoples compose almost two-thirds of Bolivia's population, the highest proportion of Indians in the hemisphere. (It's as if the United States had 160 million Apaches, Hopis and Iroquois.) And while native people are no longer forcibly sprayed with DDT for bugs and are today allowed into town squares, Bolivian apartheid - a "pigmentocracy of power" - continues.
I've been here for three years as an aid official, and exclusion is part of life. Indians are barred from swimming pools at some clubs, for example; they are still "peones" on eastern haciendas little touched by land reform. In La Paz, I was walking through the fashionable South Zone beside an Aymaran woman, Fátima, when another Bolivian viciously pushed her off the sidewalk. She wasn't shocked by the sentiment, but she was amazed that the man had been willing to touch her. Meanwhile, Bolivia's energy-rich eastern states are agitating for "autonomy" in a thinly disguised effort to deprive the poor Indian west of oil and gas revenues.
What is to be done to prevent a collapse in Bolivia? The answer, of course, must begin with Bolivians themselves. Elites here must recognize that the country's dark-skinned social movements are stronger than any political party or president and will not go away. Any lasting solution must shift real power to Bolivia's poor majority.
We'll see a lot of political maneuvering in the coming days. Some of the roadblocks have been dismantled in the wake of Mr. Mesa's ouster and the installation of a new interim president, Eduardo Rodríguez, the former head of the Supreme Court. But sustained stability depends on movement toward more equality, not just cosmetic changes, starting with speedy national elections and a constituent assembly with the full power to rewrite the Constitution and decide who benefits from Bolivia's petroleum.
Solving the crisis, however, depends not just on ending exclusion, but also on how the rest of the world relates to Bolivia, South America's poorest country, particularly through economic policy.
The United States and the international community have a vital role. In a speech this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was right to acknowledge Bolivia's democratic deficit.
But beyond lip service we must accept that democracy means, well, letting people decide what to do with their own resources. Existing contracts with foreign oil companies were signed by corrupt Bolivian leaders, without the approval of Congress. Even if nationalizing petroleum may be a growth-zapping bad idea, we need to let Bolivians themselves decide.
Moreover, our own ideas for this region are not always so fabulous. Bolivia was the testing ground for the I.M.F.'s "shock therapy" liberalization in 1985. This stringent recipe has made millions for oilmen and industrial soy farmers here (neither sector creates much employment) but has not reduced inequality; 20 years later, Bolivia's income levels are stagnant or worse, and half the population lives on less than $2 a day.
BESIDES taking a respectful hands off, the world should contribute one vital thing toward a more democratic society that embraces Indians: debt relief to the reforming government. Bolivia's debt load has risen to 82 percent of gross domestic product, sucking up a mind-boggling 40 percent of fiscal expenditures. This is a recipe for more poverty and turmoil.
Meanwhile, the Indians, distrusting Mr. Rodríguez's promise to call elections and talk to proponents of nationalization, are keeping some of the roadblocks in place, a tactic that costs millions of dollars in lost commerce, hurting the Indians themselves most of all. But as one Quechua told me as he crossed his arms in front of trucks here in Samaipata, vaguely evoking Tiananmen Square: "Our cultures have been blocked for 500 years. This is our only voice."
William Powers is the author of "Blue Clay People" and a forthcoming book on Bolivia, "A Natural Nation."

June Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family,

This is Vanessa writing this month. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we last saw you! Time sure has flown by. Not that it has been easy or anything at all like that, but I didn’t think I was going to make it. Life here in Bolivia has gotten a little rough the last couple of weeks. Not everything bad is happening right here in Santa Cruz, but mostly in La Paz and there are blockades in the main roads around us. Which is kind of sad since we were planning a family trip to Torotoro, a place were dinosaur foot prints and sea turtle fossils can be found up in the mountains. We are going as part of a team looking for evidence of Noah’s flood. Exciting, isn’t it!

Back to our ministry. Danny has been traveling to towns around Santa Cruz visiting projects and getting to know more about the people who manage them and the people involved in them. He has also linked Terry Waller (a fellow missionary of us who is a genius and has invented all these inexpensive and easy to handle agricultural machines and has developed a new water drilling technique) with the projects in San Ignacio, a town about 8 hours away by car. As you can tell my husband is always busy finding ways to cope with people’s need so they can see the Lord’s goodness and love. He is also thinking about starting a project of selling handbags in the US (importing). This would be a business that would help support mainly the lady groups and other projects already going here in South America (we are thinking big). So it looks like he and I will soon enroll with several other people in a sewing class.

For me this has not been a good month. I mean, praise the Lord for all His blessings. I just don’t like becoming good friends with people and then having to say goodbye just like that. I am saying this because we have recently had to say goodbye to a lot of people at our church, school and so on, who after the school year are leaving on furlough for a year or even permanently. It also depresses me seeing so much violence and poverty in the streets. It makes me think we will never accomplish anything here. But we cannot not rely on our own understanding. I know it is all in God’s hands. Writing these letters sure puts things in prospective for me. Thank you Jesus.

Other ministry news: This month we will host another Birthday party for the kids from the Talita Cumi home for the kids who have birthdays in May and June. And Danny is still very much involved with Cristo Viene (Christ is Coming) boys home in the chicken raising project. The kids are learning all about raising chickens and they eat some of them and sell the rest. We especially need prayer for this home. We are talking of about 30 little boys all the way between 3 to 13. Who in their majority were taken away from their homes due to abuse. These kids need tons of affection, and shoes too. They live in a rented house about an hour from Santa Cruz. The director’s dream is to have their own home with a big enough piece of land where they can plant a garden and raise animals for the boys to eat. So please pray to the Lord that He will provide for them both more love through more volunteers and more money.

Our beautiful and smart kids are out of school for the summer. It sure is different when they are here! Things get louder, more fun and interesting especially for Isaiah who chooses to stay home and play with them instead of going to his nursery school. Luciana and Nathaniel are both really busy practicing their violin and cello (poor neighbors). And we no longer have pet macaws. So sorry to those of you who were hoping to see them when you visit but they have all sorts of them at the zoo. We can take you there! They were just too messy and ornery and loud, ate the furniture, the phone, the neighbor’s lingerie and went to the bathroom everywhere. But now our backyard looks nice and clean and it is quiet too! I am sure my kids can tell you different though!

I have decided to not to teach at the school next year. I really want to enjoy being home with Isaiah during is last pre-school years and also that will give more time for some other types of ministry.

And last but not least I will give you a list of our needs and prayer requests:

Lift Nathaniel and the rest of us since he is leaving this July for a year with his mom.

Pray for the Cristo Viene boys home.

Pray for the B-day parties for Talita Cumi, that I will find enough gift sponsors.

Pray for the World Concern projects in San Ignacio, that they will be successful with their water and agricultural projects.

Pray all the street kids and moms in Santa Cruz will come to know Jesus and their life will change for ever.

Pray for protection for all the missionaries in Bolivia.

Pray we will have the Spirit of the Lord as we deal with people and ourselves.

Pray that you can come and see us soon!!!


We love you and send you lots of hugs and kisses and smiles,


In His Grace,
Vanessa (for all the Beams)

Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Monday, May 09, 2005

Children of project participants in San Julian

May Newsletter

Dear Family and Friends,

I just got back from a trip to Santiago, Chile where Jack McDonald and I participated in a microfinance summit. It was a gathering of NGOs (non-governmental organizations), government programs, and private banks interested in furthering economic development in poor countries through the use of microfinance services. There is great hope that the spread of this economic development strategy will lead to great strides in poverty alleviation. Of course World Concern is a small player in the world of microfinance, but we do offer something that strictly development organizations do not consider; we offer a message of love and hope through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. While many secular organizations may consider this a non-essential, inefficient, or even invasive non-financial service, we have seen from experience that change has to begin from within a person and the best place to start is with the soul. Microfinancial services may provide the means to get out of poverty, but it does not provide the knowledge or the motivation. This is why World Concern is so insistent that our programs provide training in small business skills, Biblical values, and discipleship.

I am really excited about integrating several appropriate technology projects that have been developed by an agricultural missionary and World Concern colleague, Terry Waller, working here in Santa Cruz. Terry has developed an efficient and inexpensive way to drill water wells using locally available hardware and manual labor. You can see a description of this process at: http://www.geocities.com/h2oclubs/. Communities form water clubs and neighbors help each other drill wells 30 to 40 meters deep at a cost of only about $100 each. Before this method was developed, alternative methods using a motorized drilling rig cost about $1500 a well. Terry is also developing low-cost windmills, tractors, and other agricultural implements that the small peasant farmer can afford to purchase and that will allow him to compete in the same markets as the big industrialized farmers. Some of these are still in the testing phase of development, but have the potential to revolutionize small plot farming in Bolivia. Combining these new production techniques with microfinance services will give poor farmers (who now have a hard time feeding their families) an opportunity earn many times their current yearly wages.

In order to reach the many 1000s of rural poor residents in Bolivia and other Latin American countries we need to expand our program tremendously. Our current microcredit program has about 700 active clients. We need to expand this to 10,000 or more clients so that it can become economically self-sustainable (funded using interest earned from loans) and can have a spiritual and economic impact in many more struggling communities. In order to expand the microcredit program we need to increase the capital base from its current level of approximately $200,000 to ten times that much.

Vanessa and I greatly appreciate your faithful support of our personal ministry (and we are still a little short of our monthly budget), but if you would like to make a special contribution to the capital loan fund for the CAMS microcredit program, please let us know. I assure you that these funds, used on a rotating basis, and will help many peasant farmers to pull themselves out of poverty and will be an important means of sharing the gospel. If your church or civic organization would like to partner with CAMS to increase the microcredit loan portfolio, please let us know.

We will have a busy month in May with two birthdays (Nathaniel May 1st and Isaiah May 6th). Please pray for Nathaniel as he will be traveling back to the States in July where he will spend the year with his mom in Lexington, KY. And continue to remember our ministries and our personal spiritual growth in your prayers.

In His Grace,Danny

Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

April Newsletter

Dear and Missed Friends and Family,

This is Vanessa writing this month! I pray that you all have had a wonderful Easter and are enjoying the miracle of spring all around you! We had a wonderful time this Easter as we drove to La Paz (the Capital of Bolivia). The drive was magnificently beautiful. We went from the tropical heat of Santa Cruz up to the frigid altiplano at 14,000 feet. The purpose of this trip was to celebrate Easter with our friends the Wolheters (our neighbors and fellow missionaries) at their church in La Paz, which little did we know is a huge deal! The church was packed with thousands of people who had come from all over Bolivia all dressed in their beautiful local outfits, all excited and praising God with their voices and their hands. It was kind of funny because even though all of us who went there could feel the happiness of these people celebrating Jesus’ resurrection we were also a miniscule group of western dressed and looking people and felt somewhat in cultural shock. The service included people praying (with loud wailing and crying), people singing contemporary songs and also hymns, two to three hours of preaching, a band marching and playing hymns, a skit, and (my favorite) a group of five little girls reciting a poem that talked about Jesus’ Faithfulness.

For me this trip to La Paz has been long anticipated for a couple of reasons. Number one, because we got to visit Lake Titicaca, which I have wanted to see since I was a child (Peru shares Lake Titicaca with Bolivia) and also because my ladies group just finished a study by Beth Moore called “Beloved Disciple” and this local landscape perfectly illustrated the kind of place where Jesus lived with his friends, sailing, fishing, walking on water, talking to people and loving his friends. I could just imagine Jesus, with His hair blowing in the wind, and with the beautiful blue lake behind Him that He himself had made. I just loved it. Check out our pictures on our website to see also what I ‘m talking about. And I am proud to say that I took some of the pictures too.

Reason number two, I got to see long lost members of my family, my uncle Victor and his family, who moved to La Paz from Peru about 11 years ago. It is kind of bitter sweet to reconnect after so many years and hear memories and facts of my own childhood told by another person! Also I met my aunt Flor and cousin, Kira Lani, for the first time. They don’t have Jesus in their hearts yet, but were asking a lot of questions about our ministry and why we are here and what denominations mean, etc., so please pray for them that there answers will be answered by the ultimate truth giver.

For those of you who have been praying for us because of political situations here in Bolivia, thank you. We are fine. There have been a couple of times when protests have gotten a little out of hand, but things have calmed down recently. Many people have asked me about Billy in their letters and I really appreciate this and also all your prayers for him and other kids who need God. The good news is that I haven’t seen him or his grandma at that same spot or around which could be a sign that she is no longer using him to beg. Please keep praying for all the kids on the street. Also pray for more support for our Christian children’s homes. It really is amazing how the Lord wants His little ones to be safe. There are about 20 Christian children’s homes in Santa Cruz: for boys, for girls, for street kids, for abandoned children, for addicts, for pregnant teens, etc. The problem is that from all those only 3 or 4 (I have only seen three) seem to have regular support and own their property. The others live in really sad conditions in rented places or government places that can be taken back by the owner at any moment.

We have recently gotten involved with a home called “Cristo Viene” Boys Home. We are using specially designated ministry funds to support a project in which the boys will raise chickens (500 at a time) that they will sell in the local market to help pay for the expense of running the home. The boys in this home are abandoned and most of them are between the ages of four and twelve. Can you imagine? They are as sweet as can be and love having visitors in the home to play with. Right now this home is renting a small piece of land and 30 boys live in two overcrowded dorm rooms. Pray that this home will be able to buy their own property soon.

I have also been working with the Centro de Vida (Center for Life) and helped them with translation for a training they had last week about abstinence, pregnancy and abortion. I learned a lot myself and it was lots of fun to work with young people (volunteers). I will also be involved more later as we put together lesson materials for each of them as they go into schools here and share Jesus’ truth about sex, abstinence, pregnancy and abortion, Please pray for these brave souls who will throw themselves to the hands of school teenagers to talk about these things God’s way!!! This training has made me awe at the way Jesus can heal a broken life and also at His primary design for sex within marriage and the purpose of it. I thank Jesus for healing my heart and body and giving me a loving, understanding, patient husband.

At the Centro de Vida we are also trying to put together a “Library” of things that moms can borrow and then give back to the center. I have collected a bunch of baby clothes among friends and some baby products and also some formula. But we need also the big things, you who are parents know how many things a baby needs. So please also add to your praying list some cribs or pack and play beds, strollers, baby carriers and things like this. And also pray we will find a way to let moms know we want to get these things back and they will bring them back. This is all so new for Bolivia.

Our children are doing great Luciana has been in the honor role twice already and Nathaniel’s grades are great too. We are very proud, Nathaniel’s teachers and friends are always talking about what good of a friend and a student he is. Luciana will start violin classes again this week. Pray for patience (for both of us). And Isaiah is cutter than ever he can now converse in both languages and often leaves us astonished with everything he knows and makes us laugh with his new face to scare monsters and bad guys away we might include a picture of this for everyone’s amusement. Oh yes! We did have an Easter egg hunt at our hotel room and hall in La Paz. When we first talked about it Isaiah said: “We are going to G-Mommy’s house yeh!” I guess in his mind where else in the world can you have a good Easter egg hunt!

Our whole family is very excited because we are having some of you as visitors here soon. Guys from our dear Crossroads Church are soon coming and also Ronnie and Carrol (Danny’s mom and dad) We are so excited and praying the Lord will be with you guys as you come here and also more of you all will venture to visit and spend some or a lot of time with us.

We love you and miss you guys tons. Please enjoy the spring, smell the flowers, take pictures, put them in your house, on your hair. We miss the seasons as you can see.

Now for real,
Bye
Vanessa for all the Beams in Santa Cruz


Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Friday, March 18, 2005

Beams Bytes – March 2005

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope winter is winding to a close for most of you in the northern climes. We are just about through our hottest months here south of the equator and the weather should start cooling off soon. This is the end of the rainy season, and while we have been relatively dry this year, it has been raining heavily up in the mountains above us. This means the rivers that flow down from the Andes swell with muddy rolling rain water and flood low lying parts of Santa Cruz along the Rio Grande river. While this mini-disaster did not make international headlines, it did greatly affect 1000s of peasant farmers in the communities where World Concern is working. In fact, 168 families with whom we are working with in the CAMS micro-credit program, have been affected by this flooding. They have lost all of their crops, which were just about ready to be harvested. For the majority, agriculture is their livelihood and a disaster of this magnitude will push them further into poverty. They have had to abandon their houses and fields, and are living dislocated in tents until the water recedes. The CAMS program is trying to raise enough extra capital to give these families emergency loans so they can immediately replant and recuperate some of their losses this year. Pray that the flooding will abate and that CAMS will be able to help these families through this crisis.

The political situation in Bolivia is worsening by the day as well. Last week the president of Bolivia, Carlos Mesa, resigned, and then several days later rescinded his resignation. He claims he cannot govern a country that does not allow democracy to function. In the 17 months he has been in office, there have been over 800 protests and civil disturbances. These various protesting groups have listed over 12,000 demands of the government. Most of these protests come in the form of road blocks, blocking key highways and disrupting commerce. In Santa Cruz, there has been a call for autonomy, meaning the state of Santa Cruz wants to independently elect a governor and does not want to send so much tax revenue to the capital in La Paz. How does this affect us? The local Santa Cruz civic committee has called a number of general “paros,” or strikes. They block all traffic from moving in the city and anyone who is on the roads without a permit will have their vehicle impounded. These “paros” usually last for one or two days, but they are becoming so frequent that it is hard to work consistently. It is a holiday for the kids in school, but otherwise it costs local businesses millions of dollars a day in lost revenue. Personally, I enjoy the general strikes because I get the chance to ride my bicycle all over town without worrying about traffic.

Most recently the Santa Cruz bus drivers have called for a transportation strike and are refusing to run their routes until the city lets them raise the cost of a fare. They currently charge $0.18 and want to raise it to $0.24. This does not sound like much, but here in Santa Cruz a roundtrip bus ticket amounts to between 10% and 20% of an average daily wage. And I would estimate that 90% of the cities population relies on busses for daily transport. Needless to say, the city is in chaos. People are walking and riding bicycles to work and school. Taxis are almost impossible to get, and when you do manage to get one to stop they want to charge three or four times the normal rate. Bus drivers are attempting to block major intersections with their busses. Last week when I came back into town after a visit to our projects I unwittingly drove through what was practically a war zone. The military began forcibly removing the buses, beating and arresting the drivers, and breaking out bus windows. The drivers were throwing rocks and attacking the press and the military and police. They began looting several neighborhoods. The military fought back with tear gas. As I drove home I passed burning tires, a burning police motorcycle, and lots of bricks and other debris in the road. It felt surreal, as if I were driving through a movie set or something. From one intersection I could see 20 or so policemen advancing on a line of rock throwing bus drivers. Later that night I saw that 30 people had been injured. Thankfully no one has been killed. Things appear to be calmer this week, but the drivers insist that there will be no more buses until they can raise the fare.

Pray for the political situation in Bolivia this month. We feel God’s presence in this country and know he will answer the prayers of 1000s of believers around the world. Pray also for how World Concern can respond to the local needs of families in poverty throughout Bolivia.

Thank you so much for your faithful support of this ministry. We are still behind in our yearly budget, but are confident in God’s faithfulness. Please pray for God’s leading in how he would have you support this ministry. Our new ministry blog (website) is www.beamsclan.blogspot.com. Visit the site to read frequent ministry updates, see pictures in our photo gallery, and find links to other ministry sites.

In His Grace,
Danny


Mailing address:

Daniel Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: beamsclan@yahoo.com, danielb@worldconcern.org.bo
Website: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Road Blocks

The political situation is never dull in Santa Cruz. For the past month or so, civic organizations (mostly politicized groups of peasants farmers), have been blocking the major highways going in and out of the city of Santa Cruz. Currently 3 of the 4 exits out of down are completely blocked. The road to Argentina (where all of our diesel comes from), the road to Brazil, and the road to La Paz, which goes on into Chile and Peru. These diverse groups are demanding a variety of things from the government and refuse lift the road block until their demands are met. The government is hesitant to use military force because they want to avoid violence at all costs. In the mean time, our work has been greatly disrupted because we cannot travel out to the projects. Also, many imported goods are becoming scarce. The local paper is predicting that the city will be completely out of diesel by this weekend, even further paralyzing the commerce. I will wait in line to fill our tank up this evening (we drive a diesel Nissan Patrol SUV), and try to make this last tank full stretch as far as I can.

Monday, February 28, 2005

New Links

Check out the new links on the right of the screen. We now have links to a photo gallery and to our archived monthly newsletters. Also, you can click on the "Paypal Donation" button and contribe directly to our ministry. Alternatively, you can click on the "Contribute" link to learn how to make your World Concern payments on the internet instead of having to send in monthly checks. Also, I plan on adding some longer journal entries and diatribes in the "Longer Missives" section. Thanks for reading!

More Flooding

The flooding continues in the Rio Grande area. The water had been receding, but Sunday morning another wave hit and the water rose to a higher level than it reached the week before. Our country director, Marcia Suarez, visited the area last week and brought some tents to some of the homeless families. But this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the needs in the area. These mini-disasters are sometimes hardest to deal with because the do not make it into the international news media, so donations do not come in like they should to help relieve the crisis. World Concern Bolivia would love to do more but our project budgets are too tight as it is. If you feel moved to help in this effort, please make a donation and designate it to the Rio Grande Flood Victims.

Also, in the Yapacani project area, the project motorcycle was stolen over the weekend. This was the only transportation for 10 project facilitators. There is no money in the budget to replace it and now the field workers have no way of quickly getting into some of the more remote project villages. It will cost about $1200 to replace. Please be praying for this need.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Flooding in Micro-Credit Project Areas

This is the rainy season in Bolivia and recent storms in the mountains have caused the Rio Grande to rise rapidly and flood many of the communities where we work through the CAMS micro-credit project. More than 160 families have lost their crops and have been forced to evacuate their homes and communities. This is a tragic loss for them personally because most do not have any alternative sources of income and the majority of their annual income would have come from the lost harvest. The CAMS program is working hard to put together a plan that will give them an emergency loan so they can replant after the waters recede, and we will give them an extended amount of time to pay off their old loans. This is the second time in ten years that this area has seen severe flooding. Many people will probably decide to leave the area completely, but this too is difficult because they do not have the cash necessary to buy new land in higher areas. Please pray for these families in the communities of "Dos de Agosto," "Villa Montero," and "El Plato." Pray that they will recover quickly from these losses and that World Concern and the CAMS program will know how best to respond to this emergency situation.

Friday, February 04, 2005


Reina weaving a hammock in Santo Corazon

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Reina in Santo Corazon

Reina and her daughters, pictured below, live in Santo Corazon, an isolated community several days away from the nearest town with public transportion. Trucks can only get into the area one or two months a year. During the other months people must walk or ride horseback for several days to get out to a main highway. There are no banks or public offices in Santo Corazon, and only a few small stores. They only have electricity two hours each evening. Before Reina joined the World Concern women's solidarity group called "El Progresso" she lived in a tiny one room mud house. Through this micro-credit and savings group she has gained access to small loans starting at $150. With this loan she bought yarn and other artisan material to begin knitting clothes, purses (like those in the picture), and weaving hammocks. She already had the skills to make these things but did not have the money she needed to invest in materials. As she has progressed in the group the last couple of years she has been able to sell many hammocks to local cowboys who live and work on the surrounding ranches. With the profits she has been able to add several rooms onto her house, pay for her children's food, clothing, and educational expenses, and beginning putting some savings in her group's savings fund, the "banco comunal." She attends monthly meetings where she learns small business management skills and where she is taking a course called "Biblical Values in the Marketplace." The local World Concern field worker, Iracema, makes sure that all of the members of her solidarity groups hear the Gospel message. With a good history of loan repayment, Reina now has access to loans of up to $400 per 6 month cycle. After several years of working and saving, women like Reina, will have saved enough money of their own so that they will not need to depend on credit from an organization like World Concern. It is exciting to see how quickly women like Reina can improve their families well-being with a lots of hard work, and a little help to get going. But the most important change Reina can make is from the inside. Once she accepts God's grace in her life, everything else will be brought into perspective.

Santo Corazon from the air

Reina and her daughters in Santo Corazon

Monday, January 31, 2005


Luciana enjoying the sun at Lomas de Arena

Vanessa and Isaiah having fun

Nathaniel with his sandboard

Sunset at Lomas de Arena

Lomas de Arena, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Monday, January 24, 2005

Contact Us

Email:
beamsclan@yahoo.com

Bolivian Telephone:
Home: 011-5913-351-1087

Home U.S. Mailing Address:
Daniel Beams
181 Sherman Ct
Owingsville, KY 40360

Bolivia Mailing Address:
Daniel and Vanessa Beams
Casilla 3740
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

U.S. Telephone:
606-674-9253

EFCCM web site:
http://www.efcc.ca/index.cfm?pageID=4

Our Websites:
www.beamsclan.blogspot.com
www.pbase.com/beamsclan

Sunday, January 16, 2005

EFCCM Donation Form

EFCCM Donation Form

Please apply my gift to the ministry of:
Daniel and Vanessa Beams – EFCCM Missionaries to Bolivia

Your Name: __________________________________
Address: ____________________________________
City: ____________ State: ________
Zip: ___________Country: _______
Phone: _______________________
Email: _______________________

□ Monthly Pledge: $ _____________
□ This is a special gift in addition to my monthly pledge
□ One Time Gift: $ ______________
□ Apply my gift to the Beams support account (#2-2014)
□ Apply my gift to the Agua Yaku water well drilling project (#2-5035)
□ Apply my gift to the Ruth and Noemi Girls Transition home (#2-5033)


Make Checks payable to:

EFCCM

Please write "for Daniel and Vanessa Beams" on the memo line.

Mail to:

EFCCM--Attn: Donor Services
PO BOX 850 Langley Station LCD1
Langley, BC V3A 8S6
Canada


For more information write to us at: beamsclan@gmail.com, or visit our ministry blogs at: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com, and www.aguayaku.org

EFCA Donation Form

EFCA Donation Form

Please apply my gift to the ministry of:
Daniel and Vanessa Beams – EFCCM Missionaries to Bolivia

Your Name: __________________________________
Address: ____________________________________
City: ____________ State: ________
Zip: ___________Country: _______
Phone: _______________________
Email: _______________________

□ Monthly Pledge: $ _____________
□ This is a special gift in addition to my monthly pledge
□ One Time Gift: $ ______________
□ Apply my gift to the Beams support account (#001-0116)
□ Apply my gift to the Agua Yaku water well drilling project (#001-0083)
□ Apply my gift to the Ruth and Noemi Girls Transition home (#001-0141)


Make Checks payable to:

EFCA

Please write "for Daniel and Vanessa Beams" on the memo line.

Mail to:

EFCA--Attn: Donor Services
901 East 78th St
Minneapolis, MN 55420-1300


For more information write to us at: beamsclan@gmail.com, or visit our ministry blogs at: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com, and www.aguayaku.org

Saturday, January 15, 2005

About our Ministry

We live in Santa Cruz, Bolivia where we work as missionaries with the EFCCM (Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission), based near Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

We originally came to Santa Cruz in 2004 to work with World Concern, a Christian relief and development agency working in many places around the world. Our contract with World Concern was completed, but we still felt called to continue working in Santa Cruz, so in 2006 we began working the the EFCCM.

Danny, who has a PhD in applied development anthropology, works with local community groups and churches in projects focused on relieving poverty through water well drilling, food production and the creation of meaningful work. An integral part of every project is sharing our Christian faith.

While poverty alleviation, material progress, and social justice are central to our purpose, we believe the best way to achieve material transformation is through spiritual transformation. The most important element of any person’s life is his or her relationship with God. If this is on the right track, everything else in life tends to fall into perspective.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

Vanessa, apart from managing our household, is involved in a variety of ministries outside the home. She volunteers in several orphanages in Santa Cruz where she ministers to children and teenagers through a puppet, clown, and birthday ministry. The largest portion of her time is dedicated to our three beautiful children, Nathaniel (15), Luciana (12), and Isaiah (5).

“So how can we help?” you may be asking yourself at this point. We are glad you asked. First, we need your prayer support. We know that with a strong prayer team behind us, God will use us in this ministry to reach many people for Him. Secondly, we are seeking ministry partners who can support us financially.

The EFCCM provides the structure of a church family, prayer, and spiritual and financial accountability, but they ask that we raise our own financial support to pay for living expenses, travel, ministry expenses, etc. Please pray for our ministry and prayerfully consider your financial investment in this ministry.

We need to raise approximately $5,000 a month to cover our living and ministry expenses. We currently receive about $3000 a month in support, so there is plenty of room for additional partners. Approximately 7% of what we receive is used for EFCCM administrative costs, 93% is used in Bolivia. If you would like to designate your gift for a specific project, please include a special note stating such when you make a contribution. If you know of anyone else (a church or individual) who might be interested in this ministry, please share with them what we are doing and have them contact us.

You can contribute in several different ways:

Because the EFCCM is not an U.S. organization, contributions made directly to them by U.S. residents are not tax deductible. However, we have arranged for donors to receive a tax receipt through one of our partner churches. You may send donations to the Owingsville Baptist Church and they in turn will forward the gift to the EFCCM and will mail you a tax receipt. The mailing address is:

Owingsville Baptist Church
PO BOX 662
Owingsville, KY 40360

Be sure to designate that is it is for the ministry of Danny and Vanessa Beams in Bolivia.

You can also use Paypal to make an electronic contribution through Owingsville Baptist. Simply click on the Donate Icon on our home page and follow the instructions. Be sure to include your name and address in order to receive a tax receipt.

If a tax receipt is not a concern, you may make contributions directly through the EFCCM.

Mail contributions to:

EFCCM
PO Box 850 Langley Stn. LCD1
Langley BC V3A 8S6
Canada

Or you can visit the website at: http://www.efcc.ca/index.cfm?pageID=138. to make an online donation.

Be sure to designate the gift for Daniel and Vanessa Beams in Bolivia

If you would like to make a monthly pledge or be put on our monthly prayer letter mailing list, please contact us at beamsclan@yahoo.com.

Friday, January 14, 2005


Ladies Solidary Group Micro-credit meeting in the community "Dos de Agosto"

Welcome to our Blog

Welcome to the Beams Family Blog. We hope this will be a place where our friends and family will come to share with us in our life and work in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Each of us will be posting what is on our mind and we hope you will do the same through comments and through email. Thanks for reading!