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,
Vanessa for all the Beams in Santa Cruz
Daniel and Vanessa Beams
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org