Friday, August 31, 2007

Talita Cumi Birthday Party

This is a picture of Vanessa and the kids from Talita Cumi at our latest birthday party. Every other month we invite the kids to our house who have had birthdays for a big party. We invite friends to sponsor each child, buying them clothes and other gifts for their birthday. It is always a lot of fun to see the expressions on their faces when they eat the cake and open their gifts. I wish we give each of them their own loving family. We so appreciate the work of Graciela, the director, and the other staff and board members of Talita Cumi. God is really blessing the lives of these kids through this ministry.

August Newsletter

Dear Mission Family,

It is so exciting to share with you how God is working here in Bolivia. We are sometimes impatient to begin working on what we think we ought to be doing, but when we wait on the Lord, it is so much more rewarding to work alongside Him in the things that He has been preparing. Thank you for your faithful support of our work. It is a powerful feeling to know that you are behind us in prayer.

Danny has again begun drilling water wells—It is such a blessing to watch the expressions on people’s faces when they see clean cold water come straight out of the ground right on their own property. Having clean water available near one’s home saves hours a day in labor (most people care water in buckets from a river or distant community well), and it helps improve the health and productivity of the family and the farm. Last week we helped train national students who are studying at a New Tribes missionary school how to drill water wells. They will use this technology to help bring clean water (and the gospel) to remote areas where they will be working with tribal peoples in the jungles of Bolivia. Pray for Danny as he makes connections with communities that need clean water and need to hear about the love of Christ. If you would like to learn more about the water project and see how you can become personally involved, please visit our new blog at:

Vanessa is counselling with several older girls from orphanages who are trying to make the transition to the “real world” – living on their own. When these kids turn eighteen the homes can no longer continue to care for them and they must begin working and living on their own. Many of them are behind in school and have not earned a high school degree by the time they have to leave. Fernanda is one girl who I hope you will keep in prayer. She left the girls home last month and moved in with an extremely poor family in a bad part of town. She is living with a single mom who is raising seven kids of her own. They are living in a board shack with dirt floors. Fernanda is trying to finish high school, but she cannot afford the text books and is having to borrow them from a friend each night to do her homework. She hopes to finish in December and then enrol in a teacher’s college. Fernanda’s mother sold her into prostitution when she was eight years old. She had a baby when she was eleven. Thank God she was able to escape that situation and has grown up in the care of a Christian orphanage. She is now a Christian and is on the right path, but she is still emotionally immature. She now has to live in an extremely difficult situation and begin functioning as an adult. Pray that Vanessa can be an encouragement to her and help her to begin to deal with her past emotional trauma and move toward a stable future.

What is really needed in Santa Cruz is a “halfway” house where these kids can begin to make the transition to adult life in a safe environment—where they could finish school, or learn and trade and begin working for themselves. This is something that is financially beyond our ability to provide, but it is not beyond God’s. Pray with us for these girls and for a safe clean place for them to make the transition to adulthood. We just read a story during our family devotional time about the life of George Mueller. That is certainly a testimony to the power of prayer.

Also, remember to pray for the country of Bolivia. The current president, Evo Morales, is aligned with the leftist governments of Venezuela and Cuba and is quite anti-American. He is proposing some radical changes in Bolivia that could really affect our ability to live and work here. Pray that many more people will come to know and understand God’s love and grace and that country can overcome it crippling social and financial problems.

We will be sending out these “real paper” updates every three months because many of our friends are not yet on line. We are sending out email updates monthly. If you have an email address but are not receiving the email updates, please contact us at so we can put you on our list. Also, please send us an update if you change your email address or mailing address.

To all of our faithful supporters, thanks for being a part of this ministry with us. We will be hosting a mission team from Crossroads in October and cannot wait to see how God will use them here. We would love to have everyone come down to Bolivia and take part in the work with us.


Daniel and Vanessa Beams
Casilla 3740
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Bolivia Telephone: 011-591-3351-1087
Photo Gallery:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Progression of a Portrait

This is a series of portraits I took of a Mennonite woman at a Bible School in Pailon, about an hour and a half east of Santa Cruz. The Mennonites are low-German speaking colonists who have moved to Bolivia in the passed couple of decades from Mexico and Canada. They are farmers and live in isolated rural colonies in the department of Santa Cruz. Although, they are traditional "Christians," most have lost the true meaning of the gospel. There is a pattern of alcoholism, drug use, and physical/sexual abuse in many of the colonies. Mennonites, like this woman, who have accepted Christ as Savior, either choose to leave the colony or are asked to leave. Life is economically and emotionally difficult inside or outside the colonies. Those who find the true gospel have hope for a better tomorrow. Pray for these new believers as they try to break old patterns of thought and behavior are seeking a new beginning in Christ.