Sunday, September 30, 2007

Out There with the Beams -- September 2007 Prayer Letter

Hello loved ones and partners in ministry,

This month has been kind of crazy but good (mostly). Danny has finally found a workshop/farm, about half an hour from home, where he and Carlos will build tools and parts for well drilling. The little house, which will be used as an office, is on a big piece of land which will be used to demonstrate well drilling techniques. So that is one answer to prayer! Even our kids are excited about the property because it has lots of room to run around and lots of mandarin and mango trees. We want to ask you, however to pray for our friend Carlos to find the way to move back to Santa Cruz and start working with us.

Some exciting news—a work team from our church, Crossroads Christian in Lexington will arrive on October 21st. We will be drilling a water well and building a water storage tank at Talita Cumi that will be used for laundry and showers. Can you imagine how much water is consumed to wash the clothes of some thirty plus kids?? A lot! Also we may still be working on some of the repairs still needed at the home. Sadly to report, last week there was a big fire at Talita Cumi—but praise the Lord for his wonderful mercy and protection, nobody got severely hurt. Wilma (one of the oldest girls and sweetie pie) jumped from the balcony and hurt her arm, and several of the kids especially the oldest girls are still pretty shook up and refuse to sleep back in the bedrooms upstairs since they saw their steps on fire! Needless to say the material damages are a lot! They lost most of their tools which had been stored in the little room where the fire started which also gone now and the steps and roof over the patio need to be replaced. It was about $3000 in damages. As you can imagine this is a big deal for a home that struggles just to buy food each month for more than 30 kids! So please everybody lift the kids and the staff up in prayer and also pray for some more help to come to them.

I am so thankful for all of you who I know you are here with us through your prayer and your support. It also makes us feel so good when you guys write us asking questions about the people we are involved with. Thank you! Please keep praying for Fernanda. She is going through a time in her life when she needs to decide what she wants. I still haven’t figured it out. She tells me she wants to keep going, become a teacher or social worker. But she has not yet attended one of the counselling sessions I had arranged for her. One good news is that she is also working now for a family as a nanny and cook. She should graduate from high school in December. Please pray she won’t try to fill her need to feel loved and accepted in a way that will only bring more pain into her life. Also pray for forgiveness and salvation for her mother. Many times I have wanted to hurt this woman for selling her little 8 year old into prostitution but I realize she is just so lost and sick. I don’t think this woman would ever have the ability to face the horror of what she has done. But I know Jesus does!

Here are some other names and things we need you guys to lift up in prayer:
Cristo Viene girls home, please pray for a renewal of the staff. Pray the Lord will provide more Christian workers and for the Salvation of those who are there now.
Lily, Shirley, Vicky and Elvira who have also left the home. Pray for protection and discipling and for the Lord’s provision.
Our working team of eight and the impact they are going to make here in Santa Cruz.
Our health since the city has been very smoky for more than two weeks now, our kids are having a smoke day (as opposed to a snow day) from school today.
Isaiah he is having some separation issues I guess since he has started school and it is the first time we are separated for a long time every day.
Luciana and Nathaniel for wisdom and protection at school and home.
Danny and Vanessa for wisdom, self control and protection.

Our prayer for you today is that the Lord will go with you wherever you go and that He will show you His provision and purpose for your life. And that you will feel his presence. May our God also multiply his blessings for you today, as He promises to those who bless. Believe me you bless us every day!

Please visit our blog and photo websites to see pictures and read a little more about our work and about Bolivia. We love and miss all of you, please write to us, call us or better yet come and see us!

We appreciate everyone’s faithfulness in supporting our ministry, whether through a monthly pledge or a one-time gift. If you are new to our ministry or need another donation card, simply open the attached PDF, print a donation slip, and mail a check to Owingsville Baptist Church. It’s that simple.


Daniel and Vanessa Beams
Casilla 3740
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Isaiah Climbs 300 foot Radio Tower

This past weekend our family went out to Pailon to help put the roof on a quechua church that the Friesen's and the EFCCM are helping build. We also went out the the RTM radio station to relax a while and visit with the Friesen's and a several other missionary families working with the Mennonites and Quechua's. Last month Nathaniel and I climbed the 300 foot radio tower on the property, so on this visit Isaiah wanted to do the same.

Here is a picture of Isaiah starting out on his climb.

Here he is about half way up. His little arms and legs were getting tired, but he kept going.

If you look closely, you can just make out Isaiah climbing on the outside of the tower about 50 feet below the crows nest, where he could finally get a rest.

Note: Of course this is only a joke. Just wanted to see if anyone is reading this blog. I would never let Isaiah climb up this tower. He really did want to climb it, but I only let him go up about 10 feet for the picture. Nathaniel, Jonathan, and I really did climb it, but we used harnesses and a safety rope.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Family Outing

These are a few pictures from a recent family outing to the Lomas de Arena, which are some sand dunes and lakes 30 minutes from our house. It is such a great place to relax in the solitude of God's creation.

Our Diesel Nissan Patrol

We have a 1997 Nissan Patrol 4x4 SUV. I don't think they sell this model in the U.S. It is a great vehicle for both a family car and to use in the the rural communities. I just bought a winch for it from our pastor so we won't get stuck in the mud when the rains start again. Thanks to price controls, both diesel and gasoline is a good bit less expensive than in the U.S. Diesel costs a little less than $2.00 a gallon. The only problem right now is that it uses diesel. Diesel is in short supply in Santa Cruz and more often than not the gas stations are out of it. I have to spend several hours a week driving around town looking for diesel, and when I find it, I sometimes have to wait in line for several hours. We have to park it occasionally and take taxis because we are down to fumes in the tank. The papers say the short supply of diesel is a logistical problem. The MAS government has nationalized the gas and oil industry and now they are having problems providing enough fuel for the national market. The Bolivian refineries are working at maximum capacity but they can only provide I think 70% of the diesel necessary for the country. They are trying to import diesel from Venezuela, but it is slow in getting here. I read that they are negotiating some private contracts with companies in Brazil and Argentina. It will be a real crisis when harvest time comes and there is not enough diesel for the tractors to harvest the soy and other export commodities.

I would love to get another work truck to use in the well drilling project. We need a small 4x4 pick-up or jeep with a trailer so we can get back into the rural communities and carry in our well drilling equipment. That way I could leave the Patrol here in town so Vanessa would have a car while I am away.

The Dollar in Bolivia

I just want to gripe for minute. The value of the U.S. dollar in Bolivia has been dropping for several months now. It was as high as 8.05 Bs (Bolivianos) to one U.S. dollar. It has been slowly dropping and is now at 7.70 to 1. I'm not sure who is in charge of adjusting the exchange rate. I read in the paper that Bolivia wants to adjust it so that they are on a competitive par with their South American neighbors. When the value of the dollar goes down, the price of imported goods goes down, but the price of exported Bolivian goods goes up, thus decreasing the competitiveness of the Bolivian economy. I am griping mainly because we get paid in U.S. dollars, so our buying power is less than it used to be. This, combined with an annual inflation rate of over 8% this year, is hurting our family economy. I guess I shouldn't complain too much, our salary is well above the average in Bolivia we are still able to live at a level that is better than we could in the U.S. In general, most imported items (electronics, clothes, cars, etc.) cost more here than they do in the U.S., but food, housing and other basic things cost about half of what they cost in the U.S. For the average Bolivian this still isn't too helpful because, when they can find steady employment, they earn about $5.00 a day. That is about like someone from the U.S. trying to support their family on $10.00 a day. How would you like to try that?