Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out There with the Beams -- December 2008

Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Wish we could celebrate Christ’s birth with all of you at once. That would be such a great reunion. One of the hardest things about being missionaries is the long stretches of time away from friends and family. It feels even less like Christmas in Santa Cruz in December because this is the hottest month of the year. Rather than throwing snow balls and drinking hot chocolate, we are laying by the pool, working on our tans, and drinking ice cold lemonade.

I know this has been a tough year financially for many of you and that your priority should always be your family’s immediate needs, but we also pray that in the coming year you will renew your commitment to support God’s work here in Bolivia. I have no doubt God will reward your faithfulness and multiply your investment in His Kingdom work. I am not preaching prosperity theology, saying you will be wealthier if you give—I’m just saying a financial sacrifice and a gift to His work in Bolivia can make a huge impact in the individual lives of less fortunate people in Bolivia. We pray that you can continue with a monthly commitment to our ministries, or if you prefer, make a special year end gift. Our two primary ministries are the Agua:Yaku water well project and the Girl’s Transition Home. If you would like more details about these projects please visit our website at:, or write us an email with your questions.

You can donate a water well for a needy family for as little as $300. Agua:Yaku staff train people in rural communities how to drill their own water wells, and build and maintain simple hand pumps. A typical professionally drilled well costs anywhere from $2000 to $10,000. But by using our manual drilling system and local labor we can install a well for as little as $300 (the cost of materials). Additionally, the Agua:Yaku project would like to expand into new areas in the Cochabamba and Beni departments (two other eastern Bolivia departments bordering Santa Cruz) in 2009. It would be great if several people could contribute larger gifts to help us equip additional drilling teams in these areas.

As well, the Girl’s Transition Home needs a good bit of capital so we can get cranked up for 2009. So many missionaries and other people in Santa Cruz are asking us when the home will be up and running. There is a huge need for a place where older girls can transition out of orphanages, but still have a safe place where they can study and work and begin to stand on their own two feet.

So if you feel God is leading you to give a gift to missions this year, we hope you will consider one of these two projects. Also, please don’t forget that we need support as a family as well. We need to raise about $5000 a month to cover our salary, insurance, travel, and administrative costs.

God has blessed us with wonderful partners over the past couple of years. Thank you so much for your prayers, sacrificial giving, and visits. We enjoy hosting mission teams and look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones in the coming year.

Please note that we have recently changed how we accept donations. Because my father, Ronnie Beams, retired as pastor of the Owingsville Baptist Church, we will not be channelling our donations through OBC. Instead, we ask that you begin sending your donations through the EFCA (Evangelical Free Church of America) if you need a U.S. receipt for tax purposes, or if not, please submit donations directly to the EFCCM (Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission), our primary sending agency. We save a substantial amount on administrative fees when donations go directly to the EFCCM. The details of how to make donations are included in this mailing.

Love and best wishes during this Christmas season,

Danny, Vanessa, Nathaniel, Luciana, and Isaiah

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Out There with the Beams -- November 2008

Dear Friends and Family,

We trust you all are doing well during the holidays. Thank you so much for praying for Isaiah. If you did not hear, he spent about six days in the hospital being treated for a bacterial infection. It was quite serious for a couple of days, but the combination of prayer, good doctors, and medicine saw him through. We are excited about the Christmas break coming up and visits from Nathaniel and several other friends. The volatile political situation has eased a bit in these past weeks and we are so thankful for that, but please continue to pray for Bolivia and for peace between highland departments and the eastern lowland departments.

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to two couples who have been volunteering with the EFCCM the past several months, Steve and Rhonda Bill, and Roberto and Emilie Morano. Pray for them as they head back to Canada and begin making decisions about careers and where God would have them serve.

Just a quick update on our projects: The Agua:Yaku water well project is growing by leaps and bounds. We have three full time staff, Carlos, Fernando, and Marcos, as well as several EFCCM missionaries now working with us or planning to come in the near future. If the weather and politics cooperate, we are planning to drill a lot of wells in the coming months. Please pray for the Yuqui people on the Chimore River and especially for Mariano and Leonarda Ichu (Bolivian missionaries working with the Yuqui). The Yuqui now have good clean water to drink, but they are still facing many obstacles in understanding the love of God and what that love can mean in their lives and for their families. Agua:Yaku and our local church, Trinity International, are helping Mariano plant five acres of cacao (chocolate) as a way to finance their ministry and to teach the Yuqui how to plant and manage cacao themselves. Sadly, violence has recently broken out in the area between Quechua colonists and government forces trying to eradicate illegal coca production (from which cocaine is derived) and it may not be safe for us to go back to this area for while. Pray that we will be able to re-enter this area soon so we can begin drilling wells for the Yuracaré Indians who live in several villages further down the Chimore River. We have a new project website at, so check it out if you have a few minutes.

Vanessa is working hard to get the girls transition home up and running. She is teaming up with another ministry called “El Alfarero,” which will be working closely with university students, providing counselling services, a crisis pregnancy center, a transition home for unwed mothers and girls transitioning out of orphanages. The center will also include a restaurant and conference center. The El Alfarero ministry hopes to purchase a building for the transition home (or albergue in Spanish), but in the mean time we would like to begin renting a place and hire house parents who can look after the girls. We need donations for rent, set-up costs, and for salaries.

We hope you will prayerfully consider making a special year-end donation to either the girl’s transition home or to the water well drilling ministry.

Thank you so much for your on-going support of our work and ministry here in Bolivia. We could not do what we are doing without the prayers and support of fellow believers back home.