Dear Family and Friends,
Hi everyone. This is Danny writing this month. We trust you are surviving well through a cold winter up north. Here in Bolivia it is summer and the rains will not let up long enough for anything to dry out. Although we have not flooded here in our house, several of our friends homes have flooded and even Talita Cumi, the orphanage we work with that is a couple of blocks away, flooded and the girls all had to move into the upstairs portion of the boys home next door. Please especially pray for the flooded farm areas around the Rio Grande and Yapacani rivers several hours east and south of Santa Cruz. These areas get hit year after year with flooding and this year is no different. We have several well projects planned in these areas but right now travel is too difficult to begin drilling.
Thanks to all of your prayers and financial support, our water well drilling ministry is poised to begin making a great impact on the lives of people in rural communities around Santa Cruz in 2008. Many of you have made specific donations to this ministry and this has allowed us to rent a farm and workshop where we are building drilling equipment, experimenting with new drilling techniques, and training people to go out into the communities to teach them how to drill their own well. We normally use manual labor to drill wells, but this takes teams of 8 to 12 people, so we recently built a small motorized drilling rig that enables us to drill wells with only three people helping. With a little more innovation we hope to build a combination percussion/rotary rig that will be better equiped to drill through harder clay and rock. So many areas of Bolivia could be farmed, but for lack of water during the dry season, these areas are not being utilized productively. If we can help poor farmers drill water wells and gain access to water year round they will be able to improve farm and livestock project and ensure their families a brighter future. And of course most importantly, we want to share the love of Christ with them and help them get plugged in to a healthy growing churches in their communities. You can see a video of our new drilling rig in action at www.simplewatersolutions.blogspot.com.
We have a great start with this ministry, but there are so many needs in Bolivia we cannot even begin to meet the demand. If you would like to help us expand our water well ministry, we hope you would consider a special designated gift. Just to give you an idea, each well costs an average of $250 to drill and to install a hand-pump. Thanks also to everyone who has followed through on your monthly pledges to support our regular budget . Aside from special project funds, we also need to raise about $5000 month to support our family and ministry here in Bolivia. Just so you know, we are at about 75% of what we need for our regular budget. It would be such a blessing if you would make a commitment to help us reach our buget this year. We are including a attachment to this email that explains how to make contributions if you are not already doing so.
I hope you don’t think we only write these monthly updates to ask for financial support. We really want to share with you how God is working in and through our family here in Bolivia. We are super excited about the individuals and mission teams that are coming to Bolivia this year to participate with us in God’s work. It is so much fun to share our home and our lives with friends who are experiencing Bolivia with fresh eyes.
Vanessa’s work with the orphanages is going well. She is teaching aerobics, arts & crafts, has a summer reading club, and is working through the book, “The Healing of Memories” with a group of older teen girls. And of course she hosts big birthday bashes for the Talita Cumi kids every other month. Also through a special gift from a supporter, we have started a scholarship fund for kids who graduate from high school and want to go on to study in college or a trade school. We have been looking for a way to help the kids make an easier transition from orphanage to independent living as adults in the workplace. Through this fund we are offering to pay tuition and to give them a small living stipend as they leave the homes and seek to make their own way in the world. We will certainly keep you updated as this new ministry progresses and will ask you up hold up these kids in prayer.
Daniel and Vanessa Beams
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Bolivia Telephone: 011-591-3351-1087
Blogs: www.beamsclan.blogspot.com, www.simplewatersolutions.blogspot.com
Photo Gallery: www.pbase.com/beamsclan
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
It has been raining non-stop in Santa Cruz since last Friday. The Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center (our kids school) is flooding and they have called off school for the rest of the week. All of the grassy areas and sidewalks are under water and Isaiah's classroom has several inches of water in it. The kids said there are frogs and worms everywhere. They even found a three foot eel and a one foot catfish. There aren't even any rivers or lakes near the school so who knows where these came from. Thankfully our home has not flooded, but we have friends who are having to leave their homes. Even in Talita Cumi the girls are having to leave their home and move in upstairs in the boys home next door. Both major highways to Cochabamba and La Paz are closed do to washed out bridges and mud slides. It is a good thing we got back from Sucre before the highways were completely closed.
Posted by The Beams Family at 10:52 PM
Click on the title of this post to see pictures from our recent trip to Sucre, Bolivia. Sucre is the old capital of Bolivia, in the mountains of the Chuquisaca department. It was about 14 hour drive from Santa Cruz. About half of the drive was on gravel and dirt roads. We had a great week with our friends the Wilkes, who are also missionaries in Santa Cruz. We also got to meet the Emmons, new friends in language school in Sucre. If everything works out they will be here in Santa Cruz next year teaching at the Santa Cruz Christian learning Center.
Posted by The Beams Family at 10:28 PM