Monday, May 31, 2010

Out There with the Beams – May 2010

It's hard to believe another school year has come and gone. As Isaiah and Luciana head into a much anticipated summer break, Vanessa and I are preparing for several volunteer teams that will be visiting Bolivia in June and July. Brazos Pointe Fellowship will be returning June 12th with a mission team that will help us both in the Ruth and Naomi Transition Home and in an Agua Yaku well drilling project. Vanessa will head up a team of seven men and women from Brazos Pointe who are coming to paint the transition home and also share their experiences working with a similar home for unwed in Texas. The transition home currently has two girls in residence, Juanita and Marina. Be praying for them and also that other young women who could benefit from this ministry will find their way through the doors. We have four empty beds waiting for new girls. It seems that after an initial interview so many girls are not willing to make a commitment to follow the house rules, and the counselling and discipleship classes that the program requires. It is a wonderful opportunity for young women to continue their education, further their spiritual development, and build a solid foundation of financial independence and emotional maturity, but because of an emotionally troubled past, so many choose the easy route of falling into the arms of the first boy who shows an interest.

Warren McCaig and I will be going with eight team members to drill a well in Villa Hermosa, a Yuracare village near San Lorenzo de Moxos in the department of Beni. We have been wanting to expand Agua Yaku into Beni for some time now, and this trip will give us a great way to kick it off. In an exploratory trip last week, Warren and I drove eight hours to Trinidad, the capital city of Beni, and then a further six hours to San Lorenzo do Moxos where we met Natividad, a Bolivian missionary who has been pastoring and starting new churches in rural communities for decades. He heard about our well drilling project and invited us to drill some much needed wells in the indigenous communities where he has been working. By night fall we were traveling up a crocodile infested jungle river in a dugout canoe. The only practical way to get into or out of Villa Hermosa is by boat. We hitched a ride with a neighboring farmer who was delivering emergency food relief supplies to Villa Hermosa. Earlier this year the river flooded and all the villages along its course lost their crops for the year. The World Food Program (WFP) is helping see them through the difficult months. The promised four hour journey soon turned into seven. We stopped on the shore and 1:00 AM and camped on the shore for the night before continuing another hour the following morning. I won't recount the entire journey here. Visit our Agua Yaku blog at: for a more complete summary of the trip. I'm sure the team will have a great mission experience and will be helping bring clean water to a much needed area.

As we mentioned in a previous letter, Agua Yaku lost a major donor that had planned on funding new work teaching SODIS (Solar disinfection) of contaminated water. Thankfully several donors have visited our project recently and will be picking up some of the shortfall in our budget. We are moving ahead with the SODIS training as a component of our ministry. Several weeks ago we attempted to drill a well in an Ayoreo community near San Jose de Chiquitos. Unfortunately, the terrain is too rocky and we were not successful in drilling a well. We did however teach water disinfection using SODIS and will be following up with a rainwater catchment project in the community. Check out the Agua Yaku blog for a complete report.

Thanks so much to everyone who is partnering with us in our ministry here in Bolivia. We covet your prayers and your financial support. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our ministry. If you are not already a supporter, we hope you will consider becoming one. Check out the "how to send donations" section below.


Danny and Vanessa Beams

EFCCM missionaries in Bolivia

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