Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vogel family traveling from Alaska to the southern end of Argentina

We met John and Nancy Vogel and their boys as they passed through Santa Cruz on a three year bicycle journey from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina.  They have been on the road for over two years, home schooling their 12-year-old twin boys along the way.   They are getting a good bit of national and international press during their journey.  When the trip is completed their boys will be the youngest to have ever completed this 18,000 mile journey.  The day I met them, they were even being interviewed on Good Morning America.  We invited them over for a family meal and then later in the week they spent several nights in our Agua Yaku guest house.  On Monday morning I accompanied them by bicycle out of town as they continued to make their way south toward Argentina.  It was a lot of fun hearing their stories from the road.  Surprisingly, or maybe not, they have had very few problems with robberies or violence on their trip.  They even rode straight through Colombia without problems.  I've always wanted to make a trip like this and really admire their courage and adventurous spirit.  Maybe someday (if I can convince Vanessa to give it a try).  You can follow the Vogel's on their blog at:

Pictures from the Ruth and Noemi Transition House for Girls

Ruth and Noemi Transition House board members, spouses and staff
Marizabel (house coordinator), Loly (director), and Vanessa (board president)

Licaria and Josue Bernabe

Andreina is due in a several months

Estrella and David

Monday, September 13, 2010

Out There with the Beams – August 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

How are you? We hope and pray all of you are doing great and enjoying God's peace and blessings. Recently God has shown me, Vanessa, how He really is in control. It drives me crazy, by the way, when I feel I am not in control, which is 90% of the time here in Santa Cruz. We recently welcomed a new baby into the Ruth and Noemi Transition House. Licaria gave birth Josue Bernabe, a healthy baby boy—our second baby in the last month. How great it is to see that these babies, who came so close to being aborted, now carry Biblical names! God is awesome! I had been so worried about medical care for the mothers and babies. Because the Transition House does not have a large enough budget for medical care, we are using a free government program. I have heard rather depressing stories about impersonal nature of the government program, but when I went to see our girl who was in labor I was happily surprised to see a brand new little hospital, very clean and nice. When I asked Licaria how she liked her doctor she said, "She is very young and sweet." As I left the hospital I was thanking Jesus for providing in all ways for this girl who desperately needs Him.

We have been hosting four girls for a while now, our youngest Dear Elizabeth,girl is 16 and pregnant. The Lord has also sent us a new director and two new volunteers, so things are running pretty smoothly. I have had more time to work on getting the manual ready, which is coming along great and soon we will have a new logo. I am learning so much. I used to just freak out and worry desperately about these girls (I still do sometimes), but now I try to go through the steps and remind myself and my staff things we have recently learned from the directors of Safe Haven in Texas. Our first task is to share the gospel with these girls, and it is not our place to judge them! I am very fast at deciding what is wrong with people but now I really have to look inside me and look again and try to figure out what I can do to help them, and not what they can do so I will approve of them.

There are two of our girls I am especially worried about. They both have families but their families are the reason they are at the house. Their moms don't want them, and both moms have both chosen their husbands over their daughters. Please pray that the Lord will give these girls a new and wonderful support system for when they have to leave the Transition House. This week I will be starting with my counselling class again. This will be the second year. Please pray for extra strength and energy.

A quick update on Agua Yaku: We have two team out drilling right now. One in the area of San Lorenzo de Moxos and another one in a farming community about four hours from Santa Cruz. We have had a number of interested visitors and teams come down to Bolivia this year to see the well drilling in action. We so appreciate all the visits and support we have received, but we are still way under-funded for the year. We would love to expand our staff and the scope of our work. Please pray for our work and witness in rural communities around Bolivia and help us raise for operational funds so we can continue the work we have begun.

As for our family everyone is doing great. Isaiah is already having a wonderful school year. His teacher said he is the best reader in the class!! Luciana is growing up too quickly and she is really beautiful inside and out. Nathaniel is in his first year of college in Durango, Colorado and he also seems to be doing great so far. We have been enjoying our little veggie garden in the back yard (lots of fun) and we love watching movies and eating the pop corn that our daddy makes.

Here are some praises: Good health care for the moms and babies in the Transition House, Warren and Jackie's precious new baby Norah, new director and volunteers at the transition house, Isaiah's new teacher, God protecting Nathaniel in the woods in Colorado and Lucy's sweet spirit.

Here are some prayer requests: Nathaniel receiving enough financial help from his school for his room and board, all the girls from the transition house—their relationship with Jesus, and for healing both sand physically, the transition house manual and all other paperwork, protection for our kids—and also their relationship with Jesus, new best friend for Lucy (I mean, in Santa Cruz), Crossroads team coming on September 24th, more financial support for the Agua Yaku water well drilling project.

Thank you for doing missions with us. You are loved and thought of a lot! Please let us know how we can also pray for you. And do come and see us soon.


Danny and Vanessa Beams

EFCCM missionaries in Bolivia