Friday, December 14, 2012

Out There with the Beams--December 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas! We hope this season finds you with lots of time to spend with your loved ones. We are excited that our family will all be together here in Santa Cruz this year. We want to take this chance to say THANK YOU to everyone who has supported our ministries with prayer and financial gifts over the past year. We could not continue working in Bolivia without your support.

We just finished up with our last volunteer team of the year. We spent a great week with a Crossroads Christian Church team from Kentucky (our home church). Half the team stayed in town with Vanessa and worked at the Ruth and Noemi Transition House. The other half went with me and the Agua Yaku staff out to drill water wells in a Guarani community about eight hours south of Santa Cruz.

Ministry Updates

Ruth and Noemi: The girls and staff from Ruth and Noemi are getting settled into their new home in the El Alfarero ministry building. Vanessa and Dorcas (the director) are preparing to receive several new girls in December and January. It is a tight fit, but the new apartment has a capacity for up to eleven women and five babies. Ruth and Noemi has been fortunate enough to be supported by several large donations over the past couple of years, but now they need to grow their monthly support base so they are always sure of steady support for their monthly budget. The girls continue to make jewelry and tee-shirts to help pay for their room and board. Soon they will be volunteering in the El Alfarero cafeteria, which will be serving between 500 and 1000 students each day.

Agua Yaku: We are changing things up a bit in Agua Yaku. While we will continue to drill water wells, we will begin to focus more specifically on providing access to clean water and improving health through HWTS (household water treatment and safe storage) and WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) programs. Because of a number of limitations (financial and technological) we have not been able to drill wells in every community where clean water is needed. In many communities where it is not possible to drill wells, the residents have to drink water collected from rain water or other surface sources that are unsanitary. The World Health Organization has determined that clean water can reduce water-related deaths by 21%, sanitation (latrines) can reduced water-related deaths by 37.5%, and hygiene (hand washing) can reduce water-related deaths by 35%. Improvements in all three areas could practically eliminate water-related deaths!

Through a new filter technology we hope to place a water filter system in each home that does not have access to a clean water source. Sawyer ( has developed a hollow-fiber membrane filter that can filter up to 500 gallons of potable water a day (cleaner than U.S. bottled water) and is guaranteed for 1,000,000 gallons. This is a huge leap in filter technology. Would you like to help Agua Yaku provide a family with clean water for life. For $100 we can provide a family with a Sawyer filter and training on how to use and maintain the filter, and training on how to improve their family's health through sanitation and hygiene. We have a big goal: we would like to place 100,000 filters in Bolivia in the next five years, which would provide clean water for around 1,000,000 people! How many families would you like to give clean water to for life? As we implement this program we will continue to work through local churches, pastors, and missionaries to make sure the poor are ministered to and that everyone hears about the love and truth in Christ.  

Beams Family Support: While Vanessa and I would much rather raise support for our projects, we also have to raise support for our own salary. We are a bit low on our monthly pledges and for 2013 we need an additional $1000 in monthly support to help cover our salary, insurance, travel, etc. It would mean so much to us if you could give $25, $50, or $100 or more a month to help support our work here in Bolivia.

If you would like to donate to Agua Yaku, Ruth & Noemi, or to our support account, please follow the links in this email. If that is too confusing, give us a call at: 011-591-3351-1087 or contact us by email at: and we will walk you through it. We wish each and everyone of you the best during the Christmas season and the coming new year.

Danny and Vanessa

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalms 25:5

Friday, August 24, 2012

This is Vanessa writing.  I am very new to the whole "tech era" I mean I know it has been around for a while but I just couldn't make very good friends with it.  On our last trip to the U.S I realized that we have now lived here in Bolivia longer than in the U.,S.  So this is an effort to keep connected and to help you, dear prayer worrior, sponsor, friend, neighbor, grandparent, parent, brother, sister, niece, nephew, library friend, teacher, student and kid friend to see and share what our life and ministry is like here in the poorest country of South America.  I will be sharing stories of things I see as well as random facts of our life here.
As you might already know I run the Ruth and Noemi Transition House, which is basically a Christian refuge for young women and their babies.  A couple of weeks ago, right after we returned from the U.S I had  a meeting with my dear friends Dorcas and Marizabel who help me run the house, we had to go to a cafe since the house is very small and the "walls have ears" if you know what I mean, the rest of the building is not yet finished so we really had to get out of there.   As my ladies were updating me in everything that happened during my absence a little boy walked in singing a song "I have a friend who loves me and his name is Jesus"  we saw he was alone and begging, when he came to us I asked him where his mom was, he shrugged his shoulders, then he said he knew all his times tables and he would recite them for us if we wanted to hear them, we said no and Marizabel gave him half of her chocolate cake, I told him to sit while he wait, he sat but didn't eat.  I asked him why he wasn't eating and he said he was saving it for his little sister who is seven.  Then he told me he lived with his blind grandmother and he and his sister begged so they could eat.  I couldn't help but just stare at him and fight some tears, he said he had been told by grandma' that their mom had left them when they were babies.  He is ten, his name is Wilson.  I turned to Dorcas and said "how unfair this life is"  I asked him if he would like his own piece of chocolate and he nodded so we got him some and some strawberry juice.  Dorcas asked him if he didn't want us to take him to a "home" (orphanage) he said "no, I have been to one and didn't like it"  he didn't say why or what home he had been to.  I really wanted to hug him and put him in my car, buckle him up and bring him to my house. This guy from another table called him and gave him two coins.  I though "why, are you doing that?" "don't touch that kid!" I mean he is 9, walks around and takes the bus alone! my mind started racing with all the worst possible things that could happen to this little kid.  My youngest son is 10! I cannot picture him leaving our neighborhood alone.  When we left we asked Wilson again if he was sure he didn't want us to take him to a home and he said no, I mean we could have taken him anyways, but I would be writing this from jail!  I asked him if I could hug him and he let me so with an awkward hug and kiss on his cheek and desperate prayer we left him.  All the way home I felt this horrible thing in my stomach.  I thought: " he needs parents, a safe home, Jesus, a loving mom, and you gave him cake!"  I cried to God that He would hold this little kid in his arms, that He will protect him from evil, that He would provide everything he needs and that Danny(my husband) prayed with me that Wilson, with God, would grow to be a good man, a loving person.  I went back the next day to see if he was there, I asked the people in the cafe and they hadn't seen him.  I can't forget his face, there was no joy in his face but he was very cute and his hair stuck up straight without any gel.
I am telling you this story because Wilson and I need you to pray.  Pray for him, for his family, for his future, for angels to protect him and for radical change in his life.  It is very difficult to accept the fact that I can't do anything else at this point.  I don't understand!  During my time here I have seen many other children like Wilson, and I wonder if they are telling the truth but even if they are not; their circumstances are very very far from ideal.  Children here are very often seen as worthless little slaves.  I know there is pain everywhere, but here it is just something that we see everyday.  Poverty, abuse and corruption have a hold on this country.  I pray that God will pour his Spirit here, heal lives, encourage us, I pray He will find Wilson's mom and talk to her, help her take care of her children and I pray that He will come back...tomorrow.