Thursday, January 31, 2013

Out There with the Beams -- January 2013

News from Ruth and Noemi
As for the ministry, it is going really well. I am learning about God's provision. We feel held by Him. In the beginning of this ministry we had a few big donations which made it really easy to do help young ladies, we were even able to provide education then. But now we are still operating, we have reduced all our costs and expenses and even though money comes in slowly and little by little, I can almost see God holding Ruth and Noemi in his hands and saying: “I've got you, you are OK, just trust me” So here we are, trusting the Lord for the next month and the next girl that will come in our doors. Right now we have two girls, Jenny who is coming from Talita Cumi and Carolaen with her baby Sarai. Vicky another one of our girls just left. She just got married and the wedding was beautiful, very simple and very sweet. She has married into a very loving Christian family that loves her and her baby already. Reminds me of a young me! Isn't our God great? He changes lives in one day!

The Ruth and Noemi Transition House has three local regular donors, four in the US, and one in Canada. That makes $330 coming in every month. We need at least $1500 a month to keep the doors open. Something you can do to help is tell other Christians around you, maybe the Lord is also calling them to support a girl and her baby and be part of a God's force that can change two lives.
To our regular donors and prayer partners: THANK YOU, because of your obedience the ministry stays with open doors waiting for our next girl. We love you and we pray for you every Tuesday morning. We hope you can come and visit us soon! We would love to have you and we do promise adventure!

News from Agua Yaku
Agua Yaku recently made a short trip to the Guarani village of Pirirenda, in the dry desert mountains about four hours south of Santa Cruz, to demonstrate how using a Sawyer filter can clean a dirty water source, making it fit for consumption. It was exciting to have Erwin, a Baptist pastor from the nearby town of Gutierrez, join us to give us an introduction into the community and to translate our Spanish presentation into Guarani. Also joining Danny and Jason were North American missionaries David Rossi and Steven Mullins who have been working in this area for several years. Pirirenda is an ideal place to begin our new filter project because the ground water is too deep to effectively drill water wells. We visited one private ranch in the area that had a water well drilled within the last year. They had to drill over 300 feet deep, through a good bit of solid rock before they reached water, and it cost over $12,000. Most Guarani families live on less than $500 a year. Even if they saved for an entire lifetime they could not pay for such an expensive well. There are no rivers in the area, so they survive by collecting rain water from their roofs and carrying buckets of water from stagnant ponds back to their homes. Pastor Erwin is planning a return trip shortly to present a Sawyer filter to the local school teachers and to encourage community residents to begin using the filters.

It costs Agua Yaku about US$ 80.00 to provide a family with a Sawyer filter bucket system, that will ensure clean water for many years, and the training necessary to improve their family’s health. Sawyer filters are guaranteed to safely filter 1,000,000 gallons of water, but what is so innovative and appropriate for the developing world is that Sawyer filters can easily be back-washed in under a minute and will never require replacement filter cartridges. We are asking families in this community to pay a nominal fee (about US$ 15.00) to help cover the cost of the filters. We do not do this to be mean, or even because we are under-funded, but rather so they will become “partners” with us in improving their family's and community's health rather than just “receivers” of charitable donations. We do not want to perpetuate the culture of dependency that has been created from decades of hand-outs and ill-conceived mission project or development projects. Hopefully this required contribution will help them understand the value of the filter and the importance of clean drinking water. We also don’t want this counterpart payment to be so high that it is a hindrance to receiving clean water for the poorest members of the community. There are 42 more rural Guarani communities just in the province of Gutierrez alone. It is our goal to insure that each and every family has access to clean drinking water. It is our prayer that each person in every community will come to know Christ’s love along with drinking boundless glasses of fresh clean water. Meeting “spiritual” and “physical” needs of the less fortunate is what Agua Yaku, and every Christian, is called to do.  Join us in this ministry. A gift of US$ 80.00 will give a family clean water, a gift of US$ 1,000.00 allow us to give a family their own water well. How many families do you want to help?

Family News
We hope you have had a very restful and fun Christmas and New Years' break. For us it was very special since our son Nathaniel came for a long visit, we had him here for almost a month. The boys (Danny, Isaiah and Nathaniel) went backpacking and the girls (Vanessa and Luciana) went to visit family in Peru right after Christmas. Luciana and I (Vanessa) had a lot of fun in Peru, the land of delicious and cheap fish! And of course it was wonderful to see my grandparents and brother and cousins again and to meet my precious little niece for the first time. Sometimes, I wish the Lord would call us to Lima- Peru so I could be close to my family but for now He has us here in Bolivia. I am also very thankful to the Lord for all the wonderful dinner/cooking times, outings and conversations I got to have with my son Nathaniel. It is so different being the parents of a grown person rather than just partents of kids! But nevertheless it is still a lot of fun. Nathaniel is a very sweet and gentle spirited man, besides being very smart and humble. We are proud of him.

As you may know we are in our super hot summer months right now, so while you all enjoy cold weather and perhaps snow, we here have gone hiking in a river! It was very challenging for Lucy and I since we are the only two in this family with short legs! It makes it hard to jump into unknown deep waters. The other two kids are also doing great. Luciana is in her senior year. Please pray as she makes decisions about college and life in general. And pray for protection during her senior year. Isaiah is growing up to be just like his dad and his older brother, wild and adventurous. He keeps on getting stuck high up in trees! He is a lot of fun, and since he is 10 he still kisses and hugs us a lot! I see God's image and provision in our kids! Please pray for all three of them, that they may continue in the Lord's path, that they may see Him and hear Him in their lives.

Danny and Vanessa