Thursday, August 28, 2014

Horita Feliz

The ladies working on their craft project! Fruit!!
Some of our favorite CDA Tias!! Les Amamos, Tia Sarin y Tia Rosi

   In July I was able to share twice at the Horita Feliz ministry next door to our house. I was so privileged that Gladys trusted my poor Spanish enough to allow me to teach the ladies at least once a month. I really enjoyed the challenge and I was super encouraged by having to study the Word twice, once in English and once in Spanish!!
  The time that I am supposed to teach for is about thirty minutes. Now sharing in English this would be no problem, but in Spanish I am good for about twenty minutes tops. This leaves about ten to fifteen minutes of staring at each other trying to fill in the time. (Yes, this has happened!) Anyway, I got the idea to do crafts with the theme of my message. I generally teach for about fifteen minutes and then have the craft time. It gives the ladies an opportunity to mix and mingle and do something a little different too. It also gives them something to take home with them to reinforce the message. The last message and craft was centered around the Fruit of the Spirit. The ladies were super creative making different fruits and and then writing the verse from Galations 5 on it.
Papaya and Apple with the verse from Galations 5
Awesome Pineapple in the making!!

Volunteer Hannah with her watermelon. It looks like C. wants a bite!
On this particular day we all gathered to take a group picture with the ladies class. The class averages around ten to fifteen ladies. Each week it seems that the group has fresh faces and then there are the super faithful that are there every week!

Horita Feliz Reunion Femenil
And of course, each week they hand out a snack as folks leave. Our girls are usually right in the middle of the serving action!

Clara and friends
The other teachers at Horita Feliz are always there and so faithful! We have made many good friends through this outreach. Gladys and the group of young people who teach are very gifted... We miss Horita Feliz already!!

Jemena, Gladys, and Emily

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vacation Bible School

Alright, I am going to keep plugging away through July, so bear with me!
Next up was the week in July that we took forty some children and a couple mothers each afternoon to Vacation Bible School. Our church at Km. 0 hosted the event.
The children and mothers from our neighborhood would come to the chapel where Horita Feliz is held and we drove them to and from the church. We also were able to take all the older children from Casa de Amor and the Tias on shift for the day. We also picked up Lindsey and three to four of the older children from the CDA baby house also.  Rudi drove our truffi van and I drove a van that Richard had rented from Carachipampa school for the week.

Emily taking roll call for each car!

My front seat crew!
After collecting the CDA boys and neighborhood folks we headed out to pick up the CDA girls from the girl home.
Load up girls!
And after the girls it was on to pick up Lindsey and her CDA babies. Always organized, Lindsey had them all patiently waiting by the side of the road to load up quickly and easily!
Lindsey and the little people!
The only driving drama happened the first day when I forgot to take off the parking brake! I realized that it was on about five kilometers into it and smoke was billowing out the back of the car! Rudi was following me and he started honking at me and making gestures. Thankfully, it had calmed down and only was a little stinky with a little smoke by the time we reached the church. After that I only checked to make sure it was off twenty times before and during driving!!
Inside our church at Km. 0
All of the children seemed to have great time. They divided the children into two teams, team Pablo (Paul) and team Noe (Noah). They started out the time each day with everyone in the main chapel room for singing, a group devotional, and learning the theme Bible verse. Afterwards all the children went to their own age group for more Bible learning, songs, and games.
Paulita, the lone gringa in her class!
All of our children were the only "white" kid in their class! It made it easy to pick them out of the crowd!!
Clara's class

J. with our good friend, Gail!
After classes everyone came back into the main room again for announcements, some more singing, and to be dismissed.
Rudi helping out with the music.
The last afternoon they gave out awards to the various classes. We were quite surprised that Myles took first place in the oldest class! We were very proud of him.
Myles sharing his Bible verses
The week flew by and all too soon it was time to be done! It had been a good week. With at least 250 people attending and fifty some making decisions to follow Jesus, it had  actually been a VERY good week!
Rudi with A.
All of the kids put up their crafts and verses that they had received during the week. I only took a picture of Paula with hers above her bed!
Paula proud of the stuff she had created during the week!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tia's Last Day

Tia's last day was the day before we took the children back to the orphanage. I actually documented it pretty well! 
Each morning we have the tradition of Tia doing the girls hair while we read the Bible and sing together. On the mornings Tia was with us we did this in Spanish to include her and improve our Spanish as well! Unfortunately, in the picture below Tia's eyes were closed!!
Tia combing Ruth's hair!
Tia fixed our favorite food for lunch, Milenesa de Pollo with Papas Fritas (French Fries). We presented her with an album of pictures from her time with us the past year and nine months. We all had made cards for her as well! 

The kids had fun looking through the album with her after lunch. I came upon them all enjoying themselves outside and had to take a picture.
Checking out Tia's album

All of our kids with their favorite Tia!!
 After lunch Emily and Clara wanted to make a pie with Tia. Actually, all of our children had something Tia had to do with them for the "last" time. If you are wondering where the Casa de Amor kids were this day, they were at Casa 1. We took them each day for the day the last week or so that they were with us so that they could adjust to the idea of moving there permanently. This gave Tia a bit more free time to spoil our kids!

Pie making crew at work!

Tia, Clara, and Emily "Champion Pie Makers"
The Apple Pie ready to go home with Tia!
Off and on throughout the day I would think, "this is Tia's last day with us" and be sad. It has been harder saying goodbye and going through "lasts" than I ever thought it could be. Saying goodbye is hard, no matter how you slice it...
Emily with her best Bolivian friend!

Me with my very good friend, Tia Techy!!
Most of us didn't get the memo that the picture below was supposed to be goofy. It was the best of Tia, so I decided to use it. What a gift Tia has been to our family. She could understand my Spanish when no one else could! She was so patient with us when we were grumpy or sad. She was the perfect Tia to help our family. Always helpful and never in the way! We are so thankful that we were able to share so many days with her. Whether she likes it or not, she is now a part of our family for forever!! Que te vaya bien, Tia y Dios te bendiga...siempre tu eres en nuestros corazones!
We love you, Tia Techy

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Farewell to CDA Babies :(

It is a fact of life that all good things must end, but the beginning of July has driven that fact home for me in a big way. July first we took all of "our" Casa de Amor babies back to Casa Uno and our time caring for these precious children has come to an end. It has been the hardest thing we have done here in Bolivia. However, rather than dwell on the hardness of it all, I want this blog to be a tribute to our year we spent with S. and A., and also to the short five weeks we spent with Daniel.

When S. and A. came to us S. was not doing well at Casa Uno. He was always unhappy and screamed at the Tias when he did not get what he wanted, which was most of the time! He had some serious behavioral issues you might say! His baby sister A., was not thriving either. When she came to us she was bald in patches on the back of her head, underweight, and anemic. Within months of arriving both were doing much better. They just needed a family to care for them. We are so blessed that we could be that family for them for a critical year in their lives.
Bringing home S. and A.!

A. 4 months old

S. 1yr 5mo old and Paula 3 years!

Clara w/ A.

S. with his big buddies
S. and A. "Hermanitos"

Tio Rudi with Leo, S. and A.

Bike riding Bolivian Style!

S. with Paula and Eddie

Best Pals, Eddie and S.
As A. got older we often found her getting into the toilet paper, pantry, and other places that were off limits! Of course, we had to snap a picture before cleaning up after her!
Caught with the tissue!

Exploring the pantry!

Adorable A.
All of our Casa de Amor kids could put out the smelly diapers. A lot of mornings we woke to these!
A diaper worthy of a picture...

And the angelic face that goes with it!

Enjoying an early morning bottle!

Emily and her little guy, S.

S. wasn't too old for a little bit of messing things up too!

A. and Paula all dressed up!

Ready for church
The kids gave a "Bolivian smile" for this picture!!

Rudi with S., C., and A.

Playing basketball!
Clara doing dishes with A.!!
A. in her favorite spot!

And then there was Daniel; the ninth CDA baby that we cared for. We cared for him the shortest time, just five weeks. He was such an easy baby and stole all our hearts. He gained a lot of weight while he was with us. At first I was worried that I would lose my reputation as the lady who fattened up the babies, but he came on strong toward the end and started to chub up nicely!!
I gave him a haircut the day before he left. I thought he turned out quite handsome!!

After haircut picture!
 Daniel got a yeast type rash the last weeks he was at our house. Part of his program was ten minutes in the sun with his bottom exposed to the "fresh air"! I would lay him on his back and then he would roll right over!!
Daniel during "sun treatment"

Myles and Daniel
All to soon it was time to take them to their new/old home, Casa 1! It was a bittersweet day for sure.
Bringing the babies into Casa 1
 I started a book for when our babies left us to record their handprints, names, etc. I hope to add pictures to it as well. Below S. is pictured with his "blue hand" after I recorded his handprint in my book!
Recording S. in my special book!

We also took a picture with all five of the CDA kids that we had taken care of and haven't been adopted yet. Of course, we had Tia Techy in the picture with us.
Our Casa 4 Team 
   And for a parting shot Rudi and I took a picture with S. and A. like the one we took on the day we took them home. I was even wearing the same sweater and scarf!
   Wow, is it hard to say goodbye to these babies. We pray for them each day that God will provide forever families for them. It has been a privilege to care for "God's babies" these past almost two years. We know that our lives will never be the same.

Rudi and Me with S. and A.