Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Dear Friends,

During these last two months we have been kept busy with visits and visitors, being challenged, stretched and pulled out of our comfort zones. We feel as though we have been put on the fast track for learning, however, in this time we have also received much encouragement.

Our period of furlough is very timely as we are in need very much of being refreshed and rested, but also we leave our work and relationships here at a good point to pick up again on our return. We can look forward with anticipation to our time of return to see what God is wanting to teach us next.

During these last 8 months in La Paz we have had to learn some hard lessons, but as we look back at those times we are able to see where God has been at work and praise him for that. We hope that during our time back in the UK we will be able to catch up with most of you, and hear about what God has been doing in your lives in these last 2 years.

We shall be covering a number of miles during our short stay so please do remember us in your prayers as we travel from place to place and share what God has been doing both in us and in Bolivia.

Thank God for:
• The good relationships we have
• Providing all that we need for furlough
• That we are able to leave on a positive note

Ask God for:
• Safe travelling
• Peaceful elections in Bolivia December 6th
• A good time of rest and relaxation
• Fun times with friends and family

We look forward to seeing you very soon.
With much love
Ed, Sarah & Alana

Monday, 16 November 2009

Early Christmas

In celebration of Sarah's 30th birthday we decided to have a christmas theme party. Over the last weeks we have been busy baking for the occasion, christmas pudding, mince pies and Stollen cake. Before the guests arrived we set to work decorating the house and putting up the tree. Alana was delighted to be able to help and got very excited with all the pretty lights.

Many of the Bolivians were intriegued by some of our christmas customs. But we soon had everybody in fits of laughter once we started the games.

Monday, 19 October 2009


On Sunday we had the opportunity to visit a small church that has been planted in another city from the mother church, which we attend here in La Paz. Friends of ours from the church are involved in taking the service once a month so we asked if we could join them. So at 6am yesterday morning we were down at the bus station to buy our tickets and board the bus for a 3 and a half hour journey to Oruro.

Next week the church celebrates its first anniversary and has seen a growth in numbers from about 5 individuals to 30. Most have been Christians who have moved from other churches, though there has also been two new converts. After the service we shared lunch together with a small group and they shared their dreams in how they would like to see the church move forward. Their hearts desire is for their small church to grow, but not so much in numbers as in the deepening of faith of the believers that already attend.

We found the people there to be very warm and welcoming and friendly. After lunch together we were taken on a tour of the relatively small city, then for ice creams. Alana was very happy to have a little friend to run around and play with, though Alvaro wasn’t too sure of Alana’s advances in giving him a cuddle when it came to leaving.

It has been interesting in our time here in Bolivia to visit different cities and towns and note the subtleties of difference. Many things remain the same from place to place and have similarities about them, however at the same time each place is different due to its climate and situation. Oruro is flatter than both Sucre and La Paz, but is much more ornate to look at, a lot more effort seems to have been made in order to try and make the place look nice, with steps and plazas painted in different colours, roundabouts with detailed centre pieces, and railings painted gold with intricate details of flowers. Even some of the paving slabs were etched into different patterns and designs.

We look forward to visiting our newfound friends again at some point in the future and seeing how they have grown and moved forward.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Dia de las culturas

The day of cultures, in recognition of this day Sarah was asked to take part at Alana's Kinder in sharing about English culture. The greatest challenge was in trying to decide what English culture now looks like. As she talked to them about the queen the childrens eyes grew large in amazement as they saw the picture of buckingham palace. She was quick to point out the kind of houses 'normal' people live in just in case they thought all english people lived in houses that big. They also loved the short video of a group of morris dancers, a dance that is in fact not so different from one or two of the traditional dances here.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Anybody know what Thekking is?

A trip to the Jungle

With our friend Marge arriving to visit us we decided to take the opportunity to visit the jungle, which suprisingly was only 2 and a half hours away. From La Paz we headed up a bit higher to the peak of the mountains before descending down through the misty clouds emerging into a luscious hot green landscape full of birds and a countless number of different butterflies. We enjoyed a couple of lazy days, splashing in the swimming pools, swimming in the river, eating 'lots' of yummy food, admiring the abundance of wildlife whilst listening to the sounds of the rushing river and buzzing insects. A good place to relax and chill.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Moulding Chronicle September 09

Dear Friends,

Since our last letter we have been kept very busy with the arrival of new staff and a retreat and have been learning the hard way the need to take more time out to rest. Ironically the topic we chose to speak on during the international staff retreat was Mat 11:28-30 and the call of Jesus to his followers to ‘come apart and be with me’. So it was an important message for us to understand as we prepared to share with others.

The retreat came in two parts, the first being for all the staff of FH Bolivia and the second being just for the International Staff. Both parts gave a great opportunity to get to know other staff members outside of the office setting as well as having lots of fun.

We were involved in organising a games evening, which became very entertaining as we watched a group of about 100 adults getting very excited about a game of musical bumps.

We were also involved in putting together and presenting a session about multicultural teams and its benefits. The purpose of this was two fold, firstly as a way to better integrate the international staff within the team, an area that has been problematic in the past. And secondly to create a greater awareness of the diversity of cultures just between the Bolivian staff. We kept it open and light hearted and it seemed to be received well and resulted in much discussion. Our prayer is for these discussions to continue, and for us to be able to do some follow up in the new year once we have returned from furlough.

The number of international staff have almost doubled during the course of this year bringing us to a total of 14 adults and 7 children with two babies due later this year, so please be praying for wisdom for us as we seek to support and encourage each of them in their different roles.

In the meantime we are now on the homeward stretch as we plan for our 3 month furlough back in the UK beginning in November.

Thank God for:
Safe arrival of the new staff
Strength and energy
Alana’s 3rd birthday

Ask God for:
Wisdom in planning furlough
Rest & Relaxation
The provision of a car to use during our furlough
Wisdom for the decision makers in FHB who need to accommodate more financial reductions

With Much love
Ed, Sarah & Alana

Alana's Birthday

Saturday the 12th of September we celebrated Alana's 3rd birthday with a lovely bar-b-que and picnic at a park with some of our church friends. Alana had a great time running around and playing on the slides and swings, as well as eating..lots (this has become he favourite pastime, I wonder who she takes after???). She was also brave enough to venture onto the huge slide with mummy and daddy, though once was enough.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Moulding Chronicle July 2009

Dear Friends,

These last 2 months have been somewhat of a roller coaster emotionally and mentally. We had the excitement of discovering that Sarah was pregnant again, the joy of seeing Ed’s parents arrive safely to visit us and see how life is for us here, a return visit to Sucre visiting familiar places and friends, and the arrival of 2 cats to stay with us for a few months.
On the down side we had to say farewell to our good friends as they returned home to England, then face the loss of our baby though a miscarriage.

As you may imagine this has proven to be a difficult time for us. Although we are still struggling to come to terms with it and accept what has happened we have been able to see the goodness of God to us throughout, in that we have had a good Dr, Ed's parents were here and able to look after Alana during the most difficult times and people from church and the FH office have been very understanding and loving and so we have felt supported and loved.

One sermon posed a particular challenge with regards to us accepting the will of God, be it good or bad, and leaves us with the choice of letting go of our anger and frustration and willingly submitting, or hanging onto that anger and begrudging submitting, and being miserable with it. This we are learning is a hard decision to make, yet we also know it’s the right one, so please be praying that we will be able to give it all back to God.

Outside of our family, life goes on, and in recent weeks we have been busy in trying to improve the system of care for our international staff, and the process of induction for those arriving and starting work with us. Ed’s other job as advisor for the environment still has not been made very clear so over the next few weeks that is something that he needs to focus on to develop into something worthwhile.

We have also started meeting with another young Christian family from our church on a bi weekly basis in order to study the bible together and help them with their English.
Whilst her grandparents were here Alana took every opportunity of new playmates and spent much time practicing her English on them as well as teaching nanny a few words of Spanish, she has now successfully mastered the art of being a chatterbox!

Thank God for:
His love, care and provision
The visit from Ed’s parents
Time to visit old friends and old places in Sucre

Ask God for:
Emotional healing
Ed to be able to develop his new role
Wisdom in how best to support the other international staff
The 2 new families arriving in this next month

With much love
Ed, Sarah & Alana

Monday, 1 June 2009

Mothers Day

In Bolivia May 27th is mothers day and is celebrted big style. In celebration of this Alana's Kinder put on a special performance for all the mums, with songs and a display of each childs art work.

Alana had been practicing her songs hard up until the day but when it came to it she was more concerned about looking for mummy in the audience than singing, but at least this time she didn't try running from the stage.

Moulding Chronicle May 2009

Dear Friends,

Since our last letter to you many things have once again changed. After much deliberation FH decided that it was best to pull out of the new project that Ed had been involved with for a number of different reasons. But God in his graciousness has opened the door of other opportunities, his work colleagues have been employed by the continuing project, FH hasn’t lost its good rep due to the project having an overall name to cover all agencies, and Ed now once again is back at the centre of FH work with a new job as the national coordinator for the environment, as well as coming alongside Oscar the new national director helping him with his English and spiritual input into the life of FH Bolivia. The major plus side for Sarah in this being that Ed is now to be based in the central office just a 10 minute walk away instead of an hours commute. So God continue in his abundant goodness to us.

In the last month there has also been changes taking place within the FHUK office, though as yet we are not sure how this is going to effect us directly but your prayers would be much appreciated for Paul Cornelius the national director as he seeks Gods direction for FHUK.

In recent months we have also started on a journey and are being challenged as to what is Gods heart to the people here in Bolivia, and how he would have us respond to the desperate needs we see around and about us each day. Up until now it has been all to easy to just shut it all out and ignore it, and ignore the suffering around us simply because of not knowing how to respond to a problem that is so immense and also not knowing what effect it would have on us personally. However, God is challenging us and the way we think and see people. We are far from having any answers as yet but are beginning to be more open to what God is asking of us and a bit more willing to try and see people as he does.

Alana continues to enjoy going to kinder and has a little friend called Maya who she talks about a lot. She is also enjoying all the parks here especially the slides.

Thank God for:
• New friendships
• His guidance in work
• Ed now working closer to home

Ask God for:
• Continued direction in what He wants us doing
• Good health
• Safe travels and a good time for Ed’s parents visiting in June
• Leading and direction for FHUK

With much love
Ed, Sarah & Alana