Friday, 17 September 2010

Moulding Chronicles September 2010

Dear Friends,

As with previous months these last two have been a continuation of our roller coaster ride with a mixture of highs and lows. At the beginning of August Ed moved into a new role as the Country Directors (CD) assistant, giving him more freedom to do a job he was in part already doing. A position about which he feels both privileged and excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. The first of which came within a week of starting his new role with the CD taking sick leave for a number of weeks at a crucial time within the org for many decisions to be made.

Although hard at the time we are now beginning to see the way in which God turned a bad situation around to good, through the lessons he has been teaching the CD. Through his experience he is now resolved to bring about a positive change within the office. Due to the culture and work structure within Bolivian society, a change will only come about by example.

Despite some difficult moments it hasn’t deterred us from signing contracts committing ourselves to the next 3 years working with FHB. In fact these recent circumstances have just highlighted again to us the importance of walking with people at their own pace and encouraging them along the way.

Once again though we rejoice in Gods unfailing goodness to us, as we celebrated Alana’s 4th birthday we were able to look back and see where God has led, protected and provided for us at each and every turn. We were also able to celebrate a very specific answer to prayer with the news that Sarah was pregnant, and that mother and baby are doing well.

Thank you for your continued prayers, support and encouragement. Through what you do for us God is slowly bringing about a positive change here in Bolivia.

Thank God for:

  • Turning a bad situation into a positive learning situation
  • A new baby
  • Ed’s new role

Ask God for:

  • Continued health and development for Sarah & Baby
  • Guidance and clear direction for FHB

Much Love

Ed, Sarah & Alana

Monday, 13 September 2010

Birthday girl

Last Sunday our little girl turned the grand old age of 4 and we celebrated in style with her little friends playing pass the parcel, musical bumps and pin the tail on Boots (as the theme was Dora the explorer, we felt her monkey friend Boots would make a suitable substitute for a donkey!). Even the grown ups enjoyed taking part in that one. Everybody enjoyed themselves and Alana is already asking when her next birthday is.

A Bolivian Wedding

Just over a week ago we got to experience a truly cultural experience as we were invited to celebrate in the festivities of the wedding of one of our work colleagues.

The service was due to start at 12.30, and we were ensured by the bride to be that it would certainly be no later than 10 minutes late in starting, so we arrived promptly at 12:30 and waited, and waited and waited. It was good to have Alana with us who kept both ourselves and our friends entertained with balls of plasticine.

About 3 quarters of an hour later something began to happen, those leading the service took up their positions at the front and began announcing the arrival of various members of the wedding party, from the minister, God parents, parents, ring bearer, flower girls and finally the groom followed by the arrival of the bride. To our westernised mindsets, it all seemed a little disorganized with members of the announced party not having arrived on time or the reluctance of some of the little ones to come forward, with bits of music fading in and out between entrances.

The service itself once it got underway was not quite as we are used to with no singing but lots of talking and many prayers and words of encouragement from various different people. At the end of the service the wedding party formed a line and all the guests were invited to pass along the line to greet people and offer words of encouragement and congratulations.

From the church we moved onto the reception venue, and were very surprised to see not just one wedding cake or even 2 or 3 but in fact a total of 15 wedding cakes, all delicately layered with cream, with an intricate pattern painted around the edges. Before the bridal party arrived Alana decided to take a closer inspection of the cakes and to our utmost embarrassment decided to try them out!

Once settled at the reception our waiting continued as more guests begin to slowly trickle in. Time was ticking by and getting onto 4 o’clock before there were any signs of the bridal party arriving, by which time we were all beginning to feel a little hungry. Once again Alana did very well with keeping our table entertained by giving out crayons and getting everybody to draw pictures in her book. Eventually the wedding party did arrive and we were launched into another mini service as the legal part of the wedding was carried out with the registrar, and more photos.

Then it arrived... the food or at least a large platter filled with crisps, we all hurriedly made space on the table for it only to quickly discover that we were actually only to take a few for ourselves before it was taken to the next table, but at least the hunger pangs were stayed for a little while longer until the real food arrived. It wasn't quite what we were expecting but was greatly received all the same - a pork sandwich for everyone!

After the food was finished we waited expectantly for the next installment of what was going to happen next, which was a parade of all the gifts where everybody lined up in order to present their gifts to the married couple, which included a dresser, dining room table and chairs, and pining money to their clothing! Once free of their gift each person was then presented with a fizzy orange drink and a small plate of pastries.

At this point in the celebrations, 5pm, most the folks we knew were saying their goodbyes so we took the opportunity to also make our exit, particularly as Alana was beginning to get a bit boisterous with some of the furniture. We had been told that the whole thing was due to finish around 10 in the evening, so the events of the next 5 hours remain a mystery to us along with who got to eat all of those 15 cakes!