Sunday, 30 September 2012

Moulding Chronicles September 2012

Dear Friends,

After an amazingly smooth journey we are now safely settled back in our apartment in La Paz and readjusting to life in Bolivia again after a great 6 months in the UK reconnecting with family and friends, making new friends as well as introducing our own latest family additions to everybody.

During our time in the UK we were reminded of the importance of our family, and the blessing that each member is to us. We are so grateful for the way in which family has sacrificially served us during our time in the UK. The downside to this was having to say goodbye again, which on this occasion was made harder by not knowing the next time when we will be able to reconnect in person as we don’t know when we will next be back in the UK. 

Despite the sadness of goodbyes we have been learning to change the negative feelings around, thanking God for the time spent with family and the good memories made and looking forward to the next time we will meet with joy at being able to share stories and make more memories.

For now our place continues to be here in Bolivia to seek to continue to grow and learn, to serve and to share. For the most part the transition back into Bolivian culture has been relatively easy and we have been warmly welcomed back into both church and the FH office. 

Alana is taking a little longer to readjust, but on the whole is enjoying reconnecting with old friends in a new way. Isaiah and Lucas are just taking it all in their stride though Isaiah is missing some of the freedoms of the outdoors now that we are back in an apartment with no garden. 

Ed has returned with a clearer vision of where he feels he should be focusing his attention, combining 3 major work ethics into a developmental plan for FH Bolivia. Such a plan however can only be God driven and will require much prayer and patience and listening to all parties involved.  The potential is exciting, but at the same point can also feel rather overwhelming. For now all we can do is to walk and take it a step at a time as God directs.

Thank God for:
  • A great 6 months in the UK 
  • Many good memories 
  • A safe journey back and positive adjustment back to altitude
Ask God for:
  • Patience and energy for Sarah looking after 3 children without family and Ed around so much
  • Ears to listen to what has been happening whilst we have been away 
  • Wisdom for sharing what we have been learning

With Love
Ed, Sarah, Alana, Isaiah & Lucas

Saturday, 29 September 2012

The seaside

Having lived 2 minutes walk from the seafront in Aberystwyth after we got married, it was quite a shock when we first moved to Bolivia, a land locked country, with the closest accessible coastline being over a 9 hour drive away over the border into Chile.  So maybe it’s not so surprising how special it is for us to get to the sea during our visits to the UK.  Our first attempt to see the sea was thwarted due to a traffic accident and a 4 hour sit in a hot car on a stationary motorway with 3 hot and grumpy children.  It didn’t put us off though and despite that first attempt we did finally make our way to the seaside on 3 occasions and partook in the obligatory fish and chips (sausage and chips in the case of Alana and Isaiah) and ice creams.

Aberystwyth, just as we remember it, cold and windy!

We still enjoyed our ice creams though

No visit to Aber would be complete without a walk up constitution hill and along the coast to Clarach

The sea even obliged us at Weston Super Mare, so we were all able to have a little paddle

... even Lucas

Proper seaside chips

On our last trip to the seaside, there just happened to be an air show on so we got to see the Red Arrows do their stuff

Friday, 28 September 2012

Top Barn

I just love the way in which God puts together pieces of a puzzle and blesses us in ways we could never have even dreamed of. Top Barn was one of those blessings in a number of different ways.  Firstly it was a great little Farm park just down the road from where we were staying with plenty going on so that we easily spent a number of days there having bought a season ticket.  There were animals to feed, tractors to play on, a sandpit to play in, a great tractor ride around the whole farm and the Top Barn Tumble!

Feeding the pigs

And the goats

Enjoying the tractors, big and small :o)

That in itself would have been enough, but God had more in store for us as he put us in contact with the managers of the Farm Park, with whom we became good friends, meeting together on a number of occasions. Through them we were introduced to their father who started up the farm a number of years ago, who has a gift for pioneering new projects benefiting different groups within society which are reflected in the broader work of the farm. It was really encouraging for us to meet with him and his wife to hear about their story and their connections with Foundations for Farming (the conference which Ed attended in Zimbabwe back in March). Through them we attended and were encouraged by a couple of evening at ‘The Well’ a conference centre set up at the farm where they regularly have speakers to come and share with those who are interested.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Emergency services

Another thing that we all enjoyed being back in the UK was being able to go along to various fun days and events. We all enjoyed watching the displays and then climbing in and over various vehicles and boats.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Yardway was the name of the amazing house in Worcester where we stayed during most of our time in the UK.  It was a testimony of Gods goodness and provision for us as it was surrounded by green fields with ponies, sheep and cows, a woodland just down the road and a huge beautiful garden.  The house itself was spacious and plenty big enough to accomodate visitors.

The house and garden

The beautiful views

Isaiah and Alana just loved to potter outside

It was so nice to be able to play host and have people come and stay with us, our record number being 10 children under the age of 10 plus 6 adults, and we still all just about fitted around the large table in the dining room!

Anyone for Croquet!

Over the course of visits we had a great time catching up with old uni friends with spouses and children, and Redcliffe college friends as well as family.

Gods amazing creatures

One of the things I love about the UK is the vast array of fauna and flora. Being where we were we were able to make the most of seeing many of Gods wonderful creatures from the  ponies in the fields next to our garden, some of which Alana had the opportunity to ride, to the cows and sheep a little further afield.

Even Isaiah got to have a little sit on Rene

Another day Alana got to ride Cobweb

At its centre Worcester has a swan sanctuary on the river Severn, so we took a number of opportunities to go and feed them and just watch their elegance even when they are on mass all fighting over the same piece of bread.

For Alana and Isaiah is was exciting just discovering some of Gods smaller creatures in the garden from the ants, to the caterpillars, woodlice, earwigs, frogs, newts and dragon flies.

Meeting the family chickens
Pond dipping in the garden

Some of the inhabitants of the pond which we found

An extra creature we found on a soggy walk through the meadows

Visiting different events around the country we also got to see various birds of prey and flying displays, snakes, lizards, scorpions, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs of all shapes and sizes and even a few alpacas and llamas.  On a visit to my brother we were also able to meet some baby hedgehogs and hold them, though they were a little prickly!

We took a visit to a Sealife centre, only the touch screens were far more interesting than the actual real fish in the tank next door

We did at least get excited about a real crab we found on the beach

Meeting a rather prickly friend