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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If You Never Buy Another Book..

You must check out Ann Voscamp's One Thousand Gifts. It's exquisite. It might be the best book i've ever read (top 5 for sure). Mom's especially, savor this and then practice it! i DARE you! Your life will be changed...

big love, tiff
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Expect Delays (part 1)


     (ancient Fiat)

     Well, I know it has been a long time since our last post but we have just gotten internet back after more than 7 days. No explanation,  no sorry, it was just on again one morning. It makes you grateful for the little things like instant communication.

     Since we have been away the rainy season has started in earnest. In the last week we have had more than 6 inches of rain. This is great for the gardens around here but not so great for the road that we have to maintain. Our training center sits at about 1400 feet. We are about 5 kilometers from the ocean. Our road is a one lane winding dirt road that is quite steep in places. This time of year it is not uncommon to have to come up it in 4 wheel drive. I have had to pull out 4 stuck trucks recently.

      It is a government road but the government does not take care of it. They simply don’t have the equipment or the man power to do it. It’s a matter of resources. So if we want to get up and down the mountain the responsibility falls to us. We usually have two tractors to take care of the road. One is a 1991 4 wheel drive Ford/ New Holland and the other is a VERY OLD Fiat. The Ford is a much larger tractor and can do a lot of the heaver work. Unfortunately, it has been down for months. It was not working for part of the time we were here as students. First the front differential went to pieces and then the PTO assembly went to pieces. I know that probably doesn’t mean much to most of you but trust me it’s big work to fix both of them. It can take months just to get parts because they are all special orders from out of the country.


(Ford/ New Holland)

     The Ford is back together now but we are still having issues with the hydraulic system (the bucket on the front won’t work). Please, pray that we can figure out what the problem is and fix it quickly. Also, pray that the Fiat will hold together long enough for us to get the Ford running.

     More on the road later…



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Favorite Song

Just one listen and you'll see why. This is where i'm at...

by Dominic Balli

(because of the awfulness of the internet i had to do it this way...hopefully you can get it. it's absolutley worth the effort)

sending big love out to you,...tiffany

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The smell of God


      This week I did quite a bit of hiking in the jungle. Wednesday we took the students across the valley beside us to the village on the next ride over, ate lunch and came back. On Friday I went with some of our employees and hiked about 30 kilometers through the jungle. The purpose of this hike was to check out the trails and visit the villages that the students will spend the night in during their 3 day hike in a couple of weeks. I got to sit down with some great people in these villages and hear their stories and share mine.


     Though these were great experiences and God was present in these conversations the place that I really experienced him this week was in the smells of the jungle. I know what you are thinking, “tropical jungle, yea that’s got to be really nice; rotting vegetation!” It is true it does have its share of rotting vegetation but that is not what I noticed. What really stuck was the amazing variety of beautiful smells. There we so many different ones that hit me one after another, the next one better than the last. I began to think about the wonderful God we serve that would take the time to create so many different wonderful aromas. How he had made me in such a way that I could enjoy all of them. I think that this was the first time that He has touched me through my nose.



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Look at the birds of the air…

      First, I would like to say please bare with us. We would like to blog more but the internet situation is much more difficult here than in Ukarumpa. In the last seven days we have had internet for about 3 of them. So, please know that we will post when we can.

       OK, the other day I was reflecting on our March newsletter and I thought that I would share this story with you. I know that some of you have heard it before, so sorry. Tiffany says I tell the same stories over and over again. This one changed my view of God so I think it bares repeating.

      Tiffany and I hiked about 800 miles on the Appalachian Trail for our honeymoon. There comes a time when your food intake doubles overnight. For us this happened on a particularly long stretch between towns.  We discovered one morning that we were out of food and we were about 3 days from the next town. So we sat down and prayed that God would provide for us. To be quite honest I didn’t know what I was asking him to do. I mean after all that would be like turning a couple loaves of bread into enough to feed thousands!

           We walked on that morning until we came to a shelter on the trail. We went to the shelter to sign the book that was inside. There in the floor of the shelter was a pile of food with a note that read, “If you need this take it.” It was awesome. We took the food, said a little thank you prayer, and went on. That whole day we kept coming across people who gave us food. We never mentioned that we needed food they just kept giving it. and it wasn’t just trail food- they were giving treasured things like candy bars too.

             By the time we reached town we had two extra days worth of food in our packs and I had a new perspective on who God was and the power he possessed. It is easy to forget that the creator of the universe can manipulate his creation. We have so many more stories just like this one where God has given us just what we needed when we needed it.