Mission- Bolivia

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

ok, so with less than a week to go, I still feel like I just got here! Time has gone by so fast! I amgetting excited about coming home though! I have really missed you all. That is one of the things God has truely been reminding me of, is just how blessed I am to have great friends and family (esp. my church family). I am ready for a Bro. Mose sermon!!!!!! I wanted to fill you all in on my return trip, so you can be praying for me!
I leave Cochabamba monday morning and fly to Santa Cruz (which is about an hour from where I am now). My flight leaves at noon. I will stay the night at another guest house that was recommended by the people I am with now. I will spend most of the afternoon in Santa Cruz alone! (a little frightening, but I know the Lord will see me through) I know enough spanish to get around!! :) My flight to Miami leaves Tues. at 9am. Being praying that I will not miss my flight (i.e. Robb- You are gonna have to explain that one :) ). I have to get up and be at the airport by 7 and the only alarm I have is the one on my cell phone, which I don´t know if it will work here. I should arrive in Miami around 4pm and will have about 2hrs. to get through customs and to my next flight. I should be in Jacksonville by 8:30 that night and will be picked up from there. So that is the itinerary. The air lines here are unreliable so, hopefully nothing will get delayed or cancelled. I look forward to seeing you all soon!
I don´t have much time to write, there is a surgery in an hour (hysterectomy) that I am going to be able to watch if I get back in time! I didn´t get to see the vein removal. The patient never came in. We think he didn´t have the money to pay.

I love you all,
see you soon,
Colleen

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

hola a mi familia y amigos en los estados unidos!
So it´s Wednesday about 4:30 and we are spending the day resting! We had a busy weekend and past couple of days! We left for the jungle Friday evening and got back around 1 in the morning on Sunday! I can´t even begin to tell you how beutiful it was! I will have to show you the pictures! I will say, I did the scariest thing I have ever done in my life while in the jungle! A couple of us were brave enough to swing from a 18 meter platform sitting on a piece of wood! It was crazy! I have a video of that to show you! Beat that Rex!!! It was so much fun hiking up the mountain and seeing the monkeys and birds! Some of the monkeys came right up to us and even climbed on us! One of the little rascals stole my earring! (I got it back though) but then it fell out of my pocket and is lost somewhere in the Amazon!
We rested Sunday after church and then packed up for the Compo trip! That was exciting! We drove 5 hrs. up oneside and down the other of the mountains! Thank goodness for gravol (dramamine). The ride there was pretty scary! The road was very narrow about the lenght of the bus we were riding in, but God protected us all and we made it there and back safely. The expereince there in the mountains was phenomenal! I can´t even put into words what we experienced. I´ll have to think on it and tell you when I get back! The Lord was definetly at work there, more so in us volunteers, We went there to teach these people but, in turn they were teaching us! It was totally God at work! I can´t wait to tell you all about it!
We are supposed to be doing a surgery tomorrow. The doctors are going to be removing some varicose veins. I am actually gonna get to go in with them! I want to tell you more of what has been going on, but there is just not enough time! I will have to do it when I get back! Hope your ready to listen! :) I will probably be able to post one more blog before I leave. I will try to give you details about my return trip. I know I will have to leave Cochabamba a day early and stay by myself in a hotel in Santa Cruz. I will let you know details so you will know how to pray for me! I appreciate all of you keeping up with me and posting comments! Thanks for being the body! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Glenn! I am so excited to hear about Ashlyn! I sure hope you got it on video!!!! I miss you guys! You better go ahead and prepare yourself now, because I got some great pictures for you! One in particular I know you will love!! I can´t wait to share them with you!!!!!! oh and the stars are closer because we are 9,000 feet above sea level and we are closer to the equator! ha I love ya man, tell the girls and Traci I miss them and give them a hug for me!

oh, I also want to know if Robb made it back yet?
How is Braeden Perry?
Has anyone heard from Brandon Pearce?
They are all in my prayers!
For my classmates who may be reading this, is there any new assignments other than Mod. 1&2 that I need to be doing?
See you soon! Lord willing
Colleen

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hola, Buesnos Tardes!!

Well I am at my halfway point today! It doesn´t feel like it! I can´t believe how fast time is flying! I am trying to remember what all we have done since my last post! I shared my tstimony last Thursday at the hospital and it was amazing! I was very nervous at first, but as soon as I started, the Lord just gave me peace! We had 3 languages going (English, Spanish and Quechua). I just pray that the Lord uses that time for His glory! We had a quiet weekend at the house. Saturday, we went to kid washing in the plaza! I can´t even begin to tell you the emotions I experienced while serving there! It was different than the dump! If that is even possible! I am learning so much and I only pray that the Lord will continue to teach me! By His grace, I have spent more time in the word than I have in a long time! It´s great!!! It has been pretty slow at the hospital! I have been observing the doctors and learning a lot. I have seen some interesting things. I´ll tell you about that when I get back! I did see an interesting case in the ER today! There was a guy who came in Saturday who was severly burned! He was playing with gasoline and he caught on fire! His whole back was burned, part of his chest and his left arm! It was hard to watch them change his dressings. I got to assist a little, but it was hard. I tried to stay out of the way! He looked to be in a lot of pain.
On a happier note, I have been spending a lot of time at Hogar de Amor (which is a baby orphanage) There are 12 kids there and 6 of them don´t walk yet! The oldest children are 3. They are so much fun, even though I don´t understand them! :)
This weekend we going to try and plan a trip to the jungle! I don´t know for sure if we are going, but it is going to be exciting. I will probably have to start malaria pills. I am afraid of that because malaria pills tend to enhance dreams and I have been having some bad dreams already!
On Monday, we are going to the compo(the country) for a couple of days to see patients. We will be there for two days with just the clothes on our back. We are only bringing medical supplies and we are gonna see as many patients as we can in two days. I will be giving injections! The leader said possibly 300 in the time we are there! That is a lot! Be praying for our time there! That we can bring God glory in our service!!!! Well I think that is about all I can remember for now! I miss you all and wish you all could be here to experience it along side me!! I love you all! I will see you soon!

Growing in Christ,
Colleen

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Well it has been exactly two weeks today! God is Good!!! The time has been flying! By His grace I have not felt homesick yet! Or physically sick! Praise the Lord! I had a great 4th of July! Although we had no fireworks, we made a bon fire and grilled hamburgers! The shy was crytal clear and from where we are 9,ooo feet up, the stars are a lot closer! It´s amazing! I started spanish lessons today! It was interesting! I also attempted to give blood today, but they could not get my vein so I was unsuccessful, but the girl who went with me was able to do so! I am volunteering at a children´s orphange on Monday´s. I went for the first time this week! There are about 17 children all under the age of 5. They are awesome! Super sweet kids! I am so blessed to be able to serve them! Not a whole lot going on at the hospital this week! We did have two succesful surgeries! I was unable to attend them but it is a praise to almighty God(the great Physician)! We have been doing VBS with the kids this week and it has been so much fun! It has brought me great joy to see how excited these kids are about learning God´s word!! Well I have to keep this one short! I am out of time! I love you all! Thank you so much for your prayers! I am so excited to hear of the good news about Braden! Someone please send my love to the Perry´s! I am praying for them! I can´t wait to share with you what God is teaching me here!
Until next time,

Only For Christ´s Glory,
Colleen

Friday, June 30, 2006

hola mis hemanos y hermanas en Cristo!!
I am so happy that you all are posting comments! You have no idea how encouraging it is to hear from you at home! This has been a bit of a hard week! We had a surgery planned on Tuesday for a woman to have a laproscopy. Well the anesthesiologist had some trouble getting the epideral in (apparently here they don´t put someone under general anesthesia, they only do an epideral or oral anesthesia). The woman moved and the needle went through her spinal membrane and they could not do the procedure. She was apparently in a lot of pain! The staff was very discouraged! Be in prayer for them! They have had a hard time the past few months getting surgeries scheduled because a few months ago a women died after undergoing a hysterectomy! The news scared a lot of patients out of even coming to the hospital! Tuesday evening at the volunteer house (where we stay), there was some spiritual warfare going on as well! There were some problems among some of the volunteers! I spent most of that night in prayer in my room!
Other than that, it has been a great week! The Lord has made His presence known in each of us following that night! I Praise Him for that! In the ER that day it was pretty slow, although we did get to transfer a patient by ambulance to another clinic to have an ultra sound done! That was cool because it was one of those old ambulances (kinda like on Rescue 911 remember that show:) We went to a deaf orphanage this week and spent some time playing soccer with the kids there. That was awesome! We also learned about a beatle that carries a well known disease here in Bolivia (Chagas disease) It is a parasite that gets in your blood and causes flu like symptoms but is a serious disease! We have all been checking our sheets closely for that beatle!
A lot of you have been asking about the kinds of food we eat! Actually we are too blessed in that department! The food is awesome! Just last night we went into town to a steak house! (not like the ones in the states, but it was sooooo good!) hopefully I won´t come home bigger than when I left! :) I have two friends here that are on the track team at their college and they keep me in shape! we all excercise together! I am going to learn some of the recipes so I can bring them back to you!
on a more exciting note, I am going to share my testimony with the patients in the waiting room next Thursday! I am a little nervous but excited about that! The pastor that usually speaks to them is going to translate for me! We are also gonna be doing VBS with kids in the city! It won´t be like ¨trading places¨but God will be praised none the less! It is something a few other girls and I are putting together! We will be spending most of the weekend working on that!
Oh, I was gonna fill you in on the experience last week at the local orphanage! We made salvation bracelets with them and shared the gospel! One of the volunteers speaks spanish so she did all the talking! We also sang some songs(in Spanish) I learned a few! Yay! The Lord has opened a door for me and another girl to take one on one spanish lessons twice a week for the rest of the time we are here! How awesome is that!! We have to take a taxi into town by ourselves so pray that the Lord will guide us!
The hospital and the Volunteer house is in Vinto about 30 minutes outside of Cochabamba. We are in the mountains and it is beutiful! I can´t wait to show you God´s creation here!
Robb, I wanted to tell you that I am praying for you as you get ready to head out to Greece! I am so excited for you! I know how the Lord has blessed me already in the short time I have been here! I know He will do the same for you! He has opened my eyes to so much just by being here by myself! I have no choice but to turn to Him for comfort! It´s awesome! I can´t wait to read about your experience!
I love you all and I know I am leaving stuff out! I am trying to give details, but so much is going on! I am keeping a journal so that I can fill you in when I get back!
Keep praying that the Lord will be glorified in all I do! I don´t want any credit because I know without His grace I would not be here in Bolivia today!!!


hablamos pronto,

For Christ´s Glory,
Colleen

I forgot to mention, be in prayer for Boivia as a country on Sunday! It is election day and depending on if the wrong people get elected, their constitution is going to be re-written to make Bolivia a more socialist country! We are not allowed to go to church that day because any public meeting of more than 7 people is considered a political rally! No one is allowed to drive that day either, so we are stuck at the house!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hey everyone, we had a group trip to the internet this time so I am able to post another comment sooner than I thought! I miss you all! We went to church this morning at the Cochabamba International Church and I was thinking about all of you at home! The service was great! The sermon was about having an effective prayer life and how important prayer is in the armor of God! It was something I needed to hear! This afternoon after church we took a hike up the "Pairumani" mountain! It was beautiful! I felt like I was in the Lord of the Rings though. It was cool. I got some great pictures of the mountains! I was remiknded of how awesome God is! There is absolutely no way God does not exist! His creation is incredible! Cochaabamba is located in the valley of the Andes mountains so when we were up in the mountain, we could see the whole city! It was a site to see!
We have a busy week coming up! I get to work in the ER tuesday! that should be exciting! We are also going to the Orphanage again tomorrow and I with two other girls(one to translate) are doing a bible lesson for them! I am so excited! We also get to go shopping in the Cancha (the market) this week. That is going to be fun!
I want to thank all of you for keeping up with me and posting comments! It is so encouraging to here from home! It is only gonna get harder as time goes on! I can read emails from you, but I don´t have time to send email back, so this blog is my communication with you! Sorry about the spelling I have to type fast! they charge by the minute! I love you all and miss you already, but God is good and He is taking good care of me! I feel I have grown closer to Him tremendously in the 4 days I have been here! until next time

with love from a servant´s heart,
Colleen

Friday, June 23, 2006

Buenos tardes!!! It is friday afternoon around 2:30 here in Vinto, Cochabamba! I am so excited to be able to talk with you all about this trip! I am only going to be able to get to the internet once a week so I will try to fill you in as much as I can! I have had such an experience already in the 3 days I have been here! The first Bolivian theing I learned was hoe to play wolliball! It is a lot like volleyball but you play in a square room and can bounce the ball off the walls! It is a blast to play! Yesterday was my first day at work! The hospital is actually really nice! I worked in internation (which is were the really sick people stay!) It was kinda slow but I had a patient that most likely has Tuberculosis! For all my nursing friends, he had a great case of edema in his feet! I got pictures! After work, we went to wash children in the dump! This was a very humbling experience!! The dump is basically, a dump. It is a very poor part of Chochabamba! We were blessed to give the children a bath! It broke my heart to see how dirty and malnourished they were! These children were so excited to come sit in this small bucket of cold water to get a bath, that a lot of them were stripping down before it was there turn! (be reminded that it is winter over here) It was amazing to be able to experience that!!
Today, we worked in the clinic until about noon. I observed one of the doctors, I sat in with him as he examined each patient. He actually had me listen and do a lot of what he did! I gotta tell you, it is so frustrating not to be able to speak the language! I am trying so hard to pick it up! I have said a lot of funny things, but, I am learning! This afternoon we are going to an orphanage to play with the kids! I am really excited about that. Tonight is San Juan, which is a holiday over here. It is supposed to be the coldest night of the year and the whole city burns things. They say at night there is fire everywhere and it gets so smokey, it is hard to breathe! We are going to participate in the San Juan games which lasts until like midnight!
I also wanted to mention that we are like 9,000 fett above sea level! Wow! It is hard to breathe when jsut walking down the street! I was told to drink a lot of water, like 3 liters a day which is next to impossible for me! Pray that I don´t get sick! :)
well I know there is a lot more to tell you, but, I have to go. My ride is waiting on me! I will try and get another post next week!
until then,

with lots of love,
Colleen