Planet Impressions. Encourage. Inkblots in Rainbow Colors. Doing community in the global south and other places. "Higher up and further in!" with an outreach twist.

Archive for November, 2015

We’re laughing up a storm at ourselves right now!

Hubby and son sallied out between raindrops this morning on a multi-legged journey of jungle birdwatching, hitting the grocery store on the way back for shampoo and eggs that we needed, and ordering and picking up fresh hot tortillas for lunch!  They came home lugging two HUGE bags of steaming hot fragrant tortillas – a grand total of 50 fresh tortillas!


WHAT???  We are four gringos and a baby!  And tortillas don’t generally keep or freeze very well!

Hubby, being from Bolivia, was feeling great and right at home since he speaks Spanish, so, he said he would like to be the one to get the tortillas.

He walked to the place and asked the woman for 15 tortillas.

“You want 15 tortillas, Sir?”

“Yes, please. 15.”

She disappeared inside the shop and, then got called away by a young child behind the storefront.

Another woman came out and said to my husband, “You ordered fifteen, Sir?”

“Yes, Señora, fifteen please.:

A little time went by.

Then the woman reappeared and handed my husband 15 quetzales worth of tortillas!IMG_0114


You are the light of the world!

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.” (caps mine.) – Jesus

(Matthew 5:14, NIV)IMG_0229

On self-care, from a Christian perspective…

“We are God’s own prized possessions. Prized possessions are something you take care of.

Yet for some of us, taking care of our bodies seems sub-Biblical. Somewhere or other we learned an acronym for JOY that went like this: ‘Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.’ There is truth in this adage but it can also morph into a twisted theology about human worthlessness. Human beings are never worthless. God gave His dearest and only Son to love human beings – beings He treasures and adores. One of the greatest gifts we have next to Jesus is our own selves. We are gifts of God. His Spirit lives in us. And we are to receive the divine love that takes residence in our bodies. We are to take it in and let it form us into a place of prayer.” – Spiritual Disciplines Handbook-Practices that Transform Us, Adele Calhoun.IMG_0129

Epifania’s Story (Part 3)

In the middle of the difficulty of her life, Epifania shared the following, “I’m praying for my husband, Antonio, that God change his life. And I believe that God will change him. Two months ago, when we traveled out to tend our flocks and gardens in Inca Casani, I was surprised to find Antonio listening to Mosoj Chaski. He had borrowed a radio from his sister! I didn’t say anything to him. I was even more surprised when Antonio gruffly asked me why I had not taken a gift of potatoes to Radio Mosoj Chaski for the radio’s anniversary in April.” With tears in her eyes, Epifania continued, “my daily life is hard but I will never leave my God who has saved me. I have the hope to one day show up at Mosoj Chaski with my husband, praising God together.”

Epifania’s Story (Part Two)

One day, Epifania heard on Mosoj Chaski the announcement of a “Conference”, to take place near Inca Casani, the village in the rural area where she and Antonio are originally from, and where they still have crops and animals. Under the pretext of going out there to care for the plants and animals, Epifania went to this special yearly gathering of Christian believers.  It was there she accepted Jesus as her Savior.

Epifania is making the effort to read her Bible, no small undertaking, as she only attended school for a couple of years (quite common for rural Quechua girls, where schools are basic, often a long distance away, and manual labor awaits at all times, even for children).  She prays when alone, so as not to antagonize her husband.

Epifania recently visited the studio/office facility of Mosoj Chaski (New Messenger in Quechua) with her 7 year old daughter, Veronica.  Between smiles and tears she shared her story with us.  She also asked a barrage of questions she had from listening to the programs.  She has a passion to learn more of God’s Word. (to be continued.)DSC00595

Epifania’s Story

(a true “Mosoj Chaski Bearing Fruit” story.  written by NinadeSusOjos’ husband.  “Mosoj Chaski” means “New Messenger” in Quechua and is the name of the Quechua Radio Outreach, based in Cochabamba, Bolivia.)

Epifania Bautista de Quintana lives in the town of Quilla Qollo.  She’s 42 years old, and has been married for 20 years to Antonio Quintana.  They have 7 children, the youngest of whom is 7 years old.

Two and one-half years ago Epifania heard about Radio Mosoj Chaski and wanted to listen.  From the start, Antonio was against her listening.  She got ahold of a transistor radio with which she could tune to Radio Mosoj Chaski.  Antonio wanted to forbid it, but she’d listen when he wasn’t around, or take the radio outside to listen.  She couldn’t NOT listen.

(to be continued.)IMG_6112


Vignette # 7 from the Children

#7 Amanda, 5 years old, kept complaining to the adult monitor that some of the little boys kept calling her a SPIDER (araña)!  They kept insisting that they were not!  (a lot of these little ones seem to have lisps and slight speech impediments)  Several of the other kids chimed right in and they all had a little philosophical discussion about it.




The Children, Vignette #’s 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Vignette #2:

Teaching the 3, 4 and 5 year olds today we had to reprimand several of the little boys for talking and gesturing with each other about stabbing people with knives and about slitting people’s throats with same.

Vignette #3:  Little E., four years old and speaking with a lisp, when the topic of class discussion got on “Obeying our Moms when they Ask  us to Wash up, or to Go to Bed”, talking eagerly and excitedly to everybody in the class about how he has 3 Moms!

Vignette #4:  Sharing Who Jesus is with the children, verbally, in small groups of four or five, through use of the “Evangel-cube” and how eager all the children are to hear and “do” the cube over and over again, never tiring of it, and breaking in to help tell the story, and how they love to handle the cube themselves, in turn, and help tell bits and pieces of the story.

Vignette #5:  How the children were all big-eyed when I introduced the new Crayola crayons all the way from the Estados Unidos, and how worried they were about the possibility of accidentally breaking the new crayons.  One little guy said, “Oh no!  The point of my crayon is breaking!” when it was only blunted the tiniest fraction through him starting to use it on his color paper…

True Story going on Now… We are all very concerned, of course.

Here’s a little update on the post.  This situation, the one described below, still continues, with this mom still not allowing the children to attend Outreach.  Please do pray with us for these three siblings.

In the children’s outreach, several of our children have told, at different times over the past few weeks, of seeing nine-year old Elisabeth and her six-year old sister Anna, carrying their 17-month-old baby brother Johnny, at 12 o’clock midnight, making the rounds of the bars, looking for their mother, to beg her to come home with them from drinking. Also, in recent days, these children’s mother has not been permitting her children to attend our outreach.

*the children’s names are changed, for this post.

Two Outings with the Children!

Today we did outings with both the morning batch of children and the afternoon one.  We took them to the hillside with the big statue on top of it, in the edge of this city. All the children except one or two had never been to this place before, even though it is considered within their own city. They were SO excited and happy they could barely sit still and one little guy H., who is five, stood on a wooden chair within the bus, holding on to a railing, with his nose pressed to the glass of the window for one whole HOUR (we traveled slowly!) gazing at his city as we passed through it. The kids all sang on both trips, at the tops of their voices, at their own instigation. In the afternoon group which is at least twice the size as the morning group, we had a couple of falls, a hurt leg and a blistered hand, but nothing more serious, thank God. On the way up the mountainside to where the statue and a little park are, we all looked out the windows at the two-million inhabitant city of Cochabamba on one side and then, as the switchbacks of the narrow gravel road continue, at the adjoining city of Sacaba on the other side.  In between is a shallow, polluted lake, the “Laguna Alalay”. D., 9 years old, peered out excitedly and yelled, “Look!  I see a blue SHIP on the water!” He was talking about a tiny, rickety old row boat. J., 6 years old, yelled, “Aquatic plants!  Aquatic plants!” He was talking about some contaminated algae, in huge clumps, visible in the lake floating just under the surface of the water.