Lily's kids

Lily's kids

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy birthday Elisabet

So thankful for this beautiful,happy ray of sunshine.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Just feel blessed

Time is flying by. Less than 2 months.
Each day a special blessing to live and love these kids.
Each moment makes me smile.
So blessed to be where I am. To be living here in Caranavi.
To hear "Tia Lily" each day.

So blessed. My family back home, my wonderful friends here.
So much to give thankful for.
Happy Holy week.

In awe of what my savior has done for me at Calvary.
By His grace and love and what He accomplished at the cross,
I can now freely come to Him. Praise God.

Lots of love from Bolivia!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thank you Coca-Cola

Can’t sleep. One part I blame on the coca-cola I drank this afternoon since my body isn’t used as used to sugar as it used to be. Not sure if I should be happy or sad about that. The other part that I blame my sleeplessness on is my mind. It goes crazy at night. With thoughts, plans, prayers, dreams, hopes, memories...

Thinking about the two parts of my life. 

One in the United States. Where I speak English. Where I have a wonderful family I love. A church filled with brothers and sisters in Christ living lives together for the glory of God. Jobs where I get to love on kiddos every day and don’t have to worry too much about how I’m going to support myself. A car. A warm house. Security. Safety. Stability. Friendships. Support. It’s kinda easy. Don’t get me wrong there’s difficulties. Struggles. Trails. Pain and tears. But I can now see how very blessed and kinda spoiled I am in the States. So many blessings I give thanks for.

The other part of my life is up on a mountain over looking Caranavi. Living with children and other Tias. Where I speak Spanish. And occasionally use English when I help the kids with english homework. Where every moment I am ministering to orphans alongside single women all with kids of their own. Where each morning, my soul sings praise as I see the sunrise on neighboring mountains. Where I work HARD each day but am rewarded by hugs and kisses and love. Where there are times when kids drive me crazy, their disobedient and I get frusterated. A life where the only way to communicate with my family for 9 months is over skype and email. Not as much safety. I’m alone in a foreign country. Speaking a different language. Having to figure out how to support myself with no job. This life has less answers. More dependency on God. Because I don’t know what is in my future. But I know God does. And I know that I can rest in that. I have so many blessings to give thanks for.

This life here in Bolivia has opened my eyes up to so many things. As I see these kids living here with no parents, many having experienced hurt and pain, it changes how I see things. The Tias who have been abused, left behind, lost loved ones and are now working hard to make new lives for their children. It makes me stop and look once again at my life. At the blessings. The many blessings. My family. My life back at home. My life here. The children that fill my day with sunshine. My Jesus who will never leave me. The blessing that I am His daughter. Adopted. Loved. Treasured. Protected. Cared for. 

Reminds me that I don’t have to worry. Not about support. Not about funds. Not about timing. Not about anything. I know that God has His hand on my life and He will care for me. And I don’t want to forget this when I go back home in May. When I go back to the business and craziness of America. Where we are so easily distracted and focused on ourselves and our petty problems. And we forget to take our eyes off ourselves. And focus them on God and His call to love and serve. To put others FIRST. To live life like Christ. Looking to His example to lay down our own lives for the gospel. 

And when I come back here to Bolivia, I don’t want to forget how very blessed I am by both parts of my life. That I am loved. I am His. No matter where I am. I am loved by my father.


M, A, E, N

Magnificent Mornings...
Getting sleepy face morning hugs each morning from Peniel.
Watching the sun rise slowly over the mountains.
Serving breakfast with 3 little boys trying to help.
Reminding them all to DO THEIR CHORES! 
Checking backpacks, uniforms, brushed teeth, shirts tucked in, polished shoes, and clean faces before sending them off to school.
Hearing Juanes tell me “Do you know what Tia Lily? I love you!” 
Listening to music and sweeping, mopping and cleaning the house.
Washing clothes by hand. 
Helping out with homework and drawing borders for Jhoselin on all her homework.
Heading up to lunch with Juanes always carrying the cups. Always.

Awesome Afternoons...
Supervising Brayan and Miguel as they wash and dry the dishes. 
Shaking my head at the amount of water on the floor after the dishes are washed. :)
Washing school uniforms and checking to see if the boys washed their socks.
Rewashing socks.
Homework time! For a loooong time. Oh those boys are distracted.
Sitting out on the porch in the sunshine with the other Tia.
Laughing and talking and getting lots of hugs and kisses from Peniel.
Waiting for the bus to come up with the kids who go to school in the afternoons.

Exciting Evenings...
More uniforms to wash.
Heating up the soup for dinner.
Hearing all the exciting news from school. :)
Giving shampoo to small dark heads. 
Bathing Juanes and Peniel in the big sink and hearing them giggle as they rinse with cold water.
Seeing the beautiful sunsets each day. 
Dinner and clean up. More dishes to wash.
PJs, brushed teeth, bathroom trips and bed time.



Yay!!! Baby boy has a name...


which means God with us. Because God is with us. Forever. And every time I look at this little boy and say his new name I will be newly reminded of that promise!

Me with sweet Emmanuel

Emmanuel with Tio Fidel

Also congratulations to Tio Fidel and Tia Charo as their oldest daughter had their first grandchild on father's day here in Bolivia. Welcome to the world Elias. :) (no picture sorry)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Where I am found












Found in Jesus.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A miracle named socks

Plastic tub full of socks and a suitcase plus 20 packs of new white socks. 50 kids. 5 pairs each. Ready set go. Tio Fidel told us (the Tias) that there probably wouldn't be enough but we would do as best as we could and if they weren't enough then we'll make do.

Each Tia walked away with the right amount. 5 pairs for each kid! That's a TON of socks. 250 pairs. As I helped put all the left over socks in the tub we were amazed that there wasn't enough room. Tio Fidel came over to see. "Wait... what else did you put in the tub?" He asked us. "Just the socks Tio!" We stared with our mouths open. There were more socks at the end then what we started with. The suitcase was full and the plastic tub overflowing. The 250 socks that we took could have filled half of another plastic tub. We just stared smiling and laughing. That God is faithful and doesn't forget about His little ones. Even in something so small as socks. "It's a miracle" goes Tio Fidel. And it is. A miracle named socks. That what started as a not quite full plastic tub turned into an overflowing one and brand new socks on the kiddos feet.

I'm amazed.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I changed her name

Her name was Esmerelda Estefani. I love her mom, Tia Nely and have been so encouraged as our friendship has deepened over the last few months.

"Lily," she told me late one night, "I am changing her name."
I looked at her surprised. "Her name isn't going to be Esmerelda? What are you going to name her?" Tia Nelly smiled at me. "I'm naming her Lily. I'm naming her after you."

That night humbled me and blessed me in such a big way. That Tia Nely would name her beautiful baby girl after me. And when I asked her why she said because of my friendship. Such a huge gift and it blew me away. That God is using my life and the little I do here to bless others. And it amazes me. At  HIS goodness and love for me.

So officially named... Lily Estefani. Beautiful baby. With a beautiful mother who is one of my very dear friends here.

Some of my crazy stuff

Learned tons these last 7 months and the 3 months before that. Crazy that I have been in Bolivia a total of 10 months! Time has flown!!! Done some pretty crazy stuff in that time...

- Climbed waterfalls (some big ones too!)
-Passed out in LaPaz and right after getting blood drawn
-Raising 8 kids
-Helped out on a small surgery
-Dreamed in Spanish
-Walked through mountains
-Eaten snake, ants and worms (and enjoyed them all except the worms)
-Learned how very much in need I am of my Savior each day
-That my Jesus will NEVER leave me!!!

With Elisabet! The medical team was able to help fix her tongue!
Peniel is pretty cool :)

haha! love this shot! Miguel, peniel and Samuel

Being super blessed by the medic team making us pizza late one night! LOVED it! And the kids did too!
Super excited to go to Jessa's graduation from CEC on saturday! So proud of her! 
Little baby boy is continuing to do great! Eating and sleeping really well and getting bigger! Still no name but I will post it as soon as they find one. Rainy rainy day! Continue to pray that God would bring in more children! God bless!
Lots of love!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

medics, bandanas, pizza

Very awesome few days with a small medic team from Illinois.
Very blessed by all the work they got done. Got all the kids height and weight and checked teeth. Also checked out a bad spider bite on one of the boys and were able to get him treated right away. And finally were able to do a small operation on one of the little girls who had something wrong with her tongue.

They gave all the kids suckers and a bunch of the younger kids got bandanas as their prizes for getting their teeth checked. So now there's a small gang of young children running around with bandanas. :) New style here in CDE
 Lots of translating this week! Took them to the waterfalls and had a blast and then got super blessed by them bringing me fresh baked PIZZA late last night. What a huge blessing! Thank you guys!

Still no name for baby boy... there's a few possibilities so I will let you all know when he's officially named! :)
~Lots of love! Lily

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Just a few cosas

Wake up time... 5:45

Completely hooked on Ben Howard after finding his music on my ipod. Thank papa!

Lots of hugs and kisses from my Peniel.

Love hearing Brayan's lisp as he does his homework.

Getting to snuggle on baby boy.

Cleaning and re-cleaning the house from lots of dirty little feet.

Yummy chocolate drink thingy. Forgot what it's called. Haha! And yes it comes in a plastic bag!

Peniel is talking now!!!

Happy to see Elisabet adjusting well.

Beautiful sunrises and fresh mornings.

The mountain next to mine looking like a giant wave in the gray mornings. Amazingly beautiful.

Time flying.

Exciting news soon!!!

Missing my family and excited to see them in several short months.
So thankful for each moment here at Casa de Esperanza. Continue to pray for the kids here and that God would continue to send more children as there is space available for more kiddos. God is so very good! love to you all!

New baby boy

Special welcome to new baby boy who arrived last week. 3 weeks old and no name yet but so tiny and precious. Welcome to the family sweet baby. May God work in you here in Casa de Esperanza and may you grow and learn and love here.