Sunday, December 30, 2007


Well, I made it.

It is Sunday morning and I am writing this post from a room in the church building that I am staying in until I have an apartment to rent. We were delayed about an hour leaving Miami but all is well I am now in my new city of La Paz. This is surreal. And turns out it is NOT a dream after all. It is a reality. I woke up this morning and I am STILL in La Paz.

The hospitality that I have experienced so far has been amazing. Three people picked me up from the airport and we took some photos. Then they brought me to this room in the church where I am staying and in the room waiting on me was some bottled water, lots of Christmas cards that were handmade for me by the youth and children of the church, and a little small Christmas tree with lights on it. (My little “arbolito”)

I took an altitude sickness pill about 45 minutes before we landed and that definitely helped me with the altitude adjustment. Also, I have already had several glasses of Coca tea which helps with the altitude and helps settle my stomach.

Willy (the pastor of Cristo Rendentor Church), Giovana (His wife) and Estéfani (their daughter) treated me to some nice soup for lunch. There goal is to start me out light to get my stomach used to some of the foods here. Apparently, New Years Eve is going to be an all out food fest so they are going to work me up to that. Also, there is an amazing Bolivian woman, Dina, who lives here and takes care of the place and she prepares food for me as well. She had breakfast prepared for me this morning. She wants me to teach her kids English.

I spent the afternoon yesterday with the youth of the church here. I broke out the Nintendo Wii and I also got to join them for their talk. It is cool to meet them and experience the strength of their faith in God. It puts me to shame. And they are fifteen.

The biggest thing that I have already noticed is the pace of life here. It is just so much more laid back than I am used to. I knew it would be but it hits you square in the face. You cannot rush things here. Granted, I just got here this weekend and I am trying to rest but still you are forced to enjoy the passage of time here. I dig it. I am not comfortable with it yet but I dig it.

I will attend church today and then tomorrow I will hopefully purchase my cell phone and start looking at a few apartment options. There is nothing else that I can do except take it one day at a time.

Oh, and it has been non-stop Spanish since I arrived. I have hardly spoken any English at all since I got here and it is exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I see my Spanish improving quickly but it was just like someone pressed the “SAP” button on my life or something.

But all that being said I have a smile on my face from ear to ear. It is true joy. This is exactly where I want to be. I think that God might have brought me here just so that I would fall more in love with Him.

Thanks for your prayers and support to get me here.


Friday, December 28, 2007

T-minus 2 hours…

Ok. No turning back now. For real.

I am sitting in the Miami airport waiting for my flight to La Paz. I will be boarding the plane in about two hours. You will be pleased to know that I ate Chick-fil-A for lunch in the Atlanta airport (I know, of course I did.) And I am thinking about strolling down to Starbucks here in the next little bit for one more $5 coffee.

I am just sitting here thinking about how blessed I am. It makes my eyes water when I think about it. I have never been more excited in my entire life. I know that I am right where God wants me to be. It is just the best feeling in the world. The love that I have felt from family and friends during this goodbye process has been overwhelming. And I know that there are people in La Paz right now waiting to welcome me when I arrive tomorrow morning.

Whatever you are doing right now, please just stop and count your blessings. If you live in the United States you have been blessed beyond imagination. We are not just blessed when things go well. We are blessed. Period. It’s what we decide to do with our blessing that counts.

There have been so many people who have told me that they are “proud of me.” And I must confess, recently I have just been tired of hearing it. I think, “I haven’t really done anything.” All I did was “decide to go do something.” I am trying not to put myself on a pedestal for doing this. And I don’t want a gold star.

I just want all of us to use the time we have left on things that count. A book that I am reading right now defined “failure” as “success in something that doesn’t really matter.”

I don’t want to succeed in things that don’t really matter anymore and I wish that all of you will experience success in “things that really matter.”

I will give you a heads up once I arrive in La Paz.

God’s Peace.

Written by Curt in the Miami International Airport on Friday, December 28th, 2007
(Two hours before the start of the greatest adventure of his life)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

That's all folks

Well, well, well...

The time is finally here. I can't believe it. I thought I had a month and now I just have one more night...this has definitely been an emotional time for me. I have not always shown my emotions but believe me God has seen everything. I have wept. But through the tears there is joy and obedience.

I am ready.

I want God to get glory MORE than I want my own safety and comfort. Tomorrow I leave. And I can honestly say that I have no idea what is going to happen when I get to La Paz. I know some things that I would like to accomplish first but God only knows what will really happen. And as long as God knows I have peace.

I am more dependent on Him than ever before.

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support. I am excited to take this step and share this exciting adventure with you.

I love you, I will miss you and I pray that God allows our paths to cross in the future.

Your brother in Christ,


Friday, December 21, 2007

No Goodbyes in Christ

I had a very comforting thought the other morning as I was reading. I was thinking more about saying goodbye to folks and I felt God speaking to my heart and saying to me, “Curt, I am the one goodbye that you will never have to say.”

Wow. What a comforting thought.

It just felt good to be reminded that although I am having to say goodbye to mucho people right now, I will never have to say goodbye to my Heavenly Father. It’s kinda like an eternity thing.

He will always be with me.

And it went a step further when I thought…actually I will never have to say goodbye to those friends and family members who have placed their trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Because after all…there is always eternity.

In Christ, there are no goodbyes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ain't no stopping now

So I registered with the US Embassy in La Paz to give Uncle SAM a heads up regarding my move next week. I also signed up for the Bolivia email list so they can send me messages and updates regarding situations in Bolivia.

Well the political unrest in Bolivia seems to be heating up and the U.S. Department of State sent out a message last week. If you are interested in the current state of affairs in Bolivia and if you want to read the entire message you can check it out here.

But one line struck me in particular.

The Department recommends that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to Bolivia at this time.

Don't worry. God and I talked and we have decided that my move to Bolivia IS essential so I will still be going.

Friday, December 14, 2007


So yesterday was a day that confirmed that leaving Atlanta and moving to La Paz is definitely not going to be easy. In fact, I think that this whole move is the most difficult thing that I have ever done in my life.

I am two weeks away from getting on the plane and the goodbyes are pretty much happening every day now. Yesterday was a big day. I think what got me was the amount of goodbyes that I had yesterday. It was the most that I had experienced in one day so far. I stopped by my old job at the Alliance Theatre to say goodbye to my former co-workers. And it was great to spend some time with them and see them one more time before I take off. It was a flurry of goodbyes. Also, I was able to say goodbye to my hero Miss Mattie, she is my favorite security guard at the Arts Center and she showed me what tears of joy looked like yesterday. She cried, hugged me, told me that she loved me and told me to “Go with God.”

And to add to all of those goodbyes I had a really tough goodbye last night. I had dinner with my former boss and her husband. Virginia was my boss at the Alliance Theatre for the last several years. She is my mentor. I learned more from her in the business world than anyone else. And she was not just a great boss. Her and Ken are great friends and they showed me so much hospitality over the years. This was a tough one. About half way through dinner I realized that this really WAS the last time that I would spend with them for awhile. I used to see her everyday but now that has changed. And as the weight of that sunk in it really hurt. It stung.

It was very emotional when I got up to leave and after we said our goodbyes…I left. And I cried as I drove away. I can’t help it. Crying is part of my life right now. I am one of those freakin Kleenex commercials right now. I swear if I see a guy with a box of Kleenex and a sofa on the side of the road asking me to sit and talk with him I am just gonna be like, “Naw man, I’m good. Thanks.”

Yes I am sad but I also feel joy and obedience through my tears. I suddenly felt alone as I drove home tonight and I actually cried out for God to comfort me. (I bet the person next to me at the stoplight just thought, “Man, the holidays must really be getting to THAT guy.”) But as I drove home in my loneliness I felt God reassure me that “Curt, you are not alone. Remember that I promised to be with you always. And guess what – nothing can separate you from My love.”


These last thirteen days are going to be a mess. I have many more goodbyes ahead of me before I go. My family and many more close friends.

Tears are going to flow. And I am glad. I want it to hurt. I want it to sting. I think that my emotion and tears are proof that I actually invested something in another life. And I don’t think that there is anything better than that on this earth.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Let the "Going Away" Parties Begin

So this past Saturday night there was a little going away gathering for me with some of the guys from my small group through Buckhead Church + a few other friends. It was a blast and it was great to see some of the guys that I had not seen in a while.

Thanks for everything ya'll!

The picture that I am holding was given to me by a kid in the Upstreet program at Buckhead Church. My friend Jonathon is a small group leader for a group of third graders and he had them make me going away cards. Thanks bro. That was cool. (We finally figured out that those are squirrels and acorns in the pic)

Also, I visited them on Sunday morning and Jonathon had the group pray over me for my upcoming trip. It was by far the best send off prayer that I have received to date. It is interesting to have people lay hands on you and pray for you, but when it is a group of third graders it goes to the next level...some of them were pinching me during the prayer and stuff. And one little girl just had her head touching my head. I must say that no one has ever done that before. It was sweet.

And check out my new specs in the pic above. Given the fact that La Paz is so high up in the mountains and that the air is dryer, I am going to have to take out my contacts more. So I thought some new glasses were in order.

What do you think?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Can we talk?

So I finally got up the nerve to tell my six-year old niece Carolyn that I am moving. I totally had a knot in my stomach right before I spoke. I swear it was like I was about to break up with her or something.

Here is a portion of our conversation from last week...

Curt: “So, did you know that I am moving in about three weeks right after Christmas?”

Carolyn: “You are? Where are you going?”

Curt: “Well, do you remember Bolivia, that place that I went on the mission trip this past summer?”

Carolyn: “Yes”

Curt: “Well, I am moving there.”

Carolyn: “Forever?”

Curt: “I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

Carolyn: “But you are gonna miss my birthday party. And it is gonna be a Scooby Doo party.”

Curt: “I know. I am very sad about missing your birthday but we can talk on the phone and through the webcam on the computer.”

Man, this is getting tough. I am just starting to see how easy it is to only truly value and appreciate relationships when you know that you are leaving and that everything is about to change. I am getting a big dose of that right now. I am like, “Why didn’t I make more of an effort to spend more time with people when I lived here and it was easier?”

And I have also instituted a no country music rule until I leave. I just can’t take it anymore. It makes me too emotional.

18 days left...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hush Ya’ll

Last Wednesday I spent about four hours at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers. And I think I have mentioned before that I have been going through a weekly discipleship program with the pastor of my home church in Loganville. For the last ten weeks or so we have been meeting and going through some material and discussing the Word and it has been great.

Our last meeting is this Wednesday but last week he asked me to come out to the monastery in Conyers so that I would have the opportunity to enjoy some quiet time with God. He told me that no good discipleship program is complete without experiencing some solitude and silence with God. I arrived around 9 a.m., he showed me around to a few locations and then set me loose to basically just spend time with God until we met up again for lunch. Which forced me to spend about two and a half hours alone with God. After the solitude, my pastor and I enjoyed lunch in silence and then we took a walk around the grounds to chat about my time with God that morning.

I don’t say this to say “Hey, look at me the super Christian missionary guy.” I tell you this to say that I wish I made time with God more of a priority in my schedule.

There have been a few times over the last month or so when I have had a glimpse into what the spiritual discipline of silence and solitude looks like and I must say that it works. This last Wednesday at the monastery was one of those glimpses. There is something amazing about just sitting in complete silence and listening to what God has to say. Too often when I pray I just try to fill the air with all of this info that I think I need to let God know about and not often enough do I just sit in silence and say, “ Ok God, what do you want to tell me today?”

I am trying to get serious about spending time with God each morning before I begin my day. Unrushed, unhurried, undistracted time with God. I want this in place before I move to La Paz because it is going to be so easy for me to get distracted with “ministry” in La Paz and totally neglect my time with God. And it is tough. I found it difficult when I worked 40 hours a week and it is still tough now. Even when I am not working a normal 9-5 job. No matter what our job is…musician, computer programmer, financial advisor or missionary…we will always find things to fill up our schedule and distract us from time with God.

I want more time with God and I want a deeper relationship with Him. But lately it seems like although I want that end result I am unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to get there. A deeper relationship with someone requires spending time together.

How can I expect to magically grow closer to God by not spending time with Him? I just don’t think it is going to happen.

And I think that our culture totally frowns on us stopping to be still and listen to God. I think sometimes we are afraid of what God might tell us if we stop, get quiet and just listen to Him.

I struggle with this. But I want to grow in my relationship with God. I just encourage you to do whatever you can to spend some down time with God. Some undistracted, unhurried, unrushed time.

We just might grow closer to Him.