Sunday, June 29, 2008


So I played soccer this afternoon and my right knee popped out of place again.

You might not know this but I started having problems with my right knee back in high school. It popped out of place when I was playing soccer with my brother and I had to have surgery.

I had more trouble with the knee in college. It popped out again while I was playing basketball. Luckily for me Jim Donnan, the University of Georgia football coach at the time, was there that day and invited me to stop by and see the football team doctors at the Athletic Center. Sweet I know. (The big guys were like...why are they treating the water boy's injury in here?)

It has popped out of place a few times after college and I even had another surgery to repair cartilage a few years ago.

And today, while playing soccer here in La Paz, it popped out again. Doh! And I was playing pretty well up until that point too. I have an ace bandage on my knee right now as you can see. It is sore and there is a little swelling but not much.

Every time this happens I think that my days of playing sports are over. I think I would be fine if I spent some good quality time rehabilitating my knee. My right thigh muscle is just not strong enough and my knee is weak.

Or maybe I am just 30.

Happy Anniversary to Me

Six months ago TO THE DAY I left everything that I knew behind.
I got on a plane in Atlanta with a whole new life in front of me.
It was a totally clean slate.
I was still the same Curt but everything around me was thrown upside down.

I left my family.
I left my friends.
I left my home.
I left earning a paycheck.
I left being comfortable.
I left predictability.
I left speaking English all the time.
I left my favorite restaurants.
I have missed birthdays.
I have missed a wedding.
I have missed little things that you don’t miss unless you go.

And what have I found in six months?
I have found a new language.
I have found friends and family in another culture.
I have found a deeper relationship with my maker.
I have found a greater appreciation for my country.
I have found joy and peace like never before.
I have found out how to be less ashamed of Christ.
I have found true worship.
I have found unexpected ways to talk to people back home about God.
I have found struggles like never before.
I have found victory over those struggles like never before.
And I have found why I was created in the first place.

I just want to wish myself a happy 6th month anniversary here in Bolivia. I was thinking the other day about what I might share with people when I visit home at the end of the year. And I started a list of the things that I have seen God do here in six months and the things that He has allowed me to be a part of in six months.

And I just became overwhelmed.

These six months have simply been the start to the greatest adventure that I have ever had in my life. And as I have said on many occasions. I know that I am exactly where God wants me to be doing exactly what He wants me to do.

And you can’t put a price on those feelings.

So in honor of being here six months I just wanted to share a few of the things that God has allowed me to be a part of so far…

• Completely renovating the sound equipment at one of the churches here so that we can enter into worship that much easier.
• Helping to raise funds for a dental office that provides free dental care to poor kids who couldn’t think about affording the care.
• Helping to raise funds for a mission outreach in Southern Bolivia so that the kids there who live in tents and tarps can have educational materials and have tables and chairs.
• Helping a ministry who ministers to youth with addictions create new promotional materials.
• Helping a ministry that trains teachers to evangelize kids create new promotional materials and a new website.
• Helping a ministry called RockSalt ministries relaunch their brand and their ministry through a new website.
• Buying ice cream for a little girl and telling her that Jesus loves her.
• Experiencing a revival of the Spirit in my heart and life like never before.
• Directing a national marketing campaign for a 24 hour worship, prayer and fasting event called El Día.
• Raising funds for a ministry to build a hand rail on the stairs in their building. Just so less kids will fall.
• Getting to travel around to various cities and places in Bolivia to get to know this country more.
• Getting to share testimony with folks back home and impact them more than I ever would if I still lived there.

So don’t ever let me say that I don’t see God at work. Because I see Him all around me, everyday. There is so much that God is doing right now. The list above is just a sample.

Heres to the next six months.


Saturday, June 28, 2008


...I really miss them.

My niece Averi takes up soccer...oh man how cute is she?

And my oldest niece Carolyn and little Benjer enjoying their adorable.

Only about 5 more months you three.
Get ready.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I can hear the bells...

So what's up with all the people getting married right now?
I have to send shout outs and congrats to several of my friends right now.

My friend Jonathan from my small group back home just got married a few weeks ago.

I think my friend Jim from my small group back home just got engaged. I need to call him and confirm this.

My friend Erlan here in La Paz just got engaged too.
He is getting married this fall.

And last but not least, one of my best friends Warren just got engaged too. I am so thankful that I will be home at the end of the year to celebrate with him for his New Years Eve bash/wedding extravaganza.

Congrats to all you guys!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Have you ever had so much to do that you just had to laugh?

I am at that point right now. There is just no way.
It is just funny. I have to giggle.

Just FYI

If you are ever in Bolivia and you want to get something done...
Email doesn't work.
You have to call.

Just so you know.

San Juan

Tonight was the San Juan celebration in Bolivia.
They celebrate because today is supposedly the coldest day of the year. People burn fires in the streets and roast hot dogs and marshmallows. There is a big cloud of smoke over the city right now.

I had forgotten that tonight was San Juan until my friend Febe called me this afternoon and invited me to go to her brother's house to hang with her family and friends. I am so glad she called. I had a blast. Met some new people. Ate a few hot dogs like someone who is taking antibiotics for a bacterial infection should NOT eat. And man...I had not had a roasted marshmallow in I don't know how long.

Thanks Febe.
It was great.
It is good to be around other people.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Forgot to mention something else about my visit to the doc...

They weighed me.

And get this...I currently weigh 158 lbs.
Just so you know I weighed right at 190 lbs when I arrived 6 months ago.

I like being slimmer but I think that 30 lbs in 6 months might be pushing it. Mom - I promise I am eating.

And look it...I have even had to cut two new holes in my belt. Yikes.

So there’s…

…a first time for everything I guess. These last few days I have experienced my first visit to a clinic here in Bolivia (Praise God it took six months!) and my first bacterial infection here in Bolivia (Nice).

My wonderful family here took me to a clinic near my house called ProSalud. Interestingly enough this clinic is funded and supported by USAID – which is a US government agency that provides economic and humanitarian aid worldwide. One thing the agency does is work to strengthen health systems in developing countries. So I have Uncle Sam to thank for my cheap prices here.

Here is the breakdown: (This is walking in the door without any insurance)
Consultation with doctor - $5.71
Initial meds prescribed to settle my stomach - $8.42
Lab tests to see what the deal was - $14.28
One week of antibiotics to cure bacterial infection - $21
Realizing that the meds they gave me (Cipro) were the same exact meds that I brought with me from the states and had at home already…Priceless.

Lesson learned I guess. I already had the meds that I needed all along. (Thanks Melissa for the 100 tablets of Cipro that you gave me before I left.) I actually needed to use them and I went and bought more.

So there you have it. I am taking antibiotics for the next week to cure my bacterial infection. I am avoiding dairy products, soft drinks and greasy/fried foods. But at least it is not a viral infection. I think that is worse. Not sure.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I am sick again today. Don't know what is up.
This is twice in the last few weeks that I have had stomach issues.
I am weak and tired today and I can't do much of anything. I felt fine until I woke up this morning.

Hopefully this will go away in a day like last time...back to bed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rhythm of Life

So when I was at my three-week missionary training this past fall they talked to us alot about soul care. How can we care for our soul and maintain closeness to God in a fog of adaptation cross-culturally.

Well I came across one thing in my training notebook recently and it really stuck in my mind. I thought I would share it because I think it can apply to all of us.

I even have a visual aid for you.

This is a diagram that they gave us which shows the rhythm of Jesus' life. How He did life basically. You will notice that it is a cycle between three major areas...solitude, community and ministry.

And if you study the life of Jesus I think you will agree and find this to be true. Jesus was often off by himself with the Father resting and renewing. And He certainly spent alot of time in a small community environment with His disciples and alot of time teaching/healing/praying/ministering to the larger community.

I started thinking about this because our goal as Christ followers is to become more like Christ. And although we will never get to that finish line in this life, it is still our motivation.

So in my quest to be more like Christ I have decided that I really want the rhythm of MY life to mirror the rhythm of His life as shown above.

I want my life to be characterized by a constant cycle of solitude, community and ministry. Solitude. Community. Ministry. Solitude. Community. Ministry.

So how am I doing you might ask? Good question.

I graded myself and I give myself about a C in solitude. Average. I could definitely spend more time alone with God but living by myself gives me an advantage in the solitude arena I think. The question my solitude good or bad solitude? I can improve with the quality of my solitude.

For ministry I give myself a B. I can always do more and the list of projects is never ending but I feel like God has really used me in my first 6 months here and I think that He is using this Blog to share testimony with folks back home more than I could have ever dreamed.

For community I give myself a big fat D. I am not totally failing in the area of community but I am still struggling. Community is by far my biggest challenge right now. I think I put the least amount of importance on community. I just flat out need to pick up the phone and call people more. Period. I need way more outbound community.

But what I like about Jesus is that I think He considered all of these areas equally important. In His mind there was a place and time for each one and He MADE time for all of them.

So what about you?
Solitude. Community. Ministry.

How would you score? Which area do you make the least amount of time for?
I just want to encourage you. Find your weakest area and prayerfully ask God to help you make time.

For me, I am prayerfully asking God to help me make time to pick up the phone more.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Almost Forgot

So I almost forgot. My friend Becca brought me several gifts when she came but I wanted to show you my favorite.

Check it out...

That's's my "A BULLDOG SLEEPS HERE" pillow case.
How cool is that? I dig it.


The Triumphal Entry

The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the King of Israel!”

John 12: 12 – 13

The revival continues here in La Paz. I do not think the nightly healing/worship services will stop. Seriously. We are scared to stop. More churches are getting involved. More worship leaders are getting involved. Why stop? We are training for an eternity of worshipping in Heaven so what’s wrong with stretching our legs a little bit?

The verses above literally jumped off the page at me during the worship service this past Saturday night. I think that the verses mirror what I feel we are going through right now. We know the King is coming. And there are groups of believers who are on their way to meet Him, just like the people from Jerusalem in the verses above. There is a group that is shouting. They are not sitting back and waiting.

It’s nice to say that you want Jesus to come back.
But it’s a whole different thing to actually grab a palm branch, get on the road and go and meet Him.

I will be honest with you…I have not been one in the past to truly desire Jesus coming back. I still think sometimes that if Jesus came back now it would mess up all the plans I have for my life here. But the more I pursue Him the more I find myself truly wanting to be with Him.

My prayer for you and me is that we don’t just sit back and wait.
Let’s go put some palm branches down on the road and welcome Him.

Here is what I was seeing this past Saturday night as I wrote this. I know the picture is a little blurry and dark but the large banner behind the stage shows the sky over La Paz and shows a large zipper literally ripping the sky open.

The words read “Cielos Abiertos. Oh, si rasgaras los cielos y descendieras.”
Which in American English means, “Opened Skies. Oh that you would tear open the sky and descend.”

We want Him back.

My prayer for those of you who have a personal relationship with Christ already is that you will truly cry out for Him to come back. And realize that when He comes back life will be better.

My prayer for those of you who haven’t given Christ a chance in your life is that you will just want Him.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thanks Becca

So my friend Becca left La Paz this past Friday morning.

I felt bad because she definitely had some travel issues coming and going. On the way down she missed her flight from Atlanta to Miami so she left late and in Miami they gave her problems with the letter of invitation that I sent her and they would not let her get on the plane. She had to stay overnight in Miami. This past Friday we got to the La Paz airport only to find out that her plane would be delayed about five hours. Which caused her to miss her connecting flight from Miami back to get the idea.

But through all of that travel craziness I believe that once she was here she had a great time. We were able to do a good amount of sightseeing and I was able to check a few things off the list of things that I want to see here in Bolivia. The highlight was the two days we spent at Lake Titicaca.

Check out my Lake Titicaca photo album.

Also, we were able to visit a few projects with one of the street ministries here. We visited one area near a river and we were able to minister to and provide bread to some men who struggle with alcohol and who live by the river. Then we visited another pretty poor area where there were about 25 kids running around. We were able to provide bread to them as well and we were able to play and hang with the kids for awhile. Soccer. Rock/Paper/Scissors. It was great.

Becca got to meet some of my friends and co-workers as well. All in all I think she left changed. It is hard to come to a place like this and leave in the same state as the state you are in when you arrive. You can’t help but open your eyes some to how big the world is and how big God is.

Check out some photos from our project visits and other random photos from her visit.

For me, one thing Becca really did was encourage me. And she really helped me make my home more homey. As you might have seen on my Cribs video my house was pretty bare. Nothing on the walls. Nothing. Well Becca helped me go shopping and really begin to add some color to my place. Girls. She has definitely motivated me to invest a little more in my surroundings. And so far so good. I feel much more comfortable at home now.

Here are a few photos of some new additions to the place…

Color for the table...

Some landscapes for the dining room wall...

A shot of the living room...much better...

Black and white Bolivian kids...a constant reminder of why I am here...

Blankets draped over chairs and pillows on the couch...

Cool art for the wall by the bathroom...

A colorful table by the stairs where my photos from home will be...

Color going up the stairs...

It's what I like to call progress. Thanks Becca.
Glad you made it back safely.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just For You

So if you use iTunes I am sure that you know that Apple tracks everything you buy and sends you recommendations in a little box titled "Just For You." Sometimes their suggestions work and sometimes their suggestions freak you out a little bit.

I am currently in the freak you out stage. Below are the top ten songs that iTunes is recommending just for me. Some I get but some make me a little scared. You will see why.

My Top Ten:
MMMBop - Hanson
Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
Easy - The Commodores
We Got the Beat - The Go-Go's
Dirrty (Featuring Redman) - Christina Aguilera
Electric Boogie (Radio Mix) - Marcia Griffiths
Mysterious Ways - U2
Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning - Chris & Sting
Monday, Monday - The Mamas and the Papas


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back Home

We made it back from the lake last night. Just wanted you to know.
My friend Becca has just three more days here and then she will be heading back to the states. I will have a new batch of photos for you later this week. The lake was absolutely beautiful. And I can totally see why it is in the running to be one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Can't wait to show you the photos.

What was not beautiful was the fact that I got food poisoning. I was very sick yesterday. I feel better now thank God.

Sidenote: We got back last night to find out that yesterday 300,000 people surrounded the US Embassy here in La Paz and were trying to break in because they are upset that the US is giving the former President of Bolivia asylum in the states. They want to bring him back here so they can charge him for crimes and try to kill him I think. The embassy decided to close for today because the protesters are supposed to be back again today. So I don't think my little white-skinned self will be going by the US Embassy today.

I think I will just go to Burger King and hide under a table.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


I have heard it said that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
In my current situation with my family and friends I now know this is true. I miss my family and friends now more than ever.

But what about with God?

When you are separated from the presence of God do you grow fonder of Him? Or does your absence from Him make your heart go yonder? Do you miss Him? Are you sad when you don’t feel close to Him?

These past two weeks I have started to learn what it feels like to miss the presence of God. I am starting to long for His presence more and more. I am basically in the middle of a revival right now. The healings continue here in La Paz and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit continues. It is simply overwhelming. And all of us here don’t exactly know what is happening but we know that God is doing something BIG.

And this is what I started to think about. And I know that others here feel the same. We are experiencing the presence of God with such force right now that as we leave and go about our day we are starting to miss Him. Not like a “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice if we felt the presence of God right now” missing Him. I mean like a “I need God’s presence so much right now that I am going to do whatever I can to get more of it” missing Him. It is a deep longing in our souls that something is missing. Have you ever felt that? Truly felt that?

Have you ever felt the presence of God so much that when you didn’t feel it you missed Him? Have you ever had a void so big filled in your life that you are super sensitive when it is not as strong?

Take the person that you love the most in this entire world and imagine being separated from them. You would of course miss them deeply. Do you feel that way with God?

I can now say that I can feel this. I have felt God’s presence so much these past two weeks that when I go some time without seeking His presence I just don’t feel right. Something is missing and I am hyper-sensitive to it right now. We have been having these amazing experiences with Christ each night that when we go about our day we just miss Him.

From what I have seen and experienced I think this is where the Body of Christ is headed. We are heading towards constant worship of our Lord and Savior. Not to say that serving others is unimportant. All I am saying is that I sense us going after Him more than ever. Or maybe I am going away Him more than ever and I am just running into others along the way. No idea.

I asked the worship leader for these nightly worship and healing services if the church was going to continue the services or stop this Saturday night like they originally thought. He told me that they will probably continue and he told me why. He said that they feel like they are on a train right now and they are scared to stop because they don’t know what will happen. They are scared to stop worshipping and healing every night because once you experience the presence of the Spirit like this…how can you stop?

How CAN we stop?

I love it and that is what I feel. I have experienced the Spirit so much these past few weeks and I have experienced so much victory, joy and peace in my life that I cannot stop.

If I go a day without seriously seeking His presence I just don’t feel right. I wish that for you. And I know that there are people who read my blog that are on different levels and at different places spiritually. Some might get what I am talking about and some might think that I am crazy.

But I wish that every one of you could experience the presence of God so much that you truly, deeply miss Him when you go about your daily business.

Curt the Tour Guide

So...I am in tour guide mode right now. Don't have it down yet but I have had a few people visit by now and I am getting better. My friend Becca is here visiting me right now. We are doing some sightseeing around La Paz and we are visiting some of the projects that I am working with as well. Tomorrow we will be heading to Lake Titicaca. Supposedly one of Bolivia's most beautiful attractions and something that I have yet to experience.

Expect some photos and a recap of her trip later next week.

But for your viewing enjoyment until I am eating a huge glass of chocolate ice cream at a restaurant in La Paz...

On your mark...get set...go!

About half way through and getting sleepy...

Down for the count...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Throw up a Prayer

Here ye. Here ye.

This weekend is the Viva Network World Weekend of Prayer for children at risk. All over the world, the body of Christ will be praying for every kid who is abandoned, abused, malnourished, orphaned, etc…

Basically, the kids who have the deck stacked against them simply by the circumstances into which they are born. I held one in my arms just today visiting a very poor section of La Paz with my friend Becca. We are praying for their lives, for their safety and protection and for their salvation in Jesus Christ.

Please join us.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hudson Taylor

So some months before moving here to La Paz I was going through a discipleship program with my pastor back home and he recommended that I read a book called Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. Hudson Taylor was a very well-known missionary to China in the 1800s. One of the first people to try to take the Gospel message to the inland of China.

Well when I read the book sometime this past fall I took some notes because it really impacted me. Well this morning here in La Paz I stumbled across the notes I had written. I wanted to share a few with you. Maybe I shared these with you last fall but they have so much more meaning to me now five months into the mission field. So here we go again…just a few that jumped out at me.

• “God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supplies.”
• “The work they were undertaking was far too great to be limited to any one denomination.”
• “We may have more wealth in these days, better education, greater comfort in traveling and in our surroundings, even as missionaries, but have we the spirit of urgency, the deep, inward convictions that moved those who went before us; have we the same passion of love, personal love for the Lord Jesus Christ? If these are lacking, it is a loss for which nothing can compensate.”
• “No matter how intricate my path, how difficult my service. No matter how sad my bereavement, how far away my loved ones are. No matter how helpless I am, how deep my soul-yearnings are – Jesus can meet all my needs, and more than meet them.”
• The hardest part of a missionary career, Mr. Taylor found, is to maintain regular, prayerful Bible study. “Satan will always find you something to do.”

I hope these bless and encourage you like they did me.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I should be sleeping right now. My friend Becca will be arriving into La Paz at 5:30 a.m. and I should be getting some rest.

But instead I am typing.

I felt the weight of all my projects earlier tonight. I was doing so well and then BANG I felt the pressure again.

But I realized two things that are making me feel better...

There will always be more work to do.

Seriously. This Helps. This helps because part of my stress problem is that I think that if I work frantically enough and kill myself working that one day I will actually finish everything. I honestly think that there is an end to this work someday. But I realized that there will always be more work to do. And for some strange reason this helps me calm down and just focus on what God places right in front me and not on all of the things I will never be able to do.

I am putting the expectations on myself.
This really helps too because realizing that I am my own problem means that I really only need to deal with one It is not others who are putting pressure on me to perform, everyone I talk to just thanks me for being here and helping. I am putting pressure on myself to perform. I expect so much of myself. And at least I know it and can identify it. And I tell ya...once I can deal with this issue internally I bet I smile, laugh and just enjoy life way more.