Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Somebodys watchin me…

So I am a red-haired white-skinned guy in a predominantly “not as white as me” culture. And when I arrived in Bolivia seven months ago I really felt the eyes on me. I could feel people looking at me as I walked down the street and thinking “What is that red-haired white-skinned dude doing here?”

Then some time went by and it passed. For a very long time now I have been able to walk down the street and not really feel or notice any eyes staring me down.

Until this happened…

Until the red-haired white-skinned dude starting holding hands with a brown-haired dark-skinned Bolivian girl. Hi there eyes. I missed you. I really feel the eyes on me when Paola and I walk down the street together. They look at her. They look at me. And they probably think “What is that red-haired white-skinned dude doing holding hands with that brown-haired dark-skinned Bolivian girl?”

I am not saying that it bothers me. I am just saying that I can feel the eyes again. Paola and I have talked about it. We are comfortable with the difference in our skin color. I probably think about it more than her.

For me what I like is that it is a simple statement of how great our God is. For me it reminds me that our God is bigger than cultural differences.
He is bigger than skin color.
He is bigger than any obstacle that comes our way.

"Knee-d" a Month

So while I was in Cochabamba I visited another doctor to talk about my knee. I really liked this doctor and he definitely seemed like he knew what he was talking about. But he also told me actually what I was hoping to hear so I guess that helps some too.

We took more X-rays of my knee from more angles and he told me that he did not agree with the other doctor who told me that I needed surgery immediately. This new doctor in Cocha has recommended that I have 20 sessions of physical therapy (good thing because I have already started) and then come back and see him.

He wants me to be serious about rehabilitating the muscles in my knee for this next month of August. And then in September he wants me to begin to play some sports again, after I have been doing therapy for a month.

And it is kinda a test.

If I have the same problem with my knee AFTER my therapy then I WILL need surgery. But I am going to give the therapy a chance to do its thing.

I will keep you posted if anything else develops.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I am currently back in Cochabamba.

My friend Pablo and I got up yesterday morning at 5 a.m. to head here. He drove his car and it was only about a 4.5 hour drive. It was cool because I had flown to Cocha and I had taken a bus before but I had never come in the car with a friend.

Beautiful mountains in this country.

Our purpose:
Pablo and I had a meeting yesterday with directors of a few large organizations in Bolivia. The goal was to discuss how we can all work better together. I was in over my head because all of these folks have serious experience so I just ate lunch and listened. One good thing I have learned over the years is when NOT to talk.

Yesterday I also got to see my wonderful girlfriend Paola for a few hours. She was in town with some youth from La Paz for a conference. It had only been three days since I had seen her but you know...

And today Pablo and I are visiting a knee doctor here for another opinion on my knee issues.

We head back to La Paz tomorrow morning. 5 a.m.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

At last...

...two new videos running on Curt TV.

A Cribs 2.0 video (new additions to the house)
A July 2008 update (where I stand seven months in)

You can wait for them to cycle through or check them out through the ON DEMAND video function.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sacrifice = Blessings

I am really starting to see this in my life.
That with sacrifice comes amazing blessings from God.
And I hope that when you read that you think, “Yeah, me too.”
And not “I wish I knew.”

My biggest sacrifice that I can remember has been moving here.
Picking up. Leaving my family. Leaving my friends. Leaving guaranteed income. Answering the call of God to move here to La Paz. For me…that was a sacrifice. But I must tell you that with that specific sacrifice has come extraordinary blessings.

The opportunity to see God at work here in La Paz has been an amazing blessing. To see God at work in another culture…in another language. I can’t put that blessing into words. The opportunity to use the skills God blessed me with to serve His kingdom here is something that I will never regret. In fact, regret is one of my biggest fears.

I want to stand before God one day and have the least amount of regrets as possible. I know there will be some. I already have some. But I also have the opportunity to use the time that God gives me to minimize them.

God has blessed me with great friends here. A great church. Good health. A great place to rest at night.

I write all of this so that HE will get the glory. It is His fault that I am here. I didn’t even want to come to La Paz. But He knew. He had a plan.

He knew that He needed me here to serve. And that has been totally clear these first seven months.

And as if that was not enough…throw meeting the love of your life into the equation and I really hit my knees to thank Him. Again. He knew. I didn’t want to come to this city. But so that He could get the glory…He called me here.

And also so that He could get the glory He brought this amazing child of His, Paola, into my life. Just so I could say…it is because of God that I am here. So Praise Him. It is because of God that I met Paola. So Praise Him.

God ‘s ultimate goal is for Himself to be glorified.

With sacrifice comes blessing. Are you lacking a blessing in your life?
It just might be because you do not feel a sacrifice in your life. Take a risk. Is God calling you to do something? Are you scared?

Taking the steps are hard sometimes…but the blessing God has in store just around the corner can be spectacular.

Give God the chance to come through for you in an unbelievable way.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You had me at “Hola”

Ok. So I am in love. Cross-cultural love.
What a crazy experience so far.

We will see where God takes this. But He is at the center of it all and I am thanking Him every single day for walking this amazing girl into my life.

Here is the tale of the tape:
Name: Paola Ruth Aramayo Montenegro
24 years old
Super Christian
From La Paz
Finishing school to be a lawyer
Worked for the last two years at an orphanage outside of La Paz
Great with kids/loves kids/works with kids
Sharp dresser
Plays Guitar
Plays Piano
Plays Sports
Dances Salsa
Puts ketchup on her pizza (Yuck)
Favorite channels: Discovery channel and TNT
Oldest of three (One brother and one sister)
Doesn’t like scary movies
For some reason digs me

And here are a few photos that we have been able to snap of her so far…I'm sure there will be more in the future...

Paola with my friend Flora (from my home church)...

Us snapping pics of her like crazy...


We call ourselves "Cafe con Leche" which means "Coffee with Milk"...I think that pretty much sums it up...


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Love, Love, Love

Sorry ya'll.
I feel like I have been a little absent recently.
And I feel like I have been neglecting my blog.

I have new videos to work on for you.
The video update I currently have running is old.
You need a new one.
I'm sorry.

There are several reasons for my neglect:
I have been super busy since I got back in town from Cochabamba. And I am overflowing with projects right now and I can't see straight. I did fine blogging while I was in Coch but I haven't had much time since getting back.

But probably the biggest reason right now is that I am totally head over heals in love. About a month ago I met an amazing Christian girl here in La Paz and we just recently officially had "the talk." For those of you who don't is the "DTR" talk...the "Define the Relationship" talk. The "What are we?" talk.

And what am I you might ask?

I am seriously in love...that's what I am. And I promise to post more info about her so that you can get to know her. She is great but the coolest thing is that Christ is totally at the center of it all. And man...I must tell you that finally building a relationship on the right things feels so great. I just praise God that he brought her into my life and I am excited to see where He leads us.

So please bear with me. I am kinda in lala land right now.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another First

So today I get to experience another first here in Bolivia.
I will be attending my first wedding here in La Paz.

One of the organizations that I am helping is called LIBOPEN. They specialize in child evangelism. They train workers and Sunday school teachers to help them better present the gospel message to kids. Great mission. I am helping them improve their website, create a new brochure and figure out some ways to receive funds from the states.

Well...a girl who volunteers at LIBOPEN is from the states and she is marrying a Bolivian dude today. And as you can see above they gave me an invite.

Should be a cool experience today. It will be the second time in seven months that I have been given a chance to put on the suit.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Sorry ya'll.

It has been a busy last few days hosting the two folks from home.
The training on Monday and Tuesday turned out great and yesterday was a holiday here. The 16th of July is the anniversary of La Paz so we hosted some new friends at my house. It was rad. More on that later.

But here is a knee update for you...
I have visited two different doctors this week. As I mentioned, the first one is the team doctor for the Bolivian national soccer team. He seemed to know his stuff but when I chatted with him and gave him my whole story he immediately suggested that I have another surgery as a long-term fix to my knee problem. He said that because my knee has popped out more than five times, that I need to have a surgery to reposition the tendon in my knee to strengthen it. He seemed to know his stuff but the only thing that erked me was that I asked if we should have an x-ray done to confirm everything and he said that we didn't need too because we already knew what the problem was...hmmmmm....

And today I went to see another doctor. It is a clinic at the soccer stadium that specializes in sports medicine and physical therapy. I talked with the doc and explained the issue and my desire for an x-ray and he was happy to oblige. His suggestion to me is that he wants to run a few strength tests on both my knees to see how my left knee (good knee) differs from my right knee (bad knee). He wants to test my knee muscles because he thinks that my muscle on the outside of my right knee is alot stronger than the muscle on the inside of my right knee and that could be the reason for my instability. The bottom line with this guy is that he did NOT immediately suggest surgery. He is going to test my knee tomorrow and I will probably do a physical therapy program with him for 10 days and then we will reevaluate.

So...the journey continues...

Monday, July 14, 2008

So let it be written... let it be done.

I have an appointment with a knee specialist today at 6:30 p.m.

And you know how I roll.
He just happens to be the official doctor for the Bolivian National Soccer Team.

What what. God is so good to me.

First Aid

Here is what I am looking at this fine Monday morning of July 14th.

The majority of the team from my home church is still in Cochabamba but one gent, Doug Cunnington, and his wife, Flora, are here in La Paz for just three days because Doug is giving classes on First Aid/CPR.

This is cool because most of the people here are from ministries that work directly with kids and this info is invaluable. It is just something we take for granted in the states. The people here just don’t get this kind of basic training regularly. This is just a simple example of how God is working to better serve the kids here in La Paz.

And I am just happy to be a part of it.

P.S. – Speaking of injuries…I am trying to setup an appointment with the knee doctor for later this afternoon. I will let you know. Please pray that he doesn’t tell me that I need another surgery.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Knee-d" Help

Ok. I officially "Knee-d" some help.

It is time to stop being stubborn and get serious about going to the doctor.

I was walking down the street last night (with a knee brace on I might add) and I hit a slippery part of the street and my right knee popped out of place again. It hurt.

That just shows you how weak my muscles are around my knee right now.

My friend Pablo had knee problems in the past and knows a well-known, well-respected knee doctor here in La Paz. I am going the first chance I get. And I am going to start physical therapy as soon as possible to build my strength back up.

I've had enough.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Sayonara Cochabamba.

In just a few short hours I will be heading back home to La Paz.

I had a great time this week with the people from my home church. As you can read in my previous few posts...God did some pretty amazing things during my visit this week.

But I would be lying if I told you that I wasn't excited about getting home. There is someone in La Paz that I am ready to see again.

Next Stop: El Alto International Airport

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Solomon Klein

Wow. Yesterday I wrote…God only knows what tomorrow holds. Well “today” was that “tomorrow” that I wrote about yesterday and what a day it was. I took a break from the construction site today to spend time with other members of the team from my home church of Holy Cross.

It was a truly heartbreaking amazingly beautiful day.

The highlight of the day was the afternoon we spent at a very large orphanage called Solomon Klein. The team had already spent time there the last few days but they keep going back. Today I joined them.

This is a seriously huge orphanage. There are so many kids. We spent the afternoon with just the 3 – 5 year olds and I promise there were at least 50 of them. Not counting our team there were about 6 workers with them. For 50 kids.

The workers do a tremendous job but you can imagine the difficulty with that many kids.

We arrived just after nap time was over and the kids simply mobbed us. We sat inside with the kids for a little while and they watched some TV. Then we hit the playground with them. These kids are so thirsty for love and affection. They are starved in fact. They just want to be held and shown love. They eat it up.

I sat down on the floor and I immediately had about 5 kids hanging on me. We all did. We were all swamped with kids. They were playing with my watch, asking me why I didn’t have more gum (I was stupidly chewing gum), taking things out of my pocket, playing with my hair, laughing at me, laughing with me. You name it.

I have been to a good amount of homes for kids now and at most places the kids call you “tia” or “tio”. That is Spanish for “Aunt” and “Uncle”. Well, I have to tell you that this is the very first orphanage that I have ever been to where the kids call you “Mama” and “Papa”. I don’t think I have to translate that for you. I think you get it.

Can you imagine how your heart breaks when you hear a kid you just met call you dad? That’s starving.

My heart broke for them today. But I don’t leave depressed and dejected anymore. When I first experienced orphanages I was so completely overwhelmed emotionally that I left so down and out. Not anymore. I leave these places so joyful now. Because I stopped thinking about how to rid the world of orphans and I started thanking God and rejoicing in the fact that for two hours I got to show unconditional love to some kids who need it the most.

God helped me meet my hug quota today.

Hugging orphans and looking up into the sky with them and talking to them about how God is a God of love is something that I will never get tired of. But I is heart-wrenching stuff. Especially your first few times. I can speak Spanish with the kids so we can get a little deeper in our conversation. One little girl told me that she was going to go to a different place tomorrow. Her mommie told her.

I wonder if that is true or if her mommie is even alive and wants to have anything to do with her.

Kids just want to be loved.

And God showed love to some kids through me today. All I know is that when kids were hanging around Jesus I bet they mobbed him just like they mobbed the five of us today.

And I bet He loved every minute of it just like we did.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Day two at the construction site: Ruth

We made a good amount of progress today on the new room for the church. We were able to pour concrete for two more columns and we dug more ditches. It was a very fruitful today.

But my day was highlighted by my time with Ruth.

Here is a photo of us just chillin...

She was at the site yesterday but she was very shy and would not really talk to anybody. Well she was back this morning and she grabbed my hand and would not let me go for a while. I love showing love and attention to these kids in the really poor areas. You just get the sense that they are seriously starved for love and attention. One kid at a time I keep telling myself.

My new friend Ruth is five years old. Her hair was matted really bad and I noticed as I was holding her hand that she had some pretty bad warts on her hands. She told me that they were hurting her. So when our taxi driver, Oscar, left I asked him to stop by the pharmacy for some ointment to cure the warts. When he returned this afternoon a little boy led us to Ruth’s house and Oscar gave the medicine to her mom and explained to her in Quechua (Indigenous Dialect) what she needed to do.

Ruth’s brother had a few on him as well.

Oh well…you never know if the mom will actually use the ointment or not on Ruth. We opened it so hopefully she will not just sell the ointment to someone. You never know.

But the cool thing is that if I keep my eyes open, every day God gives me the opportunity to be intentionally involved in the life of someone else.

Today it was so I could hold Ruth’s hand and buy her a treatment that will hopefully cure her painful warts. God only knows what tomorrow holds.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Get set…Go

I am here safe and sound in Cochabamba. My missionary friends Larry and Betty are letting me stay in their guest room. It is great. Already I have eaten Sloppy Joes and Pancakes. Ah yeah. I kinda feel like I am their son and that I am visiting from college or something. They are great and I praise God for them.

There are seven people from my home church here for about the next ten days serving in various capacities. One guy is an ex-paramedic and he is giving classes at a hospital. There is a group planning a vacation bible school for some kids and another group is working with a local construction project.

My job for today and tomorrow is to help the team at the construction site. We are helping a local church construct another room onto their building. The church is outside of Cochabamba in a very poor area. Not very strong electricity and no running water. I am helping them with translation and I am picking up a shovel myself to do some manual labor.

I am ditching my marketing hat for these two days to get dirty, dig, mix concrete and help this church construct a Sunday school room for the kids. I am sore right now but it is nice to mix it up a little and do some “real” work.

Here are a few photos from the day…

Dan is helping put a form in place to pour concrete for a column...

Steve digging a ditch in between columns...

I promise I used this shovel after the photo...

See...I told you I used the shovel...

You always find kids wherever you go...

Mixin the concrete...

Thanks Father. For giving me yet another way to serve You.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

On a Jet Plane

So this evening I will be jumping on a plane heading for Cochabamba.

There are seven people from my home church visiting Bolivia right now. I will be joining them in Coch to spend some time with them and to help them in any way that I can. They will be working with a construction project and doing a VBS for some kids.

I will be back in La Paz next Friday afternoon.

I will try to post during my trip to give you a glimpse into what is going down.

Peace and Grace.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Not cool ya'll. Man. Dem ribs look tasty. I wish I was there with you.

Again. Happy 4th of July!



Olympus - Digital Voice Recorder

Another first today here in La Paz.

I had the first thing ever stolen from me in La Paz. I was stupidly walking with my backpack on the main drag of the city around midday. It was very crowded with people. My friend Pablo was walking with me.

He started to sense that someone was following us. And we stopped and turned around and looked at this guy and he left.

So as we walked a little further we realized that the back pocket of my backpack was open. Oh man.

Someone had opened my back pocket while we were walking and stolen my digital voice recorder from my backpack. My $84 very nice digital voice recorder that my boy Chris bought me before I left. Granted I had not used it very much but still. It feels so frustrating to have something taken from you.

And now as we sit and think about how it all went down I know exactly what happened. It was three people working together. Two girls walked in front of me and blocked my path on the sidewalk and I was forced to stop. And at that moment I think the dude opened my backpack and took the recorder.

Oh well. Big time lesson learned about how I walk with my backpack on these streets and about what I will carry in my backpack. I have a small pocket on the top part of my backpack where my IPOD was and I just thank God that they did not take that.

I am really sad to lose the digital recorder because my friend shelled out some cash for that but to lose my IPOD and the music on my IPOD that keeps me going would have really crushed me and made me cry.

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I just wanted to tell you Why.
Why am I here?
Why do I do what I do?

I am here simply because God called me to be here. About three and a half years ago I truly gave my life to Jesus Christ. My daily life. Not just my Sundays. I began a path of trying to involve Christ in every aspect of my life. Some parts of my life didn’t care about this change and they surrendered easily. But I must tell you that other areas of my life put up a very strong fight and continue to do so. They don’t want Christ to have control.

But I am happy to report that more of my life wants Christ to have control than before. And that is cool.

You might be thinking…that’s great Curt. I am happy for you. I am glad that you have found peace and joy in your life. Good for you. But now I have to get back to MY life. I have to get back to my work.

I am writing this post to tell you that you can have that peace and joy too. I know some people who check out my blog might be Christians and some might not be. I wish the number of unbelievers who read my Blog was higher than the number of believers but I doubt it.

My hope for you is not that you will go to Church on Sundays. In fact, if Jesus was walking this earth right now I doubt He would go to church most Sundays. My hope is that you will fall in love with a Savior who came to this world to die for you. I believe Jesus is the Son of God and I truly believe that He walked on this earth, died for us and then rose from the grave.

I know it sounds narrow and I know that many people think that there cannot possibly be just one way to get to heaven. People think good works do the job. And I know that the Jesus door seems close-minded and narrow but I truly believe Him when He said that He was the only way.

But the cool thing is that although the Jesus door might be narrow, it is totally fair and open to everyone. Salvation is available to everyone, everybody gets in the same way and the price has been paid.

I don’t use this Blog to slam the Gospel down your throat. But my experience with Christ has been so amazing that I have to talk about it. God has been encouraging me lately to write this post. To pray for you and encourage you to give Christ a chance. You might be basing your opinion on Christ on a past church experience or basing it on something that some human being did to you. That’s what I did for a very long time. But I beg you to experience Christ for who He is and not what someone made Him to be. It’s ironic that people – the thing that God uses the most to reach others are the very same things that can be used to drive people far away from God. My guess is that, just like it was for me, you won’t have time for Christ until He actually feels relevant to your life.

And I think the sad thing is that, although they exist, the churches that create environments that make Christ actually relevant are few and far between. I think that there are far more churches that make the Christian life the most boring and unappealing thing ever. No wonder nobody is engaged.

We have all sinned and we cannot spend eternity with God in that state.
So He sent Jesus to die for us and to take our punishment and suffer our death.
If we truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for us and rose from the grave, then we will have eternal life. God knows your heart and if you truly believe this.
And if you truly believe this, you will see evidence of change in your life.
We can’t get into heaven by good works because who is the standard for that?
That is why they call it grace. Because we do not deserve the favor and salvation that God has given us.

But we have to accept it. God gave us free will. The will to choose.
Because He wants us to love Him back.
And He knows that the ultimate expression of love from us is for us to accept Him freely.
If He just forces us to love Him, there is not as much love in that.

Above anything else in this world, my prayer for you is that each and every person who reads this will truly accept Christ as their savior. Don’t wait until your death bed because we never know how much time we have on this earth.

Give me a shout if you want to talk about it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Knee Update

So my knee is still a little swollen. I have been putting ice on it and it is helping. But I am walking so slow. Old people are passing me on the street.

And this is an awful town to have a bum knee in because I walk so much and there are a lot of hills.

But the blessing is that I don’t have to worry about driving. I can take taxis everywhere. So there is always a bright side I guess.

I am going to keep ice on it. But I am looking for a doctor to visit so I can get it X-rayed.

I’ll keep you posted.