Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ciao flight back to Atlanta is next Friday morning.
Less than a week away.

And the goodbyes are starting here in La Paz.

Today I have a goodbye lunch with Paola and her family.
Sunday night some friends are getting together for a goodbye party.

I will only be gone six weeks but will be a week of goodbyes here as a prepare to say hello to the United States of America next Friday.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Verdict...

...from last night is in.

I got my Thanksgiving on.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

So thankful

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Thanksgiving doesn't really show up on the radar screen here in Bolivia but there is a group of us getting together tonight to eat and give thanks.

And I have so much to be thankful for. I wrote in a post a while back that I could spend all day long just thanking God for what He has done in my life and it still would not even come close to being enough.

And if I try to make a list of all the things that I am thankful for I won't be able to cover everything. So I will just say that I am thankful for a God who loves me, cares for me and who thought that I was worth dying for. A God who continues to have faith in me even when I stumble and fall.

Thanks Father. Everything I have is from you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mixin’ it up

So with just about one week left before I board that plane heading back to Miami, it is starting to sink in that I will actually be leaving Bolivia behind for six weeks to come home.

I am feeling a real mix of emotions right now. On one hand I am so ready to come home. I have grown so much this year. I have experienced moments of success and true joy and moments of extreme failure and frustration.

And I just miss the predictability and comfort of home.

But on the other hand I am starting to really feel a weight of sadness in my heart. I am really going to miss La Paz. And it is not just because I will be separated from Paola for three weeks. It is for all the relationships and places that I will be leaving. The food that I have grown to love. The mountains and the clear blue skies. The fumes from the awful public transportation. The kids’ smiles. Savoring a Coke like never before in my life. Speaking Spanish all the time. Everything.

This country has really captured my heart. And although I know that I will only be away for six weeks it is still going to hurt. But I know that the sadness I am going to feel over the lack of La Paz in my heart will be cured by seeing you.

By seeing my family and my friends who I have not seen all this year. By seeing the Atlanta skyline. By eating at all my favorite restaurants. By driving. By speaking English. By sweet tea and southern BBQ. Everything.

There is so much to tell you in person.
No doubt I have changed and you have changed too.
Let’s hope it’s for the better.
I am skinnier that’s for sure.

I am so sappy right now (happy & sad). My days right not are pretty much consumed with preparations for my trip back home, telling people that I can’t help them until next year and planning for my wedding in January here in La Paz. I am almost at the point of opening the suitcases on the floor of my bedroom and starting.

But I just can’t quite do it yet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

EL DIA Recap

EL DIA was truly amazing this past weekend. Thanks for your prayers.
I had been looking forward to this event all year.
I lasted for 19 hours.
We started around 8 p.m. on Friday night and I made it to 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon before I crashed.
19 hours of non-stop praise and worship.

I really needed this opportunity to just stop and worship God. And although my goal was to just praise Him and not ask for anything, God still gave me some pretty strong encouraging words during the event.

One cool thing was that He used other people to speak to both Paola and I and confirm that He has great plans for us as a couple. It was yet another confirmation for both of us that it is God’s will for us to be married. And it is His will that we serve Him as missionaries. It was great for us to get similar words of encouragement separately from different people. That was big for us.

Also, God gave me a very strong encouraging word personally. I felt Him speaking to me early on during the event, like during the first three songs.

I was just praising Him when I felt Him speak to me and say “Thank you Curt for this year in Bolivia. I really appreciate what you did. You left your life behind to come here and serve me and I want you to know that what you did this year did not go unnoticed. I saw.”

He said He knows that I stumbled and fell many times this year, which is so true. I had some serious low points here in Bolivia this year. But He also told me that He knows that I got up each time.

The issue is not whether we fall but how often we get back up. True failure would be to fall and not pick myself up. It is was a great word of encouragement that I received from God. And I’ll admit I broke down a little because I know that I can always do more. I know that I can always work harder.

But I felt God telling me that He appreciated what I did this year.
And it is just like God to do that. To tell me “thank you” and make me just want to give Him everything I got. It makes me want to serve Him so much more.

This event was a great bookend to my first year in Bolivia. Now I am preparing to come home, share what I have seen and experienced this year and then head back to Bolivia in January for year two.

Thanks Father for telling me “thanks.” It makes me happy to know that you are happy. I should be the one telling YOU “thanks.” You should not be the one telling me.

But “thanks” for telling me “thanks.”

Friday, November 21, 2008


Today is the day.
Starting at 7 p.m. tonight.
24 hours of worship, prayer and fasting.
My plan is to not leave the event.
I want to praise God for 24 hours straight.
Not sure if I can make it...but He certainly deserves it.

I can't wait to see what God does.
I hope He rocks my world.
I could use a jolt or two.

Please pray for God to be glorified and for the body of Christ here in Bolivia to be transformed during this event. Pray for the walls of division between the churches here in Bolivia to be smashed in this 24 hour period.

I will give you a recap once it is all said and done.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

License to Wed

First came love...then came Reverend Ronald.

So Paola and I have officially begun pre-marital classes with the pastor who is going to marry us here in La Paz. Pastor Ronald Irene and his wife Nicky are meeting with us to go through some material and just talk. They have a cross-cultural relationship too (He is from Bolivia. She is from England) so that is an added bonus for us.

We already had one session talking about the purpose of marriage in God's plan. And we have about 7-8 more sessions to go. The purpose is not really to finish the material and say, "Yes, now we can get married." The purpose is time together so we can learn more about each, prepare for this next step, and learn from people who have alot more experience.

It should be very eye-opening. We will have a few more sessions before I head back home to the states and more sessions when Paola and I return to La Paz in January.

I already have one book on my reading list...

Men are like Waffles. Women are like Spaghetti.

Anyone read it?
I just started it but it talks about and celebrates some basic differences between men and women. How we both communicate, process emotions, make decisions and learn differently. I am in the early chapters where it is talking about communication. The basic premise is that men process life in boxes and try to solve one issue at a time. But for women, every thought and issue is connected to every other thought and issue in some way.

I just started so I have a ways to go. But it has already given Pao and I a chance to have some good conversations. The book is in English so I am reading it and then we are talking about it in Spanish. She is also reading a book that we are going to discuss as well.

Monday, November 17, 2008

As promised...

Here is a link to some photos of my new apartment in La Paz.
This is where I will be living for at least the next year.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The date is set

So the wedding date is officially set everyone.

On Saturday, January 31st here in La Paz, Bolivia I will be marrying Paola Ruth Aramayo Montenegro. Just about 77 days from now. She will be visiting the states at the end of Dec/start of Jan so she will have a chance to meet my family and friends before the wedding.

I am busy trying to plan her visit. She arrives on Dec. 28 and we head back together to La Paz on Jan. 13. And the wedding planning is underway. We are not thinking about anything really huge but something nice here in one of the Anglican churches in La Paz.

She already has her dress. And we are hoping to work on some invitations these next few weeks before I head back home to Georgia. We will be delivering some printed invitations to our guests here in Bolivia and anybody from the states who wants to make the trip for the wedding is more than welcome to. It is a costly trip to make so we plan on having a reception in Georgia sometime in the future for all the folks who can't make it down here to Bolivia.

We are very excited to see where God takes us as a missionary couple. We appreciate your prayers. I will post more details as the date gets closer.

And I look forward to sharing the details with you in person when I get back to Atlanta in about 20 days. I arrive on Dec. 5.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I want you back

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart.”

“Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Joel 2:12 – 13

Some days I just want to go back to the beginning.

I miss 2005…the first year I truly walked with Christ.
I was on fire. I couldn’t spend enough time with Him.

Every night I was listening to sermons and soaking up His word like nobody’s business.

I wonder if God misses 2005 sometimes too.

Sure I am serving Him as a missionary now in another culture and I am sure He smiles and claps. But I wonder if He secretly wants 2005 back. A year when I was completely on fire.

I have heard that we change and mature as Christians. But I do not believe that the fire we feel during our first year with Christ should die.

Why do I let it die?

I love 2008 but I miss 2005. I want that fire back.

Excuse me…but I have to go look for a match…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thank You

My first year in La Paz is winding down (the countdown clock shows about three weeks left until I head back to Atlanta) and I am trying to reflect on what 2008 meant to me.

But one thing I keep coming back to is the overwhelming gratitude that I have for my family and friends back home who make this whole thing possible. I thank God because He is working in your hearts.

But I seriously would not be able to serve here in Bolivia as a missionary if I didn't have your prayers and your support. So...thank you, thank you, thank you.

And I look forward to telling you "gracias" in person when I get back to the states in December.

As I reviewed my most recent posts I realized that most of them are "What's going on with me" posts and not really "What God is speaking to me" posts. I think that's because I am not making enough one on one time with God. I am not giving Him enough chances to speak to me.

I know that there have been a few sermons and passages that have spoken to me recently but I guess not strongly enough for me to write about them. My lack of alone time with God makes me want to get sick sometimes.

I need Him now more than ever. Someone told me before I left last year for Bolivia that I needed at least an hour every day alone with God. It's not that I feel guilty and think God is checking off a list our cheering when I spend time with Him.

I just miss Him.

I wish I had followed their advice about the one hour each day.
Actually, I think right now I will.

I am going to talk and listen to God for the next hour instead of worshipping this laptop...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I'm back....

Hey y'all.

I am back safe and sound in La Paz. I enjoyed a wonderful few days in Cochabamba attending a workshop talking about the mobilization of resources. It was heavily focused in marketing and fundraising and although not all of the info was new to me, I learned a great deal. And I made a great new contact with the guy who led the workshop. He is the Director of Communications for the Stromme Foundation, a large foundation based in Norway whose vision is a world free of poverty.

Check them out at

They mainly use education and microfinance loans as their tools.

But the whole experience just made we want more focus in my mission here in Bolivia. This past year I felt like I have helped a wide variety of ministries and organizations with marketing projects but I keep feeling in my heart that with some more time here God is going to give me more focus. I guess that is natural when you come to a new environment. You take it all in, see your options, pray and at some point God says..."this."

Well, I think I am just still waiting for the "this."

Something I do have is a fiance who shares the same missionary calling that I do. And I have no doubt that God has a plan for us as a couple. 2009 will be a big year for prayer for us. Praying for direction and guidance as a team. Something tells me in my heart that God is going to burden both Paola and I with a ministry or an orphanage or something...

We both know it is coming and we are waiting anxiously to know what it is that God needs us to do together.

The workshop this past weekend just made me crave that "one specific ministry" more. I want God to say "this" and I want to pour every ounce of marketing & communication creativity that He has given me into it.

God...just say "this" and I will say "ok."

Friday, November 07, 2008


So last night I took an overnight bus with a few other folks to Cochabamba. I am in Cochabamba today and tomorrow attending a workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to learn more about raising/mobilizing funds for projects. It will be taught be someone from the Stromme Foundation, which is a big international foundation based in Norway.

I will be staying at the Bishop's house tonight and I am sure that I will be answering alot of questions about Paola. Speaking of Paola...I really miss her. We will only be separated for a few days but I know that this is but a small taste of what it will feel like in December when we are separated for three full weeks.

I just praise God that she got her visa to the states. That December we will only be separated for three weeks and not five weeks. Praise God.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

She's legal

Hey everybody.

Great news. Paola got her visa today at the US Embassy!!! God is so good. I know that He was at work during this whole process. And they gave her a visa for two years. Sweet. Everything went smoothly. They asked me to come to the window to talk as well and they gave her the visa no problems.'s official. She is coming to the states for a visit at the end of the year. I need to go to work planning her visit. I will be picking her up in Miami on Dec. 28 and she will be staying for a few weeks. We will then travel back to Bolivia together.

I am so excited that she will have the opportunity to meet my family and friends and visit the church. So get ready comes Paola Ruth Aramayo Montenegro. My future wife.

Thank you so much for your prayers. WE will see you soon.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A few things...

I now have the internet up and running at my new place so the phone lines are now open for business again. And I promise a new cribs video next week.

Paola has her visa interview at the US Embassy early tomorrow morning so please pray for her. I really want her to meet y'all at the end of the year.

And I just noticed that the countdown clock on the blog shows 29 days until I come home. I can't wait to see you. What a year.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Hey everybody.

First of all, thanks for all of your comments and messages congratulating me on my engagement to Paola. Thanks for the messages here on the blog. And thanks for the messages and comments on Facebook as well.

We are very very happy and it is all God´s fault.
He is totally to blame.
We can´t tell our story without talking about Him. Figures.
And I think that was what He had in mind.
Something about Him getting the glory or something like that...

Anyway...I also wanted to let you know that not only did I get engaged last Thursday but this past Saturday I moved into a new apartment as well. So there is lots of newness for me right now. I do not have the internet installed in my new place yet so I don´t have access to my Vonage phone right now. I, unfortunately, can´t call the states at the moment from home but I am hoping to have it up and running this week sometime. Which is really bad timing because I have so many people that I want to call right now.

Just wanted to give you a heads up. Lots going on in my life right now and to add to everything I am preparing to come home in 30 days. I have so much to do here in La Paz in this last month and I have alot to do as well to prepare for my trip home.

Keep checking my good ole blog here for the final month play by play.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Engagement happened...I AM ENGAGED!!!

What???? You leave to become a missionary in Bolivia and 11 months later you are engaged?

I know. God is truly amazing. I prayed for a long time that God would let me meet my future wife. It was a huge desire that I had. But I also tried to keep it in the desire box and realize that finding a wife was not something that God owed me. And if it happened I would praise Him...and if it didn't happen I would praise Him.

Well it happened.

And I can see more and more each day how God was working behind the scenes to bring Paola and I together. She is a gift from God and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with her and spend my life serving Christ with her. It is going to be a wild ride for sure.

But this past Thursday night, October 30th, I invited her to have dinner with me at a restaurant at the top of one of the hotels here in La Paz. And I proposed. I broke down. She broke down. But most importantly she said...yes.

We are very very blessed and happy.

We have set the date for the civil ceremony here in La Paz on Saturday, November 29th. (Yes that's right...28 days from now.) And we are looking at March 2009 for the church ceremony also here in La Paz. The church ceremony is this most important thing for us so although we will "technically" be married according to law on Nov. 29th we will not have rings or live together until the church ceremony in March. I will share more about the details when I get back to Atlanta in early December. But at some point we will have a reception in the states because I know it will difficut for friends and family to get down here to La Paz for the wedding.

But for now...enjoy this photo album that I uploaded to Picasa. It gives you a snapshot of how this amazing amazing night went down.