Friday, December 26, 2008


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I am excited because Paola comes to town THIS SUNDAY. I am flying to Miami to meet her. We will be spending two weeks together here in the states before heading back to La Paz on the 13th. Please pray that it will be a very fruitful time for us...seeing the city, meeting with family and friends and visiting the SAMS office.

We head back to Bolivia on the 13th and we get married in La Paz on the 31st.

Also...I was sorting through some old photos and came across this one below. Nice.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Keep on keeping on

Sorry that I have not blogged in a week. I am not always in a place where there is internet. Also…I am just running around this city like a crazy man…

I am learning a lot during this trip about scheduling my time while visiting home. This is my first trip back home since leaving to be a missionary and I am just realizing how hard it is to see everyone. And I think I just booked way too much. I have been running around enjoying lunches and dinners with friends most days. And it is great. I love catching up with everyone.

But I haven’t left myself much downtime to just decompress. I think next time I make a visit I will be able to schedule things a little better. Lessons learned I guess.

I didn’t really consult any missionaries and ask them for advice on how to plan my visit home. Someone the other day asked me if I did that and I am wishing now that I had done that before coming home. It is a good idea.

I think I just started booking things and things got crazy. I guess I forgot how big this city is distance wise. But I love seeing everybody. No doubt about that.

I WAS able to get away on Wednesday and spend the day and evening at the Monastery in Conyers. It is a great retreat spot and I was able to rest and clear my head for a while. I pretty much have next week all clear so that I can just spend time with my family.

Then Paola arrives to US soil on Sunday the 28th and things get crazy again. We have my friend Warren’s wedding and a busy schedule showing her the city and letting her get to know my family and friends. We return to La Paz together on January 13th and then we have about two and a half weeks to make final preparations for our wedding on the 31st.

So right now I am just keeping on keeping on.

Please pray for me this Saturday morning because I will speaking to the brotherhood of the church to share my first year experience in Bolivia with them. I already had one presentation to the church and I learned a lot from that experience. I thought I would just be visiting and presenting but I think what I am learning during this trip is how to visit “well” and how to present “well.” Things that would be hard to know unless you experience them for the first time.

Paola and I will both be up in front of the congregation on Sunday the 4th to share our experiences and share where we are headed in the future as a missionary couple.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Making the rounds

So it has been five days since I got home.

And I am slowly but surely starting to make the rounds. Some of you I have seen. Some of you I have talked to but not yet seen. And some of you I still need to call.

I am excited to be here but I am definitely experiencing some reverse culture shock right now. In some ways I have easily adapted back to life here. And in other ways it is so clear that I will never ever be the same person that I was when I left for Bolivia a year ago.

The presentation this past Sunday at church went very well.
Thanks for your prayers.

And today I stopped by the pre-school at the church because the kids there collected donations all this year and they wanted to present me with the funds. The funds will be directly spent on the kids in Bolivia. It was cool what the kids here did. They gave up their ice cream money lots of times this year and raised $100 for the kids in Bolivia. Awesome. I love to watch God work. And I think that it is great that the kids here get to, at such a young age, be a part of what God is doing all over this world.

It was a great blessing to spend time with the kids today. It was show and tell day so I got to show them some photos and talk to them about Bolivia.

Hey...I will take every opportunity that I can get.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Presentation Tonight

So tonight at 5 p.m. I have a presentation at Holy Cross Anglican Church here in Loganville. I will be giving a little bit of a recap of my first year in Bolivia.

I welcome your prayers.

I pray that God speaks through me. That He says what He needs to say and says what the people need to hear. I am just a vehicle. But I hope I can accurately convey my extreme gratitude for all that He has done this year.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I am here

In Atlanta. For like five weeks.

Lunch with my family was great today. Hanging out and watching football too. I have a presentation tomorrow night at the church...talking about my first year as a missionary in Bolivia. I pray I take every chance and opportunity during these five weeks to talk about how great God is. It is because of Him that I even went to Bolivia and it is because of Him that I can come back home and share my experiences.

But I tell you all that to tell you that I am in town.

Let's do lunch.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Bienvenido a Miami

I am sitting in the Miami airport right now waiting on my flight to Atlanta. In just a few short hours I will be home.

I have already eaten a Pizza Hut personal pan pepperoni pizza and a Quiznos sub. And I am currently sipping on Starbucks.

And I seriously think I might puke. What am I doing? I step foot on US soil and I immediately begin stuffing my face. What is it about this place?

See you very soon.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

This is it...

My last day in La Paz for like six weeks.
I board a plane bound for Miami early tomorrow morning.
And tomorrow evening I arrive to Atlanta.
Saturday I eat BBQ, french fries and drink sweet tea.

Today will be a day of packing and a day to say goodbye.

I will miss La Paz for many reasons. But I really miss home too.
And I am so ready for this trip.

How to contact me while I am in Atlanta?
Here are several options...

# at my parents house - 770.972.5679
Temp. cell phone while I am visiting - 770.598.2835
(This is an AT&T Go Phone. So free mobile to mobile for you AT&T users)
# at my apartment in La Paz - 678.431.6810
(This # will be forwarded to my temp. cell phone)

One of these numbers should get me. I arrive late tomorrow night.
So Saturday the phone lines will be open for business.

See you in the good ole US of A!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I am ready to come home.

As I keep pondering all that has gone down this year I continue to realize that I just simply tried to get involved in too much. When I was at my missionary training course last fall they told us to take it easy. They told us to focus on the language and the culture and not to get too overwhelmed with work during our first year.

They told us that it is a marathon not a sprint. They told us to make sure we take care of our soul first and foremost.

Looking back on this year I don't really think that I took their advice to heart.

And as a prepare to get on a plane this Friday I am definitely suffering the consequences. Don't hear me wrong. God has done some AMAZING things in my life this year. And I know I have been used by Him in a mighty way. And I am closer to Him.

But...because I got involved in so many different things I am suffering a little burnout right now. I got overwhelmed by all the needs I saw. Bottom line...I need this trip home. I need encouragement to know that what I am doing here really matters. I need to be refreshed and renewed.

I need to visit home to remember why I was called here to Bolivia in the first place.

I have realized that I am more frustrated than I thought. I have realized that I am more burned out than I thought. My heart is harder than it was when I arrived last December 29th. I used to walk these streets with so much love in my heart. Lately, I have found myself just wanting to push people out of my way on the streets. No joke.

I try to be honest with you on this blog. I try to give you a real picture of my experience here and not to just make my life as a missionary seem all rosy and nice. Sure there are extreme moments of love, joy and fulfillment. But there are moments of sadness, frustration and hate as well.

I think the spiritual weight and depression of this culture is winning right now.
I need this time away.
I need to fall in the love with my Savior again.
I need to see you and remember why I am here.

Yet through all this God is faithful. I keep going back to Him.
I have seen and experienced too much of His love and provision to leave Him know.

But at least now I know. I know what I feel like inside when I overcommit and try to do too much. I know what the contrast feels like. I know what I spirit overflowing with God's love feels like and I know what a completely dry spirit feels like. I know what it feels like to let God take you somewhere and then tell Him "I got it from here."

At least I know.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Twice Now...

...I have told someone back home that I will "see you this weekend."

Wow. I can't believe the time is here.

I actually "WILL see some of you this weekend."