Monday, April 11, 2011


Hello once again, it has been an extremely long time since the last post, for which I apologize. It has been filled with some pretty busy weeks. One in particular happened about 2 months ago when Katharine, Jon, and I went to stay at one of our orphanages in the Chapare. We spent a total of three days there, repainting there house, playing with the kids, and also watching the children for a night while Elsa the house mother was rushed to the hospital to have a baby girl! The trip went very well we were able to paint the house as well as fix some of the holes in their window screens. At times the heat and humidity were brutal and the mosquitoes overwhelming as well as Jon getting amoebas on the way down which lasted the whole weekend. Other than Elsa and Samuel, the house father and one of the nicest guys I have ever met, having a new baby girl another very exciting part was the Surubi ride back. Surubi is a type of catfish but is also the word used to describe a crazy form of transportation here. Surubis are like minivan busses that hold about 7 people and work like Greyhounds. The only difference is that Surubi drivers are paid by the amount of trips they make which causes them to be some of the craziest drivers ever, thus giving them the name Surubis because they fly down these crazy roads swerving like a fish in between oncoming traffic. It was a wild ride and sometimes very scary but we made it back to lovely Cochabamba safely and with some great news! ¡Hasta Luego!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Merry christmas from Bolivia! So the past couple of weeks have been pretty hectic, the Ross family arrived and stayed at the Hacienda for a while, we had the christmas babywashing, lost power because of a eucalyptis tree and a wind storm, and broke a tienda´s window playing soccer. Needless to say pretty crazy! I bought a bike the other day in La Concha and have been riding it with the orphans! We also made a trip out to Kewiña to check on the progress of the two orphanages being built there and bought two pigs for the Deaf Orphanage. It was pretty awesome and Kewiña is probably the most beautiful place I have been. I haven´t had to serenade any drunks and haven´t gotten lost on a truffie anymore so I would say its been a couple of very successful couple of weeks, but then again they´re always successful when you´re working to help others.

Monday, December 6, 2010


So my name is Jed and I'm a new intern from New Hampshire in the US. I'm gonna be here for sixth months and have been here for two weeks now! Cochabamba is awesome and has already provided me with some crazy experiences! For example, my third night here i serenaded a drunk bolivian man for two and a half hours on the steps of La Hacienda, where i am staying, and then a couple of nights later i got on the wrong truffie thinking i would do some exploring and ended up an hour and a half later in the middle of nowhere, pitch black, and the truffie was so packed people were hanging on to the side and riding. Little did i know that it was the last ride for the night and was making its final stop out in the middle of nowhere! So with some very broken and horrible spanish i was able to ask the driver what i needed to do to get back and he pointed to a very tiny truffie heading the other way and i jumped out and chased it down. Rode it back to somewhere (not sure where) where i got out and took a taxi back to middle of Coch. From there i proceeded to walk about 2 miles back to La Hacienda. Needless to say i had had enough of automobiles.

So my time here has been very exciting and so much fun, working at the orphanage and the center as well as doing baby washing every weekend is such a blessing and so much fun to do! God only knows what the coming weeks will hold!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introducing IOU's Newest Teammate

After nine months of family and friends praying for a fast delivery, our prayers were definitely answered. At nine o’clock pm on September 21st we were eating ice cream. At 11 o’clock we called the doctor. At 11:30 I was 3cm dilated. At 12:30 we were heading to the delivery room and at 1:35 am on September 22nd, after two pushes, Miles Michael Ellis was born.
A fast delivery is just one of the many blessings we have received in the past week since Miles has arrived. From a hospital bill a third of the cost of the U.S. to our Christian doctor who generously delivered Miles for free, to being able to skype with my sisters in the hospital to Miles sleeping through most of the night. We feel like God has showered us with gift after gift on top of this new little person in our family.
We have also noticed that it is truly a blessing to have delivered in Bolivia, in a country filled with poverty and tragedy. Too often it is easy for us to become numb to the countless stories and statistics we hear about children being hungry and homeless. Being parents has now given us a new look at things and, while it reminds us to be truly grateful that we have everything we could possibly need to take care of our own son, it also reaffirms the importance of being here and working with children in need.
Its heartbreaking to me that one child every five seconds dies from hunger while I have both the capability to nurse and can afford to buy formula. Here in Bolivia we have been asked to take children who were being neglected by their mother and were literally eating grass because they were so hungry.
We have three pediatricians who are offering their services to us and yet there are nine million children who die each and every year from preventable illness. We met baby George who was born in the same neighborhood of our first orphanage; he had a condition where he couldn’t suck to breastfeed. It is a curable condition, however, the mother couldn’t afford the doctor and before we could locate them, baby George died.
40% of the world’s population lives on less than two dollars a day and we see the affects of this every week at our Baby Washing ministry. It is very difficult to know that these mothers cannot even afford to buy milk for their children let alone clothes and yet back at home Miles has a closet full of them.
The hardest reality to deal with is that Braeden and I can love our new son so much and want to do absolutely everything for him while our orphanages are being filled with children who have no parents at all to love them.
Again, we want to thank everyone for their prayers for us and our new little addition. We are so grateful for all of the gifts, cards and expressions of joy. Now we ask you to continue to pray for all of the children who are born into poverty. Pray for their parents who long to give them what they need but are unable to. We too continue to worry about getting the new Littlest Pet Shop that our child wants for Christmas just remember those who continue to worry about where their child’s next meal will come from.

Friday, September 10, 2010

San Lorenzo August Update

On Monday, Braeden, Tiffany, Aldo, Wendy and I went to present some sports equipment to Villa Israel School. They’ve been so good to us in accepting new children in them middle of the school year. Then we stopped at the orphanage and said “Hola” and encouraged the house parents. Moses, 11 yrs old, asked if he could fix the flat tire on the bike. He’s waited two weeks for permission. I’ve got to re-affirm that everything in the house is his to use and enjoy. Tuesday, we were able to fly to San Lorenzo. Over the Andes Mountains in the Amazon rain basin…God does nice work. Great progress on the orphanage and two thumbs up from the church to explore putting in a Christian radio station. Wednesday, Bonnie and I met with a lovely couple with Words of Life that have been supporting their ministry through jewelry making. Thursday, most of our team was able to make the trip to the rain forest to check on the tree farm, encourage the houseparents and meet our newest angel, Graciel. 10 months old and re-affirms all the bad days are worth it. Praise God our brakes failed as we came into Cochabamba. Friday, meeting with Bosques Tropicales about lumber export and new tree farm prospects. Met Tony from Bolivia Mission Air at the corner and God is heaping blessings on them these days. Saturday, Can’t wait to wash some babies and fix the brakes. Sunday, See our CIC family and worship our Father. Praise the Lord for another week of just trying to be obedient. Love Him, love others and invite others to do the same. Can’t wait for next week!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

35 Cows

I visited Nemecio last night. We met earlier this year when we needed a piece of property in San Lorenzo to build an orphanage on. He and his family are Christians living here in Cochabamba; however they’re both from, and continue raise cattle in, San Lorenzo one of the most remote sites in Bolivia. IOU was able to purchase a beautiful 5 acre building site from Nemecio for our next set of homes. I’ve always been impressed with his gifts in business and the generosity he displays with both his money and his time. When we first met, Nemecio had suggested we raise cattle to support the children. I quickly dismissed the idea because I’m more comfortable with manufacturing and sales; however, he brought it up again last night. He asked what the monthly expenses were for an orphanage and I replied $1000. On his iPhone he banged out a few numbers, and confirmed it would be 10 orphans per home and then showed me the answer…35! He continued, “Miguel you only need 35 vacas per child”

Nemecio purchases year old calves from local breeders for $100 and grazes them on the nutrient rich pasture around San Lorenzo and sells them one year later for $200. After paying his ranch hands, veterinary and taxes he’s able to purchase his next calf and still profit $70 per head. I explained to Nemecio that I wouldn’t be much good on a cattle drive and he offered to manage the cattle for half of the profit. He would manage everything from purchase to auction. It amazes me to think that a one time gift of 35 cows would provide all the earthly needs of an orphan all the years they live in the orphanage.

I’ve been resisting the requests of several friends who suggest starting a sponsor-a-child program. I’ve been hesitating because it’s a lot of administrative work tracking and responding to monthly gifts; however, I wonder if this might be a nice compromise because it is still for a child but only requires a one time gift. I’m immediately reminded of the generosity this summer of VBS programs from three churches; Mosaic Community Fellowship Church in SC, Fellowship Reformed Church in Holland, MI and St. John Lutheran Church in Allendale, MI. Between these three groups of children they raised nearly $3000 during their one week VBS program. Although much of this was raised for specific needs or projects it reminds me of the power of children in our adult world.

If you are looking for a way to connect your youth group, Sunday school class or even your family with an orphaned child; have a cow. James tells us in 2:18 “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do” Wouldn’t it be a great testimony if our children could care for the fatherless and the least of these with their own young hearts and deeds?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Goodbyes And New Interns

Hello Everyone,

So the Timmer family leaves today to go back home to the States. It is quite a sad day for me because this might be the last time that I will see Mr & Mrs Timmer, Mallory, Sydney, Emmy and Gracie for I will be back in the UK by the time they come back. But I know that we will all meet one day again in heaven and we will have the rest of eternity to spend together in the presence of The Lord.

Apart from the above, things still stay the same out here. I keep going to see the kids at Muyurina, bible studies are still running and El Centro is still as crazy and fun as ever!

A new but old intern arrived last month, Kristen Polcyn. She was an intern here a couple of years ago for 11 months and it has been great being able to meet someone who did exactly what I'm doing out here. Hear from her experiences, what she enjoyed doing and to see how the kids still remember her! Kristen has only a couple of days left but she will write an entry soon telling you about her trip to Potosi.

The only thing that I don't like about meeting new people is the fact that I am going to have to say goodbye to them not knowing, once again, when I will see them. But as a friend once said "I prefer to have met you briefly on this Earth and having your friendship forever than never have met you and never have come to known you". And that is very true, I thank God for the friendships I have made while I've been out here, not knowing when I will see them again.

Another new intern is arriving on Wednesday morning called Melissa. I think this is her first time out here, so it will be very exciting showing her the Bolivian ways and orphanages.

Not much is going on apart from the World Cup starting in a few days and I cannot wait to see my country (Spain) win this cup!

Until next time!

Thank you all for your prayers