Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday Post -- 30/01/16

"How on earth am I supposed to concentrate on this putt with the referendum
looming on extending Evo Morales' presidency?"
Yesterday afternoon, while driving through the streets of Trinidad, with people going about their lives all around me, I began to wonder if Rory McIlroy could actually reclaim the world number one spot.

On Thursday, while putting out the chairs at church, I mulled over the pros and cons of a summer referendum on EU membership.

On Wednesday, while walking through my neighbourhood to work, I thought about the dangers of an overabundance of bespoke Bibles in western culture. 

My thoughts were consumed with such matters due to my weekly diet of podcasts. Podcast listening is one of the main things I enjoy doing here to relax, while also staying in touch with the world beyond Bolivia. Yet little of it, if any, touches on the day-to-day realities of life in Bolivia. To take just the three examples cited above, golf is the reserve of the super-rich, you'd do well to find any Bibles in Trinidad's stores, and David Cameron is somewhat inconsequential (OK, maybe that last one isn't quite so culturally specific!). 

In the past, I have sought to rectify this by engaging with Bolivian culture, but find myself hesitant to go back there having seen too much corruption in politics, too much play-acting on the football field, and too many items on Miss Bolivia/Santa Cruz/La Paz/Wherever on the national 'news' bulletin (seemingly a daily feature).

We believers are in the world, but not of it, we like to say, yet, as an overseas worker, if you want to be addressing genuine needs as opposed to those that exist in the west and that you hope exist here, you really must seek avenues of connection.

Yet, here, we most certainly have a great advantage over many other missionaries in Latin America. Over these past six years, we have had opportunities to visit missional contexts in other countries and areas of Bolivia, where the potential to simply form a western enclave -- often around English-speaking schools -- has been obvious, even if not everyone falls victim to this. In Trinidad, we don't have English-speaking schools, motor-mowers or Starbucks. But we also lack fellow overseas workers, a deficiency which has, in the end, been very much to our advantage, forcing us to form deep and abiding friendships with the locals. We get all the news we need not from the weather report, but from our daily chinwags with a small yet beloved group of Bolivian families who, in times of trouble, will be there for you in a split-second. And all because each one of us has, in God's grace, responded to -- with apologies to Rory McIlroy -- the only news that really matters.

Now, please excuse me while I watch Colchester United vs Spurs live on ESPN.

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Before moving on to the prayer points, just another reminder about those funds required for updating FT's accounting software (click here to read more). We're delighted to report several generous offers of support so far, but there is still a shortfall. If you feel led to contribute something, please don't hesitate to get in write to us at

  • The new school year is now upon us, and that means that much of the church's weekly activities are slowly emerging from hibernation (if that's possible in summer). We are hoping to launch a new format for the youth ministry, and Amanda and I will be attending a training course all this week in the evenings. Prayer appreciated.
  • The Zika virus has really hit the headlines, and we know that there are a few cases in Santa Cruz. However, over the past couple of months, several people we know have been victims of Chikungunya, another mosquito-borne virus, with dengue-like symptoms. Two of them are Craig's two fellow church leaders. Pray for Elías, Miguel Ángel and others.
  • Our visit from the social worker on Monday went really well. Thank you for your supplications here, and keep praying for the adoption process in general.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!

Craig & Amanda

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Post -- 23/01/2016

I (Amanda) sit here on a Saturday morning, with sports on in the background (shock, horror, gasp - it's okay, it's the Australian Open. It's not like I've started watching football or anything), and I feel so rested. Because my generous, gracious husband let me sleep in this morning!!! I slept in till 8am this morning!!! For the first time in six weeks!!! I don't think that has ever happened in my life before. I have never gone six weeks without sleeping in. I don't think I realised how much I missed it. Sleeping in is awesome. As a teenager, I would always choose more sleep over the chance to eat breakfast. I think I feel the same way still. Sam, at nine months, has not learned the awesomeness that is sleeping in yet. But maybe, just maybe, he'll figure it out one day... or maybe he'll be a morning person like his Dad. Ugh... 

So far, our grand plan of switching off working and looking after Sam has gone well. We both feel we've gotten back into the swing of work, and we're able to keep Sam comfortable in his routine. We have also found that it is a lot easier to have people over at our house now instead of going out with him, especially in the evenings. We had a movie night here last Saturday with the young people. We finally got around to watching The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe after spending the second half of last year reading through the book, and the youth seemed to enjoy the movie even though the majority had already seen it. However, when asked which they enjoyed better, the movie or the book, they all answered, "The movie!!!" To which I replied, "You're all wrong! Read more!" Young people these days (shakes head in dismay). 

We also had Miguel Angel and his family over for lunch yesterday and Sam was in his element surrounded by so many people, being the centre of attention. Miguel Angel and Ruth, being dentists, were immediately commenting on how his two bottom teeth have come in. I was so proud and glowing over their comments, "Look at my kid... he's so talented, his teeth came in!" I looked happy, and probably smug, on the outside, but inside I internally accepted that his teeth coming in probably didn't have much to do with me, or anything conscious on Sam's part either. Due to our recent success at having people round here, Craig and I are talking about how it would be good to start trying to have more things at our place to be able to keep up our relationships with people, but not have to pack up the insane amount of things we have to carry around with us when we take Sam out. 

This past Thursday we had another interview with the psychologist attached to the Judge's office. Craig, Sam and I arrived bright and early and they all spent some time fawning over Sam and how big he's gotten. Then we entered into a relatively extensive interview about how we're getting on, but I think she was most impressed with Sam's diaper bag... because when he was starting to get fussy at breakfast time, yes, I pulled out his puréed mango and he ate like a champ and didn't even get any on his shirt. Then I pulled out everything I needed to mix his post breakfast bottle. We pulled out various toys as the meeting went on and we had his cloth for cleaning him up... and of course, had he needed to be changed, we had that as well. Talk about being prepared! However, when we went to the park after work that same afternoon and we needed to change his diaper, we discovered that we had packed everything for a diaper change expect a diaper. Sorry, dude... you're just going to have to sit in it until we get home. Complete fail. Returning to our interview that morning, the psychologist ended our time together by complimenting Sam's jeans and asking us where we got them. "Santa Cruz", we replied. At home Craig said, "You were thrilled about how she commented on his clothes, weren't you? It's almost like she complimented you on yours." "Absolutely," I replied, "I'm not in a position to buy stuff for myself anymore. I need to live vicariously through my son now." 

To give everyone a general update, we have another interview Monday morning with the social worker attached to the Judge's office. And on Wednesday the first advert goes into the weekly paper asking for his birth parents to step forward if they would like to claim him, or something to that effect. That gets printed this coming Wednesday (27th of January) and once again the following Wednesday (3rd of February), and then 30 days from the appearance of the first advert we will have another hearing with the Judge to terminate his parents' rights, if his parents or other immediate family members haven't stepped forward. Please pray that this goes smoothly. 

In terms of our work and ministry, things have been going well. Craig has started all his weekly discipleship sessions again after the holidays, and I have restarted some and will be back in full swing with all of mine next week. Craig spoke last Sunday on 1 Kings 17. I cannot tell you how it went because I was on nursery duty that morning. I spent the morning trying to fend the other kids off from poking Sam in the face and from trying to shoot him with toy pistols. I mean, what if he remembers that one day and it traumatises him? One kid asked me, "Can I kill him?" "Ummm, no, you can't! Don't kill my baby!" I know everyone has varying opinions about guns, but I grew up in a household where my police officer father didn't even let us play with water guns, so I am by nature very wary of anything to do with shooting in play... I was taught guns are never toys. So don't try to pretend to shoot my baby. Returning to Craig's sermon, I am sure he did a great job... as always. It's like a given. :)

Mariana, FT's chief administrator, has been on holiday this week, as she well deserves, so I have been trying to keep on top of various things in the Foundation. I have approved probably more purchases than she would have liked in her absence, but everyone assured me that they were necessary. Maybe I am a complete pushover or maybe it is my lack of Spanish and, therefore, understanding. Our caretaker tried to explain to me how there was a leak in the sink in the dentistry office and what he needed to fix it. I had no clue exactly what the problem was or what he was telling me he needed (my Spanish plumbing vocab is nonexistent), but he seemed so impassioned about fixing the sink that I just had to let him. It's his job, it's important that I let him do his job! 

I am speaking at youth group tonight and I want to challenge the youth to not limit God. God does not operate within our limitations and rules. God is bigger than that and we can trust in his greatness. I am planning on using Ephesians 3, focusing on the second half as Paul prays for the believing gentiles, where various mentions are made to God's unfathomableness (might not be a real word... it appears in wiktionary, but not in Webster's, so it's probably a fake word, though I think everyone understands what I am trying to say). Of course I will spend some time explaining the whole chapter and how the mystery of the gospel is that salvation is for the Gentiles too...because we can't forget about context, can we? I wouldn't be able to come home and look my husband in the eye if I forgot about context. But if God can't be measured (v18), if God's love can't be understand (v19) and he can do more than we can imagine (v20), why do we limit God when he is so clearly much bigger than us? I plan on starting with an activity to get them thinking about their imagination and about what they can really imagine...youths' imaginations are so under-stimulated here, it is really sad. Personally I think it's the lack of reading. (Please see above for my thoughts on this. Shakes head in dismay. Again.). So, I am going to put a fantasy-esque picture on the screen (see pic, below) and in small groups they have to come up with a story to fit the picture. The group with the most entertaining, dynamic story wins. Think big, think outside the box, yes in stories and in our imagination, but also in life. We can lead bigger lives than we're letting ourselves if we let go of the limits we put on God. Please pray for this message. 

What could possibly be happening in this picture?
And reciting the plot to Avatar does not count as creative.

  • Please continue to pray for the ability to update FT's accounting software, as I expressed last week. If anyone feels led to help towards this specific need, please get in touch with us privately. 
  • For the message tonight at youth group - that the youth would be challenged. 
  • For our interview with the social worker on Monday morning.
  • Please pray for our church, El Jireh. There are lot of big decisions approaching and the leaders would appreciate guidance.
  • A great time with Miguel Ángel, Ruth and their kids yesterday.
  • For the interview with the psychologist which seemed to go well.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!

Craig and Amanda

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Saturday Post -- 16/01/16

Before I (Craig) say my piece, Amanda will do what, in my humble opinion, she does best: be appealing.

We would like to make you all aware of a need that has arisen at the Foundation. The Bolivian government has decided to change/update the way they organise and receive purchase receipts and, therefore, the way goods and services taxes are calculated. The Foundation depends very heavily on its accounting software to organise all things financial, but unfortunately our accounting software is not compatible with the new system. Ideally, then, we would like to update our accounting software to meet these new requirements. We have priced this and it will cost us a minimum of $1500 (USD). This is an unforeseen expenditure, one that has not been provided for in our annual budget. It is a genuine need of the Foundation’s to be able to run all of its other programs and ministries. If anyone feels lead to inquire more about this need and help in any way, please feel free to contact us in a private message. We would appreciate prayers from everyone for the provision of these funds.

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One prayer meeting too many.
This morning, I have dragged myself out of bed against my better judgement on a Saturday at 6am to talk about, er, rest.

Rest is one of the core aspects of my faith. Upon the completion of the creation, God rested, and the Sabbath principle is an unmissable thread running throughout the remainder of Scripture; it later becomes the sign of the covenant between God and his people at Sinai, and Judah’s failure to observe it is cited as the clincher in its exile to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:20-21), as promised by God at Sinai some 800 years earlier (Leviticus 26:34). In the New Testament, the writer to the Hebrews declares that ‘there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God’ in the laying aside of a works-based doctrine of salvation. Jesus tells his disciples to go and put their feet up at the conclusion of a gruelling evangelistic campaign (Mark 6:30-32), while promising to give rest to all who labour and who are heavy laden (Matthew 11:28). So we have been blessed with no lack of instruction on this great subject.

But, my goodness, as evangelical Christians, in this area we are among the worst offenders. ‘Busyness’ has become a synonym for ‘holiness’ as we drive ourselves and our people to greater heights of activity. A particular issue for people with families is that evenings are often the only time most people can spare; in the average week here, for example, if I so choose, I can be ‘in the Lord’s service’ on no fewer than four evenings, oftentimes rising to five.

The issue is not busyness per se, as we serve no worthier cause, and the old adage about the devil making work for idle hands is well supported by Scripture. The problem is that many of our people are continuously running on empty. And if that is the case, then no matter how many events we put on, they will be all sound and fury, signifying precisely nothing.

Much of this I realised while growing up in such circles, but it would be a mistake to think that we are free from these shackles here in the supposedly more chilled-out developing world. Indeed, if anything, it’s worse.

Because in Trinidad, Bolivia, whether driven by education or by societal norms, people say “yes” to things all the time. Without even thinking. You get it from the plumber who tells you he’s free this afternoon to fix your leak, knowing he is not, but assuming you will be more gratified to believe he’s coming than to actually have him turn up. You get it from friends who, trying to be nice, repeatedly tell you, “I’ll be there on Sunday morning to hear you preach!,” only to never show. And worst of all, you most definitely get it from Christians who commit themselves to important kingdom work for which they themselves know they have no time – or, admittedly, drive!

And this only serves to leave a small number of their brothers and sisters continually picking up the tab. For they, too, say “yes” to everything, but with an important, and at times soul-destroying, caveat: they mean it.

I’d been given pause to consider all these matters this past week. The school holidays will soon be over and the new session of our children and youth programmes is looming ever larger. In recent weeks, as elders, our permission has been sought with regard to something of a re-configuring of the youth ministry. Over the past couple of years, our biggest ‘success story’ as a church (though I use such phrases carefully) has been our AWANA children’s programme which, for the benefit of the uninitiated, is a ministry with a big emphasis on Scripture memorisation. The church has been packed out every Saturday afternoon and the word of God has come alive to this little army. Well, AWANA has a follow-on youth ministry, and given the pleasingly high numbers of 11-to-13-year-olds who attend the programme, its implementation has been seen as a logical step forward.

And, in theory, I couldn’t have been more in agreement. But a couple of factors concerned me. Firstly, we had already given permission for AWANA to expand to two separate sessions: the usual one at our own church on Saturday afternoons, and a new venture on Tuesday evenings in a village called Maná (I’ve mentioned it here before; many of our children and young people come from the village). This in itself will prove a big challenge, as the single Saturday programme last year saw the inevitable disappearance of the empty-yes crowd on leadership as the year progressed. The youth ministry up until now has been well-run, but does not really depend on too many leaders being present; the new programme depends on a low ratio of teenagers-to-leaders. Essentially then, in one fell swoop, we’re going from one programme with a high dependence on human resources, to three.

My second concern was related to rest, and our biblical duty as a church to be upholding this principle. The same small core of dependable people was looking to be involved in all three of these ministries: when would they get the opportunity to recover their energies? And as for the others, assuming they would fulfil their commitment to a year’s labour (a big ‘if’!), how could we ensure they were getting fed? Amanda disciples a young woman who is very active in teaching ministries around children and young people, yet recently confessed she didn’t know how many tribes there were in Israel.

Those were the considerations I brought to the table at our meeting earlier this week with the proponents of the new youth programme, though I was wary about being seen as the overly-pernickety white missionary (my fellow elders don’t say “no” to much themselves).

And so, bearing all of that in mind, it was particularly pleasing to me to discover that the main proponents had considered these issues themselves (perhaps this grumpy foreigner’s on to a good thing after all!). Firstly, they had already asked around to see who could commit to each of these programmes. Encouragingly, numbers were sufficient that relatively few people would have to be involved in more than one per week. Secondly, these numbers were boosted by getting more of the responsible older teenagers involved in supporting the children’s ministry; no harm in getting them started young. Thirdly, and most encouragingly for me, an earlier proposal to switch AWANA to Sunday afternoons had been shelved, with the proponents having considered the men’s and women’s discipleship groups on alternate Sunday afternoons too important to miss.

Amanda and I had prayed about it the night before and had a sense that the meeting was probably not going to be as big a clash of methodologies as we had feared, and that turned out to be the case. It’s good to see the church membership coming to the realisation that we are nothing if we are not fed.

But, thankful though I am, I won’t be resting on my laurels; I’ve been part of churches for too long! Slowly but surely, as our church comes to fuller maturity (and as our own domestic priorities shift), Amanda and I are withdrawing from the front line. But, beyond a doubt, God certainly still has important work to do through us as members of the backbench awkward squad. We pray that he will give us the grace to be able to do so in love.

  • Pray for provision with regard to the above-mentioned accounting software.
  • Pray for Amanda over the next couple of weeks, as she effectively runs the Foundation in the absence of our main administrative worker.
  • Pray for Craig as he preaches on 1 Kings 17 tomorrow.
  • And, of course, pray for Sam’s adoption, and that there would be no hurdles on the termination of parental rights.

¡Que Dios les bendiga!

Craig & Amanda

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday Post -- 09/01/16

Strange things are happening to me. No doubt about it.

I need hardly go out running any more as I get more than enough exercise hauling myself up and down staircases, fetching bottles, medicines and nappy changing kits.

New life and new civilisations have surfaced of late in my television, including far-flung planets with names such as 'Nickelodeon' or 'Disney' or 'Boomerang'.

I appear to have misplaced my living room floor.

I'm finding it increasingly convenient to conduct my business around the house in a single pair of underpants.

I find myself dropping things. A lot. In this week alone, my unwitting victims have included a jar of apricot purée, a 500ml yogurt pot and a laptop computer. On a tiled floor. With a flash-drive sticking out. Landing on the flash-drive side. 

Hooray for aluminium, is all I can say.

Yes, these are the voyages of the good ship Cramandasam (credit to Pete & Kirsty for that one). Except that this week, for the first time, Amanda and I have largely been flying solo, with one of us going to the office while the other is placed on Sam-watch. One week in, the system seems to be working well, and with a bit of a growth spurt taking place, it's even been possible to bash out a bit of work during those long naps (provided said babysitter doesn't take a leaf out of his lordship's book at the same time, a not uncommon occurrence). 

These first few weeks have been a steep learning curve, and this week we were presented with his first real health issue. He had a pretty severe bout of chesty coughing all through Wednesday night, resulting in our first visit to FT's paediatrician, with whom we're probably going to be getting very familiar as the year progresses. Though asthma is difficult to diagnose at this age, Sam had asthma-like symptoms. Prescribed all manner of medicines and inhalers, he's doing a lot better now, but we reckon we're going to have to be vigilant on this one.

As far as the adoption itself is concerned, things moved along a little further this week with a visit to our lawyer, who initiated proceedings for the parental rights of Sam's biological family to be terminated. It all sounds a tad brutal, but it's simply the next stage in the process. We're hoping that this can be completed within a month and, though there would still be a month or two more of paperwork before the adoption would be official, the termination of parental rights is effectively the last hurdle in this case.

Anyway, I think if you don't mind, I'll just get straight to the prayer points as this whole parenthood business ain't half exhausting. Indeed, I won't lie to you, I'm highly tempted just to have a quick snooze on this here keyboooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


  • Please pray for wisdom in going forward with Sam's respiratory difficulties.
  • Craig is preaching tomorrow for the first time this year as the church resumes its series in 1 Kings.
  • The men's and women's groups at the church resume tomorrow afternoon after an extended break over Christmas. These had been a real encouragement in the last few months of 2015; pray for a deepening fellowship and increased openness.
  • Pray for the church's youth leadership, who are mapping out their plans for this year during these school holiday months.
  • Pray for the leadership of Fundación Totaí, who are looking into practical ways we can improve our ministry among staff members.
  • Give thanks for Sam's speedy recovery over the last couple of days.
  • For a fairly smooth start to our work/babysitting plan.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!

Craig & Amanda

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Saturday Post -- 02/01/16

Shhh... I (Amanda) have until Sam wakes up from his morning nap to write this. If this post ends up finishing mid-sentence, well... them's the breaks, as they say. 

Two weeks ago Craig wrote a lovely, very well thought out entry about our journey through the adoption process until this point. I really hope you enjoyed it and maybe got to see a little bit of what God has been doing in our lives to bring us and Sam to this point. It is weird to think of what we were doing in the months since he was born before we knew about him; that we were off somewhere doing something and he was waiting for us to come and get him. 'Waiting' has been the word of the year in my opinion. God has taught me a lot about waiting and I'm not entirely sure He won't have to teach me again at some point. It is a very difficult lesson to learn. However, although the waiting for Sam to arrive was very hard, we can definitely see how God's timing was perfect. In Bolivia, December and January are much slower times and we have been graciously given the chance to adjust with Sam without having to worry too much about responsibilities in work and in the church. 

But it has definitely been an adjustment. Our lives changed from one day to the next without too much preparation. We knew that things would change, but there was no way to really know how they would change. And the change was quite a shock to my system. Poor Sam arrived from the orphanage quite sick and we were dumped into the deep end with loads of medical visits and medication schedules. We weren't able to learn what was normal for him until things settled down, so for the first three to four days we were flailing a bit. I personally found that very stressful... "Is he eating enough?", "Is he sleeping too much?", "Is he too lethargic?" and "Is he dehydrated?" were questions that wouldn't stop buzzing around my head and Sam got way more sleep those first three to four days than I did. The doctor kind of scared me at the first appointment when she pointed out that if he didn't rehydrate quite substantially he would have to get admitted to the hospital. I was determined that was not going to happen... I strongly, strongly, strongly dislike that place (we're trying not to use the word hate around the wee one... God 'hates' sin, we 'dislike' cauliflower, well Craig does; there is a difference in the strength of those words). However, thankfully once his health settled down, my anxiety settled down and we're all three sleeping fine these days. 

That being said, I am always on the lookout for things that are wrong. I am constantly analysing poo consistency and counting the number of wet diapers. I watch for milestones like a hawk. Can he pass things from one hand to another? Are those multiple syllables strung together? has become the go-to page on my phone (Thanks Louise Trelogan for telling me all about it!), and we are largely trying to get him as fat as possible. Sam is of average height for his age bracket, but he was 1.2 kilos underweight for his height and age. So, we're trying to pile on the calories (in a healthy and controlled way, of course), and it looks like we're succeeding because every time someone else holds him they say how heavy he's gotten. Yay! As my sister said, "Mothers' paranoia has been saving children's lives since the beginning of time," so it's all good. 

But we're just generally enjoying our time with him. He is a delightful baby who loves to smile and laugh. He's generally not fussy, though we had a rough time of it yesterday with tiredness from our trip to Santa Cruz and his first tooth coming in. And he sleeps!!!! I think God knew what type of baby I needed to be able to survive. Craig's also becomes this doting Dad... and it's adorable to watch. He goes out to buy baby formula yesterday and comes back with an authentic Winnie the Pooh cuddly toy for Sam. He looks at me and says, "I'm sorry... I just had to buy it." Fine, okay... who can be mad about that? It was so sweet... but I get to be the bad guy who says "No cuddly toys in the bed!" The doctor said no... I'm just doing what the doctor said. 

So next week we are going back to work. We had talked about looking for someone to help a couple of mornings of the week to give us a chance to do our jobs as well. I was comfortable with this before he arrived, but now I just look at his cute face and I think, "How am I going to pass him to someone else? He's too cute." So, we're going to try to see how we got on by passing him off between us... I was working part time at the Foundation anyways. I will stay part time, but instead of all mornings, I'll work half mornings and half afternoons. Craig will work a lot more from the house with his sermon preparation and we'll organise discipleship around his nap times, or involve him if appropriate. Weekends will be different as it depends on our specific responsibilities that particular weekend, but we'll work to support and help each other to be able to get work done too. We'll let you know if our current plan is working or if it is a total fail. 

Thanks for your understanding about taking the week off last weekend. We decided as we couldn't travel through to La Paz for Christmas like we had intended, we would go to Santa Cruz between Christmas and New Year to buy supplies. And there was Star Wars!!!! I don't think I can recall a time in my life when I've gone to the cinema by myself. This time I was all about going to the cinema by myself... I even got a bit dressed up, ordered myself popcorn; it was great. And I loved the film... I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was just so Star Wars. The night before I went Craig and I were discussing who would go first. Craig said, "I guess the code means I need to offer to let you go first." I thought, "What code? Mark Kermode's cinema code of conduct? That's not in there... oh, he means the gentleman's code." I then thought, "Well, the polite thing would be to say something along the lines of, 'It's okay... you can go first.'" What I really said was, "Sure, I'll go first!" I don't think Craig was expecting that. The look on his face was slightly baffled. And I was only too happy to go first. Poor Craig had to wait a whole 24 hours more to see the film. Ha! Sadly, the time in Santa Cruz had a low moment when my wallet got lifted from my purse at the big market. I was holding Sam, had his diaper bag on one shoulder and my handbag on the other and I didn't feel a thing when it got lifted. Craig asked for some money to buy something a little later on, and that was the first time I noticed it was missing. This means that I get to spend Monday trying to get my ID card and driver's license replaced... yay! 

Thank you for the personal messages we've received from people recently. We have been very encouraged by all your kind notes and feel very lifted up in prayer by everyone. We wish a very Happy New Year to you all and pray that 2016 is full of God's blessing. 

  • For adjusting to our new schedule with Sam once we go back to work.
  • For our appointment with our lawyer on Tuesday as we investigate the next stage in the adoption process.
  • For replacing all my cards from my wallet this week. 
  • For how well Sam has settled into life with us.
  • For the recovery in his health and for his weight gain.
  • For a good time as a family in Santa Cruz.

¡Que Dios les bendiga!

Craig & Amanda