Here I, Allison, sit at our little desk, after a trip to the local farmer’s market in a nearby park.  After getting lost and finding my way home, fingertips asleep from the plastic bags cutting off the circulation, I bleach-washed all the produce and hung up some clotheslines for drying our laundry.  Ahh, life has changed in one week!

Praise to the Lord who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, no matter where we are.  He gave us such an easy trip last Monday.  The attendant who checked our fourteen huge bags curbside did not weigh any of them (and they were all right at 50 pounds, if not a couple of pounds more).  The flight was uneventful and when we arrived in San Jose, we had no holdup in customs and didn’t even have to prove or explain what we are doing here.

The kids are doing wonderfully well.  They have all mentioned missing something about Dallas, mainly their grandparents, but they are finding things to celebrate and be thankful for here.  Having Dad home every day is a huge bonus.  The language school assigns each incoming family a “big brother.”  The Thompsons have been super helpful in getting us oriented, taking us to stores to get food and household goods, even having us over for a meal.  Yesterday they took us downtown, where we saw the aritisan market and ate our first real Costa Rican food: arroz con pollo, black beans, fried plantains.  Delicioso!  We have been riding the public buses and walking everywhere, which is all new for the kiddos.  This method of transportation makes Will miss Siri.

All of us are looking forward to the schedule and stimulation of school starting next week.  All the fellow missionary language student families we have met have been wonderful and it is encouraging to hear their stories of how God has brought them here and where He is sending them next.

We are reconsidering sending the kids to the English and Spanish missionary kids’ school that is on the same campus as the language school.  Please pray that we will have wisdom and that if it best to send them, there will be no trouble getting them enrolled.  Please pray for all of us to get settled and to feel that this is home as soon as possible.

Thanks so much to all of you who are here with us in spirit and in prayer.  We appreciate you!

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa

Yesterday we went to our house to meet with the estate sale coordinator and to see what didn’t sell.  Although many things were gone, among the pieces of furniture that were left were some of my favorites… a cool old open shelf from my dad’s store that has housed our children’s toys since they were tiny; a pine chest of drawers with geometric detailing that was just the right height for a changing table, where everyone’s diapers were refreshed; and worst of all, our lovely king sized bed with the mattresses that we both liked, the one item we really really wanted to ship to Peru.  Now they were all being donated, like inconsequencial driftwood.  That hurt.

Yet, “11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”  Psalm 77

The Lord has been marvelously faithful to us.  Here’s a little story about possessions and home.  We had been planning to take a shipping container of furniture and household goods to Peru, where we would need to establish our home from scratch.  However, in Costa Rica, we will have a furnished home, rented from year to year by students of the Spanish Language Institute.  Therefore, we were going to store the Peru-bound stuff for the intervening year.  We had been sorting things for months in boxes marked “Peru,” “Costa Rica,” or “GS” for garage sale.  Well, not too many boxes yet, but you know…

In mid-July Will was corresponding with some of our Diospi Suyana pals about the shipment.  They both advised him not to ship a container because it would be too hard to get it out of customs in Lima.  This required a readjustment of our thinking, mostly emotionally taxing for me.   For a few days we played with the idea of trying the shipment, since others had successfully done it.  God granted me more peace each day with letting it go and moving only in suitcases.  The day after we definitely decided (we “took the decision” as they say in Spanish) not to ship anything, we got a surprising email from our friends the Bradys, a missionary family in Curahuasi.

They asked if we would like to rent their furnished house while they are on home assignment in Austria and Germany for three years.  They built this peaceful place themselves on a hill just up from the hospital and have established a gorgeous garden.  Klaus, the hospital director, joked that it is the nicest house in town.  When we ate dinner with them, the power went out, but from what we could tell, it was a beautiful home.  Wow.  I felt like God was saying, “I abundantly provide and I’ve got you covered.”  We wouldn’t have needed our furniture for at least a few more years.

While we live in the Brady’s house, we can prepare/ renovate another house in town for our family, even have our furniture made by the carpenter the other families have used.  As a side note, the down side is that the Bradys will not be in their house.  This family was incredibly welcoming and lovely.  I had been planning on Dorothea and I being good friends and their precious children being our kids’ new chums.  I will trust God to fill that gap too.

So now we are trying to fit our things into 12 or so big suitcases, all measuring 62″ or less, 50 pounds or less.  We’ll also take a carry on and a backpack each.  It is like an enormous jigsaw puzzle.  We are living with my father, which is a blessing, but the jigsaw puzzle is spread out all over his dining room.  Sorry, Dad!  One thing that several missionaries have told me is that now you must accustom yourself to live out of a suitcase, a big one!  You have to literally live out of a suitcase while on furlough and as you settle into new places, but you have to be willing for God to move you about.  You have to learn to live with several “homes,” your home country and the one you serve in.

The other day I was prompted to find Psalm 90, the one that the great traveler Moses wrote.  It begins, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.”  What an amazing prayer.  I join with Moses in asking that truly God Himself would be my dwelling place.

The School Project

Another interesting post from the Diospi Suyana website.  This involves the school where Allison will be teaching.  Our kids will also study there.  It is an interesting concept, rooted in Christ, based on the German education system, with all communication in Spanish.  I cannot wait to see how God uses this for the sake of His glory.


Dear Friends of Diospi Suyana!

This week was rather uneventful. The sky is blue – no clouds. It is nice and warm, sometimes even hot, but as of 5pm it usually cools down considerably. As always during this season, the slashing and burning taking place in the “selva” (jungle), is noticeable and we can hardly see the snow covered mountains.

The work for Buildings 5 and 4 is progressing nicely. The ground level walls of Building 5 are growing. All free standing pillars have been poured, and we are currently working on getting in the supports for the walls and windows. And, if the PERI materials arrive as promised on August 15, we can start working on the ceiling.

The foundation for Building 4 has been laid and the ground beams are being finished. Due to a resource and space issue, we didn’t excavate additinal foundation space for Building 3.

Greetings and a blessed weekend,.


Smoggy mountains, due slashing and burning.

The walls are…


Exterior walk way walls with room for planters.

Free standing pillars are being poured.

Setting molds.

Window support being set by hand.

Ground level work in Building 4.

Gas for the plate compactor.

Busy working on Building 4.

MedicalMissions.com – Global Missions Health Conference

Follow this link for information regarding a great medical missions conference held each year in Louisville, KY.

MedicalMissions.com – Global Missions Health Conference.

Kid’s Club

A Nice Post from the Diospi Suyana Website regarding Kid’s Clubs

The first kids arrive 20 minutes early. They are excited – their club meeting at the Children’s House of Diospi Suyana will start soon. Week after week, about 400 kids gather, diveded into 11 groups, to experience and participate in a wide variety of activities.  When the door finally opens, 48 children pour inside the buidling, where Claudia Nickel, Carolin Klett, Sabine Oswald and Martina John help them enter a world full of imagination. 90 minutes of attention and love. It does’t come as a surprise that so many of the kids keep coming back. Unfortunately, time passes quickly and the club meeting is over. Now, they have to wait another 7 days until their next club meeting.

Kids lining up in front of the Children’s House.

Finally, the club meeting has started.

Claudia Nickel during circle time.

Pationate dancing with Sabine Oswald to the right.

Martina John with a group of younger girls.

Good times in four groups.

Best Young Adult Novels, Best Teen Fiction, Top 100 Teen Novels : NPR

Always looking for something to read.

Best Young Adult Novels, Best Teen Fiction, Top 100 Teen Novels : NPR.

A Market Exactly Like 300 Years Ago

Another Interesting Post from the Diospi Suyana Website

A Market Exactly Like 300 Years Ago

Or 400 years ago

There are many people on the big market square, where the Quechua meet every Saturday and Sunday. They buy and they sell. They see and want to be seen. The market day might be the highlight of the week for many of the Quechuas, especially those who have traveled here from the remote villages.  Many of Quechuas are wearing traditional dresses with the same patterns already worn by their grandparents. Everybody speaks Quechua and things are calm and normal since there are no tourists – only a photographer trying to capture the market activities in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

A Quechua woman walking over the market.

Thousands are waiting while the sun is burning.

Extensive opportunity to compare prices.

Everything fresh out of the bag.