Saturday, April 21, 2007


Yes, we have now been home for 2 days and are gradually settling in again and catching up with all those things that pile up when one is away! Jon did a good job maintaining things for us for which we are thankful....even if he did acquire a new kitten while we were gone!!! Don't know that I'm too happy about that but I am outnumbered in that department I'm afraid (Nancye talking here!). The kitten is called Patience and just happened to turn up on Angela's doorstep and I guess they all fell in love with it but sadly Angela already has an indoor cat and so didn't want to keep it - guess we 'lucked' out because we have a bigger backyard.

Well, our trip to Colombia was great, busy, tiring and went quickly! It was good catching up with old friends, seeing how the churches have grown not only in number but in maturity. We ate many typical Colombian foods (which Dick especially enjoyed - he would 'sneek' out and buy his real favourite Almojabanas every chance he got!! (type of cheese like bread...there is a breadstore on nearly every other corner in Bogota.)).

Our trip home seemed long and boring - quess we were tired from getting up at 3 a.m. We flew to Miami first from Bogota, went through Customs there and then flew on to LA where Jon picked us up at 5.30 p.m. Not too much jet lag involved with only 2 hours difference but we are still catching up.

On Wednesday we expect our first visitors of what seems to be a busy year of guests, but we look forward to seeing everyone and hope we have caught up on our rest by then.

One of these days we hope to get a few photos on this blogspot for all to see, so we will continue to work on that - sorry I don't have the experience to do that so will have to wait for Dick to have some time to do it.

Thanks for all your prayers in our travels.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


We have now been in Bogota for 4 days and seem to have managed to keep busy! We have been out to lunch each day either with former friends from here and to a typical Colombian restaurant with a few members of one family. So we are being spoilt as usual. I don't think we want to find the scales when we get home.

Last night the J.Vargas church here put on a banquet for couples and Dick was asked to give a message on marriage. There were about 40 couples present and we had a great time. Things are different here - it was supposed to start at 7 pm but I guess it was nearer 8 pm before things got started. They began with an ice-breaker and that was playing bingo in couples. Then they played the old game of asking questions of both partners and seeing if the answers were the same!! Quite a laugh. In between times there was singing. The dinner was actually served at 10 pm so it was quite a late night for us. The folk we are staying with just live a few blocks from the church so we walked home before the others did. This morning they told us that about 3 couples (including them) had gone out for pizza after they had cleaned up and so they didn't get home until 1.30 a.m. I'm glad we had left early as that was a bit late for us oldies to be out eating pizza!!

It was interesting today at the home where we had lunch. The husband starting talking about Novosibirsk...saying he had visited there a few years ago! He works as a salesman for some sort of equipment and had been to Russia quite a few times so it was interesting to share stories with him and learn of his experiences there. He was telling how he had been there in the winter and just how cold he found it....even putting blankets around the windows in his hotel room to try and keep out the cold!

There was supposed to be another meeting for leaders here tonight but it has been cancelled so I guess we will have a quiet evening at home which will be nice. Tomorrow we will be at the old assembly that we helped to start so it will be good to see old faces and new.

We leave here on Wednesday having to be at the airport at 5.30 a.m. and arrive back in LA at 5 p.m. Taking into account the time change - it will be a long day. We look forward to seeing the family back home and getting ready for visitors the following Wednesday!!

Until the next instalment................

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wonderful Opportunities in Bucaramanga.....

Visiting Bucaramanga (Colombia's fifth city) is like returning home. The believers have given us a very warm welcome and have used us to the full! A brother asked me to preach on radio last week and it included an interview followed by a 15 minute message. What was interesting was that a Judge, second or third from the president, was also present (not a Christian) and interviewed and he then stayed on to hear my message on John 5v24. He commented afterwards that it had touched his heart. He gave me his email address to maintain contact.

The believers in the two assemblies here asked me to speak 19 times !! Some of those meetings included young people and 5 sessions at eldership level. There is really a desire to serve the Lord and to have a biblical basis of leadership. One assembly is a daughter assembly of the original assembly established here in 1973. What is encouraging is to find young people who were discipled in the 1980's who are now functioning as elders. We had a great time together. Of course they want us to come back, at least to visit, but would like us to return and live here!

In the time we lived in Bucaramanga I made over 100 trips to the town of Malaga high up in the Andes mountains where our missionary team saw an assembly established. Martin Sandoval, an elder in that assembly who was saved in 1973, came down to Bucaramanga to spend time with us. He has been faithful serving the Lord in Malaga all these years and has held the assembly together.

On Sunday we spent the day with the Santa Maria Assembly (the daughter assembly) at a recreational park. We started at 9.30 celebrating the Lord's supper and the resurrection of our Lord in a kiosk with 70 people. It was great to be in a tropical environment with beautifully laid out lawns, gardens and trees and hearing the birds singing in the trees and at the same time listening to the believers enthusiastically sing praises to God. Their faith is meaningful to them. Afterwards there was a shared lunch, game of soccer and swimming in the pool.

At 7 pm the youth choir from the main assembly came to the balcony of the apartment where we are staying to serenade us. They sang without music and in four parts and did a good job. They then came inside and sang some more to us after which the young ladies made a meal for us. It was a typical meal from here of arepas (corn cakes) with caldo de papa (potato consommé). Then the young people all shared their testimonies. Six out of the nine, in their early 20's, come from very catholic homes.

This morning a brother called me and wanted me to visit him in a very poor suburb. He is 68 years of age and said that before he dies he wanted to put things right for the trouble he caused 25 years ago! He wanted me to come so he could ask my forgiveness....that was special.

Tuesday, April 10, we fly to Bogota for another week of meetings. We will be staying with Gilberto and Sandra Vanegas. Gilberto was saved in 1972 and was our first disciple in Colombia. He now has a great ministry in Bogota. We look forward to a great week of fun and fellowship.

We just haven't had time to put photos on the blogspot but will do so sometime even if it is sometime after we arrive home.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The "good life" in Bucaramanga...

Yes, we are really "living it up" here in Bucaramanga being invited out to lunch (which is the main meal of the day) each day and yesterday we were even invited out to someone´s home for breakfast. This breakfast was typical for this area of Colombia and consisted of fresh squeezed orange juice, a soup, (a consumé type of soup with potatoes, bread and cilantro and then eggs poached in it!! sound gross? Quite nice actually.) arepas (a type of corn cake) and café con leche (coffee made with milk). A big meal! Then it was out to someone else´s home for lunch which was also real different especially for here. The plate came with a large crepe on it and then in the middle of the table were ingredients like we would put on a taco. You piled all these ingred. on the crepe and squeezed lemon juice over it and ate it with a knife and fork! There was cheese put on the top but no sour cream - that would have been nice too! At another home one day we were served with a soup (fish) and then rice with shrimps in it and a fish type pasta salad and mixed vegetables. So life is interesting to say the least.

Most people know that I, Nancye, like to sew so it is a dream here for me to go shopping for fabric! Here in Bucaramanga you can still buy beautiful, good, fabric as most people buy the fabric and then go to a seamstress to get their clothes made. Marcia took me (Dick of course stayed at home!) to a part of town where for two blocks on both sides of the street it was all little fabric stores (a little like downtown LA - but better!). We had fun walking in and out all these stores, and of course buying a few pieces of fabric along the way! It is real good quality and such a variety of materials. I could have bought something in each store but restrained myself knowing we didn´t have that much room in our bags to take it home!! Would love to go back.....

Dick is keeping busy with meetings and is especially enjoying his times with the men where they discuss different issues related to the local church. So far he has spoken about 7-8 times and being Easter they are having extra special meetings so has about 9 more to go before we leave Bucaramanga on April 10. There are two assemblies here and so the meetings are divided between the two with some being combined.

On Sunday the assembly we are going to is going to do something real different. They are all going to this big ´private´park (a little like a country club) where we will have the morning meeting outside in a kiosk and then there will be a picnic/potluck and an afternoon of fun I guess as there is a swimming pool. We have never been to this place so are looking forward to something different.

The weather continues to be rather pleasant with only a few times that I have really felt the heat and humidity. We have had some heavy storm like rain, but it only lasts a little while before it clears up again. Sleeping has been quite good with cooler nights for which I´m grateful.

We leave Bucaramanga next Tuesday for Bogota and look forward to our time there - maybe not so busy, but one never knows until we arrive just what has been arranged for us.

Thankyou for all your prayers.....