Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jeff In the Jungle!

Yes that's right...Jeff is in route for his first trip to the jungle. Jeff, other members of the ReapNorth team and college students from South Carolina are traveling today and tomorrow for a week of ministry in the Jungles of Peru. They have arrived safely to the point where they will begin the final leg of travel by boat tomorrow. Word is they climbed as high as 16,000 feet before making their descent into the jungle.

Prayer Requests....
-- Safety and good health for the mission team members.
-- That the people to whom they are ministering will listen to and learn the bible stories so they can share them with others long after the team is gone.
-- The gospel message will be proclaimed clearly and the people will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord.
-- Liesa, Jackson, and Haylee, while Jeff is away.
-- Pray for the unreached of Northern Peru. We need churches in the US to adopt people groups so that they will hear the gospel.
-- Pray for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering to be able to meet all of the needs of our missionaries around the world.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our first week in Peru...

Hello to all from Lima, Peru. Thank you so much for your prayers for us during this past week. We have been strengthened, gained wisdom and have been protected in BAD traffic through your prayers. Here's some highlights of our week...

Saturday, Dec 13...We left Costa Rica with all of our luggage and arrived in Peru with EVERYTHING. We had a big crowd at the airport to greet us including the McLamb family who were our neighbors in Costa Rica. After the airport the Holder's took us to our house here in Peru. It is incredible. We are so blessed by the home the Lord has provided for us here. We got our luggage in the house and unpacked a little and had dinner at the traditional South American restaurant...CHILI'S! Yes, it's exactly like the one in the U.S.

Sunday, Dec 14...We went to church at a great church here near our house and we could actually understand the sermon...which is good news for us because the Spanish here in Peru is different than the Spanish in Costa Rica. We ate lunch with the Holders and then came home and unpacked some and spent some time at the mall doing some shopping.

Monday, Dec 15...Meetings! We spent some of the day in meetings downtown at the mission office and then spent some time with the McLamb family. Good day!

Tuesday, Dec 16...We visited a school that the kids are probably going to attend. It's called Fetzer Academy and is a very small school not too far from our house. We spent the remainder of the day shopping for everything and got to spend some good time with the McLamb family!

Wednesday, Dec 17...More meetings. We started the process of getting our Peruvian Immigration Card by visiting the friendly folks at INTERPOL. They got all kinds of information and then looked at our teeth. I suppose if you have certain teeth then they know you are a terrorist or some international criminal. Apparently we have honest looking teeth. And, we had some more good time with the McLamb family.

Thursday, Dec 18...We had our first ReapNorth team meeting at Larry and Nancy Jackson's apartment. We enjoyed getting to meet everyone and then we had a great lunch together. We then hit the mall looking for different things and found a couch that we really like for a really good price. We then met up with some of our friends that we were in Orientation with in Virginia at a restaurant (Yep...Chili's!). It was a great time of seeing those folks again. We had to say good-bye to the McLamb family until they come down from the mountains again.

Friday, Dec 19...We had a morning meeting with our Language Coordinator here in Peru. We are required to complete some more language/cultural work before we can take any vacations to the U.S. so we are ready to get to work on that! Our boss, Boots, watched Haylee and Jackson and took care of the house while we were at our meetings. The plumber/electrician was here installing some stuff for us that needed done. Thanks to Uncle Boots for saving Haylee and Jackson another boring morning at the mission office! We spent the afternoon with Jeremy and Crystal Nelson. Jeremy helped me get some good shoes for our jungle trip that we go on next weekend...he's an expert...sort of a blend of Indiana Jones and Billy Graham. We also bought the couch that we saw on Thursday. It will be delivered soon.
We came home and had dinner and then decorated our Christmas Tree. Uncle Pete and Aunt Carrie and Mimi have sent some gifts to us so we have a lot of presents under the tree!

Prayer Requests for this week!
-- Pray for Haylee and Jackson as they adjust to a new culture. Pray specifically for new friends!
-- Pray for us as we continue to adjust to living in a new culture. Our language skills must become sharper!
-- Pray for the ReapNorth team as we adjust to working together.
-- Pray for the unreached of Northern Peru. We need churches in the US to adopt people groups so that they will hear the gospel.
-- Pray for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering to be able to meet all of the needs of our missionaries around the world.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

News from Peru...

Today was a fast and furious day...we have internet, washer and dryer and DirecTV installed. They all showed up at once along with the electrician/plumber. However, we now have our own internet access and our Vonage phone is up and running. It's a Mississippi Number that rings right here at 232 Avenida Las Casuarines, Surco, Lima, Peru. 601-914-6705. Give us a call.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We're here in Peru...

We had a perfect day of travel to Peru. Our house is wonderful. OUR TRUCK is rockin! Those of you who had covered us in prayer are AWESOME. We'll post more later!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The OLD blog...

This year's Christmas Letter...


Can you believe it’s that time a year? Wow! time flies. We are happy to report that we have had a great year. While we have had our good days and bad days…difficult and not so difficult…we have had far more good. We have spent this year studying Spanish in San José, Costa Rica. We have not only learned Spanish but about Latin American culture as well. It has been a wonderful year and we know that it is because many of you have been lifting us up in prayer throughout the year. For this we say THANK YOU!

What is a typical day for us? Sun comes up around 5:00 at which time the neighborhood dogs begin to bark, birds start their day and the noise of the city begins. School starts at 7:30am for everyone. We walk to school (about a 10 minute walk) along with all the other friends on our street. This can be fun except when it’s raining…and it does rain here. From about July – November it rains every day at least once! We have gotten used to it, well, sort of. Jeff and Liesa finish classes at 1:00 and Haylee and Jackson at 2:30 each day. The rest of our day is filled with afterschool activities much like those in the States…errands, homework, soccer, cheerleading, dance, etc, but everything seems to take longer here than back home. It gets dark here around 6:00. No daylight savings time here. We miss those long Mississippi days but the temps are from mid 60s at night to mid 80s during the day depending. No need for a/c and heat. Shorts (flip flops for the girls) all year long!

What’s Haylee been up to? Haylee is now a 6th grader. She has been involved in cheerleading and dance. She was in an amazing dance recital in a historical theatre downtown. Nana and Papaw came to town for the big show. She loves her school and her teachers. Haylee continues to make excellent grades and excel in school. She had a sleepover birthday party as is tradition and they stayed up all night! Reading is one of her favorite past times and she has begun to develop her love of art and drawing this year as well. Haylee has been willing to try new foods but doesn’t always like them.

What’s Jackson been up to? Jackson is now a 4th grader. He has been involved in soccer and he loves it. He plays 3 days a week. Jackson has learned to boogie board at the beach. He plays video games and loves to build Lego vehicles. Jackson also enjoys watching cartoons in Spanish. Jackson also had a sleepover birthday party. He loves his school and teachers. He does well in school but it has been much harder academically for him. Jackson is not much on trying new foods so he eats lots of fish sticks.

We have had fun. We have an amusement park here with fair type rides and Pizza Hut. The kids love to go and it’s loads of fun. We have malls just like those at home with really cool movie theatres (recliners for chairs) and cheap. We have all major fast food chains. Downtown is pretty neat as well. Our grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins came to visit during the year as well.

What have we learned…..

We have learned more about how to love people. You see it’s easy to love people who are just like you. However, when you live in another country they are not just like you and it’s not always easy to love them. But, God does and our job is to look at others through HIS eyes…not ours. Each week we work in a slum area of our town, “La Carpio”, where we teach bible stories, worship and play with the most precious children you’ve ever seen. All in Spanish! This is probably one of the most wonderful things we have experienced here. It is a ministry that the entire family is able to participate in and God has used these children to teach us so much and to remind us about why we answered his CALL to GO.

We have learned Spanish. The school here is wonderful. We still have a long way to go but we can share the love of God in Spanish, buy what we need, get where we need to go and order correctly at McDonalds. All of the kid’s extracurricular activities are in Spanish and they have Spanish class in school. Pretty amazing.

We have learned patience. You see when you don’t have a car…you rely on others to get you where you need to be or you walk. This means you leave earlier, you hold on when the taxi driver drives like a crazy person and you are kind to those around you on the bus when it’s standing room only.

We have learned about God’s beautiful creation. Costa Rica is an incredibly beautiful place. Our city is surrounded by mountains. While the streets are dirty, broken and just plain nasty, if you look up (when it’s not raining) the view is amazing. You can see 3 crosses up high in the mountains,which we hiked (climbed) up to in March,…very beautiful. We have volcanoes, beaches, waterfalls and incredible wildlife here. All of which we have been able to see and experience.

What’s next? The Holeman family will leave Costa Rica December 13 and move to Lima, Peru. We will be working with the REAPNORTH team (team website... This is not an easy move for us simply because we have so enjoyed our time here in Costa Rica. The kids love their school and most importantly, their friends. We will once again be saying good bye to something familiar for something unfamiliar. We are excited, however, to see what God has next and to begin the next chapter. Please continue to lift us up in prayer during this next year. You can keep up with us through our BLOG ( ).

We love and miss you all dearly.

The Holemans

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas from all of us to all of you!