Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A New Year to Serve God

Eno Family Mission Report
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A New Mission
A new year always seems to bring about new goals, new ambitions, new ideas and new projects.  But most often it brings to my mind that things are not the same and they will not be remaining the same.  Chris and I have even set some new goals for our ministry here in Bolivia. Here are just a few of them.  

1. Move to the mountains closer to the people we will be serving.
2. Hike into the mountains at least 6 times this year to serve the people there
3. Find some property to build a runway on and some housing.  

We have many more but just not enough room to share.  What have you determined to do new this year.  We encourage you to take your goals to God and see how they can be accomplished for His glory, so that one day very soon we will see Him coming in the white clouds of glory to take us home where there will be no more death, sickness nor sorrow.  
Mission Trip to Cotagaita
By Crystal Eno

Back in June or so, Susie Moro the director of the high school in Guayaramerin (in northern bolivia), contacted Jodi and talked to her about doing a mission trip with us to help us get our ministry started.  Jodi and DJ agreed to it but things were not moving fast enough and so we had to find another place.  A man in the church told them of his town that was building a church and said that we could help with that church.  Communication was at times messed up but in the end we decided to take this oportunity to bless this community.

So on Saturday evening December 5, Manny, Chris, our kids and I plus the leader, Susie Moro and her Daughter Abigail boarded a bus headed for Cotagaita.  The buses only left in the evenings and it was a 12 hr trip there.  Let's just say this 12 hr trip was not fun as I was sick half the time.  However, Cara and Corey slept the majority of the time.  We arrived in Cotagaita right on time and was met by Hermano Hernan.  Hermano Hernan is from the village of Cotagaita and was the person who set us up with this opportunity in the first place.  We got to our hotel and settled in.  Chris and I along with Manny decided that breakfast was the first order of the day.  So we went in search of our first food not made by us.  We had Api (Ah-pee) and some type of deep fried dough that resembled elephant ears without the sugar and cinnamon.  It was satisfying and then we headed back to the hotel for a nap.  We all slept till about lunch time.  While we ate breakfast, Susie and Abigail were in the market buying bulk food for the group that was to arrive the next morning.  The market in Cotagaita was only set up and running on Saturdays and Sundays.  So they had to buy the food that day.  After our naps, we headed off to find lunch again in the market place.  Food is most often served as an entire plate.  So to eat vegetarian/vegan we had to shop around to find someone who would sell us just the vegies, rice and potatoes.  We asked at least two different places before one lady said yes.  Some of us wanted papa fritas (french fries) but no one sold them separately either. So we moved on to just looking around the market.  We found hats for Cara, Corey and I, and other small necessary items that we didn't think to bring such as sunscreen, hand soap and large amounts of water.  They were having a fair that day so Corey got to jump on a trampoline 2x for 2.5Bs each time.  It was a luxury thing but Corey had a blast.  That evening we were able to find some papa fritas for dinner without the chicken and they tasted yummy. That night, we slept ok but the weather was hotter than LaPaz in the 90s everyday and our room did not cool down until 4am.  so I slept without covers and in as light of clothes as possible.  The window was left open and Cara slept in a diaper only.  By the time it came to return home we were thankful for the cold here in LaPaz.

The family that owns the hotel were excited to have the kids there.  They had two children Camilla (11) and Adrian (9) that lived there.  When we arrived that morning Hermano Hernan told those two that he had brought a friend and pointed at Corey.  The entire week those two kids loved having Corey around, playing with him and even the owners invited him into their home, fed him some food and played with him.  By the time we left they were sad to see him go.  Cara was even a hit at the hotel.  While she still doesn't like to venture far from mommy with anyone (not even daddy) she loved looking, smiling and making noises at them.  They were sad to see her go, especially Camilla who most often came up to our room and played with her.

The students arrived the next morning with all their gear in tow.  We settled them into the hotel and relaxed for part of the day.  We had yummy food provided by the mission team.  That first day we made up fliers telling about the health talks and VBS that were to be held in the evening Tuesday to Friday.  Then the girls and I with the kids walked around town handing them out to anyone we encountered.  The guys headed to the church that afternoon and began the work there.
Tuesday the group moved to the local school to sleep there and then headed off to the church in the afternoon to work.  The work at the church consisted of moving rock up a hill to pour into the base of the church to level the ground.  This took Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Then on friday they moved a pile of sand up the hill in order to make it easier for the men that lived there to mix the cement right near the church and pour it immediately.  They also put us a fence around the church to keep the pigs from marking the place up with their scent.  By Friday evening the work on the church was complete.

Tuesday to Friday evenings were spent at the school doing health talks.  The main aggravations were that the people never showed up on time.  We had told them each night that the meetings started at 7pm.  But people usually showed up around 7:45pm or 8pm which shortened the talks.  Praise God though The students still did very well with their presentations.  Even Manny and I helped out by talking about Water and Exercise. We had about 6-10 people each evening and they seemed to be very appreciative of our efforts.  Some of the students put on a VBS at the same time as the health talks were going on.  The kids loved the activities, the singing and the crafts.  This crowd grew each night and by Friday evening there were no seats left for kids to sit.  Praise God.

I was able to do some physical therapy with two patients while there.  During my talk about exercise two people asked about doing exercise with the pain that they had.  I offered to see them on a personal visit to address their issues and hopefully give them some relief.  One lady agreed for me to see her at her home which happened to be the hotel we were staying at and the gentleman agreed to come a bit earlier to the meeting for me to see him.  so below is what I found

Patient #1: The patient is an older lady who fell and broke her hip a year and a half ago. She had a prosthesis put in but was still feeling weak and unstable and still using a cane and having difficulty climbing steps. After talking with her for about 30 min via Manny translating to Spanish, I taught her 4 exercises to help her strengthen her hip muscles as they were still weak. I also talked to her about getting shoes with a lift on the left side cause she has about a 2-3mm leg length difference from the surgery.  I also taught her how to climb stairs properly and gave her 1 stair climbing exercise.  I told her if she did those exercises everyday that in about 1 month she should be able to climb the steps without hanging on.  The lady was so grateful and promised to do the exercises daily like instructed. She was super active before her fall. So I believe she will do them. I also told her that she was strong enough to be walking without a cane.  And later that afternoon I saw the results.  Praise God that I was able to speak last night so that I could meet her and help her.  By the end of the week, she was looked like she was more stable on her feet, her limp was significantly decreased and she was not using her cane.  I just love seeing the results and I had so much fun.

Patient #2: This patient was an older gentleman who was experiencing on the left side significant tingling/numbness and at times his leg just wouldn't move.  He couldn't pick a time when it started except in the past 2 weeks sometime.  He had pain bending over and it was more when he went to the left side.  He also was having pain in his left sacral-illiac joint (SI Joint).  As I wasn't too sure what was going on in the back, I opted to just treat the SI Joint and then told him to come earlier to the meeting the following day and I would do another treatment.  The next day when he arrived, he told me that he was at least 75% better and did not want a second treatment.  He seemed a little standoffish but I was ok with that.  I was amazed that he was feeling better.  I instructed him in squats and brisk walking to maintain his strength in his pelvis and then we went in to start the meeting.

I am so to say the least ecstatic that I was able to help two people with their problems.  I just cannot wait to get to the mountains to help all the people out there who are having problems and no one to help them.

Sabbath was spent in a small town up the river called Cotagaitilla.  The church was small but had maybe 15 people.  They asked Chris to preach and he agreed telling his elephant story and drawing a few spiritual lessons from it.  They fed us lunch then we walked out to the road to catch the bus back home.

The bus trip to Cotagaitilla and back was a new experience.  Think sardines in a can while being boiled over a hot fire.  That is the way it was on the way there but it was 10x worse on the way back.  basically the driver packs as many people into the bas as possible.  The trip there wasn't too bad cause it wasn't very hot.  But on the way back... it was HOT and to be packed into a bus for a 45 min ride back to town, let's just say the door and the windows were open and it was still hot.  Manny who was at the door was hanging out, yes you read that right, he was hanging out the door all the way back to town.  we packed so many people that we just couldn't shut the door if we wanted to.  We had to not pick up about 5-10 more people because the bus was so full. I felt kind of bad cause these people who we didn't pick up depended on this bus to take them into town.  But our group was a group of 13 and took up quite a bit of room on the bus.  Corey even fell asleep standing up on the way back.  I know that I will not be making a trip like that again if I can help it at all.

Saturday night after arriving back from Cotagaitilla, we took showers, grab our luggage and headed to the road to catch the bus.  It arrived around 7pm and we headed home.  this 12hr trip was not too bad except that we were all freezing, well that is except Corey and Cara who had blankets on them.  It was so hot in Cotagaita that we didn't even think to keep our blankets out of the luggage for the ride home.  We all tried to sleep but it was hard.  We were awake when the sun came up and when we finally got home.  We crawled into bed and look a very long nap.

The Devil did many things to try and discourage us and stop us from spreading his message.  We found out after returning home that the Priest of the Catholic church in town heard about what we were doing and went around town inviting people to the church to a bible study.  The church had never put on a bible study before so people went to it.  But The Priest was really trying to keep people from going to our meetings.  I hope that someday the seeds that we planted in that town will grow and blossom into souls won for Christ. 

This mission trip taught us a few things:

1. Expect anything and any type of weather
2. Cut out the middle man and personally make sure all the details are settled before the group gets there.
3.  The Devil will try to stop anything and discourage many when it is a mission to win souls for Christ.

Airplane Campaign

Check out our Airplane Campaign by clicking on the picture above.

We'd love it if you'd like to join us in campaigning for a life-saving plane to work for the Lord in the highland mountain regions of Bolivia. The more we hike in to remote communities, the bigger this need becomes!

Eno Family Needs
1. Monthly Support ($1200)

2. House Furnishings ($700)

3. Debt Payoff (Contact us) 

Top Project Needs:
1. Ophthalmoscope/ Otoscope - ($200 or donated one)

2. Vehicle - Land Cruiser Ambulance - ($25,000)

3.  Medical Supplies - (purchased here, $500-$1000)

4.  Go-Pro camera/Accessories ($200-400)

5.  Airplane - Super Cub (see campaign above)
Become a Financial Missionary - Sponsor an Item
Read DJ & Jodi's Update to see what else has been happening
A Trek up Illimani

Chris and Manny went on a four day trek up Illimani. Read his full experience on our blog by clicking the button below.
Eno Family Blog

The Holiday season
We have been very blessed this Christmas being away from our family.  We were given food by three different families.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal with our friends Ingrid, Pablo, their two kids and Ingrid's parents and brother.  They gave Corey an airplane and a few cars as a gift and Cara got a few squish balls to chew on.  Our family blessed us this season with money enough to buy our beds.  We are so excited to finally be getting off the floor where we have been sleeping.  Even though we are way from our blood families, we have made new friends here in Bolivia.  We were blessed to talk to so many friends and family over skype/Facebook video chat this Christmas.  Thank you all for taking the time to visit with us.  It helps us not miss home quite so much.
An Andean Wedding

We were invited to a wedding here in Bolivia. It was a very interesting experience but fun all the same.  We rode a rented bus that took those from the Bajo-Llojeta Church to the wedding. When we arrived were seated at tables for the ceremony that had cheese puffs and others snacks plus soda (cause that is all they drink here).  Throughout the ceremony we snacked and drank soda/tea etc and were reserved when the platter was empty.  The ceremony and reception were in the same room and basically you move through the list of activities in the program without changing places.  The best part about the ceremony was  that the groom had to ask for the brides hand with the parents next to them (kind of what we Americans do but all parents are involved) and they had confetti all over.

The reception was a thing of interest with two Mariachi bands, two times to give presents and get many different party favors, along with pictures with the bride and groom and several introductory games (including pass the flower).  Overall Chris and I had a great time.  We were able to practice our Spanish with the people at  our table and teach them some English.  Corey had fun playing with the other kids his age and we made better friends with the people at the church we attend. 

See pictures at the link at the top of the page on the GMA Photo Gallery.

The New Year

We look forward to the adventures God has for us this coming year.  We hope to be moving out of the city soon.  To be reaching into the mountains to help the people there on a more regular basis and to hopefully find land to purchase and build our homes and run way.  We also are looking forward to getting a plane to be more effective in reaching these people.  Please be praying with us that the funding will be provided for the plane quickly and our project will be moved forward quicker then we can keep up.

We hope you all have a blessed new year and thank you for supporting us through prayers, through finances and through your encouraging words.

Much love
Chris, Crystal, Corey and Cara

This project is funded entirely by donations. If you would like to support a part of our mission, we accept tax-deductible donations through Gospel Mission Aviation, Inc.

Donations can be given through these two methods:

1. Write a Check to Gospel Mission Aviation and mail to:
Gospel Mission Aviation, P.O. Box 2358, Collegedale, TN 37315

2. Via PayPal (donate2gma@gmail.com)

Please include a note on all donations stating "Bolivia Highlands - Eno."

Click on the Link below to go to our "Donate" page of our website for more details.

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

100% of your donations go directly to our project.
Thank you for becoming financial Missionaries with us!

Friday, January 1, 2016

A Trek up Illimani (E-E-Mani)

By Chris Eno

Check out photos on our GMA Photo Gallery Site.
Day 1: I'm too full to lie down and it's not digesting fast. there are two Llama skeletons just outside the tent. It's been a long day. Started out sitting on the side of the street for half an hour waiting for pickup. Then traveling all over LaPaz picking up equipment from the storage, fuel from Ceja, food from the office downtown, more equipment from the our outfitter, Hugo's, house in Zona Sur. Finally started climbing out the east end of town around 11am, returned to dirt road, climbed over the first ridge then down into and back out of a valley, into the clouds, to a pass between Illimani and the next mountain to the north. It was very windy there, probably 30-40mph. The mist was blowing up from the east through the shallow pass. We packed the food and tent into our bags and ate lunch, then started climbing out southeast into the mist. For over an hour we treed through visibility of about 200 yards. At one point a herd of llamas emerged from the mist on a ridge. It was a very surreal experience seeing the shadows coming running down the hill. Finally, the weather shifted and clouds lifted a couple hundred feet above us. More climbing. More llamas, and some sheep. Several places the trail was washed out by landslide so we had to carefully cross the loose soil. After 3 hours, we reached an old road and mining camp built on a hill overlooking a beautiful lake bowl. We set up camp on the soft moss 50 yards from the lake. Thankfully, the rain held off until we were almost finished with supper. Then it was into the tent to keep warm and dry and prepare for bed.
Altitude is affecting my stomach. Having trouble digesting food. Not a comfortable night.

Day 2:  The morning started slow, with geese singing on the lake and a light breeze shaking the ice off the tent. I didn't sleep last night. Just kept turning over and over. Altitude was making my breathing awkward and giving me lots of gas. I ate and drank too much for supper, so that didn't help. Had to get up 3 times to empty my bladder. It rained and sleeted off and on most of the night. When I got up around 2 there was snow on the sides of the bowl around the lake. 

When we got up, made hot chocolate, started breakfast of bread and jelly and instant oatmeal. I took a hike up the rocks on the other side of the lake for a great view of the route we came from and the Cordillera Real stretching northwest. Coming back to camp I saw two geese with about 12 goslings swimming across the lake.

We got packed up and on the trail again around 8am. Climbed along and over a ridge at 5000m then traversed back toward Illimani for several hours across scree fields, through washouts, and over rocky, mossy ridges covered with Llama poo and the animals that make it. 
Llamas are curious animals. They usually come close and stare as we pass by. 
We stopped for lunch beside a stream where someone had piled up rocks to make several tables. I took my socks and shoes off because I was sweating and starting to feel a few rubs. Thankfully my socks dried and I made it the rest of the way without problems.

As we got close to Illimani base camp, there were several clearings with sheep grazing. I was getting pretty tired. We stopped for short rests several times, but finally rounded a corner to see the base camp spread out below is. It's a large flat area with many glacier fed streams running through it. Today, there were only sheep, llamas and horses there. The climbing season is over. So we kept going to another smaller camp closer to the trail up the mountain. We have the place to ourselves. Our guide picked a bunch of grass to spread under the tent, making a pretty nice bed. After we set up the tent and cocina, I went over to the creek to wash my face and arms and soak my feet a bit. Then it started hailing. So to the tent we went for a few minutes until it quit. After I drank 3 cups of chocolate, we made pasta with tvp and tomato sauce. The sun came out for a few minutes so I got some good pictures of the mountains then just as suddenly a breeze blew clouds up the valley and over us. Now it's foggy and cold. We're lying in bed at 6 pm. It'll be an early morning. We start climbing Illimani at 5am. We should make it to condors nest by 11. That's as far as we can safely go this time of year.

Day 3:  started early. Up at 5:30 to get a light breakfast and dress for the climb to the high camp. It snowed in the mountain during the night, so we could see white patches all over the part we were going to climb. Our guide's wife had agreed to come up and watch our tent so we could leave everything there except what we needed for the climb. The guide carried a small backpack with water and cold weather gear. Manny carried the top of a backpack with snacks and some other stuff in it. I had just my hiking poles. We left about 6:30 and started climbing immediately up a rocky hill. Next was a soft sandy slope that led us to the base of the scree scrambling down from the monolith looming above us. 

After about an hour, we reached the top of the scree pile and made our way along the base of the cliff until reaching the old campsite used years ago. Manny and I picked up some flat rocks to add to the rectangular table that has been built there over years by many climbers. After this, we hiked up the peak of the rocky ridge for quite a while. Snowy patches turned to complete white covering the rocks as we made our way up to the final segment. I had to stop often to catch my breath in the thin air until I started breathing as if I was running fast. It's almost impossible to hyperventilate in such thin air, so breathing fast is the best way to get enough oxygen. 

The last few hundred feet are up a 45 degree shale face. Ditching one of my poles, I started climbing, often using both hands to hold onto the ledges. The snow had not stuck to the steep face of this area, but there were still a few slushy puddles on the flats that made footing tricky. And to make it more interesting, the clouds coming up the mountain started dropping more snow and making the whole face wet. One foothold after another, we slowly made our way up and over the last little dome and onto a flat area called "Ecampamento Nido del Condor," the high camp for climbers summiting the mountain. We had the place all to ourselves, since the snow and ice are at high risk for avalanche this time of year, and the wet snow will clog crampons and make walking on the glaciers difficult. By this time, the snow was blowing steadily up the mountain slope. It's a strange thing to see snow coming UP through the air. We took a bunch of pictures and threw some snowballs around, then decided the weather was not going to get better and it was time to start making our way down before too much snow stuck to the mountain face.

Im not sure which was more thrilling, going down or coming up. Making our way down the steep rock face, making sure each foot is planted securely before releasing a handhold, was pretty scary at times. Best not to look down to the side. A slide from here will be a quick trip back to the bottom. Thankfully, our guide is experienced and confident, and he projected that to us. It's easier to keep moving when fear isn't gripping me. It doesn't take as long to get down as it did to climb up, so soon we were off the most difficult section and hiking back down the rocks and sand.

We were pretty tired and hungry by the time we got back to camp around 1:30, but still pretty thrilled from the experience. Our guide prepared lunch of arroz, papas fritas, heuvos, y plantain while Manny and I lounged and drank water to re-hydrate. It is easy to get dehydrated in the cold dry air without noticing it. The rest of the day was spent doing very little. After a simple supper of soup and a little hail storm, we were ready to hit the hay.

Day 4: We were up early again to pack up camp and head south down the road. From the Illimani base camp, a road runs around to a pass on the south end of Illimani. After the pass, a green valley opened up below us and we saw horses grazing calmly on the hills. Several hours of descending through the valley and we were within sight of Cohoni, our place to catch a bus to LaPaz. We stopped for a meal, then finished the trek into the town square where we sat on a bench until a Nissan SUV pulled up and offered a ride to LaPaz for 20Bs each. Cheaper than the bus, faster and a better ride as well. The only negative was the song that was on repeat for the last hour of the drive. It took me a day to get that song out of my head.

Finally back in LaPaz, it's a different world. I have tried to share the shear power I felt on the mountain, but it's something one has to experience. It can't be told with words. Like the Holy Spirit working in my life. Words cannot make the hearer experience it. It must be felt, it must be lived. The thrill is indescribable.