Friday, August 28, 2009


Love is in the air folks! Aaron and I were married on August 15th and had a wonderful time in Mexico for our honeymoon (see pics below). Now its back to reality. But, reality is good right now, so there are no complaints. We both have jobs, a lovely apartment, and are pursuing with prayer our future in missions. I'm enjoying settling in as a wife with all the things that come with it. Most of them, I'm sure, are yet to be discovered. But I've had fun cooking, setting up our home, and yes, I have even enjoyed doing our laundry. Haha

Our missionary status with the Latin America Mission has changed back to "Missionary Appointees" which is the fancy way of saying that we are back in the support-raising stage of what missionaries do before heading to the field. We probably won't get too into the support-raising until late this year or early 2010. God has His hand in this and we trust Him completely with the timing and finances of this great life He has called us to. We are resting in Him and enjoying the life he has for us TODAY because a very good book tells us that tomorrow has its own issues! ;)

Enjoy the pics below. Unfortunately I do not have wedding pictures yet and probably won't for some time. But when I do, I'll be sure and post some for all you out there who were not able to be with us at our wedding. We appreciate your continued prayers as we learn to love each other as man and wife as well as explore what all the Lord has for us as a couple. Many blessings to you as this year already begins to come to a close!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WAY past due!

I apologize for having completely slacked off in the blog department! There is no valid excuse other than I have been BUSY BUSY BUSY with job stuff, car stuff, and mostly....WEDDING stuff. Yay! I get married in 3 1/2 weeks and things are coming along wonderfully.

My month here has been an adjustment but good. I have loved seeing my family, friend, and AARON! I feel so bad about not keeping up with some of you and promise that, once thing settle down a bit and life becomes "normal" after the wedding, I will do a much better job of keeping you posted, putting up pictures, and hopefully entertaining you with my many adventures!

Until then, thanks so much for being patient and just know that your prayers are being heard because life has been good so far!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My last day

Wow, just typing the title of this blog brings up a fountain of emotions. I'm SO EXCITED to arrive in Atlanta and see my sweetie and the family/friends I have been missing. And at the same time, I feel that somebody may have to drag me on the plane as I do not want to say goodbye. This is a short blog and I plan to write plenty about the 40th anniversary and about my last few days here. But I havn't updated in a while and just wanted you to know that I'm doing OK, but would appreciate any prayers you can offer up at this time on my behalf. Be looking for a re-cap video soon of my unbelievable year here! And THANK YOU for all of your support!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Beginning of the end...

I start this week off with various thoughts floating around in that increasingly cramped mind of mine. This week we prepare to receive 400-500 people for a conference and 150 people for a retreat which will immediately follow the conference. Needless to say, our team of 5 is quite busy.

But, amongst all this hustle, the underlying thought that runs through my brain is that this is my last full week here in Colombia. :( So, aside from the things I'm in charge of with work, I am packing, saying goodbyes, and dealing with the emotions that come with knowing I'm going to see my fiance, family, and friends, but also that I am saying goodbye to many people I love here.

This past weekend there was a little get-together at my boss, Grace's, house because we know there won't be time for a goodbye party this weekend! Check out the picks and, if you think of it, keep me in your prayers this week. I leave in 9 days!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Honey-Do List

I sit at work, on my lunch break, thinking of the hundreds of things I have to do in the next little bit. My list begins with all the things that must be done before I leave Colombia (in 2 1/2 weeks) as well as all the things I have to do so that I CAN leave Colombia:
1. clean out desk
2. pack up room
3. put together donation pile of things I'm leaving behind
4. finish planning for the 40th anniversary next week

But it doesn't end there. no no. That's actually the short list! The longer lists come with wedding prep and job hunting. I won't even give an example of that cause I wouldn't know where to start.

I am a list girl. I like them. I like writing them and checking off each item as it gets accomplished. But THIS! Woah. I'm hoping to be one of those easy-going brides as the date continues to sneak up on us. But....there is just SO MUCH TO DO! Well, here goes. I'm sure that the blogs from here on out will be entertaining to say the least. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I, too, had a 3-day weekend. It wasn't memorial day for me here, but the holiday proved to be quite enjoyable. Among the festivities were several "firsts" for me and/or those around me. Even after a year of living here, there are plenty of firsts to be had! Check it out:

First of roommate and I decided to take our last night out. These next 3 weeks are going to be super full and so I wanted to be sure we made time for this. I took her for Japanese. It was a FIRST for her as she had never had sushi OR eaten with chopsticks. She loved it and did great! Not the most flattering pic of her, but it tells the story:

Then there was a concert. It was my first concert here in Colombia. Aldaba is the group that played. They are a Christian group that get their style from the indigenous music from the peoples of the Andes Mountains here in Colombia. Very cool. The concert was a huge success as they released their 3rd cd.

I DROVE!!!! After a year of living here, I had yet to drive in Colombia. We took a road trip through the mountains to some hot springs and I got to drive. A First in Colombia and a First in 5 months!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A week in the life...

Last Monday, as I browsed my missionary friends' blogs, I came across a very interesting one. "A day in the life" I thought that some of you may wonder what it is that I actually do. So, I spent the last week taking a few pictures of the things I do here. And now, I present to you my life:

I start off my day around 6:30-7:00 am when either my alarm wakes me up, or the paper business in my building turns on their machines and wake me up with the shaking of my entire apartment. :)

Then it's off to the gym for an hour or so. (this is not a picture of MY gym, but of a gym chain here in Colombia. I felt akward trying to take my camera into my gym)

Next comes my shower and walk to work. Before I leave the house though, I am sure to fix myself a hot cup of delicious, steaming, Colombian coffee. YUM!

On Mondays we all get to work and have a morning meeting. We discuss prayer requests, tasks/meetings for the week, and have a devotional time as a team. This picture is missing 3 staff members (including me, the photographer)

Next, I sit down and check my emails. I usually average between 10-15 non junkmail items, so it takes me quite a while to sort through them and respond.

I then spend my time emailing for work, putting together itineraries for various events, and doing anything else my superior may ask of me. This is all done at my desk; the "official" part of my work.

In no particular order, I am also the librarian for UCU. We have about 1,500 books that I am in charge of checking in/out, organizing, and making ID cards for students who want to become UCU library members.

The "relational" side of my job is in discipleship and mentoring. Various students come to me for advice or prayer and so I spend time with them whenever they are able to come to the office. Here is one of my regulars, Adriana.

On Wednesdays, we have our regular Bible Study. We average about 25-30 students per Wed. and it is about a 2 1/2 hour time of worship, prayer, and studying the Word. (note that this picture is not from our Bogota group but from our Barranquilla group. I completely forgot to take a pic of the group last Wed.)

And that wraps up what it is that I do. Until next time my friend!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Studying Romans

I am amazed at the various moods I can take on. Not just throughout the month, or the week, but throughout one single DAY! I have met a few steady and constant people in my life. Its not to say that they are "better" than us more moody folks, but it sure is nice to always know what to expect from them. Yes, they too have their moments, but they aren't like my moments, which change with the wind. THAT is something I am working on. It has progressed over the years and I continue to move towards being a more emotionally steady person. But cut me some slack....I'm female! haha

Why talk about this? Isn't this blog's title about studying Romans? YES! I am constantly amazed at God's faithfulness as seen in Romans. Paul does such an incredible job of repeating in various examples how the Lord did save me (justification), continues to save me (sanctification) and will one day complete his salvation work in His second coming when I am forever changed into the absolute image of Christ (glorification)!

Paul also quotes Isaiah in Romans 10 when he reminds Israel that "all day long I [God] have stretched out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people." There he stands, despite my contstant fight for control over my own life and my constant mood change, waiting for me to recognize that HIS ways are FAR BETTER than MINE! My heart can't help but recognize its selfishness while my Spirit sees God's hand at work and hears His voice saying "trust me Zoe"!

Since the news of my fallen support, I have researched various ways that I can, upon return to the States, make it 'on my own'. NOT SO! He has ALWAYS been faithful to me, even when I "was still a sinner". And so what has changed? Why is it all of the sudden up to me to save myself financially? ITS NOT! That's not to say I sit around on my rear and wait for some happy miracle where 1 million dollars will just fall into my lap. Of course not! But I can trust that God WILL provide...either through raised support, or a part-time job, or whichever other way I can't imagine that He already has set in place.

And so I am encouraged today to recognize that the Lord has been standing there with outstretched arms waiting for me to crawl back in His lap and say "Ok God, DO YOUR THING!"
How about you? Are you running out of yourself trying to work out your own "salvation"?

All I can say is...thank you God for Romans! hah! (and the the rest of the Bible too of course)

"...the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'the just shall live by faith'"
Romans 1:17

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is this when God comes in?

Yesterday I received my April finance report from the Latin America Mission. This is a monthly report where missionaries can see the income received from supporters and the amount paid from the account for salary. To make a LONG story short, I basically have a total of 4 months left before they have to starting cutting my pay big time. You see, at the beginning of the support raising process, any gifts given go into a support pool that collects until departure date. If the missionary is lacking in monthly support, they take some, bit by bit, out of that pool. Well, the pull has run dry my friends! Due to a few lost supporters as well as annual gifts that were not given this year I have lost some monthly support and my pool can no longer sustain the loss.

What does this mean for me? My up coming year in the States was meant to be a time of study leave for me to receive my certification in counseling. While I still do plan on studying, it appears I may need to find a more substantial job than just a few hours a week. Working for me has never been a problem. I have had various jobs since I could drive and generally enjoy the responsibility. But receiving my counseling certification, support raising for Aaron and I, and working 20-30 hours a week is going to prove to be very trying.

Please pray for Aaron and I as we seek out the best options for our year in the States. Thank you so much!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Things I'll miss, things I'm ready for PART TWO

As promised, you can now find out the things I have missed the most, and the things I'm ready to experience in good ole Atlanta. I left the United States in January of 2008. This puts me at being out of the country for a near total of 1 1/2 years. This, in the scheme of things, is a fairly short amount of time. However, when it comes to certain things, 1 1/2 years seems like a lifetime! Let's see...

Things I'm ready for:
I'm ready to start getting things for my first apartment with Aaron. We'll be living in a wonderful basement apartment with two bedrooms, one bath, a private driveway, and just enough space for two love birds. The pic below is not of our apartment, but it is representing all that I'm ready for: starting a home with my sweetie!

I'm ready for the WEDDING! I'm ready to wear the white dress, to carry the flowers, to eat the cake, and to become a Mrs. More specifically, Mrs. Zoe Danielle Das! WOOHOO It has a nice ring to it wouldn't you say?

Things I miss:
I miss cable TV in English. I haven't ever been one of those tv addicts. But it will be lovely to sit down in front of the tv with my favorite snack and watch an episode of Lost or American Idol. Yay!

I miss SEASONS! Oh my goodness. Bogota has two seasons. The rainy season which stays a wet and rainy 45-55 degrees, and the dry season which stays a dry 50-60 degrees. The leaves dont' change, there is no summer, and when it rains, it POURS! Atlanta seasons, here I come!

I miss my family. It will be so wonderful to just have dinner with them, watch a movie, drive in the car, and chat. Shopping with mom, hanging out with dad, discussing books with Joe, listening to Ben talk about his car, and staying up talking with Jill. I love you family! See you soon!

DRIVING! I know I know, the Atlanta traffic can be horrible! But I have spent the better part of 1 1/2 years taking buses and taxis or relying on others to drive me from a to b. I'm ready to sit behind the wheel. Now, as of yet, I will not have my own car for the year in the States. So, below is a pic of my precious husband-to-be's car who has so graciously offered to share it with me! Thanks honey!

And again, saving the absolute best for last....I miss my Aaron!!!!!! I'm ready to see his face every day and not just hear his voice coming from my phone. I'm ready for dates and holding hands and watching movies and doing puzzles and just staring at him in wonder! Haha, we're still in the gaga stage and proud of it!

So, there ya have it folks. This wraps up my two-part blog of all the things I'll miss in Colombia and all the things I'm looking forward to in the States. Visit soon as I will be slowly wrapping up my time here in Bogota!

Things I'll miss, things I'm ready for PART ONE

Well, for those of you who were disappointed by my short blog entry last time, THIS should make up for it.

I have now been in Colombia for 9 months. During that time, I have fallen in love with certain aspects of the culture and life here. These are the things I will miss terribly when I leave in less than 2 months. They are the memories I will hold onto and the people I will keep in touch with.

I'm going to miss how inexpensive everything is here. This includes $2 manicures, $8 haircuts, $3 lunches, and $150 rent.

I'm going to miss speaking Spanish A LOT! I'm praying that I don't lose the level I have gained and that when I come back, it'll be like I never left. But this, I feel, is unlikely.

I'm going to miss my favorite restaurant, Crepes and Waffles. They serve the most unbelievably delicious food for way cheaper than you would get in the States. My mouth waters when I think of my Curry Crepe, Hindu Style or my Nutella and ice cream dessert crepe. YUM!

I'm going to miss the Ciclovia (cycle-way) where, on Sunday mornings, they shut down major streets in Bogota so that people can ride their bikes or jog through the streets that are usually wall-to-wall cars. This is where I do my long runs, and I'm going to miss it greatly!

I'm going to miss being able to walk just 6 blocks to my grocery store or the fruit and vegetable market. In the States, this generally requires the use of a car and an hour of your time.

Saving the best for last...I will definitely miss the friendships I have made, the students I mentor, and my office-mates! It will be an adjustment not seeing these wonderful faces on a daily basis. :(

Stay tuned for the next entry where you can find out all the things I'm ready for! Over a year from home can leave you longing for some of the "North American luxuries"...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beaches, Buses, and lots of Paint Brushes

Here is a super short re-cap of the last 3 1/2 weeks...

Aaron arrived.
We hung out.

We got on a bus:

We were on the bus for a total of 47 hours (round trip):

We toured the coast for future ministry locations:

We returned to Bogota.
We painted the UCU house and did some demo:

Aaron left.
And now I'm getting back to work!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Aaron's visit...headed to the coast!

Aaron has now been here one week and we have been busy, but have enjoyed our time together. On Monday we head out from Bogota to visit the coast. We'll be traveling by bus. It is 18-20 hours from here to our first destination: Barranquilla.

We'll be visiting the UCU group there and doing some video filming for the up-coming 40th anniversary of UCU in June. From there we take a 2-hour ride to Cartagena. Cartagena is the city we will potentially be moving to after we are married and so we are going to see the possible language-schools as well as cost of living and the school where the LAM may place us.

After that we take another 2-3 hours to Sincelejo which is a bit inland and VERY hot! We are visiting some fellow-LAMers there and will be receiving pre-marital counseling from Connie Befus. From there, we head home and will arrive in Bogota on the 9th.

Its going to be a long drive, but we are looking forward to the time together and a break from the cold cold rain. The coast averages 75-85 degrees year round with 90-100% humidity and no air conditioning. Believe it or not, even that extreme heat will be a welcome change to my 50-degree, no indoor-heating, constant rainy Bogota.

Wish us safe travels! I'll write again either from the coast, or as soon as we get back. Here's a map of our route for those of you into geography...

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Girl Named Lisbeth

Meet Lisbeth (pronounced Lizbet)

This young lady has been taken under our wing here at UCU. Originally from the coast, one of our staff workers has basically adopted her. She recently turned 16 and spends her days here at the UCU house. Her story is similar to that of many many adolescents and I'll hope you'll read on to see how the Lord is changing her life, and mine, through her being here.
Lisbeth is from the city of Valledupar in the far North of Colombia. While she is 16 years old, she has the emotional maturity of an 8 year old and has very little education. Raised by somebody who she thought was her grandmother, Lisbeth is the daughter of a prostitute. Only recently have we discovered that her "grandmother" is likely to be somebody who is not blood-related at all and simply took her on for the first 15 years of her life.
Lisbeth's upbringing was far from pleasant. We suspect an abusive past and her temper tantrums and complete lack of social norms all point to a past that is less than ideal. Taking her on has been a trial in patience for us all. But when she isn't upset about something or hyper-focusing on minor things, she is one of the most sincere and adoring people I have ever met.
Grace is working with her on some basic education. Lisbeth can read, but my guess is that she reads at about a 3rd grade level. Its painful to know that sometimes, my Spanish vocabulary is more expansive than hers. We are also working on her motor skills to help with hand-eye coordination. Don't get me wrong, as far as we know, she has no mental disabilities, but there are many things she was never taught. In addition, I am working on some geography basics with her. Before coming to UCU, she couldn't point to Colombia on a map. Now she is learning about North, Central, and South America. She is a quick learner and loves to discover knew things, including Biblical things.

She spends her days banging on the piano, though she has never taken lessons, and strumming on the guitar. She sings whatever tune comes to mind, which very seldomly reflects the melody she is trying to play on the piano. But she lacks no motivation to learn, even if it means being self-taught. She has been taking knitting lessons from me and is proud to have finished her first little square in a yarn color she calls "extravagant".

The most rewarding thing to watch is how she loves the Lord. Of course her outbursts and child-like behavior seem so inappropriate for somebody her age. But she does love the Lord with a child-like passion. She loves to re-tell Bible stories that she is learning and sings at the top of her lungs during times of praise and worship.
Please pray for Lisbeth in Bogota, Colombia. Pray that the Lord would continue to grant us wisdom in helping to teach her both the basics of life, and the Word. As she matures emotionally, it is certain that she will begin to recognize the terrible wounds that her past has left. The Lord can heal her from the inside out, and that is my hope for her. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Lisbeth is just one of the many people that you are helping!