Sunday, August 12, 2012

News from the Olsons

It's been a while, but this is going to be a big one, so in the words of Bette Davis (who can't be quoted enough!) "fasten your seatbelts...its going to be a bumpy night."

Our big news is that we've sensed God's call to return with the IMB as career missionaries to Peru.  We've been offered and accepted a position with the American Peoples Affinity Group.  The role is labeled Network Strategy Coach.  Here is how David described it in a recent email:

A Network Strategy Coach works with missionaries from within the  
American Affinity to help them effectively use US churches in the  strategic engagement of people groups.  While much of this would be  with the Connecting Cluster missionaries, it includes working with all  other missionaries as well, helping them utilize US partners in their  master plans.  After an initial shock, Cameron and I took a month to  pray about this, then talked with various different people seeking  guidance.  We first felt some leading from the Lord during OGM.  Then,  we took two days to get out of Lima by ourselves this week to continue  seeking the Lord's will.  After all this, we now feel a peace, and yet  an overwhelming responsibility to the Lord's calling in this position.

So what that means is:

We will finish our term as ConnectPeru team leaders.  This term ends January 29, 2013.  At this time we'll head back to Virginia for a 6 month stateside.  Then after that, and all this is pending all the approvals we need, we will return to Lima.  We'll be based here, but work with folks all over the Americas.  

We are excited and sad at the same time.  Until a few months ago, we had no plans of returning.  So this has brought about a big change in our plans.  But we've prayed many many hours over this, sought godly counsel and feel the Lord's peace and confirmation about it.  

Please keep us in your prayers!  We want to finish out our term here well and stay focused, there is much to do!  Also, please pray for us and our families.  It's been a very hard decision for us to make and for them to accept.  Pray for peace for them.  Please pray especially this week for a training of nationals (wed-fri).  This is the first time we have done this and are looking forward to it!

Thanks to all of you, if you have any questions, please let us know.  Also, let us know how we can be praying for you!

We love and miss you!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

3 years today

July 4, 2012
Today marks our third anniversary of our arrival in Peru.  The past three years have held numerous changes and we certainly not where we thought we would be today.  But the Lord has been faithful and good in all things and He has taught us so much in our time here.
We've managed to survive small feat since we coordinated over 40 teams this month!
All in all things are going well here with ConnectPeru- just busy busy.
July will be a busy month as well, though we have a week of meetings in Ecuador that we are all looking forward to!
Pete is doing great- growing like a week and running all over the place.  He's fearless on the sliding board too.

Please keep us in your prayers...

Please pray for us as we seek what the Lord has for us at the end of this term.
Please pray for all of our teams coming in this month.
Pray for our national partners!

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

at long last...

Wow!  This is way overdue!  
Thank you all for continuing to pray in the absence of updates.  I will try and do better I promise:)
I'll try and be succinct for this post and give you vital details of whats been happening the past 4 months or so...
Family life:  
 Pete is now a busy busy busy 1 year old who is trying desperately to walk solo.  He's taken several steps, but isn't quite ready to charge forward alone.  Thank goodness!  He's just cut tooth number 5 and loves quinoa, apples, chips and coca cola.  Yeah...he's my child.
We recently enjoyed a visit from David's parents.  They spent about 10 days with us and we traveled to Huancaya, Huancayo (2 different places), and finally we made it to Machu Picchu!  It was really amazing to finally see it and definitely worth the trip.  They spoiled us by taking care of Pete and doing all the dishes (Thanks Betty!).  We even did our first night away from Pete, he did great.  Mama and Papa did ok...
David and I are just starting a Bible study "Sacred Marriage" with another IMB couple here in Lima.  We are enjoying it so far and look forward to the challenges it throws our way:)

I'm not even sure where to begin.  David and I are currently Team Strategy Leaders for ConnectPeru (combined REAP North and South).  David is heading up US Partner Training (amongst a million other things).  He is coaching about 80 some of our US SC churches.  The inbox is very full.  I am working on assigning interpreters which is great, though sometimes the equivalent of doing a seating chart for a political dinner...I am also starting to work some with the affinity media team based here in Lima, doing some editing.  You know, in all my spare time?  Ha!  I've really enjoyed getting back into that a little bit and shaking the dust off of my editing skills.

Prayer Needs:
Please keep us in your prayers:
-Pray for our team, for unity and refreshment as we all work hard!
-Pray for the busy season that looms ahead:)
-Pray for clear direction and vision for what the future holds for the ministry here and for us personally.
-Pray for God to raise up nationals to do the work here!

Thank you all so much!  We'd love to hear from you, and pray for you.  Please feel free to give us a holler!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hey everybody! And Happy Thanksgiving this week!
Now, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Peru, but we are still managing 2 meals:) We'll have a large mission-wide lunch on Thursday and then Mindy and I are planning a meal on Saturday for some of our Peruvian friends. So my freezer is filled up with a huge turkey and my meal plan for the week is impressive to say the least!
I hope you all enjoy your time with family, celebrating and giving thanks to the Father for all of His blessings to us!
What's going on here in Peru? Well, we are staying awfully busy even though its the slow season. We are still helping keep things going here in Lima and working towards our ever-approaching official merge with REAPSouth. We were able to travel with our home church back to San Jose de Quero a few weeks ago. Though it was challenging with Pete (who experienced his first cold while on the trip). It was great to be back and see some familiar faces. This was a medical and discipleship trip and we enjoyed getting to go around and meet new folks who needed some medical attention, while visiting those we've had a relationship with for a while.
Pete is doing well, he has grown quite a bit and is mobil! Though in reverse:) He hasn't figured out how to crawl forward, though he can go backwards at an alarming rate!
He's teething which is a challenge, but still so much fun!
What's coming up...
We will be here in Lima for the next three weeks, helping out the teams that are coming down. But our main task continues to be looking towards the future and how to hand over our work to nationals and to make the merge as seamless as possible. Mid-December we travel to the US to be with our family at Christmas time. We are so thankful that we are able to do this and can't wait!
Please be praying for us!
Thanks to all of you

Friday, September 23, 2011

I am writing this from sunny and HOT Iquitos, Peru. David, Pete and I are here in the jungle city visiting teammates, Jeremy and Crystal Nelson (with karis and Adalyn) and Jake and Dodie Glover (with Hannah and Abigail). We are so enjoying our time with them and have a new respect for them living in this heat! Its wonderful in a way- compared to dreary Lima, but its hard to get used to! Pete has adjusted well and loves tooling around in just his diaper. He's a free spirit, what can I say?
The Nelsons and Glovers have generously shared their lives and ministries with us this week. We've met a lot of their national friends and had some great time reflecting on their ministries and life here.
They've also shown us some of the hot spots (no pun intended) of the town. We visited a great zoo where we saw real live jungle animals, including jaguars, wild boars, tapers, parrots, and yes, a monster snake. At least David and Pete saw the snake, I was shuddering as I rushed past! Ha! We also got to see the infamous Paiche, aka the river monster. Its a HUGE fish, unreal, that has an enormous velocity in grabbing a piece of food off a stick. Wow!!
We've had some great food, jungle pig and fish, a large fried plantain ball and camu camu juice.
Its been a fun trip and we are so pleased to have been able to be here.

We are continuing to seek the Lord's guidance in our role as team leaders. It is a hard change in our ministry focus. But we desire to be obedient. Please be praying for these things...

Unity among our REAP team- pray that we will work with a common purpose and develop an environment of encouragement.

Pray for the joining of REAP North and South into one team. Pray for the work and transition time and that we will do a good job merging the two teams.

Pray for an upcoming meeting with our supervisor, Marty Childers. Pray that it will be a great time of vision casting, brainstorming, and putting some legs on our ideas. Pray also that we will have some good time just being with Marty.

Please pray for Pete's continued growth and development and wisdom on how to be good parents.

Please pray for opportunities for David and I to do more ministry with nationals. This has been a struggle as our team leader responsibilities have taken more of our time.

Thank you all so much for your prayers- please feel free to send us an update and prayer requests for you and your family.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So when a new mom can't sleep, and the baby is actually asleep...what do I DO???
I've mentally redecorated both this apartment and our house back in Rockville and planned all sorts of crafts and projects that I'll probably never get to. So on to something I've been meaning to do and ought to do. Productivity. That is the key at midnight on Thursday August 11.

Our trip to the USA was wonderful, warm, fun, and as always too short. Pete was a trooper on the flight. He barely made a peep, sleeping in the air and enjoying the whirling activity and chaos of Miami International Customs...
I made the second leg of the trip solo as David went from Miami to Atlanta for a REAP partners training conference. Pete and I went straight to VA. We did just fine and were glad to see Mama and Daddy on the other end.
We spent the 10 short days visiting as many as possible, both family and friends and enjoying summertime in Virginia. We were there during a heat wave and while most were complaining, I was letting out a big Ahhhhhh of relief! Pete enjoyed "swimming" in the pool with Grandaddy and with Papa.

He was also intrigued by the boisterous doings of his cousins- who showed him how to have a good time on the farm. (He filed it away for future reference.)

All too soon we headed back to Lima, sad to say good bye to all.

On our return we resumed work. Many have asked us what work is like for us now that we are the team leaders. I can't honestly say. It varies day to day and in a lot of ways, our role is not so cut and dried. Its more whatever is leftover, or whatever no one else wants to do, or whatever needs doing. Its very vague and challenging thus far.
Within a week we had a team come in from South Carolina. 5 gentlemen plus 2 excellent translators and ourselves, travelled to Huanuco for the dedication of the Bible in Huallaga Quechua. We are so blessed to have been able to be there for the culmination of 30 years of translation work. We have now been to 2 of these historic events! It is so exciting to see the joy and satisfaction of the Quechua people receiving a Bible in the heart language. We had a time of reunion at the dedication with many friends. Pete was a hit! We had strangers coming up and asking to have their picture taken with him. They don't see many gringo babies out there...
The next 2 days were spent in "vision trip" with the team from SC. We took some bouncy dirt roads to visit several towns in the Santa Maria de Valle (valley). It was great to get out and see some mountains again and some "real" Peruvians. We spoke with several people along the way. I found out the way to talk to Quechua women...bring a baby with you!!! In times past, we have found it very challenging to bridge the cultural gap and have women even interested in talking to us. They flocked to me and Pete and were very open and outgoing. It was a neat difference. Thanks Pete.

Pete did very well in the travel and the altitude. His mother did not. I have never had so many difficulties in a trip. I blame nursing. Gotta be. I can't have gotten that wimpy. Surely not.
Now we are back in Lima, sorting out emails and getting organized (a never ending task). Please pray for us as we continue to transition and learn and listen to the Father.