Since we have arrived here in Bogotá, we have experience many new things. Some things are cool and interesting and others are odd and different.
Here are a few of the cool and interesting new things:
- Fruits: there are so many new and delicious fruits here that are not available in the US.
- Jugo (pronounced “hugo”) = juice: jugo is served with almost every meal. And not just any juice from a carton or bottle but fresh squeezed deliciousness.
- Climate: the weather here is amazing. Pretty much like a cool fall day every day of the year. The sun rises and sets and pretty much the same time every day.
- Mountains: they are beautiful and I love looking at them everyday. And they are the baseline for all the grid street numbers.
- Delivery: Everywhere delivers! Grocery store, pharmacy, butcher, you name it . . . ask and you shall receive.
- Wall of green: many places have “living” walls which are typically greenery plants that grow on the out of an installed wall potting system. They are pretty cool and add a great atmosphere to any area.
Here are some of the odd and different things we have experienced:
- Stares: Yes, we are gringos and clearly not from here. Especially Ross. It is funny to watch people react to us. One day, a guy almost broke his neck because he spun around so quickly to keep his eyes on this red bearded, tattooed, white skinned man! 🙂
- You buy your cell phone minutes at the grocery store or almost any store; just NOT at the phone store.
- Lanes on the highway are suggestions. We spend a lot of time in taxis and it is an adventure. If there is any bit of space at all the driver will get into it. Who cares about lanes?!
- Cuantos Cuotas = How many payments?: If you use your debit/credit card at any location you will be asked this question. Whether you are buying a burger from McDonald’s, a basket of groceries, or a refrigerator, you will need to have an answer. Uno (1) is always preferable! 🙂
We have learned so much since we have arrived and know that there is so much more to learn and experience.
Feel free to message us with the questions you have about our new life here in Bogotá. We would love to answer them or include them in future blog posts.
We have waited for this day for so long and it is finally here. We are humbled to announce that the Lord has provided the remainder of needed support and will be moving to Bogotá, Colombia on August 12, 2015!
Since we were approved with MTW to serve in Bogotá, Colombia in September 2012, so much has transpired. We both left full time jobs and moved in with my parents in early 2013 and they have been so gracious to us. Support raising took a year and a half longer than expected but we learned so much along the way about our need to rest in His provision and perfect timing. We have visited with many churches, small groups and shared our calling with so many and asked them to partner with us. Along the way many have said yes and answered the call to help send us. To all of you who have prayed, asked questions, read our newsletters and updates, offered us places to stay, given of your time and finances, and pledged to support us: Thank You! Together may we be the aroma of Christ in Bogotá, Colombia.
As an update on our time of grieving, we continue to be grateful for the support system that the Lord has provided us. So many of you have supported us so well through the complications of pregnancy, delivery, and loss of James Adam. We were guided to wise counsel and pointed to a helpful type of therapy that deals specifically with trauma. It has been beneficial in our dealing with our grief and the events of loosing our son. In the years to come, we pray that we may be a source of rest and encouragement for those who face such difficult struggles. Though we will continue to miss our son, we are now confident that it is time to move forward with our plans for Bogotá.
So as we begin to prepare for the international move that we have dreamed of for years, would you continue to pray with us? Here are a few specific requests:
- May God continue to prepare our hearts for the work that He has set before us, and daily draw us closer to Himself.
- May we work diligently towards getting things checked off of the final to-do list.
- That things fall into place with acquiring our visas.
- For our family and close friends as we prepare for goodbyes.
- That God continue preparing the details of where we will live, serve, and find community in such a large city.
Ross and Ange
First, I would like to thank everyone for your love and support of Angela and I during this time in our lives as we mourn the loss of our son, James Adam. It is truly a blessing to receive all the words of encouragement and your continued prayers.
For those who are not familiar with our story, this is not the first loss of a child that Angela and I have been through. We have gone through two miscarriages prior to losing James. We lost our first child August 3, 2011 and our second on February 15, 2012. Both loses were difficult to process, for me the first was harder than the second. Having a child was something that I had desired for many years and struggled with why things were taking so long. Why is having a child so difficult for us, and easy for others? I was constantly comparing what God was doing in my life to what He was doing in the lives of others. So, when we lost our first child, I was completely devastated. I stopped asking: Why is it easy for others to get pregnant? And started asking: Why did we have to lose the baby? Why are so many of our friends having children and we have to struggle to get pregnant? And when we do get pregnant, why do we have to lose our child?
There was a lot of resentment and bitterness towards others and towards God. I hated the fact that things had to be so difficult for us. Why is God allowing these things happen to us? Why can’t things just be a little bit easier, just a little bit? Some things in our lives don’t seem to happen very easily. It is easy to let Satan influence us into doubting God’s sovereignty in our lives.
When we went through our second miscarriage, dealing with the loss was not as hard. It was not as hard as the first, because of God’s grace and mercy in placing a dear friend in my path with some of the most loving and encouraging words that anyone could speak. He didn’t try to make me feel better or try to make sense of why things happened the way that they have. But he was there to say that it sucked, and sorry that any of it happened. He encouraged us to seek after God, to stop asking why these things are happening to us, and start asking what He is doing in our lives through these events. He encouraged us to retreat. Take some time away from everything and incline our hearts towards God.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” Psalm 73: 25-28
It was during this time of retreat that God revealed to us that we were not pursuing the calling that He put on our lives, foreign missions. God used these terrible events in our lives to draw us nearer to him and show us how we needed to be obedient to His commandment to preach the gospel. I let Satan influence my heart towards bitterness and resentment. Satan meant those things that happened for evil, God meant them for good.
So here we are, the days after we lost our third child. This time is different than the first two. This time the pregnancy was farther along, 20 weeks. (The previous miscarriages happened around 8 weeks.) This time it was not a miscarriage, it was pre-term labor caused by complications in the pregnancy. Complications that so many of you prayed would not end up in pre-term labor. So many of you, along with us, prayed that the doctors would be proved wrong and God would work a miracle and allow Angela to carry James for at least another 4 weeks. The time when the doctors say that viability exist, the time when James had a fighting chance outside of the womb. Simply, we were praying for a miracle, a miracle of science and the miracle of life. The phrase that I used often during this time was that, “Our God Is Able.” How true that statement is, He is able. He is our creator and sustainer, our father and savior. He is the beginning and the end. He is God Almighty. He is the Great I Am!
Our God is able to do the miracle that we asked for, but in His sovereign will He did not perform the miracle that we asked for. However, He absolutely performed a miracle, not the one we asked for, but the one that we needed. The miracle of being able to spend 25 minutes with our son before passed. The miracle of touching him and holding his hands and seeing the different ways he resembled us. He had Angela’s lips and my long toes. He was truly fearfully and wonderfully made. While we mourn the loss of James, we are thankful for the time that we got to spend with him while he was still alive. We praise God for His mercy and grace for preparing our hearts for that precious time with our son.
The days after, honestly, have been difficult but not unbearable. We still have moments when we break down and cry for our son. We still have our moments of questioning God. But that is exactly what they are, moments. They come and they fade away because my hope is not in having children. My hope is in Christ.
When Angela and I got married we used a group of verses from Habakkuk as the scripture that our marriage would strive to emulate. “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut from the fold and there be no herd in the stall, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread in my high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
We will take joy in the God of our salvation. Even though things aren’t easy and our journey seems to be filled with suffering and loss. God, the Lord, is our strength. There is a huge similarity in the previous two losses and losing James. It is that Satan intends this for evil. He intends for us to deny God and become bitter and angry. But God intends this for good. We are not sure what that is right now, but we wait eagerly for Him to reveal it when the time comes.
I have written previously about dealing with our miscarriages and how a certain song has helped me in working through my anger and resentment. Please click the link below and listen to the words of the song and the message within it and know that God is better!
After suffering 2 miscarriages (2011-2012) around 8 weeks gestation, we longed to have a healthy pregnancy and welcome a healthy child into our family. In December 2014, we found out we were pregnant for the 3rd time! By the grace of God, we safely made it through the first trimester without any complications.
At the 19 week ultrasound, we found out we would be having a little boy! Our excitement was soon dampened by an unforeseen issue. The ultrasound uncovered a complication with Angela’s body that would cause preterm labor and delivery of our little boy. In the days to follow, the issue worsened and the usual course of action was not possible to administer. The doctors let us know that preterm labor was inevitable and that she would likely deliver in the next few days.
By a miracle of the hand of God, Angela was able to carry our little boy for a week and a half while staying on strict bed rest and doing everything possible. Each day was considered a great miracle that we got to spend with our precious unborn child.
Even on the inevitable day, the Lord was gracious to us. Angela was given warning signs to be able to make it to the hospital and gave birth to their little boy quickly without any complications.
James Adam Floyd was born on April 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm and his heart stopped beating at 3:40 pm. He was perfect in every way: precious fingers and toes; mouth, nose, and eyelashes; and muscles and limbs. The only flaw was that he did not have enough time in the womb to fully develop being only 20 weeks and 2 days gestation.
We are grateful for your prayers, comments and encouragement during this time of loss. Christ has been gracious to us in so many ways and even now we rest in Him.
– Ross and Angela
*If you would like to make a donation in memory of James Adam Floyd you may do so at https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/dvd8/in-memory-of-james-adam-floyd.