• La Jornada - "The Journey"

  • Our Family!

  • Oh Canada!

  • Life is always an adventure!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Some pictures from our visit to Los Lomas de Arena (the Sand Dunes)...

And those were the sand dunes.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

We haven't been using the blog as much in recent months.  We will eventually.  But we did send out a new newsletter.  If you're not on the list....and you'd like to be...fire me an e-mail at ken.switzer@iteams.ca and I'll make sure you're added to the list.

Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 16, 2014

For those of you who haven't heard....we're now Impact Bolivia at International Teams of Canada.  That just means that we've become a site that IT CAN is focusing on.  That, along with the establishment of an Advisory Committee here in Canada, are a couple of the cool things that have happened over this past year. 

Here's a link to our page at International Team's web page....

Impact Bolivia

I'll write more about the Advisory Committee soon!  Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Here's a little video I put together with some pics from our trip to Canada last summer...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We'd love to have you come!  Just let me know....  =)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Did you ever play the Good News/Bad News game when you were a kid?  Your friend tells you something good and you say, “Well, that’s good news!”  Then they say, “No, that’s bad news!” and they proceed to tell you why it’s bad news.  Then you say, “Well, that’s bad news…” (in a sad voice) and they say, “No, it’s good news!” and then go on to tell you why it’s good news.  It goes back and forth as long as they can keep the story going.

Yea…that’s pretty much sums up my life for the past eight months. 

Good news…bad news…then invariably good news again.  Well…and then bad news…and so on…

But let’s start with the good news! 

As most of you know, we were finally told by the owners of our house that they wanted to sell it, and that we would have to leave (originally the bad news).  Thankfully they gave us until February of this year (yay…good news!).  They also gave us the option of purchasing the house if we wanted…but they wanted too much for it so we declined and said that we would just leave (oh...bad news).

Since then every single conversation over the past year that we’ve had with the owner (who is in Spain) or her parents (who are in Bolivia) has been, “So…has Mr. Ken (what they call me) decided if he wants to buy the house yet?” 

Every single conversation.  It became a joke between Andres and I.

“So…” says Andres (laughing because it’s the fifteenth time he’s asked me), “The owner wants to know if you’ve decided to buy the house.”  

“Nope, nope….tell them we’re going to leave…”

A month later, Andres (still laughing) “So…I just talked to the owner’s family and they would like to know if Mr. Ken has decided if he’s buying the house?”

“Nope, nope….tell them we’re going to leave…”

Finally February 2014 approached and we began making plans to leave.  Andres and Maribel hired someone to do repairs on the house.  Our contract says the house needs to be in the same state as when we moved in…we didn’t do major damage or anything, but there was general wear and tear and well as water damage from the heavy rains we get in Bolivia (it happens to all houses down there).  The guys painted the interior and worked on getting the yard and garden fixed up (which is where we did most of our damage…stupid soccer cleats…).

Andres and Maribel started looking for a new place for us to live in and after a few complications and false starts, figured they found the place.  Maribel especially, was excited about it.  It was, by all reports, a nice place.  A bit farther out, meaning longer bus rides for the guys (which not everyone was happy with), but overall, a good option for us (Oh good…good news…).

We hadn’t talked to the owner’s family since December, so Andres was working hard at getting ahold of them because we needed our money back from the current house so we could pay for the new house (if you don’t know what I’m talking about….message me and I’ll explain the wonderful Bolivian thing called an “anticrético”). 

I had a funny feeling about this actually.  I’d been saying to Andres and Maribel for a little while that I wanted confirmation from the owner or her family that everything was good to go.  Maribel had suggested paying the family with the new house a down payment until we could pay them the rest of the money from our current house/anticrético.  I said I would rather wait until we heard something from the owner.

Finally Andres got a hold of the owner and low and behold…they don’t have our money so they would be happy for us to stay another year.  That’s kind of a mixed bag of good and bad news.  Now it becomes clear why they were pushing so hard for Mr. Ken (ie. the “rich” Canadian) to buy the house. 

In the end, as I said, it’s a bit of a mixed bag but personally, I’m pleased we get to stay.  So was Andres I think. The thought of packing up and moving the house was a bit daunting in his mind.  David is happy too…out of all of the boys, his already long bus commute would have become significantly longer.  I think Maribel was a little disappointed because she did really like the new house. 

Mixed in with the good news of being able to stay in the house the bad news of the nearly $3000 US we paid to fix it back up to its original state.   That’s almost as much as our normal monthly budget.  It’s a significant expense for us.


So we find ourselves with a significant challenge right now.  Financially we’ve always finished each year in the green ($79.00 last year!) and have been able to celebrate that.  However, when all the paperwork was done and the dust had settled, we finished this year with a deficit of nearly $7000 US.  Part of that is the cost of fixing up the house….and then a part of it is also the two fold problem of losing some supporters this year and adding expenses (the most significant being Andres and Yimy’s wages when we hired them to work at the house).  For the past few months we’ve been running a deficit in our monthly support income which is what pushed up the overall deficit.

I don’t want to call this bad news exactly because I believe that God will provide and this will be another opportunity to see His provision and grace.  But as I said, it certainly is a challenge.  It’s caused a few late nights for me already.

If you feel God speaking to you, and you would like to help us out financially at this time, we would greatly appreciate it.  We are very thankful for all of you who give and pray for us on a regular basis, and to be honest, asking for more is a bit difficult for me.  But I believe in this ministry and I believe in these guys and the opportunities this money gives them to change their lives, both through education and the spiritual and emotional support they receive at the house.  I believe that God is transforming lives through your financial and prayer support.

We need to raise $7000 outright to cover our deficit as well as raise our monthly giving by $1000 per month.  If you’d like to give a special gift towards the deficit or come on board as a monthly donor, the easiest thing to do is either go online at http://www.iteams.ca/give-now/ and type my name into the search field (giving to either Ken Switzer or the Bolivia Transition Home is fine) or you can call International Teams at 1-800-465-7601 and they would be happy to help you.  Just explain that you would like to give towards the support of Ken Switzer.

Thank you so much!  Your prayers and support me a lot to me and also (I know) to the guys!  When Andres, Roberto and Yimy came to Canada last spring they couldn’t get over how many people knew them and how many people were praying for them and had given towards their education.  It was a powerful moment for them.

Thanks everyone!  I’m home in Canada right now, so if you’d like to grab a coffee and catch up on what’s happening, I’d love to do that!


Friday, January 24, 2014

I've been meaning to post a few pictures of the guys' trip to Canada...for awhile...like six months.  But here they are finally.  Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible!  It was a once in a lifetime experience! 


















Thanks again to everyone who helped make this happen!  It was an amazing trip!  We won't soon forget it!