Our family is in Peru for two years to serve with Extreme Nazarene. We are living in the jungle city of Puerto Maldonado supporting our team of 8 missionaries as 12 churches are planted here in 18 months! Please keep checking in to keep up on our our ministry and adventures in Peru!

Friday, December 31, 2010


Tyson had the opportunity to climb Mt. Chachani on New Years Eve with 6 other Extremies. Mt. Chachani is the highest of 3 volcanos surrounding Arequipa. Again, I wasn't there so I won't write a lot. Just want to say I am super proud of my hubby. Oh, did I mention how high it is? No, oh yeah, only 19,939 feet. That's right. And he made it to the top. And back (that was the most important to me). I asked him if he had anything to say about it and this was it:

"19,939 feet. Hardest and dumbest thing I've ever done."

Tyson at the summit.

Tyson with Chachani in the background.


While we were in Arequipa, Tyson and his mom were able to take a couple days and go visit Puno. They took a day and visited Lake Titicaca and the floating reed islands (Uros). At 12,500 feet, it is the highest, navigable lake in the world. Since I wasn't there I don't have a ton of stories so I will mostly post pictures.

Tyson and Georganne on an island of Lake Titicaca.

This is one of the Uros (floating reed islands). They are man made and Tyson said they are amazing. Their houses, seats, boats, everything is made out these reeds.

Tyson with a couple of the Uros men.

Tyson rowing the boat seen below.

The Extreme team for Puno arrived there just after the first of the year. The Duerres are the cluster family for Puno and we have loved getting to know them. Please pray for them as they share the gospel with the people of Puno.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's a BOY!

Grady Zane Smith
December 3, 2010, 4:25 pm
7lbs, 19 1/2 inches

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Life!!

Greetings from Arequipa. We are currently away from our team in Puerto so that Tracy can have better medical attention for the birth of "baby Peru." We've been checked out by our doctor and she is saying that it could come sometime this next week. We welcome your prayers for safety for Tracy and the new life about to join our family and possibly that this little one would come after December 10 when my mom arrives to help out.

Along the lines of New Life we also wanted to share a quick story from the cell group of Callie and Carmen. The story is all about God's grace and His big picture plan.

At the local jail our team has been hosting regular discipleship meetings which have been growing steadily, and about 6 months ago a woman named Betsy (pronounced Bexy) met Jesus through this discipleship class. Our team tries not to inquire as to the reason the women are in prison so we were unaware as to why she was there.

At the same time, Callie and Carmen had been hosting their cell group in "Castanos" (a part of Puerto) in the house of a local contact named Sixto. Sixto's family including their son Washington who met Jesus through the cell group held in their home. During their meetings a prayer request was brought up by Washington. He asked for God's help in freeing his wife who was wrongfully imprisoned on charges of prostitution. Washington had been raising his daughter alone since the situation with his wife took place. The cell group then began praying diligently for his request.

Meanwhile in the jail the guards decided to do a random search of the jail grounds, where they found guns, knives and drugs. The jail then closed the doors to any visitors including our group and any family member for a month and a half. The cell group of Callie and Carmen continued in prayer for Washington and his wife.

Amazingly, as the jail began opening their doors and our group entered again to hold our discipleship meetings, we found out that through a series of amazing circumstances she was to be released in the coming weeks. It was at this point we put the pieces together that Betsy and Washington were connected and called by God at the same moment yet in separate locations. During their time apart both were unaware of Christ's work in each others lives, and we were all reminded of faithful God is. Betsy and Washington are now both followers of Christ and attending the cell group of Callie and Carmen together. Their relationship is continually growing and their daughter will now grow up in a Christian home. This is what NEW LIFE is all about.
This is a picture I took of Callie, Betsy and Carmen after their cell group on November 20, where Betsy preached for the first time an incredible sermon of how God used Moses even when he believed he was unable and unprepared to be used by God. God can change use any period in our lives to change our hearts, our circumstances, our lives and homes. Amen!

For this story I used wife and husband for easier understanding of the story. Betsy and Washington are what's called "Convivientes" or cohabitants, they are committed but please be in prayer that they would pursue marriage in front of God.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Tyson and I were blessed to have the opportunity to visit Paraguay in November and get a sneak peek at Extreme Paraguay. Extreme Paraguay is a partnership between Felix Vargas and Extreme Nazarene Ministries to jump-start an effort to plant 12 churches of 1000 in the capital city of Asuncion using short term volunteers and 5 pairs of 40/40 long term missionaries. To learn more click here.

We were so impressed with Felix, his leadership, church and family. We know that God has big plans for Asuncion and look forward to seeing how He uses Felix and the Extreme team that will be down there. Please join us in prayer for Extreme Paraguay!

A few highlights:

Felix shared the gospel with the Paraguay national soccer team. They came to know Christ and he now does a devotional and prayer with them before each game. Tyson was able to go to a game and meet some of the team. The man on the left is the goalie and a strong believer who had invited Felix to come share with his team.

One night they showed a movie of Felix's testimony. They had a great turn out and many stood up to make a commitment to Christ. Afterwards we had a BBQ and fellowship to celebrate the birthday of one of the church members. It was a really fun evening and we felt so welcomed by the church!

On Sunday night we were able to go to their church service. They were also voting in leaders that week. It was reallly neat to see people step up and want to lead. Felix has only been at this church for about a year (there were only 2 people when he arrived), and at the leadership meeting before church there were about 20 people attending.

We stayed with the Vargas family. I adored his wife, Liliana. She is such a strong woman and has such a servant's heart. Her testimony is amazing. She prayed for Felix for 7 years...stayed faithful to him even when he wasn't, and showed him Christ's love. They have 3 children and the youngest two are twins just a couple years older than Kai. Kai had a blast playing with them all week!

We were so impressed with Felix, his leadership, church and family. We know that God has big plans for Asuncion and look forward to seeing how He uses Felix and the Extreme team that will be down there. Please join us in prayer for Extreme Paraguay!

Monday, November 1, 2010


The last weekend in October we celebrated the inaguration of our church building. The people of the church worked hard giving their time and money to finish off the tile, ceiling and platform. The service included special presentations from different groups in the church with special music and skits. It was a wonderful time of celebration!

Here is Tyson, Janes & Daniel cleaning up after three days of tiling.

A before picture (the painting happened a few months back)

And after!

It was a full church that night with many people from our cell groups as well

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Discipleship in the Jail, Praises!

Pastor Freddy, the 40/40’s and Tracy visit the jail every two weeks to teach a women´s discipleship class that has been steadily growing. However, the jail had been closed for all of August because the guards had found guns, knives and drugs inside the jail groups. This last week was their first visit in over a month and they found out that one of the women received her release date which will be October 5th. She said before moving home to her city in the north that she is going attend the our church to say thanks and then get information on a church in her town. Another one of the women receives a trial date on the 26th of this month to decide when she will be released, likely within three months but she is from Puerto and has two adolescent kids and wants to join our church when she is released. During our absence she completed the 13 lessons from the discipleship material on her own and gave it to Pastor Freddy to ask if he would review it for her. In their last visit over a month ago one of the women had had a large painful tumor on her neck that was about the size of a tennis ball that Freddy and the team prayed for. The original plan was that she would be transferred to the Cusco jail and have surgery there. However, upon our return to the jail her tumor had gone down and the pain has gone away and as of now is not going to go get surgery. Amen! And one of the contacts of Callie and Carmen’s in Castanos, brother Washington had his wife wrongfully inprisoned for months and after much prayer, time and money she was finally given proper attention and released this last week after months in prison. Please pray that she will join their cell group along with her husband who has met Christ. It was a wonderfully
visit for our team and we are rejoice knowing God is the one behind it all. Please keep these women and our visits to the jail in your prayers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cusco Project

We were so blessed to be able to spend a week in Cusco in August to help out with a short term project there. The best part was...the short term team was from our home church in McMinnville! It was so wonderful to see everyone and it was so awesome to see the heart they have for missions! A lot of construction was done on the 40/40 house and church (see pictures below) and there was a ton of impact as well. A few of the things we did: gave out free hot chocolate and showed the Felix Vargas testimony, visited the women´s jail and did massages, hospital visitation, put on kids festivals in an orphanage and spent a day out at a tent city. The little pueblo had tons of damage from rains and flooding back in February and many people were living in tents. The group had brought down tons of clothes and kits to help them out. We were able to hand out the items, put on a kids festival and pray for individuals.
Thank you to the group that came down from McMinnville. It was really such a blessing to see you all and work along side you! We love you and thank God for you!
Handing out hot chocolate

Playing with the parachute at the kids festival

Lots of balloon animals were made that day...brining a smile to lots of little faces!

The people waiting for the blessings of clothing and basic needs in part of the tent city.

Cusco construction

Everyone worked so hard on the house and church. It was looking amazing when we left and they still had a few more days there. Thanks all for your hard work...this house will be an amazing blessing and place of rest for the Cusco team and the church a blessing to the community!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Prayers for Cusco

Our family is headed to Cusco tomorrow to participate in a short term project with friends from our church in McMinnville. Please pray for our time, safety for those traveling from the states (currently) and for the safety of our team while we our gone. Thank you and God Bless!
On an unrelated note...we have had some beautiful sunsets lately and Tyson got some pictures of one the other day....


Last week was the last week of a two week vacation for the schools here (sort of like our Christmas break) and so a couple of our teams but on Vacation Bible Schools in their communities. Kai and I were able to help out at one in Enace with Callie and Carmen...don't you love how here you can just meet under a tree:)
Ana and Elisa had a huge turn out at theirs in 7 de Junio with over 60 kids each day. Because their community was close to the church they were able to invite the kids to Sunday School and they did a presentation!
Both teams did a great job and the kids had a great time learning about the love of Christ! Please pray for these little lives touched and for their families!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Spiritual Retreat

This past weekend our Church here in Puerto held their first Spiritual Retreat. Many of the 40/40´s contacts, church members and even a couple who received the flyer days before the event attended and now their lives are changed forever. Our local Pastor (Freddy) organized everything incredibly and there was no time that wasn´t used well. I believe he said there were 17 themes taught by 5 teachers, including Pastor Freddy, Pastor Herman (from Puno), Elisa our 40/40 and two Brazilian pastors over the 3 days. There were 42 in attendance, 29 adults and was held at a beautiful location outside the city.
Three people were baptized, including our 40/40´s cook Hermana Luz. When she began working for us about 10 months ago, she was not a follower of Christ so it was awesome to see her make the decision to get baptized. Included is a picture of our group (top), Above Kai is officiating the baptizm and below is the beautiful location that it was held. It was a very exciting weekend that cemented people´s faith in Christ and brought the church together. What´s incredible is that from our group, 26 have pre-registered for the next retreat planned in a few months. They call these retreats ¨Encuentros¨ or in english ¨Encounters¨ and that is what God wants is to encounter with us face to face. This weekend brought Christ´s face nice and close. Amen.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Right now the team is at a spiritual retreat for the church. Please pray for all those attending, that those who don't know Christ would come to know him, and that those that do would deeper roots in him! There were about 40 people going so this could have a huge effect on our church! Pray for our team as they help minister to kids and adults. Tyson took Kai with him so pray for opportunities for both of them to be lights for Christ this weekend as well! Pray for safety of all as well:) God Bless!


We have shared with many but have not yet blogged about it....we are expecting baby #2 in December! We want to thank all of you who have been praying for us. The first 3 1/2 months were pretty hard. There were lots of unknows and I was having bleeding on top of the normal fatigue and morning sickness. I am now 20 weeks (halfway!) and things are going really well. I am feeling great (if not large) and have had no more complications. We are praising the Lord for his healing in this area! I have been feeling the baby more for a while and Tyson has been able to feel it for the last few weeks. I love it and feel like he/she is giving me a little kick saying "I'm doing good mom" :)We are planning on having the baby in Peru but will be flying to Arequipa where the medical care is better than here in Puerto. We are excited for this new addition. Oh and we will be waiting to find out what we are having. While there is the technology here to find out, Tyson is a big fan of suprises so I am willing to wait since I insisted on finding out with Kai:) Kai is very excited to have a brother or sister and the team (mostly the girls) are excited to have a new baby around:) We appreciate your prayers for continued protection! We will keep you updated!
This is the only pic I have so far. 15 weeks...I am quite a bit bigger now and will continue to post pics once in a while on our family blog here.


Beyond the ministry happening in Arequipa it was just wonderful to be there. Flying into Arequipa I had a flashback to of when we first arrived in Peru (we lived in Arequipa for our first 3 months here). I was shocked at the crazy traffic, the half finished buildings, and the foreign language. This time getting off the plane I looked around thinking “Wow, this place is so modern.” After living in Puerto my perspective sure changed:) Beyond the conveniences (real cars, grocery stores, coffee, hot water, the wonderful cool, dry weather, etc.) it was so wonderful to see old friends again. We stayed with our friends, the Englunds, while we were there and Kai was in heaven playing with their two girls! We were also able to meet all the other cluster families and made wonderful connections and Kai had a great time making new friends with all the kids. The last weekend we were there we had a staff retreat with all of the Extreme Staff. It was a huge group and it was so fun to hang out and relax with everyone. We went to Mollendo a couple hours from Arequipa at the beach. The weather was really cold but Kai and I still managed to get wet! Tyson played soccer both afternoons for hours. It was a good weekend for fellowshipping and relaxing.

Kai and I playing in the freezing water

One of Kai's favorite activities was feeding the birds in the Plaza. This kid has no fear (or disgust) of these things. He would sit down and they would practically pile on top of him. He really wanted to hold one but I was too grossed out to get close enough to help him...sorry kiddo.
We enjoyed a Father's Day/Goodbye dinner with our group from Trevecca and Felix & Liliana Vargas in the Plaza de Armas in Arequipa

Love Extreme Part 3 - Love 2

Following the big event we had more short term projects going on for Love 2. Groups headed out to Iquitos, Pucallpa, Puno and Cusco. Our 40/40s, Andrew and Daniel, stepped up and lead the group who went to Puno. The rest of our 40/40s stayed in Arequipa and worked on following up with all contacts from the event. Our family stayed in Arequipa as well and Tyson lead the short term group doing construction on one of the churches there, Alto Libertad. He worked with Cuarto (who is leading up construction there and also built our house…he is a ball of energy!) translating and directing the short termers.
Tyson with Cuarto

Kai and I went to visit a few times and Kai loved being at the site with Dad!

At the end of the week there was a dedication service for the church and it was awesome to see it filled! Kai and I had a pretty low key week with almost no responsibilities (which was weird and wonderful at the same time). We joined a group visiting an orphanage one day and we had a great time blessing the girls living there. We did nails, painted faces, crafts and made balloon animals. It was wonderful to be part of another awesome project!

Kai and his buddy Thomas helped with balloons!

Love Extreme Part 2 - The BIG Event

We arrived in Arequipa Thursday night and Saturday was the big event. While we had our event going on in Puerto, there were short term projects happening in Cusco and Arequipa as well. We then had more volunteers arrive from the US for the second part of Love Extreme joining up with those already here. For the event on Saturday we had about 300 short termers (I think) there to help. The event was held in a fairgrounds like area and it worked out perfectly. Promotion had been going on all week by the short termers there and weeks if not months beforehand with those based in Arequipa…and it showed. Hundreds of people were lined up outside waiting to get in…it was awesome! We had a building that had Kids events happening all morning so parents could drop off their kids and go to the conferences that were happening.

There was a women’s conference and across the hall, a men’s conference. Tyson worked set up for the men’s conference and when I went to see him they were scrambling to take down partitions and bring in more chairs because they were so full…great problems to have!

Outside was huge grassy area with a stage and there were concerts going on all day. That evening the main speakers Felix Vargas and Nick Vujicic. Nick was born without arms and legs and has an incredibly powerful testimony and the response after he spoke was incredible. He is an amazing man and I would encourage you to check out his testimony online if you can!

Tyson was able to meet Nick before his talk...

Over all there were over 10,000 people that attended the event and about 1000 who made a decision for Christ that day! It was an amazing day and we felt blessed to be a part of it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Love Extreme Part 1 - Puerto

We had an amazing group of short termers here in the middle of June. The majority of the group was from Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee. They arrived on Friday and Saturday worked hard all day (a long, hot day) at the soccer tournament.
Most of the group at the soccer tournament
Sunday was another big event, our women’s conference with Lonna Vopat. Most of the team entertained/wrangled the kids of the 70 women attending. This was quite a feat considering it was about 3 hours, most of the did not speak Spanish, and the kids were outside (aka, not contained)! I was impressed:) The conference was wonderful and in addition to Lonna sharing her testimony , Felix Vargas’ wife, Lillian, shared hers as well. It was a wonderful balance and between the two testimonies the conference spoke to a wide range of women. During prayer time about 30 women accepted Christ!

The rest of the week was full of activities in different communities. We showed the Jesus film, visited the women’s prison, built garbage cans for one community and planted trees in another. The girls went to houses and pampered the women by giving manicures and pedicures to hard working women. In one of the communities outside the city, La Joya, there were certain areas that had been going without water for many days at a time and when it was turned on it was only for a short time. We ordered up a water truck and the team hauled water around to the people in need. It was a huge blessing to the people in that community! Between the tournament, conference and other events about 80 people made a commitment to Christ! Praise the Lord! We are now in the process of following up with them all with discipling so please keep them in your prayers.
Working hard hauling water in La Joya

We could not have asked for a better group of short term volunteers. They had such a wonderful attitude, were ready to jump in and help in anyway and we never heard complaints! In that short week we grew to adore the group. While we were there to encourage and support them they turned around and encouraged and blessed us! What an awesome group! Needless to say we were sad to see them get on a plane that Thursday as they headed to Arequipa…the good news was we joined them a few hours later. On to Arequipa for the big Love Extreme Event…more to come!