Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Hello everyone. Well Cecilia is taking a little afternoon nap so I snuck onto the blog page to give you all a bit of an update from us. Don’t worry. She’ll be back next time with some new adventures from her 7 ½ month perspective.


Let me introduce you to my friend Tito (no not Jackson). I first met Tito on a Sunday morning at Iglesia Dios Es Amor (God is Love Church) shortly after we arrived here a couple years ago. He was leading the singing and playing bass. Right from the start I could tell he had a special gift for leadership. Since that first meeting we have had the pleasure of seeing him lead music, serve as district secretary, help plant new home churches in the city, and thrive in children’s ministry. When we first started the New Hope tutoring center last year Tito was one of our most faithful volunteers. We were overjoyed on the days when he could minister with us. When Molly and I and other volunteers attempt to lead the devotional time the kids seem distracted, chatty, and a bit disrespectful. When Tito stands at the front of the room he commands the attention of all the children. He isn’t forceful, stern, or barking orders. He simply engages them in a way that I have never seen. The only way I can explain it is that he truly has a God-given gift of leadership.  I admire him greatly.

A couple months ago Tito called me up asking to meet with me and Molly. He had something he wanted to talk to us about. He came out to the lot one afternoon before we opened the tutoring center and shared some very exciting news with us. He told us he was going to be getting married!!! Of course we were excited for him, but we were so surprised because we had no idea he was even dating anyone. He met a lovely girl named Jenny who, along with all her family members, is very active in her church. Tito and Jenny asked us to be part of the ceremony acting as the “Padrinos de Religion”. I’m sure you’re asking, “What is that?” We were asking the same thing and it didn’t really all become clear until we were in the wedding.

Weddings here have “Padrinos” for many different things. These are people that support the couple by paying for a certain item or part of a certain item (i.e. padrinos of the cake, padrinos of the flowers, and even padrinos of the rings). So we were asking, “How do you purchase religion?”

As it turns out, being the Padrinos of Religion is quite a high honor. We got to stand up with the bride and groom. There were others standing in the aisles, but Molly and I were the only ones standing directly to their sides. It was kind of interesting because they had us stand opposite to what you might think. Molly was on Tito’s side and I was on Jenny’s. That’s right. Probably the first and only time I will get to be the “Maid of Honor”. I held her bouquet while she placed Tito’s ring on his finger. I helped fix the train of her dress as she turned to walk back down the aisle. We even served as chauffeurs as they went across town to get post wedding photos taken at a fancy hotel.

Feeding each other cake AND Coca-Cola...in all white....
The next day we were invited out to the couple’s house for lunch and unwrapping gifts. The whole experience was extremely encouraging for both of us. Sometimes you wonder if you’re really making connections in your second language. This showed us how we are valued not just as missionaries, but as friends. We look forward to watching this couple grow and continuing as their “mentors” (their words) though we’re really about the same age.



"How many bolivianos do we have to pay if we get a yellow card? How many for a red card?"
- A question asked by one of our pastors participating in the soccer tournament.- There is a lesson on the relationship between ethics and economics somewhere in that statement...ha.

The other big event we were involved with recently was the 2nd annual “Campeonato de Futbol” (Soccer Championship). This was held on Tuesday, September 24 (Santa Cruz Day). We had a great turnout with 10 teams representing 4 out of our 7 churches in the Santa Cruz district. There were two main purposes for this event. The first being to bring the whole district together and the second being to raise funds for Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) Tutoring Center. We set up concessions, charged a small entrance fee for each team, and awarded prizes for first, second, and third place teams in both a men’s and women’s division. The day was a lot of fun and we raised a good amount of money for the center. Thank you for your prayers for this event and future events like it.
I heard a commotion before the tournament and looked out
to see someone with an axe chopping part of the large
tree down.

I guess it was hanging down in front of one of the goals.

Who could resist buying concessions from these faces?


Molly baked up lots of goodies and we were completely
sold out by the end of the day.

Bags of popcorn

3 Bs. (approx. 39 cents)  for a hot dog.
Not a bad deal


Stay tuned next week when Cecilia returns...
Bryan Eduardo Canny


Thursday, September 19, 2013


First off I have to apologize for my parents. Sunday was a very full morning of driving all around the city visiting our seven different churches, but mom and dad left the house without the camera so we didn’t capture all the adventure. I will post a few pics that dad took on his basic phone camera, but they are a bit blurry.

Pastor Fimo preaching at the church anniversary service.
The last church we stopped at happened to be having a 19th anniversary celebration.

Me with one of the ladies from Rios de Agua Viva.  (Rivers of Living Water)

So you might be asking why we visited all seven churches in one morning. The simple answer is…technology.

My generation will grow up in a world that has always had iPhones, iPads, “the Cloud”, high speed internet, digital photography, mp3 players, etc. Did you see that the latest iPhone has a personal fingerprint recognition security feature? Wow. Perhaps you have noticed that more and more people around you have smart phones, tablets, gaming devices, etc. People like to be connected. What is it that dad said?...Plugged in. People like to be plugged in to what is going on.

That is true here in Bolivia as well. Just sometimes the plugging in happens in different forms. The National Church has a calendar of events that each pastor receives in December at the general church conference in La Paz. Sometimes events come up that were not prescheduled to be on that calendar. The soccer tournament hosted by The New Hope Tutoring Center on September 24 is one of those events. This past Sunday mom, dad, and I went around to all of the churches to distribute posters and ask the pastors to promote the event to their congregations.

There are very few of our pastors who have their own personal computers, smart phones, or even internet service in their homes. Some may have e-mail or even a facebook page for their church, but they generally access this from one of the internet cafes around the city and possibly only once a week (probably varies for each pastor). So sending out an email blast announcement or creating a facebook group of all our pastors is not the best form of communication. We will see if that changes in a few years, but part of me hopes it doesn’t.  I like going to all the churches and hearing people say how cute I am. I love getting held, hugged, and loved on. “Como una muñeca” (Like a doll) is what they say.  In many ways the face to face time helps mom and dad too. They know that the pastor actually has the poster or announcement in hand instead of hoping that he may have found a way to print the linked file that they sent over e-mail. They can also answer any questions right then and there. Clear communication is vital especially when speaking in your second language (Spanish). Just like in the states, different people have different accents and sometimes it can really help to see the person’s lips moving.

Sometimes it takes a bit more time and energy, but isn’t that what ministry is about anyway? It’s about relationships and those take time…or so they tell me.

Thanks for listening. Talk to you next week.

Cecilia Joy
Look at this cool promo Coca-Cola is doing down here!!!
They print new names each week and WE FOUND MINE!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Hello everyone. It’s me…Cecilia here again. How was your weekend? Our schedule was pretty full. Friday I got to see my “uncle” James Wolheter. He and his wife “auntie”  Jenny are fellow ECM missionaries. He always makes me smile and laugh, but not quite like his boys Coy, Cy, and Cade. They’re my best buddies. Uncle James was visiting to attend a special church celebration service with mom and dad on Friday night at the Lineage of God Church (Iglesia Linaje de Dios). I didn’t get to go to the service because it went way past my bed time. Mom, dad, and uncle James didn’t get back til almost one o’clock in the morning.  I stayed home with two of my new friends, Abigail and Isabella (their sister Sophia couldn’t come). They are our new neighbors. Their dad preaches and their mom leads worship at Trinity International Church (“The English Church”) here in Santa Cruz. Even though I couldn’t go, I heard all about the special service the next day.
"Uncle" James in his festive shirt for the service 

There were some dramas, special music, an award ceremony to honor past and current pastors of the Bolivian Evangelical Holiness Church (Iglesia Evangelica Boliviana de Santidad), a delicious supper of oven baked chicken (pollo al horno), and daddy even got to play electric guitar with the worship team. But don’t worry. I didn’t miss out on all the fun this past weekend.
Daddy with his musician buddies

On Sunday morning we got to attend a seminar hosted at the district lot. The speaker was Romualdo Atahuachi who came all the way from La Paz to teach about Discipleship. I was very attentive during the sessions, but I asked dad if he would take notes for me because, it is hard to grip a pen AND my toys at the same time. I have started to understand why mom and dad like going to these church events. They almost always serve food. On Sunday everyone enjoyed a heaping plate of Picante de Pollo (spicy Chicken, rice, and chuños…which are freeze dried potatoes that are boiled and sometimes put with a nice peanut sauce). 

After the seminar there was a meeting of the planning committee for the New Hope Tutoring Center. They were talking over details for the next fundraiser while I quietly enjoyed my oatmeal. A soccer (futbol) tournament is schedule on September 24 which is Santa Cruz day and also Gordon Elliott’s birthday. Wish we could celebrate with you “uncle” Gordy. We miss you.  I can’t wait to go watch our pastors and church people battle it out on the field in just a couple weeks.
After the meeting I thought we were heading back home and I started dozing off in my car seat. When I opened my eyes we were at my friend Amelia’s house for her first birthday party. It was so pretty and girly with pink lemonade, candies, and cake. Dad says I’ll enjoy the parties more when I can actually eat the stuff and not just look at it. He’s probably right, but I had a great time anyway.
Me with Amelia's big sister, Nora, and our good friend Erna
It seems like they wuv me just a little bit and I wuv them too

I hope your weekends are as fun as ours. It’s always something a little bit different down here and that’s how we like it.

Just a bit tuckered out from all the weekend festivities. 

Wuv you all,
Cecilia Joy Canny

Tuesday, September 3, 2013



Hello everyone. My name is Cecilia Joy Canny and I’m the newest missionary with Evangelical Church Missions. I have heard that many of you prayed for me before I was born and are always praying for me and my family. Thank you so much for all of your support. I really like knowing that I have a ministry family here in Bolivia and all over the world. I am writing to let you know that I am taking over this blog. My dad has been doing a good job writing on Canny Chronicles, but I figured you were probably getting a little bored with him. I might still let him write once in awhile, but I am experiencing so many new things in Bolivia and I can’t wait to share them!  Today, I just wanted to introduce myself and share a few facts about me.

Age – 6 months

Hometown – Santa Cruz, Bolivia, South America

Favorite Food – pureed sweet potatoes

Hobbies – napping, bouncing in my jumper, reading books with mom, listening to music (especially when my dad plays guitar), talking on Skype with my grandparents and aunts, visiting the kids at the New Hope Tutoring Center where my parents work, and traveling

I can’t wait to get to know more of you and start sharing about our days in Bolivia.  




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