Bolivia 2016 - Update from Matito
Dear Gateway family,
From the bottom of our hearts--Thank you!! Thank you for lending us your husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, sisters and pastors during this month. We realize that their sacrifice is also your sacrifice. We cannot emphasize that enough. Our hearts are full and blessed because YOU gave.
We were abundantly blessed by the teaching, preaching and fellowship of the mission team.
It all started with the Yu family. We were excited about having a young family to stay with us for the space of about a month. Our family absolutely LOVED the Yu’s. There is a saying here that goes, “The law of the Santa Cruzian is their hospitality”. That is a fine law.Yet I am reminded of a greater one that goes like this, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. This is really easy to do when you have brothers and sisters in the Lord who are humble, kind, funny and just exemplify Christ in their life-- not to mention, Emmett and Maia’s excessive cuteness. We loved seeing them play in our yard, and annoy our dogs. The house sure is real quiet without their occurrences. It was nice to see my mom bond with Stephanie. They faced life and ministered together whether it was serving in Awana or tending to the little ones as they battled illness. On more than one occasion I saw them hugging each other.
Tim was a huge help preparing the tech and details part of the conference. He also cleaned and updated our computers! We gave testimonies and hung out often with all my brothers. I enjoyed talking with him about God. I remember a time when we had visitors at the house and feeling relieved after they left because we could go back to being “normal”. Tim, Stephanie, Maia and Emmett were part of that normalcy. That often included goofyness and that was ok. We were family.
As the rest of the team arrived we made sure that everyone remained well fed and warmly clothed. Pastor Joel, Alex and Pastor Rod didn’t seem to be bothered by our winter season though. The Lord blessed us with a record attendance the first day of the seminars. Many pastors expressed their thankfulness for this ministry as they come to realize the importance of handling the Word of God correctly and carefully. Please, as long as you are able, continue preaching and teaching us the Word of God!
Our little kids loved Alex, the gentle giant. I saw him hand his jacket to the little ones one cold Sunday morning. In return, some of them made sure he got a tiny, heartfelt hug before he left. There were many smiles and silly selfies as the kids huddled around Alex to see how their pictures turned out.That same Sunday morning Pastor Joel preached about being fervent in prayer. After the service he stayed talking with the believers long after the refreshments were gone. One of the sisters overcome with emotion couldn’t hold back the tears as brother Joel prayed with her. We were warmly blessed that morning.
As Pastor Rod and the team travel back to the States, please know they are taking our prayers for you as well. Many wonderful memories were made here. Many hearts were blessed. Our rejoicing is your rejoicing also. I can’t help but think how this sweet fellowship among believers is just a small taste of the joys we will experience in heaven.
May we look forward to that day.