Bolivia 2016 - Udpate #11
Hi friends and family!
Thank you for your prayers! Our time in transit went without a hitch. The kids slept the first red eye leg of our flight, and played and ate the rest of the way. As that’s 17 hours of travel where the kids had happy hearts, we give all glory and praise to God as that’s definitely not within our finite capabilities to make them do. ;)
We arrived here safely a couple days ago at the Mojicas’ house in the middle of the night (6/7/16) and were welcomed with a meal of chicken, rice and fried yucca – just a small foreshadowing of the many meals to come. Mary and Matias have embraced us into their home as family, and Emmett and Maia have taken over their home with all their toys and snacks. It’s been a good time of getting to know the Mojicas’ and their three sons: Matias Jr., Carlos, and Joshua, and learning about their lives and how God has been working here. We are both getting to brush up on our rusty Spanish skills, and wishing we could speak it better!
We’re being fed incredibly well. They do breakfast, lunch, siesta, and dinner, and each meal is huge. We expect to come back a few pounds heavier ;).
We are so thankful for the Mojica family; they’ve integrated us into their lives so seamlessly. Stephanie has been exploring the different marketplaces with Mary. There’s a huge outdoor marketplace called La Feria that sells almost everything imaginable, and all the prices are fluid. She got to see Mary bargain hunting in action first hand. Mary also took her to la mutualista today (6/9/16), a cleaner version La Feria, and more expensive, because most of their wares are transported from La Feria. In the evenings, our whole family drives out with Mary and Matias to get bread for siesta and come back home. As the rest of the house is filled with men, Mary and Stephanie formed a quick bond and alliance J.
Tim went to a prayer meeting last night (6/8/16) with Mary, Matias, Matito and Carlos while Stephanie gave the kids their first bath in Bolivia and put them to bed. At the church, they sang praise songs, prayed, and shared. Tim got to share a short devotional, mostly about our gratitude in being so warmly welcomed to Bolivia by the Mojica’s and the encouragement he’s felt in meeting believers from a different country. Matias and Mary also shared with their church how thankful they are that we are here, but it’s safe to say that we feel like the bigger recipients of blessing in this equation. Before we left, Gateway Bible Church sang a praise song about one Lord, one faith, one birth. Coming here is strong assurance that this is true. When we are saved, we are under one Savior, and that is an uncommon bond that is a gift from the Lord. Other than that, Tim and Matito have been preparing logistical things for the Pastor’s Seminar that is to happen in a couple weeks.
It’s been especially sweet to see Tim get to know the three brothers. They are all around the same age and are bonding over disastrous Warriors games, the Copa Cup, and their lives of faith. In three short days, Tim already says they feel like the brothers he never had. There have been many opportunities for Tim to hear about their ministry and to be a part of the things they do in Santa Cruz. Even tonight, Tim will be joining Carlos for a game of soccer with some of the men from the church. As this is not Tim’s sport, prayers are coveted for this time. ;)
In the upcoming days, our plans are to:
check out one of the camps about an hour from the Mojica’s house where they occasionally do retreat type camps for youths and family. They are not doing one now because of the weather (low 60s, which is very cold to Bolivians).
go on a 2-day trip to Samaipata where Matias and Mary have planted two churches.
attend their church in Santa Cruz where Mary and Stephanie will do some children’s arts and crafts
check out the new mall nearby (just Mary and Stephanie)
go to La Feria again, this time with the men!
interspersed in those activities are many plans to eat more good food and watch more Copa America games.
Thank you for your prayers. We are so happy to be here, and are receiving far more than we are giving.
That God continues to give us opportunities to build on these relationships
That God gives Tim and Stephanie more opportunities to serve and be a help, and to use our stage of life and circumstance to be a window for gospel-sharing
For Matias’ health and energy as he prepares for the Pastor’s Seminar and hosts our family
For Emmett and Maia to continue to be hearty, well-adjusted travelers
For Pastor Rod, Alex Lopes and Joel Umanzor as they prepare for the Pastor’s Seminar Conference and the leaders who are attending (55 people).
Tim, Stephanie, Emmett and Maia
P.S: There’s no mosquitoes here right now because it’s winter time!