I hope that all of you had a blessed time feasting and sharing time with family and friends for Thanksgiving. With Christmas nearing, I am praying that all of you are experiencing great joy and pleasure in Christ who is our one and only hope and an inexhaustible source of mercy and love.
Thanksgiving was a blessed time for me as I was able to dine with about 35 American missionaries. I was spoiled with delicious Thanksgiving food and amazing people–some of whom have dedicated decades of their lives to spreading the gospel in Bolivia. Thank you for your prayers and support through this season.
The past couple of months I have had the pleasure of visiting at least eight churches in Santa Cruz. This has given me a unique opportunity to see a wide range of worship and preaching styles: from carefully-executed exegesis to vision-inspired sermons, from hands-at-your-side worship to singing in tongues worship to a señora quite suddenly locking arms with me and dancing with me around the church kind of worship (I don’t think the video has reached YouTube, thankfully), from large, mega-church-feel churches to small churches that feel more like a large Bible study, from t-shirts and shorts churches to suits and dresses churches. It’s been quite the adventure to say the least, but most amazing to see how the body of Christ worships the Lord in different ways here. Please pray for me as I seek to make a decision soon about where the Lord would like me to attend and serve.
The visa process is also in full swing. I registered with Interpol on day two of being in Bolivia and a couple of weeks ago I visited the migration office in Santa Cruz. Imagine a room surrounded by windows on a 90 degree day with no air conditioning. Imagine also, numerous lines on separate floors of a building that would aggravate a local and make little sense to a foreigner. That’s what my morning was like. Thankfully, a very competent lawyer was guiding me through every step of the confusing process. She seemed to know all of the officials at the migration office and knew when we could confidently cut in line or not. I simply signed numerous documents without question. The purpose of all of this is to hopefully obtain my three year visa within the next 30 days when my tourist visa runs out. Please pray that this comes through.
Life at El Alfarero
I’ve fallen into a nice rhythm of life that involves serving in the café and teaching two classes of English per week. As I’ve mentioned before, my current students are Bolivian Christians who need a command of English to accomplish current or future ministry goals. Beyond grammar and vocabulary, we read and discuss Bible stories, share our favorite verses in English, and discuss cultural differences between Bolivia and the U.S. I am also continuing to work on my own curriculum for my classes with university students that will launch next year. Please pray that the English I am teaching now will help expand God’s kingdom through the body of Bolivian believers and that the Lord would prepare a path for me to find university students for next year who need to hear the good news.
The Lord has been merciful and loving every step of the way. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family to live, a kind and gracious community of believers at work, and protection as I’ve navigated through a very chaotic and large city. I attribute these mercies to God’s sovereign hand and those who are praying for me. Thank you, again.