January Update

Happy holidays!

I hope that all of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. In the past three months since I arrived in Bolivia, I’ve heard stories from supporters of great joy (family members coming to the Lord, the announcement of pregnancies, new friendships formed) and stories of great sadness (terminal cancer and fractured relationships). I rejoice with those of you who are rejoicing, and I pray that those of you who are facing times of unfathomable difficulty would be comforted more than ever by our Prince of Peace.

English classes
It’s been quite the joy to have worked with a number of students who are taking classes at the master’s program here at El Alfarero. These are students who will be sharing the gospel in Bolivia and in other nations around the world. We are temporarily on a break due to the holiday season, but I’m happy to report that the classes ended on a high note–literally. For the final class, my students wrote and performed their own songs in English. I accompanied them on the ukulele.


Rebeca (left) is learning English because she is leaving this year to do ministry in Australia. Dina (middle) will be using her English to communicate with her ministry partners in Bolivia.


Angela (left) is learning English in order to read more books on Christian mentorship that are only available in English. Marcela (middle) is learning English so she can take a leadership course in the United States.

University students are currently on their summer break (what would be akin to our May-August break) and they return in February or March. I’ve been laying the groundwork for their return by completing my curriculum with faith integration components and making contacts with professors at two universities. Please continue to pray that students will come to a knowledge of the Lord through these classes. One of the biblical pillars that I am trusting in with all of my heart is 1 Timothy 2:4: “[God] desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Please join me in praying that students will come to know Jesus.

Answered prayer
~ My three year residency visa has been approved! Thanks for your prayers!
~ God continues to put me in touch with professors, students, co-workers, and others who are helping me to prepare for the upcoming English classes for college students.

Prayer requests
~ I am in the process of looking for my own apartment.
~ Please pray that current political and social tensions in Bolivia would be resolved peacefully and justly for the sake of the well-being of its citizens.


Christmas dinner with volunteers and staff at El Alfarero.


Christmas Eve dinner with Todd and Graciela Spence who are visiting from Thousand Oaks, California. They are the ones who put me in touch with El Alfarero. I am living with Graciela’s mom and brother.


My Bolivian family on Christmas Eve. In Bolivia, Christmas celebrations start on Christmas Eve by eating a large meal late at night, taking to the streets at midnight on Christmas Day to set off fireworks and firecrackers (the entire city fills up with smoke), hugging family members and wishing them a Merry Christmas, and then opening gifts. The whole process ends around 2:00 a.m. on Christmas Day.


This week (the first week of January) the employees at El Alfarero and I have been focusing on the vision and mission of the organization in preparation for the new year. Fatima, one of the local directors of El Alfarero Santa Cruz, is up front. At the bottom of the board she wrote the phrase “No se admiten personas perfectas” – “Perfect people not admitted.” It’s the motto of El Alfarero as we strive to be a “come as you are” kind of ministry.

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