As June gets underway, I am full of gratitude for the Lord’s blessings and the blessing that all of you have been to me. It may seem surprising, but I recently passed the eight month mark in Bolivia. I would like to share with you a number of the ways that I’ve felt blessed by God since I arrived last year. I am thankful for …
… being integrated into an energetic body of believers at church and at work, a smooth transition into my current apartment, meaningful quiet times with the Lord, easily getting around a massive city, ministries up off the ground and the gospel being shared, staying in touch with family, friends, and supporters, solid mentorship with a director of El Alfarero, great food and stable health, safety, being stretched spiritually, witnessing healings, experiencing God’s patience, learning more about Bolivian culture every day, and being supported in prayer by those back home.
The list could go on. Although I’ve had my share of challenges and disappointments, I can look back on the last eight months and see God’s faithfulness throughout.
While I do have some new ministry opportunities on the horizon, June is mostly going to be a month about finishing strong the projects that I started about one month ago. I am currently teaching module two of my English classes. Five new students joined, which I am quite excited about. Beyond learning the basics of English grammar, we’ve studied and discussed Bible passages like Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: “There is a time for everything…” 1 Corinthians 9:24: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize…” and Jesus’ calming of the storm in Matthew 8:23-27.
I also continue to meet weekly with a different group of intermediate and advanced English learners at a university speaking club (pictured below). Since they already have a decent mastery of the language, we have been able to do everything from interactive games and activities to discussing important life topics like faith, family, culture, and friendship. For Bolivians, one of the amusing benefits of working with a native English speaker like me is learning all of the phrases and words that you won’t find in the textbooks or learn from Bolivian teachers.
In addition to carrying on with ministries here, I’ve also had the opportunity to stay in touch with family, friends, and supporters. I recently had the chance to chat with a few of my friends from Bible study back home (below).
~ Praise God for new students with whom to build relationships and for other relationships that are continuing to grow.
~ Praise God for my own personal acculturation: I feel more and more at ease with my new surroundings.
~ Please keep all of my students in your prayers.
~ Pray for the governmental leaders and justice for Bolivia’s citizens.
~ Although I am conversationally fluent and generally comfortable with my language skills, I still have days when I struggle to communicate effectively.