The month of December was full of bustling activity for me. I arrived in California on December 1 and returned to Bolivia on January 1. I felt immensely grateful to spend the month with my parents, friends, church family, and supporters. It was amazing for me to consider that I had been gone for 14 months and now had the opportunity to share, in person, what my life and ministries have been like in Bolivia.
My time in California got off to a pleasant start with an open house full of Bolivian food and decorations. It was a wonderful time of catching up with people and sharing photos and stories. I’d like to give a big shout out to Graciela Spence, a native of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, who prepared several foods for the event: sonso, cuñapés, empanadas, and much, much more.
Returning to Nueva Vida, my sending church, was one of my greatest joys during my return trip. I attended Nueva Vida for two years before I left for Bolivia. They have been so faithful ever since and have pledged to continue supporting me with offerings and prayer in 2019. Queridos hermanos de Nueva Vida: ¡gracias por sus ofrendas y oraciones! I absolutely could not have a better sending church. A big thank you to Pastor Alex Rivero for guiding the entire process and inviting me to speak in front of the congregation. Also, a big thanks to those who volunteer in the children’s church at The Bridge. I shared with the kids about what what it means to be a missionary–sharing Jesus with others and having compassion on them by meeting their needs.
Spending quality with my parents and friends was a major blessing while on my home visit. I also had the joy of visiting with my former co-workers at Salem Media Group where I worked as a radio producer for nearly 13 years.
What’s in store for 2019 and beyond?
During my visit, numerous people asked me what my plans are for Bolivia this year and even further into the future.
First off, in 2019 I plan on …
1. Teaching more English courses for university students as a vehicle for sharing the gospel.
2. Serving at the children’s home, Talita Cumi.
3. Evangelizing at a local university.
4. Team teaching a course for the public called Transformational Discipleship.
5. Taking a year-long counseling course that is a requirement for all team members at El Alfarero.
As for the more distant future, I am already strongly leaning toward serving in Santa Cruz, Bolivia for longer than my initial commitment of two years. Simply put, I sense that the Lord has much more in store for me and my ministries than can possibly be completed this year. Please pray for me as I speak with the leadership team at El Alfarero this month about extending my stay beyond 2019.
Thank you, again, for all of your support in all of its various forms. I cannot wait to see how the Lord moves in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and in your lives in 2019. I love praying for others–so please remember that you can always send me your requests or just a simple note saying hello.
Grace and peace be with you,