Happy New Year!
I hope that all of you had a blessed Christmas and may you have a prosperous 2020.
I’d like to thank all of you for your prayers, words of encouragement, donations, emails, phone calls, and personal visits over the course of 2019. I am blessed by your sacrificial help and presence that allow me the privilege of serving in Bolivia. My constant prayer for all of you is based on Paul’s words in Philippians 4:17: “Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.”
The past four weeks I’ve enjoyed catching up with many of you in person. I just recently returned from Illinois and Indiana–visiting with family members that I have not seen for years. It was a joy to meet many of my cousins’ babies for the first time.
I’d like to keep this e-mail on the short side because I hope to see many of you in person over the coming weeks. Please keep in mind two opportunities:
1. On Saturday, February 1st I will be holding an open house just like last year–stocked with Bolivian drinks and snacks. Please mark this day on your calendar and I will be sending out a reminder closer to time.
2. I will be preaching (in Spanish!) at my sending church, Nueva Vida, on Sunday, February 9th. Again, I’ll send a reminder closer to time.
Thank you, and grace be with you!
I hope that all of you had a nice Thanksgiving and I wish all of you a festive and blessed holiday season with family and friends.
November was one of the most astonishing and impressive time periods that I’ve experienced since moving to Bolivia due to the fraudulent elections and turbulent aftermath. The last time I can remember being so totally absorbed in the political and social climate and fate of a nation was 9/11. As many of you are aware, we entered into a time of great uncertainty as Evo Morales committed electoral fraud in an effort to secure a fourth term as president. Strikes, blockades, and marches broke out all over the country. Despite Morales trying to buy off the police force and stoke groundless fears of racial bigotry among the indigenous peoples, the Bolivians’ mettle proved to be unconquerable. After three weeks, he fled to Mexico. I’d like to thank all of you for your prayers during that time.
Last week I wrapped up two English modules. The students in the advanced course recited from memory the 10 Commandments while the other course recited 1 Corinthians 9:24: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” I’m so proud of my students’ dedication to learning English and deepening their understanding of the Word.
I’d like to share some statistics with you related to El Alfarero’s outreach to university students. In the year 2019 …
* About 15,000 university students visited our cafe.
* On average, 22 people (many of whom are university students) received Christian counseling each month.
* Our evangelism teams made over 40 visits to Gabriel University to befriend and pray for over 150 university students.
* Over 100 university students took the English classes that I teach.
All of us here at El Alfarero are feeling tremendously thankful for God’s faithfulness this year!
I’d also like to thank The Bridge and Nueva Vida for their prayers. I recently received a wonderful note of encouragement with a couple of photos from Pastor Alex Rivero sharing with me that there was a time of walking prayer for all of the missionaries. Thank you so much!
In closing, as you celebrate your Christmas with family and friends, I’d like to invite you to participate in our annual Talita Cumi shoe campaign. Please click on the purple button below if you’d like to give a very practical gift that will bring a big smile to a child at the orphanage. Thank you!