I am pleased to share with you that after over 100 days of absolute lock down, Bolivia has returned to some measure of normalcy. A few weeks ago the government decided to open up some sectors of the economy, not because Coronavirus is contained (some cities are suffering quite terribly), but because the economic crisis of the shutdown necessitated a re-opening.
On a personal level, I’ve had to re-organize my ministry responsibilities based on this new reality. This means that I’ve had to cancel the university English classes at El Alfarero for the rest of this year, with the hope of restarting them next year. In spite of that change, I will be team-teaching a course online: Transformational Discipleship. I will also continue to mentor a university student. I’m also continuing to work on an English curriculum development team for a missionary course that we will be launching next year.
My role at the children’s home, Talita Cumi, is expanding in exciting ways. I lead several devotionals a week for the boys at the home. The younger boys and I are reading through a children’s Bible that gives them the opportunity to read whichever story catches their interest and then we discuss it together. In the older boys’ group, we are going through the book of Mark, focusing on the actions, miracles, and authority of Jesus, along with many incredible stories of faith. Beyond playing lots of soccer with both the boys and girls, a few of the older boys and I have also started a strength training regimen utilizing, among other things, a newly installed pull-up bar. While most of my time is spent with the boys, I’ve also started eating dinner with the girls on Saturday nights. This new routine has helped to strengthen pre-existing ties and foster new relationship building too. Beyond these additions, this week I will also be launching a couple of English classes at the home. Nine of the 27 children will be participating in these classes.
Despite all of the difficulties that the ministries are facing due to COVID, I’m happy to report that more people than ever are taking our Christ-centered counseling at El Alfarero and the master’s program is marching forward virtually. The children at Talita Cumi are in good health, and I’m quite surprised at how the Lord has worked through the pandemic to spur on spiritual growth in the prayer lives of the children. The other day, we read the Parable of the Seed Growing: “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how” (Mark 4:26-27). I believe that we are seeing that wonderful law at work at El Alfarero and Talita Cumi.
Grace and peace be with you.