November 2020

My prayers are with you as you head to the polls today to vote. Bolivia recently held a presidential election that has cast a dark shadow over parts of the nation. Even though Evo Morales has been living in exile due to election fraud last year, his party still won the recent presidential election. This means that his former economic minister will be installed as the next president, and Morales has promised to return from exile on November 11. Numerous residents of Santa Cruz claim that the recent election was fraudulent and have set up blockades throughout the city, which has significantly stymied traffic. Please pray for the nation as it moves forward in this time of uncertainty.
Talita Cumi endured great challenges last month. One child was removed from the home due to behavioral issues and three new children arrived (two brothers and a sister). The arrival of three new children has been exciting, but was somewhat overshadowed by the oldest brother running away from Talita Cumi, escaping to his former children’s home. Thank God we found him within 24 hours and he is safe, but he has still yet to return to Talita Cumi due to the bureaucratic process involved.

Below you can see Efren (9 years old, far left) and his brother Neymar (10 years old, far right) reading the story of David and Goliath. Neymar escaped from the home.

Efren, skipping rope below, has adjusted more quickly to the home. Please pray that the brothers and their sister come to a salvation in Jesus Christ.

The brothers’ sister, Lisvania, (11 years old, with the pink and red flowers in her hair) seems to be doing just fine. She’s making new friends and learning her way around the home.

One delightful experience was the celebration of Ana’s quinceañera (15th birthday party) which is one of the most special birthday parties for a girl.

On an entirely different note, last week I filed my paperwork to become a permanent resident of Bolivia. If all goes according to plan, I should receive my permanent residency within three weeks. Indefinite residency gives me more freedom of travel, broader legal rights, and the ability to obtain a driver’s license that would allow me to drive larger vehicles with up to 10 passengers (such as the vehicle at Talita Cumi). The residency visa also strengthens my ties to Bolivia. I can cast larger visions and invest more confidently in long term ministry goals and projects. Please pray that this paperwork goes through and that I receive my indefinite visa.
I’ve decided not to return to the United States this year. The ongoing pandemic would complicate my ability to meet with supporters, my church, friends, and family. As many of you are aware, I hold an annual Bolivian-themed get together, and the virus would make that and other reunions quite difficult and potentially dangerous. I’ll miss seeing all of you, but I’m considering a month-long visit in July of 2021.  
Thank you for following my updates. I appreciate your prayers and continued words of encouragement. Grace be with you.