Greetings to you all in the Name of the Savior!
Well in a couple days we are supposed to be leaving on a trip to Sucre for
several days, and wanted to update you a little on a couple things. Sucre
is the capital of Bolivia (a distinction it shares with La Paz, as Bolivia
actually has two capitals), and the home of many historical buildings, etc,
that date back between four and five hundred years to the Spanish conquest.
It is supposed to be a learning trip for us to better acquaint ourselves
with the country as a whole. We will be going as a family and trust this
will be a good break from school (it is the quarter break here at Tambo).
Before continuing, Josh wanted to write a short note about his trip to
Santa Cruz a few weeks ago: "On my trip to Santa Cruz, I had a lot of fun.
My favorite part of the trip was going to the Spanish church there. My
class did a puppet show in Spanish. After, we gave out balloons, tracts,
bracelets, a glass of soda, and a cookie. I was helping in the balloon
section. It was fun to see the children's faces after I handed them the
balloon. Thanks a lot for your prayers!"
In our last email we mentioned that we have begun teaching in the
neighboring community of Vado Hondo. It has been three weeks now that we
have been having services there and the interest seems to be remaining
constant, with between 15-25 turning out. This last Sunday I decided to ask
them if they would be open to meeting during the week as well and they were
open to that. So this last Wednesday Kath, myself and another missionary
went out and spent the evening visiting and teaching. We have seen a real
remarkable answer to prayer in that the most prominent member of the
community, a man by the name of Don Asencio, has taken interest and has
told me that he wants to be present each time we come to teach. This man
has very great influence in the community and could very easily put a stop
to our being able to go and teach there out in the open, as we have. Right
now he has given his blessing and even went so far as to say to those
gathered last Sunday "These folks have come to teach us God's word so you
all need to give them respect, listen carefully, etc..."....wow! He also
made it very clear that he is in no way open to seeing another church in
his community...right now the only church is a Catholic church which is
sitting empty, as the priest no longer comes out. Please continue to pray
for a continued open door to teach these precious souls. The cultural and
religious barriers needing to be overcome in order for these folks to truly
understand the Gospel clearly are many and deeply rooted. As well I am
acutely aware of my own ignorance in this area as we are still just getting
acquainted with these barriers. It is easy to present Biblical knowledge,
but without being able to effectively apply it to their own culture and
thinking, their understanding is greatly hindered. We greatly value your
prayers in regards to all of this...for continued interest on their part
leading ultimately to their salvation, and for much wisdom on our part in
Lastly, concerning Bible lessons with individuals, we are continuing to
teach Elsa and Lucho in our regular language sessions...they continually
have many good questions, and we trust the Lord is drawing them nearer to a
complete understanding of the gospel. As for Virginia and Marcial, since we
last wrote we have been able to meet with them once and are supposed to
meet with them again tomorrow. Please continue to pray for them...our
contact with them has been sporadic but at least they are still open to
study God's word together.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers...for us, it has been such a
privilege to be a part of all that the Lord has been doing here, but we are
very aware of how much we need the support of praying friends. May you be
encouraged, as we are, in the answers here to your prayers!
AND, we want to thank you again for your faithfulness in giving toward the
work here. It is such an encouragement to us to see the Lord's provision
through folks like you. Just this week, we were presented with the
opportunity to buy an "outback" vehicle (an old 4-wheel drive that is good
for difficult roads, such as are found in the Simba), and it looks like
we'll be able to go ahead with it thanks to the generosity of many like
you. MUCHAS GRACIAS!
In His Grace,
Bill, for us all