|15 Great New Friends|
|1 Trip Up the Mountain|
|1 Good looking couple|
|1 of many waterfalls at Las Cuevas|
|1 Flat Tire on the Bus|
|1 of 2 Spanish Sunday Morning Services|
This one at Lineage of God Church
|"GracePointe Choir" accompanied by Bryan on guitar|
|Half a dozen blisters on each hand|
from this job of "tamping the floor"
|12,000 bricks used for the project|
5 Afternoons of Vacation Bible School
July15-26 were amazing days for us in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, As you can see from the pictures, we did many things and went many places. Looking up at the waterfalls at Las Cuevas was breath taking and helped me appreciate God’s creation more and more. On the days when it rained too much to work at the building site, we took the team shopping around down town. This gave me a sense of pride as I realized I was starting to better know my way around the city. There was great joy in seeing the smiles on the faces of kids at VBS each afternoon. There was a great sense of accomplishment when the last brick was laid for the building project. Yet there was such a great spirit of unity, openness, and spiritual surrender during our evening devotional times at the mission house, that I have to say those times were my favorite moments. As full time missionaries we seek to be good hosts, servants, and tour guides. Our main focus is making sure that the short-term mission team has the best experience possible. We desire that God will speak to them in a special way, as they are out of their normal environment and serving in a different culture. We anticipate that they will be challenged and God will speak to their hearts, but I have to confess that I was not expecting that for myself. We split the devotional leading responsibility between us missionaries and the work team. Each night we heard encouraging scriptures, personal testimonies, and spiritual challenges. My heart was truly blessed. I know this was a time of stretching and relying on God for many of the team members who were not extremely confident in sharing their stories. As each person shared, I thanked God for filling him or her with courage and wisdom. Let me encourage those that may feel like you have nothing to share about. Perhaps you think your testimony isn’t good enough. Everyone has something to share that will touch the heart of another. It was good to hear people talk about the change God has made in their lives, but even more amazing to see them live it out daily in ministry. I am still learning Spanish and have by no means mastered it. The work team can attest to the fact that I am not yet the greatest translator. To be honest there are days where I simply use all the words that are in my current vocabulary and then I get stuck. This is when I remember the words of Francis of Assisi. He said, “Preach the gospel and if necessary use words”. Sometimes all it takes is a smile, a hug, picking up a crayon to color with someone, making a balloon animal that the child will likely pop 5 minutes later, making another balloon animal to replace the first, shoveling some sand, pushing a wheelbarrow, carrying some brick, mixing some cement, eating the food prepared for you even if it is the thirteenth time you’ve had chicken in the past ten days, dancing at VBS to a song you don’t know the words too, or making a fool of yourself on the soccer field. Through these simple things and more, we can show Christ’s love. Through these simple things the GracePointe church DID show Christ’s love to the people of Santa Cruz, Bolivia including us missionaries who call Santa Cruz home.
Thank You (English)
Y’all did a jam up job (Georgian)