|Dana and Greg washing dishes|
|Heather and her new best friend :D|
The entire time I was in Bolivia, the songs from my heart were praise to the Father. The first Sunday we attended Dana’s church in Santa Cruz. On the rear wall behind the podium Psalm 96:3 was posted. Since it was written in Spanish, I looked it up. Psalm 96:3 says “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (ESV). This was the goal of our entire trip and it happened!!! The Psalm before, Psalm 95, says to sing joyful noises to the Lord. I will go out with singing. I will make a joyful noise because I have been in Bolivia. I have met beautiful people there and seen the Lord’s hand at work. I will make a joyful noise for the fact that villagers left idolatrous ceremonies early to come to our meeting where we were presenting the Good News. Praise the Lord that they set aside their idols early for the one true God. I will praise the Lord for the one villager who came to see our work on the camping area and got interested in David (Da-vee-d) and Anna’s (Ana) project.
I will praise the Lord for his provisions during the trip:
|Sharing tricks with Kililo|
|Now it is Pastor Alcidez turn|
I will praise him that no one got sick and no one got hurt. I will praise him for the times we relied on his strength and not ours. I will praise him for the work that he did in the hearts of Americans and Bolivians in Bolivia. I will praise the Lord for friends who translate prayers so that all of the saints can participate in conversations with the Father. I will praise the Lord for 11 hour bus rides overnight on dirt roads that provide time for good conversations and sleep. I will praise the Lord for cramped truck rides that end up being 2x as long as planned making beautiful Bolivian children sit on and fall asleep in our laps, allowing us time to pray over them and time to build intentional community with the friends sitting next to us. I will praise the Lord for friends who keep up morale by singing to pass them time, whether it is worship songs under the Bolivian night sky or children’s songs in the morning, both made a joyful noise to the Lord. I will praise the Lord for Mariachi bands across the street that play music all night and into the morning giving us a true taste of Santa Cruz culture. I will praise the Lord for friends who know and can sing bilingual praise songs. I will praise the Lord for hands that washed dishes tirelessly. I will praise the Lord for a pastor who reminded us that we are not the star of the story but Jesus is. I will praise the Lord for a clean and comfortable bed to come back and sleep-in in San Ignacio. I will praise the Lord for friends who reminded us to stay humble and to keep Christ at the center of our focus. I will praise the Lord for strength and energy that only came from him. I will praise the Lord for a team that was not distracted with things that Satan could have pushed in such as drama or distracting relationships. I will praise the Lord for all of the words of encouragement I heard. I will praise the Lord for all of the laughter that happened with ease between two different languages. For jokes, faces and looks that are universal. I will praise the Lord for the salvation of his children. I will praise the Lord for David and Anna opening their home to complete strangers. I will praise the Lord for friends who pray over the day with us. I will praise the Lord for all of the answered prayers. I will praise the Lord for his children who said “Yes, I will go” and answered the call to missions this week.
This could go on and on and on….. I was completely shocked and surprised at how much I was able to experience the joy of the Lord on this trip. The Joy of the Lord is one thing I hope never to forget. I am building a stone of remembrance, so that I may never forget.
|New friends: Stephanie, Anna, Melodia, Carolyn and Suzanne|