Bolivia 2016 - Update #6
Hi friends and family,
We arrived safely back home last Thursday at 2pm, albeit a little travel weary and grungy. Several things happened after the last update we sent, so we wanted to send you a final letter. So many of the details are already getting fuzzy, so this is our best effort in giving you a picture of our precious last days with the Mojicas.
After a scenic trip to Samaipata, we came back to Santa Cruz where Matias Sr. and Mary both had a lot of last minute prep for the Pastors Seminar. Chairs, tables, white boards, white board markers were all picked up and purchased. Tim, Matias Jr, and Stephanie stayed up late one of the nights putting together name tags for the conference and watching movies. Tim spent time making registration sheets and getting the certificates of completion ready to go. All the logistics were in order the night before the conference.
Mery was busy meal planning for all the attendees of the conference, but also meal planning for us. We were recipients of lavish love in the days leading up to the conference. She considered every meal our special last because once the conference started, she would be largely unavailable to our family.
As Tim mentioned in the previous email, we all came down with a bout of stomach problems, so we were glad when we all finally recuperated & were able to be helping hands.
On Sunday, Stephanie gave her testimony to the church where she expressed thanks for the work the Lord did in salvation, but also for the ways she was encouraged and edified by the women in Bolivia, particularly for the women who became spiritual mothers to her and examples of Proverbs 31 women, women who delight in the work of their hands and whose families treasure them.
The day before the conference, Carlitos (brother #2), took us to his paintball company with Matias Jr, Josue (brother #3), Tamara (Carlos's girlfriend), and Raquel (Josue's girlfriend). We had a battle for the ages. It was nice to see where Carlos spends much of his time and energy. As we got to know Carlos over the weeks, we got to know his business endeavors, and we were thankful to be able to see him in all of his different elements, peanut-butter making, online personal training, and paintball shooting.
Once the conference started, Tim helped with registration, and Stephanie stayed home with Emmett and Maia. We went to the church during the breaks, lunch and dinner, to eat and fellowship with the people in attendance. It was good to have Pastor Rod, Alex and Joel there. The house was definitely full.
Carlos and Tamara took our family on a tour of downtown Santa Cruz on our last day and also showed us how he creates his peanut butter in his special kitchen.
Stephanie was so thankful for her new relationship with Mary who became such a light of Christ to her, an example of a woman who embraced her role and gifts in such a way that was warm, and inspiring.
Tim was thankful for the opportunity to meet Matias and the Mojica brothers. Even in a short time, the whole family had a huge impact on our family just by how they poured out love on us and let us be a part of their ministry.
The city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia is a really stark contrast to the cities in Bay Area. It has some modern technology and amenities, but it lacks infrastructure like paved roads, facilities, or even trash pick up. That makes ministry challenging and inconvenient, but it's amazing to see God's work despite those challenges in the various church plants and camp ministry.
Thank you all for your support and your prayers throughout our trip. It was God's grace to answer those prayers for well-traveling children, safety, and to let us be part of His work in Bolivia. We appreciate it so much and hope we'll have the opportunity to share with you when we see you in person!
Tim, Stephanie, Emmett & Maia