On Sunday night I arrived back at our flat from a friends house to find a scene of wanton disarray. Tissues littered here and there. Puddles on the floor. A wife in some distress. Yes, Amanda's chick-flick night was a roaring success!
Actually, it doubled as a baby shower for one of the participants of Amanda's young women's Bible study group, who is due next month. There were, in all, ten of them in attendance, including a special guest appearance -- all the way from Scotland! -- by Rachel Peebles, who has been paying Trinidad a visit over the last couple of weeks. Rachel worked with FT and El Jireh for many years before heading home in December 2010; on Tuesday evening we had the chance to spend some personal time with her and enjoyed the chance to catch up on her news.
It's been a busy old week. On Sunday morning I preached on John 21 and used the passage as a platform for the church to think about missions. I tried to challenge the pre-conceived notions in this part of the world that missionaries are white people who come to Bolivia, rather than Bolivians impacting their nation and the world for Christ. I shared with them some of our experiences in Costa Rica, where we learned about, and witnessed, a vibrant missionary community among the natives. Some 20 years ago, there were virtually no missionaries leaving Costa Rica. Today, they are all over the world and in some parts, being a Latin American is actually advantageous for them. You won't find many white missionaries, for example, in the Middle East, where the caucasian appearance translates as 'American'. Latin Americans, however, don't have such an obstacle to overcome. With this information in mind, I challenged the church to believe that our own congregation had an important role to play in world missions.
On Tuesday morning, our first working day of the new week, Amanda held her first morning prayer meeting at the Foundation. As the week progressed, we were encouraged to see some other workers, and not just missionaries, turning up to pray for the Foundation, and particularly the board, who meet at that time every day.
The R.E. classes in local schools were somewhat disrupted by education strikes this week. But it was business as usual for my English classes, which are run from FT headquarters. On Thursday, at the 'Biblical Application' lesson, the focus was the Bible itself, its basic structure, its teachings, and its significance for Christians. Having recently been donated a large supply of Bibles by an anonymous Canadian donor, we asked if there was anyone who didn't have a Bible and who would like to read it. Four people responded positively and took a brand new Bible home with them!
We have mentioned over the last few weeks our continued developments and setbacks re. land and we asked you to pray for this last week. We don't wish to go into too much detail, however, let's just say that things didn't work out quite as planned this week (they rarely do in Bolivia) but they may actually have taken a significant turn for the better.
Your continued prayers would be appreciated for that and for this Wednesday night, when we will be travelling to Santa Cruz. We have a couple of important matters to attend to there which we couldn't really put off any longer. We would appreciate your prayers for safety on the road and for progress on these matters in Santa Cruz, which we would prefer to keep private right now. It may be the case that we have to stay there over the weekend, but we will aim to post next Saturday regardless.
- For the message Craig preached on Sunday, that the call to take the good news to the nations would take hold in lowly Trinidad.
- For the English students who took Bibles home, that they would read it and seek to understand its message.
- For our land situation and for our travels to Santa Cruz, that we would be able to accomplish what we have to do there.
- For the chance to, quite literally, share the Word with the English students.
- For the staff involvement in Amanda's morning prayer meetings.
- For Amanda's burgeoning ministry among the young women of the church.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!
Craig & Amanda