Wow, what a whirlwind these last two months have been! It seems like we can hardly keep up with God. In the last four and a half years of mission work, we've never seen God moving things so quickly or experienced doors open up so widely in order for His work to go forward. The highlands project has really taken off and we are truly privileged to be a part!
Here are some snapshots those experiences…
All our visa paperwork has come through! Due to a divinely orchestrated contact, we were able to finish up and turn in all of our residency paperwork in record time. Not long afterward, we had our Bolivian ID cards and were off to get our driver's licenses. It only took 8 trips down to the Automobile Club at the other end of the city to finally get them. We had many good laughs as God provided written tests in English, but so sorely translated that we almost wish we'd taken them in Spanish! Then there were those two weeks where we took daily trips into the center of the city to complete all the paperwork requirements for Samson's transfer of ownership. But in the end, everything worked itself out!
Next came the work on Samson. While the Land Cruiser was running and driving, many things still needed changing and adjusting. In addition to fixing the jeep with parts available here in La Paz, DJ ordered many more things from the States. Also, several generous donors that DJ met on the online Land Cruiser forum donated many extremely useful items. In June, Jason Anders joined us for two weeks, bringing those parts and tools. Jason was a big blessing, helping install the parts and traveling with us on our first trips into the mountains.
Speaking of those trips, we have just begun the next phase of our projection for the first year here in the highlands. This next phase will be focused on investigating the needs of the people. This means we will likely be traveling a lot in the near future, exploring the plateau and the high mountain regions of Bolivia. Please pray for safety and guidance as we set off on this next step.
I was blessed to be able to attend a teacher's conference near Cochabamba for a week in June. A group from Minnesota came down, volunteering with Mano a Mano (a local Foundation we coordinate with), to share new teaching methods with a group of 30-40 local teachers. I spent most of the week translating, and the time spent observing in various classes expanded my understanding of the Bolivian educational system. I hope to be part of many more workshops, expanding the training to the teachers here in the highlands.
Translating for Jackie, teaching the teachers about mental maps - ways of organizing thoughts (left).
A student uses the bubble map (right).
The opportunities for ministry have surprised us time and again. We are part of a small group Bible study that meets weekly. There are at least four non-Christians attending regularly in addition to those leading and hosting from our church. Also, a spiritual door has opened with our recently widowed, elderly neighbor who I have the privilege of praying with every day (at her request). Other opportunities like starting English classes with another neighbor and not-so-coincidentally meeting a girl down the street who's looking for more in life have just added to the excitement. God truly has a work for each of us right where He places us. It's not tomorrow or next month, it's now that God has something for you to do, someone in whose life God, through you, can make an eternal difference. Working for God is never boring! Why not ask Him what mission He has for you today?
To quote one of my favorite missionaries, Eileen, "Chin up, nose down!"
We are no longer accepting donations through Gospel Ministries Intl.
Please see the bottom of this update for our current donation information.
Thanks for your continued support!
In addition to all the things God has done for us, our missionary friends, the Enos, have also been the recipients of many blessings.
In preparation to join us in Bolivia this fall, God has helped them sell their house, find homes for their kitties, and obtain funding for Chris to continue his flight training.
To top it off, baby Cara has also joined their family!
God blessed Samson's fix-its in many miraculous ways. For instance, the guy who agreed to weld the frame backed out at the last minute. Several months ago DJ and I met a local shop owner, Ramiro, at the Toyota parts store and he offered to lend DJ a timing tool. God used this same man to make contact with another welder who did a good job on the frame. Plus, it so happened that the welder took so long to weld it in Ramiro's shop, that the DJ and Jason were able to work all week with good tools and a pit. To top it off, Ramiro wouldn't take a penny for anything!
Join our prayer circle and hear about God's miracles on a weekly basis! Click on the link below to sign up:
1. Rims ($400-$600)
2. Heavy Duty Old Man Emu Suspension
($1,500 – currently soliciting donations from manufacturers for a set)
3. High Quality Off-Road Jack ($150)
4. Brighter Aftermarket Headlights ($150)
Top Project Needs:
1. Printer/Copier/Scanner ($100-$150)
2. Logo Designer
3. Additional help with website set-up
This project is funded entirely by donations. If you'd like to be a part, we accept tax-deductible donations through Gospel Mission Aviation, Inc.
Donations can be given: - Link on the "Donate" page of our website - PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Check: P.O. Box 2358, Collegedale, TN 37315 Please include a note stating "Bolivia Highlands - Knott."
100% of your donations go directly to our project. Thanks for being the wind in our sails and the oxygen for our fire!