Saludos (greetings) from Cochabamba, City of Eternal Spring. La Familia Forbess is doing wonderful. We are blessed and we thank God for all of you who continually lift us up in prayer. Please continue to do so, God is hearing your petitions and answering!
Today is Sunday and we are having a relaxing day before our worship time at 5:30 this afternoon. Most of our time the past two weeks has been spent with our host families and at the language school. Our host family consists of Elba and Faiz Mustafa, their daughter Noor and her baby Omar Paulo. There are also many others who live close including grandaughter and playmate of Jubilee, who is young Salma. We ask your prayers for Faiz who is the patriarch of the family and is sick in the hospital with kidney problems. We visited him on Friday but were told not to come back without Jubilee :), he is a big fan of hers.
Our language school is going well. We all have four periods a day. Katie and I go during alternating shifts so that Jubilee may stay home most of the day. I go to class from 8:00 to about 11:30 and Katie goes from 11:40 to about 3:30. I have to get up a little earlier but the benefit of my shift is that I get to eat delicious lunches which is the main meal here and Katie must make due with sack lunches. Katie and I are both learning a lot, but for some reason my teachers delight in giving me an excess of homework while they go a little easier on Katie. One of my teachers is Ana Maria and during her class we are doing personal Bible studies and the day after she gives me suggestions and corrections. On the third day I do a sermon about the same topic of our Bible study. Ana Maria also teaches Katie for one period and Drew and Julie during another. Ana Maria is learning a lot about us and more importantly about the Bible. Please pray that God uses all of us to communicate to her about the saving power of Jesus!
Many of the students are also intrigued and asking many questions about what we believe. The majority of students are priests, nuns, and lay missioners of the Catholic church and the opportunity for them to learn about about the church of Christ in a non-confrotational environment is powerful. One of the people I have enjoyed speaking with most is Dario who aspires to be a priest. Dario is one of two men from Slovakia who work with the Divine Word branch of the Catholic Church. (I am still learning about the different parts and orders that are in the Catholic Church.) Another interesting student is a young lady named Maria. She has come to Cochabamba on her own on the recommendation of her grandparents who trained as a priest and a nun at Maryknoll before they married of course. She wants to learn more Spanish and work on her craft of writing while she is here. Maria and Jubilee get along greatly. Another student that loves Jubilee is a nun from Korea, her Spanish name is Rosa and she loves the fact that Jubilee's middle name, Song, is in honor of our good family friend Hyesung Song who is of Korean descent. Rosa knows little Spanish and is trying very hard to learn and I think Jubilee's smile brightens her day a lot.
In other news, Katie and I have found an apartment that we think is going to work out for us. It is spacious and affordable. All fixtures are brand new, in fact the apartment has never been lived in. It is on Avenida Ayucucho which is a main thouroughfare right in the central part of the city. Of course the selling points for Katie were the large inviting bath tubs and the biggie, the fact that the Sandoval's are going to be just two stories above us in the exact same building. We pray that everything will work out for us to live in this apartment. It also has four bedrooms, so there is plenty of room for any one who just happens to be passing through Cochabamba.
The rest of our team mates are also doing well. Nathan and Michaela who are the other babies are transitioning very well. All three babies are people magnets and what parent wouldn't swell upon hearing people exclaim out loud, "que linda wawa, felicidades", (what a beautiful baby, congratulations). Usually in Spanish baby is bebe, but here in Cochabamba people prefer to use the Quechua word which is wawa. The adults are also doing very well. Drew has made a good friend with the son of his host family, Marco. Marco has invited us all to play futbolito with him and his buddies on Thursday nights. I am still trying to run a bit on my own before I attempt it. Butch, Gary and Drew have already played though and enjoyed it thourougly. Jamie also enjoys Marco and his family and especiall practicing her Spanish with Lorena who is about our same age. We are blessed to have Gary, Laura and Nathan at a homestay within 5 minutes of ours. Their family runs a mom and pop neighborhood store which is very convienent for diapers and Coca Cola light which are both staples for the Forbesses. Josh, Julie and Michaela are a little further from us and we haven't been to the house they are staying at but we do get to see them frequently at school and when we come together for worship and Bible study.
I could keep writing, but if you have actually read this far you need a break. Rest your eyes by closing them and saying a little prayer for us. We love you all and keep you close to our hearts and in our prayers as well.
La Familia Forbess