September / October Update
Family News: We are all doing well. Jubilee is growing up so fast, it is hard to believe she was not even walking when we arrived to Cochabamba in January. Everything with Katie is well, she continues to enjoy different aspects of the work she is involved in such as teaching Friday school for Jubilee and her friends, helping teach a ladies Bible survey class, and helping teach English using the Bible. I also am doing well and enjoying seeing the work here begin to accelerate. One new piece of news is that we have requested a furlough during the summer months of next year, so if all goes according to plan we could be in your neighborhood sometime next summer!
English Using the Bible:
We have recently begun a new program with the goal in mind to make more friends and contacts leading up to our January church launch. Katie and I form a part of a teaching team with Billie, Drew and Jamie. On Tuesdays and Mondays the five of us are offering conversational Bible classes using the book of Luke. I also teach a basic English course on Tuesdays for absolute beginners. We have had classes two weeks in a row now and just this week really got into the text of chapter 1 of Luke. It has been very exciting to read this passage with our students a few of whom have never heard the story of the angel coming to Zechariah to announce the birth of John. Our students questions and comments have been very interesting. Please continue to pray for the students of our English classes, that they may be blessed and grow closer to God and that God may us His servants to communicate His will to others.
Santa Cruz Trip:
In September and October the men of the team had two trips planned. One was to attend a national men's conference in Viacha which is outside of La Paz. The other trip was to make a blitz trip to Santa Cruz trying to visit as many of the numerous brethren and congregations in that city. The Viacha trip unfortunately was called off because the highways were in danger of being blockaded on our way back. The Santa Cruz trip however was a great time of fellowship. Josh, Drew, Gary and I all made the trip. I was fortunate only experiencing a 7 hour delay on the side of the road while the other three guys who left later than me experienced a series of delays turning the 7 hour trip into a 23 hour trip. We all eventually got there however, the trip is actually quite beautiful anyway, and the church family in Santa Cruz were very gracious and hospitable. On Sunday we split up with me attending services in El Pari, Gary and Drew attending Tres Pasos, and Josh attending the Plan 3000 congregaton. None of us were able to visit the brothers and sisters at the Quinto Anillo congregation but hopefully next time. And there will be a next time, because the sisters in Santa Cruz all warmly welcomed us again but on the condition that we bring our wives and children.
On the Saturday night of our visit we also had a very special time with the leaders of the congregations from all over Santa Cruz. The four of us spoke on what our team has done in Cochabamba up until now and what we plan to do in the future. The brothers were all very supportive and also showed a lot of enthusiasm concerning attending our January launch. There is sure to be a large number of Crucenos probably to outnumber visitors from anywhere else. Please pray that God continues to bless the congregations of Santa Cruz with great leadership and also to bless the brethren some of whom are increasingly worried about the growing divide between East and West Bolivia.
Opening of La Conexion Cristiana and Related Events:
On Monday, October the 2nd we celebrated the grand opening of our contact center now officially named La Conexion Cristiana which of course means "Christian Connection". We choose the spelling conexion because it means an electrical connection as opposed to connection in general. In a sense we hope that God uses the Conexion Cristiana to connect the Cochabambinos to the Bible and to himself in a very electrical and dynamic way.
The English classes started also on the 2nd are already held at the contact center. This next Wednesday Butch and Drew are planning to begin offering another special class to the community. Their class will teach students how to study the Bible in a more profound way and how to do that on their own. Please pray that God leads true seekers to this class and that He may use Butch and Drew as instruments to share His word.
Worship Center, (Centro de Adoracion)
This coming Sunday will be another special day for the church family here in Cochabamba. This Sunday will mark our first Sunday to worship in the other locality we have rented. Up until now the large classroom at Conexion Cristiana was big enough for our group but it is now starting to be a bit crowded. We also want to make the move so that we begin using the space which we are already paying rent for. It used to be a gym so it has plenty of room for us to grow, housing up to 2oo hundred people on the bottom floor. It has an even larger space up above where the Children's Ministry headed by Jamie will use to make classrooms for different age levels of Bible school students. Please pray that God blesses our first Sunday and that he continues to fill this place with people who are seeking to know Him in a profound and lifechanging way. May the words and actions that take place within and outside of its walls serve to testify to amazing love God has shown all men throught His son Jesus.
Thank you all for you prayers and continued support. We pray that this news may find you well and in good health. We love you all very much!!