Monday, January 15, 2007

Successful Launch

Success is always such a subjective thing to measure, but I would feel safe in saying that yesterday's official launch of the church was a great success. It was so because God was glorified, the gospel was preached, and people walked away having been encouraged and touched by the Word of God. Altogether we had 160 people, including our team and Cochabamba Christians, the Christians visiting from Austin Avenue church of Christ in Brownwood, Texas, a group of Christians from Santa Cruz and a group of about 100 invited guests from Cochabamba. It was an emotional moment to stand before our friends and loved ones of Cochabamba after a week of calling each other to find out how everyone was admist street riots. To then see all of those people under one roof on such a joyous ocassion was an unforgettable moment. To the visiting Christians it was also a time of great encouragement and they in turn encouraged our team and church family immensly. Grover Beakley an elder from Austin Avenue gave a blessing and prayed for the work as well as Fernando S. who is an elder from the El Pari congregation in Santa Cruz.

Butch preached an uplifting sermon about Jesus being the only one capable of healing a nation. He compared Jesus to the teachings of popular thinkers such as Freud and Nitzche showing how their philosophies have miserably failed the post-modern world in the endeavor of improvment and world peace. After the week that the Cochabambinos experienced the message was incredibly timely and well received. God truly spoke through our brother Butch on that day. Other brothers and sisters of the congregation also helped in many ways to make yesterday possible. A special thanks is due our brethren from Austin Avenue who helped us out in countless ways. We also send a special thanks to the Santa Cruz brethren who braved a difficult journey to be with us.

Thank you also to all of you who took a moment or two to pray for the success of this event. I believe that it will truly serve to bring us into the lives of many more Cochabambinos with the good news of life in Christ.

As for the political situation, we are simply watching and waiting. The weekend was for the most part very peaceful, one of the reasons that we had such a great turnout. We do not know if that was a permanent change or if it was only a temporary recess for the weekend. It is rumoured that things may become ugly again but there is no way to know that sort of thing.

May God bless you all.

La Familia Forbess

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cochabamba in Peril

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have mentioned our economic situation a few times on our blog, but today there is something much heavier on our hearts. If you have watched the news perhaps you have seen coverage of the street violence here in Cochabamba. One of the worst spots is below our window, six stories below. This is not to frighten or worry you, but for you to know the gravity of what is happening. We, I believe are very safe. Foreigners have nothing to do with this fight and as long as we stay out of view I am sure that we are fine. However, we are not able to leave our homes at the moment and the families of the congregation are spread out. We have spoken with everyone on the phone and almost everyone is home and accounted for. Please do pray for Cecilia's brother Franco who is not at home. There is a large group from Texas arriving in a few hours, pray they can get to their hotel from the airport. Pray that all the brethren in this city especially can be protected. Pray that the leaders of this nation who can stop what is happening will do it. Please be aware of what is happening here. We continue to trust in our Father. We will update you as soon as possible.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Answered Prayers

A quick update for all the prayer warriors out there. God is good and He takes care of His children without fail. As you may have read in the last post we lost a substantial amount of monthly support. Since that posting we have had pledges come in for an additional $250.00 a month. We continue to seek additional support, but this is an indication that everything will work out just fine. A special thank you to those individuals and congregations that have stepped up and pledged an increase in support.

Two new prayer requests for this posting are for the Church Launch to be held this Sunday and the political situation. As I write this protestors march down our street with sticks and tires to burn at the main plaza and government buildings. The political situation here is hot and the fires continue to be stirred. Please pray for peace here. This situation affects everything including our church launch. For the launch we were to have almost 50 people coming from the congregations in Santa Cruz, for the very reason the country is so polarized it will be a great thing for Christians from the two opposing regions to gather. What better testament to our non-Christian visitors of the love that exists between Christians? Even when the Christians come from groups of people who generally oppose each other. As it stands now the highways have been blocked by protestors and we are uncertain if the people from Santa Cruz can travel safely here. Only God knows how to use these situations to His glory and we ask that all of you pray for our launch, for the safety of the Bolivian Christians traveling to Cochabamba, and for the Bolivian people in general. The vast majority of Bolivians, simply want to live their lives as people all overthe world do and the actions of a few have caused many to live in fear. We know though that we serve a mighty God, He who parted the Red Sea and crushed the armies of Pharoah continues to hold His people in the palm of His hand. We know that God sees the heart of men and knows those who love Him. We know that many Christians in the past have lived in turbulent times and that it is at these times more than others, when all people are faced with the reality and brevity of life that notice perhaps their relation to God could improve. Please pray that these things that are happening do not impede the freedom of life in Christ being preached. To God
be all the glory, honor and praise.

La Familia Forbess