Saturday, October 20, 2007

This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through

Okay, so my two girls are sleeping safe and sound in their beds and I thought now may be an opportune time to write. Thanks for your prayers regarding our travels. Our flights occured without any major complications and we arrived actually a little early to Cocha. Praise God!

Upon taking our first nap in our bed after nine weeks on the road I turned to Katie and simply said "words cannot express", and Katie said "I know, you don't even have to finish the sentance". We loved seeing everyone and we loved sharing about the work and getting to witness other great works going on out there. However, how truly sweet it is to be back in Cochabamba. During our last driving trip from Brownwood back to Dallas I asked Katie where she would like to see us ending up when we come back to the United States. We talked a little about all the places that we had visited and we mentioned a few places that we felt would be "doable". Although, I must say that all I along our trip we had been saying how we felt God has truly placed in the right place at the right time for our family. Arriving in Bolivia, and especially once we finally got to Cocha, I immediately felt a sense of coming home and our conviction that God has placed us where He needs us and where we need to be was reinforced tenfold.

Of course, I say that Cochabamba is our home with the understanding that even tomorrow we could for some reason have to leave. If we learned nothing else from the events of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it was that nothing on this earth is guaranteed. Therefore, Katie and I try not to ever feel too at home anywhere, except for when we are in fellowship with our Heavenly Father and His children, for those times are the glimpes of our true homeland that we have awaiting as Christians.

Now that the Forbess family has joined the ranks of the globally mobile we have learned evermore to trust in the truth that our true citizenship is in Heaven. When we are in the United States there are many people and aspects of the culture that we love and there are aspects of the culture that we find hinder us daily in our goal to be Christ-like. The same is true of life in Bolivia, though those hindrences be different. What we have also grown to understand in greater depth and appreciation, is that we don't have define ourselves by the standards of geographic or political boundary. Yes, there is a part of me that is very American and that is part of my identity that will always be there, but as I try to live each day in the footsteps of Jesus, I am drawn to an earnest desire to define myself first and foremost as a disciple, a brother, a mentor, a student, a husband, a father, and a son of the Creator and Master of the Universe. I love the United States and I love Bolivia as well, but it is not because I think one is so wonderful. I love these places because they are inhabited by people who are all precious because they are creations of the Creator, but people who in their majority still live unaware of the peace and joy that is found through the grace and mercy Jesus offers. Wherever God asks Katie and I to be I am sure that His will is that we share with others His love through our words and more importantly through our actions. During this brief moment of our life God has placed our family in Cochabamba to be messengers and ambassadors of a living hope and we are thankful for the awesome privilege and blessing that is.

Our prayer request for this post is one of thanksgiving; thanks for the precious time we had with our family, our church families, and our friends; thanks for safe travel; and thanks for being able to come back. Taking a quote from our teammate Julie's latest blog entry, "God is good all the time". May God bless you on this day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two Days to Go....

Well, hello to you all. Currently we are in the Big D, actually Colleyville. Sunday and most of yesterday we spent in Brownwood to visit a little more and receive some last minute spoilage from Granny who cooked us a delicious breakfast before heading back to Dallas. On Saturday night Katie's sister and brother-in-law hosted a wonderful party in honor of Auntie Joyce, and we were able to see lots of friends and family who may not have otherwise seen. Friday night we visited our good friends and previous neighbors Javier and Lora Beth Escalante at Lora Beth's sister's home in Dallas. It was also a good time to get to know Lora Beth's sister and brother-in-law and their two beautiful children.

Before coming to Dallas, we spent a week or so in Hot Springs Village with Katie's parents. During that time we also got to make a little side trip over to Olive Branch, Mississippi to visit the Friendship C of C and Linda, Katie's mom, treated us to a special visit to Graceland. Before Hot Springs Village, we were a week in Rogers, AR with my sisters, Grandmother, great aunts, and cousins. We did many fun things in Rogers, among them we celebrated the Cousin's Birthday which Jubilee enjoyed immensly.

On Friday and Saturday Katie received a major answer to prayers. During the whole time we have been on furlough Katie has been asking people to pray that she may find a curriculum to use for the prison ministry. So, lo and behold, on the very days we were scheduled to be back in Dallas there was a conference to be held at the Prestoncrest C of C just minutes from Auntie Doris' house in North Dallas. Personally, I had been praying and hoping that Katie would not only find a curriculum, but that she would get to meet lots of people involved in the same kind of ministry. Both things happened during the conference. Katie found a great curriculum already translated into Spanish and she was able to do lots of great networking with other people throughout the brotherhood working in jails and prisons to bring the good news of Christ. So all that to say thanks for the prayers! God heard our prayers and answered in a mighty way, praise God!

Hopefully, once we get back home I will have more time to sit down and do a better write up of our travels. Thanks to all of you prayer warriors who have been praying for safe travel and good health. Please continue to pray that the last leg of our journey will be most importantly safe and secondly that it will be uncomplicated. May God bless you in abundance, richness and fullness of His love. We serve a great God, amen!