One of the greatest things Katie and I have learned throughout our time in Bolivia is the power of prayer. You our loved ones, our dear brothers and sisters in Christ have prayed for us during sickness, during the times of transition, times of longing for family, times of confusion and so many other instances that I could not mention them all here.
I come to you once more, though surely not for the last time to request your prayers on behalf of the nation of Bolivia. In 1 Tim. 2:1-4 Paul shares a very special message with Timothy. Paul exhorts Timothy to be in prayer for the rulers of the day, and along with that prayer there is a very special motivation. The reason Timothy was to pray for the rulers and the reason we pray for our rulers is not so that we may be "happy shiny people" to quote the eloquent lyrics of the B52´s and live unhindered in our quest for comfort, security and prosperity. We pray however for our rulers because as Paul says in verses 3 and 4, God wishes for all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
In essence, we should pray not that the economy improves, not that our rulers think as a Christian should, or in our case not that our daily life will halted by street blockades. What I believe Paul encourages us to pray for is that our rulers act in such a way that the sharing of Christ may not be hindered but that it may given an opportunity to grow and grow in reach and depth. Wow! This is a hard one, isn´t it?
In light of the recent political activity in Bolivia, first of all let me assure everyone that so far we have not experienced any threat to our safety and we have taken the necessary precautions by registering with the consulate should they need to get ahold of us for some reason. Additionally, we arrived here by God´s will and for that reason I trust that God is taking care of us in each and every moment and I hope that you may have the same confidence. Having said that, let me please beseech you on behalf of this country. Bolivia if you have never been, is a beautiful place with incredible people. History seems to have dealt Bolivia some raw deals and Bolivian society continues to this day to cope with the earthly consequences of the mistakes of previous generations of Bolivians and those from outside Bolivia as well. In this time of turmoil and transition, Bolivia is having difficulty deciding who they are to become as a nation and for obvious reasons this causes the social and political arenas to become quite heated.
If you are reading this I would like to ask you to get down on your knees right now and lift up a prayer to our Lord. Tommorrow in the state of Santa Cruz, (not close to Cochabamba) there is the potential for a great deal of unrest. Let us pray for the safety of our brethren and all believers in that city. Let us pray that no violence occurs. Let us pray that justice along with the very will of God reigns in the city and region of Santa Cruz. Let us pray as well that the social problems Bolivia is experiencing will open doors for the gospel to reach not only the ears of all Bolivians but to the hearts of all Bolivians as well.
I remember a brother I respect a great deal from the East Denver congregation who many times starts his discourses with the following statement "God is good" and the congregation heartily replies, "all the time". I believe this with all my heart and I hope you do as well. I hope that you do not recieve this post as a frantic message from a paranoical missionary but as passionate plea from a servant who loves Bolivia and who wants to see only the very best for her people. I believe in the very God who parted the red sea and rose men from the clutches of death. My God can do great things, all He asks of us is that we ask Him.