Monday, May 05, 2008

Praise God! Thanks for Praying

Hello brothers and sisters. I am writing in between the ESL classes that I give here at the Contact Center. I can´t write very much but I can write enough to say that our God once again heard your prayers on our behalf and in this case on behalf of an entire nation. Some would say it is mere chance and that I had blown it out of proportion in the first place. Yet, when you consider the fact that close to half a million people demonstrated in our city yesterday with no violence whatsoever I would call that only one thing; providence. There was some violence in Santa Cruz but even there it was much less than what had been expected. Yesterday´s voting results could have resulted in immediate unrest because the referendum for autonomy did pass. However, I am positive that your prayers as those of so many others were heard and God chose to work in the hearts and minds of leaders and their followers all throughout this nation. Thank you to all of you who cared enough to speak to God about our safety, that of our teammates and that of all Bolivians. Let us hope that this relative peace we have been granted may be used to God´s glory and that the freedom we maintain to speak the Good News boldly may lead to many more additions to the Lord´s body of Bolivia.


La Familia Forbess

Friday, May 02, 2008

Please Pray!

Hello folks. This is just a brief update on our family. I wanted to mention a few prayers of thanksgiving as well as prayers of intercession.

First of all, let me say on behalf of my whole family, thank you so much to those of you who were praying for our health. As you may know Malakai had a serious cough about two weeks ago and at one point we were literally going to the pediatrician everyday. It appears that the previous winter seasons in Cochabamba (april-august) are notorious for viruses and sickness of all kind. Fortunately we escaped those illnesses our first two years here, but this year with Jubilee in school it proved much harder to ward off those health risks. Praise God that we have found a good physician who cares about our children and is very knowledgable and attentive. Praise God also that Malakai is doing so much better.

You may also know that about three weeks ago after having a sore throat for over two months I found out that my body was battling a strep infection. We thank God first of all for answering our prayers that neither Katie nor the children caught strep as well. We thank our teammates who gathered at a moments notice to pray with us specifically that neither Katie nor the children would have strep. God is so good to us! I just lack one more day of antibiotics and then I will be done. The symptoms of strep have subsided and so I am positive that I have recovered. The ENT doctor that I have been going to will return from Mexico in 10 days so then I will have a more definite answer. We solicit your prayers that this infection completely passes from my body and that my immune system can begin to rebuild after the long period of infection and subsequent antibiotics.

Another note of thanksgiving is that Katie´s father who has battled with chronic pain for a period of close to four years now after battling a cancerous tumor in his leg is also doing much better. We recently received a photo of Katie´s parents attending a dinner for the congregation they attend in Hot Springs Village and the difference could even be seen on Frank´s face in the photograph. We praise God that Frank has found releif from the pain that he has been suffering with for such a long time now. We ask that you continue praying for that Frank´s good health may continue.

Aside from our family´s health issues I write this blog update two days before another climatic showdown in Bolivian history. I will not consume our time with lengthy details as you can do that by reading the newspaper. I will say that the same kind of conflicts are arising again between east and west as well as between those who live in the country and those who live in the cities. Of course the issues are vastly more complex than that, but I want to just give you a reference point for your prayers. On Sunday there will be a crucial vote in Santa Cruz to approve a certain level of autonomy for that region. As you can imagine some are in favor of autonomy and others are very opposed. Although the vote is only directly related to the department of Santa Cruz, the implications of the vote are going to be felt in every corner of Bolivia. We continue to observe as outsiders for Katie and I will certainly never comprehend fully the history that has led to this point. As a very wise missionary told us once, ¨don´t take sides and just always hope and pray for what is best for the people¨. We are praying for the following specific things and ask that you may take a moment to pray for all of these things as well, or if you don´t have much time please choose one or two specific things to mention to God in prayer on behalf of Bolivia.

* Wisdom for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3) Specifically for the president Evo Morales and Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera. Wisdom as well for the departmental leaders. The prefecto of the Cochabamba department is Manfred Reyes Villa, please pray that he may also have wisdom.

* Wisdom and direction for the police, military and their leaders. We pray that they may too have the best interest of all Bolivians in mind and uphold their committment to providing safety and protection.

* For the people of the countryside that are coming into the city. They could very well turn from demonstrators to targets in an instant. That God may bless these people with wisdom and protection as well.

* Specifically for the people of the cities of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. They God may bless these people with an intense desire for peace as well as wisdom and protection.

* For all those that call on the name of the Lord in the nation of Bolivia, that they may be ¨peacemakers, salt, and a city on a hill¨ as Jesus calls us to be in Matthew 5.

* For the protection of all the saints found throughout Bolivia. Specifically that God may guard the brothers and sisters of the city of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba as those cities would be the likely centers of conflict should conflict arise.

* That the Sunday vote and the outcome of the vote would not result in any violence or death.

* That the leaders and people of Bolivia would be somehow united although to the human mind at this point it totally impossible. We know the God we serve is powerful, mighty, and attentive as well to our petitions!

* One last request, if you pray for nothing else pray that many Christians throughout the world may come to know what is happening and that they may lift up the nation of Bolivia in prayer. We give thanks to our God ahead of time for what He will do in response to these prayers. Please make the choice to be a prayer warrior today.


La Familia Forbess