Thank you for taking the time to read our blogs, stay connected to us and pray for us. Your support for the work here in Tarija, Bolivia means a lot. May we all continue to grow in unity and boldness as we serve God and the people around us.
(Left to right: Women's Tea and Parents Class.)
At the end of June and again in July it was my turn to give the talk at our monthly women’s tea and also the monthly gathering we have for parents. As I thought of what would be good to talk about for the women, anger came to mind. I’ve worked a lot with emotions over the years and have been blessed immensely by it and anger is an emotion that most of us seem to have a bad/ negative relationship with.
I, like a lot of people, grew up hearing how anger is a sin (or only leads to sin) and how only God can have anger without sin. This leads to a lot of shame as we do all have anger and explosions as we try to hide it or ignore it. So I decided to give the women’s tea on anger and talk about how it’s not a sin to be angry and actually comes from seeing something is not right. Anger wants change and is a call to ask ourselves what is wrong and what changes/ steps do I need to make to facilitate that change. And that brings hope.
When the class was announced at church some of the guys wanted to hear about this topic so I ended up giving the class twice (changing it up a bit) for both the tea and parents class. Both times we had visitors come and a good gathering. I think it encouraged people as they maybe gained a new way of looking at anger and saw how God can really us anger to bless our lives.
People have asked us how things are going here and usually follow that by asking: “Like how many people do you guys have on Sundays?” I get it. Numbers are something tangible while relationships and maturity are not. At the same time numbers do not equal a heathy church and neither are they always connected with the effort put in. We plant the seed, we water, we care for the garden but God causes the growth. Tarija is a place of slow growth but I believe there are things going on that may not be tangible yet. For those who like numbers, we had 30 people at church a couple weeks ago… but that isn’t normal and was a first. Sometimes we only have the team and a handful of other people at church but even that is growth as a year ago most Sundays had just the team gathering. But we are not discouraged because of numbers on Sundays because we are seeing movement. We know God is working with us and we see relationships building. We see that consistency with people and being involved in people’s lives as we grow to care for them and see them, is encouraging them and giving them a thirst for Living Water. So keep praying for the ministry here and maybe don’t give up in your own efforts to reach the people around you. We have to learn to persevere and not give up on people.
I’d ask that you keep praying for my family as we are still in transition and also for Zeineth’s paperwork. I was supposed to have it months ago and still don’t. I’d like to go on furlough this year since it will be three years since seeing family and being in the States but I need the paperwork of the adoption to get her passport and then need to apply for a US tourist visa. We still have time, but I'm hoping to get the paperwork soon.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19