This month Pilar and I went to Cochabamba. Pilar had to have a check-up with her dentist to make sure things were good with her spacer and I had been invited to speak at the annual ladies’ tea at the church. The week we were in Cochabamba, there were blockades throughout the country as people protested some laws that were trying to be passed. We were fortunate as we were staying with someone in a suburb of Cochabamba and the protest were not bad there. In other parts of Cochabamba and in Tarija and Santa Cruz, fights broke out and even where Mary and Pancho live, people were throwing rocks and things. Thankfully it did not last long and it was not as bad as some had predicted.
The tea in Cochabamba went well. I am not one for speaking in front of large groups and always get very nervous, but I decided to try something different as far as how I prepared for the tea and that ended up helping a lot. The ladies in Cochabamba were not sure how many to plan for because of COVID and were thinking it would be a smaller group of maybe 40. In the end they had over 70 women attend from three different congregations in the area and visitors. I spoke on how we need to think and speak about heaven more and how focusing on heaven changes how we live now. I used Hebrews 10:23-25, although I told them I almost didn’t as I feel verse 25 is often used to judge people or guilt them into attending church and people often lose the focus of the reason why we should be getting together and that is to encourage one another to keep going and to love and serve as we remember heaven is close.
"If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither." Lewis, C. S.. Mere Christianity (p. 134).
In November we decided to start a parenting class in Tarija. We’re going to do it once a month and the hope is to meet new people and encourage families. We prayed a lot about it and I asked others to pray also and God was gracious to us and encouraged us by bringing seven people to the class. There were four people we knew and three friends that people brought. Pancho talked about the importance of spending time with your family. We’ll be having a second class in December.
Please keep Tarija in your prayers and pray for the activities and ways wwe are trying to meet people and get to know them.