Monday, July 9, 2007

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Here's a practical word of advice learned from my experience at conference.....If you must get up, get dressed and bundle up to hike to a COLD toilet in the middle of the campus to use the restroom during the night, don't drink 3 cups of coffee, 2 cups of tea, 1 liter of Coke, various juices and water during the daytime. It's a good thing they don't have ice here or I really would've been in trouble as those of you who know me know I can put away about 5-7 pounds of ice a day much to my dentist's chagrin.

Well the conference is over. We met lots of fascinating SIM missionaries this last week. We were so thankful to be here during the conference. We enjoyed meeting our fellow missionaries and seeing the ministries that they have all around Bolivia. We are blessed to have this wonderful group of people as our missionary family. Their love for our Lord and for the people of Bolivia was inspiring to us and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work alongside them.

We met a group of SIM missionaries from La Paz who are doing a church plant. It was especially exciting to talk to them since their intentions are to start a family-based church. They are working through the details of how it will all be fleshed out and their vision statement, etc. It was thrilling to see how God is leading them. Once we have a vehicle we'd love to make the trip up (WAY up...elevation approximately 14,000 feet) to visit.

There was a missions team that came from a church in Illinois to lead the children's program while the missionaries were meeting for the conference. The team was OUTSTANDING. We were very impressed with their organization, their generosity, and their outpouring of love. Many of the members of the team brought their entire family. There was also a grandfather who brought his grandson. They held a VBS type event for the kiddos (ages 0-18) for 5 days from 8:45 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.---quite a task. It was great. The kids had an awesome time and all the parents were impressed. They knew just what to do and what to bring to make us all happy. They brought candy bars, Goldfish crackers, and small boxes of American cereal for the kids along with lots of fun craft projects, frisbees, pocket knives, some really good books, games, balls, etc. all for the kids to keep. For the teens, they took them all out bowling one day and for ice cream another day...and they paid for everything. They also gave the teens some really good CDs of contemporary Christian music. And for the women they brought Bath and Body Works goodies and various cards, teas, stationary, books, etc. It seems that they knew just what we all wanted. :) We were all blessed by their thoughtfulness and the love they showed to us all. They maintained good attitudes throughout the week...all of them even the children on the team even though I'm sure it was a long week for them. They were encouraging and supportive. I never once heard anyone on the team complain.

Tomorrow I hope to write an article of some of my favorite things in Cochabamba and also a funny story about our security guards at our house. Now I'm going to bed.

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