Getting Settled In:
We have now been back in Bolivia for almost three weeks and it seems as if we haven’t stopped to breath since. We had a really smooth trip here with no problems, especially since Titus hadn’t traveled on an airplane since he was one and the fact that we were bringing eight checked bags and four carryons. We arrived at about 8:00 am to our city and were greeted by a group from our church that thankfully came not only to greet us, but help with the suitcases. There are always challenges when you transition to a new country but this time we have seemed to have some extra ones. In our first week here Taylor burnt her leg on a motorcycle, Grace got shingles and Titus fell of the bed on his head. For us the greater challenge has been to adjust to the culture while for the girls the language has been more difficult. During the year that we were in the states, the girls forgot the majority of their Spanish. Many have told us that it is normal and that they pick it up quickly. At first it was a struggle for them, but almost three weeks in they are at about 40%. Our two primary goals besides our work in the church have been looking for a vehicle and a house. We have had success on the first, getting a vehicle, but we are still looking for a house. Pray that we can find one soon.
Living in Two Worlds:
That may sound like a weird title but it is a phenomenon that I am coming to realize that many missionaries face. You may be asking what are you talking about, living in two worlds. As we have now finished out first term, returned to the states for furlough, and now we are back in Bolivia I think that is the best way that I can describe it. It is as if we live in two different worlds. Let me explain: when we came to Bolivia we worked hard to learn to speak a new language and live in a new culture. It gets to the point that in a certain way it becomes part of who you are. Then about the time you get used to all the new you go to sleep one day (the day before we left for furlough) and then wake up in a different world (back in the US). Everyone speaks what is now your new language (English) and they act really different than what you are used to. So for the entire year you get used to speaking the language, the customs, and foods and then a about the time you are comfortable, once again you go to sleep one night and the next day you wake up in what is once again a new language and culture. It is a little hard to explain, but when you have experienced it you almost feel like you have two lives. The one you are in is your life and the other is just a dream. This is not something that I am complaining about, but it is just to give you a little insight into what life is like as a missionary. In reality, there are many advantages to it, if that is you can keep the two straight in your mind and make sure that you wake up in the right place.
Upon our return it was a pleasant surprise to see everything at the church running smoothly and everyone in their place. Our first Sunday back the church was full and the only thing I did was preach. The music, Sunday school classes and everything was already planned and taken care of. Also on that Wednesday, there was an activity planned for our Patch the Pirate club totally by the workers and there were like 75 kids that showed up. Needless to say they out numbered us in the normal service. There are still many things that we are working to put in order but we praise the Lord for how He has worked over this past year and helped the people of the church grow in their walk and service to Him.
1. Pray for our youth conference and several visitors that we will have this month.
2. Pray that the Lord will lead us to the right house as soon as possible.
3. Pray for the funds needed to buy land and build a church building.
4. Pray for our children as they adjust to the differences here like speaking Spanish again.