In the past 8 months we’ve felt that God was possibly getting us ready to move us on to a different ministry down here. This was pretty hard to swallow at first. We didn’t want to leave Tierras Nuevas. There were a handful of fears I had to deal with like why is God leading us on when it feels and appears as if nothing as been accomplished here yet. I mean, we came down as church planters! We haven’t planted a church yet. You don’t just get up and move when things aren’t working out. I’m not a quitter. We were willing to live here as many years as God wanted. But God kept us uneasy and gave us an almost suffocating feeling. We prayed A LOT. Seeking God for the answer to this uneasiness. We decided that we would stay here until God moved us if He even chose that route for us. June came and we had a visit from an older couple from a neighboring community. A community quite a bit larger than here and about and hour away. They were representing a group of believers and the visit was to ask us if we would be willing to help their church. They had no one to preach to them. No one to lead them. So we decided we needed 6 weeks to pray and see how God led our hearts. At first we weren’t extremely excited about this possibility as God’s will and answer to our prayers. After all, IF this was God’s next step for us then it would mean that we would still be in a very small town with no market, no hospital. And honestly, Tyler and I were hoping that if God did lead us to a different place than that He would lead us to a place that had these and at least a place to eat out once in a while. We were hoping for a place that might offer a few more conveniences than here. It’s taken us some getting used to planning all our grocery shopping and anything we might need (even meds) for 2 -3 weeks ahead of time just in case we don’t make it back to civilization before we run out! 🙂 But funny thing … we are used to it now and it seems normal now. I remember how overwhelmed I felt at first having to learn to think of everything or do without if I did forget. Learning curves. Then, I feared what our churches might say. Would they understand?? It’s very very difficult to explain the accountability, realistic or not, that a missionary feels mixed with fear when it comes to others and how they may perceive God’s will for you. Kind of like the big sister syndrome that affects us big sisters towards our younger sisters. Gladly none of our churches are this way. They show us a lot of grace and are always very supportive. Great people and we are so grateful that they are the ones always praying and keeping us before God’s Throne. There is nothing like knowing that the church people that support us really do have our backs and really do care.
Filadelfia is where we have been working now since June. We know this is where God now wants us to serve Him. We’re so excited about helping these people out! There are actually lots of kids in this town. Lots of women that come to the church. I can foresee some great ladies Bible studies in the future once we are able to move and get settled there. This group of believers needs so much help. They’re all babies in the faith. Of 9 couples we know for sure 3 are married. They’ve never had a Lords’ Supper. Few are baptized. No youth group, no Sunday school, but there are kids in the church! Which is already helping Lily out with her increasing Spanish vocab. Wouldn’t you know it! She’s learned how to say “I don’t want to, Mama” in Spanish. Yup, somehow they learn and I almost wonder if it’s selective…I think kids are way smarter than they let on. 🙂
So what’s next? Well, we bought a lot in Filadelfia! That’s something I never thought I would be saying…at least not for years yet. The price was amazing! We’re in the process of clearing the lot of all the brush and tree roots and soon we hope to level the old mud structures there and corn crib so that we can figure out exactly where we want to build our house. Tyler’s planning on doing the foundation himself to make sure it is going to hold up. It’s funny because in our heads we look at this lot and we see all its assets. Perfect shade and swing tree for the kids. The perfect tubing river as our property line on one side. How lucky are these kiddos going to be huh? There is even a squirrel population here. We see them running through the trees on our lot all the time, and usually they’re like the endangered animal in most parts around Bolivia! Isn’t that like crows being endangered? Hum… I actually like seeing them scampering through the trees. And the weather is much warmer there. I can even grow my own banana trees if I want! And yes, I do want! Our neighbor lady said she’d give me some baby banana trees when I’m ready for them. Now my pomegranate tree will finally have a home instead of a pot! And I have 20 reddish pink geranium cuttings planted and waiting for them to take root along with 14 rose cuttings potted already so that I can have roses lining our rock wall that will surround the lot helping keep dust out since the main dirt road is the property line on the other side. And it’ll help keep thieves and especially neighbor’s animals out. When other people look at it they only see what’s there right now which is not so pretty…yet! One person actually said they feel sorry for us, haha. Really? I guess I feel sorry for all the physical labour that’s going to be involved (that’s about as far as my sorry gage goes on this one though.) Doing everything the good ol’ way. By hand… No machinery. We are going to be in ship-shape after this! And we’re trying to decide if we are going to build out of adobe or brick. Lots of pros and cons both ways. So many decisions to make. We would really like to be able to build soon so we can move by January and before the rainy season hits us again. It’s entirely in God’s playing field. So far everyone we ask doesn’t know of a place to rent for us live, which is typical of the back country vs towns or cities here. But we are super excited! Land owners… who would have known!?!? God is good in all His ways!
We don’t know why God is moving us on, but we are grateful that seeds have been planted and bridges have been built. We are grateful for the time we did have here in Tierras Nuevas. It’s so beautiful and honestly I’m going to miss this gorgeous green valley! If the door opens to some day make this an extension ministry I believe the ground work we’ve laid will make it possible for us to return and do Bible studies. I do know though, as rookies in the ministry, this really helped us get our feet wet so to speak. We’ve grown so much in our marriage and even in our faith in God through being in this place. We have friendships made here that will last and hopefully someday be able to say that those friendships will last into eternity.