It is hard to believe that we have been here for almost a month! There is so much to say that I’m not sure where to start.
I suppose the best place to start is to first update you on what we have been doing.
The first few days after arriving in Bolivia we spent time visiting the school and sitting in classes (to meet the students). We also spent time doing paperwork to get our proper documentation to stay here for the year. I enjoyed this time of getting re-adjusted to the altitude again and getting to know the students that would be in my classes.
A time if stretching came the next week. CCS (the school I teach at) has an annual camps week for all the students. For the Vis’ this meant that I was away for four days at a camp about 2 hours from the school, Tyler and Hannah were at another camp (2 nights) for grade 4 to 6 students and Abby and Carter were gone for an over night camp at the school campus. If you do the math, Jen was left alone only a week after arriving in this new country. It was hard to simply let go and trust God.
God was good and the kids all had an excellent time at their camps and I enjoyed getting to know the teens better. Plus at the high school camp, they had a group from Colorado lead the sessions. The did a really good job speaking to the issues of critical thinking and worldviews. I would highly recommend people in Youth Ministry check them out and consider having them speak at your event. You can find them at http://www.axis.org.
Last week I started teaching the bible classes. The odd thing was that I was not nervous to start teaching, even though I have never done this in a formal sense before. I was nervous, however, to speak at the weekly chapel… even though I have preached many times over my years in ministry. In the end, both have gone well. I love being with and teaching teens. So many are not afraid to ask big questions and be honest with their struggles and challenges with faith and Jesus Christ.
I plan to share on a more regular basis some of the material we are learning in class and will be asking for free online material from all my youth ministry buds that could be used to engage and enhance the curriculum being used. I also do all my classes on Prezi, so if you are interested in seeing that material, let me know and I can share the links with you.
God is good and we are adjusting well. We do have our moments of missing ‘normal’ things in Canada and hating the distance between friends back home. Thankfully, we haven’t had those moments at the same time! Things are different. This country is dusty, so things always have slight layer of dust on them. Foods that should taste one way, seem off. I know Jen has been frustrated with cooking (who knew that the altitude would affect things like baking?!). However, in the midst of these challenges, we get to witness a bit more of God’s beautiful kingdom. His people and His creation are beautiful beyond description.
Feeling blessed in the midst of the challenges!