Life in Bolivia

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.

The view from the High School camps. We were literally in the clouds!

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!

3 thoughts on “Life in Bolivia

  1. This is how me and my mom feel far away from Canada…ya we too have lots of dust…I know how jenny feals…you dust in the morning and by night time it looks like you didn’t do anything…even for cooking there are lots of things we cant find here…simple things that for you in canada would think what?.. that simple ingritient.?.. for example lets say now for halloween pumkin…its very hard to find it…and if you do…!!!.we all have to work with what we have…! and this makes us apriciate what we do have in our homes or countries that others don’t have…but they still can smile…with what they have …and if you think of it…do we really need all this that we do have to be happy…? Can we be happy with less things in life? I think we can but we don’t try….and we worrie for things that are not worht it…for example ohhh my internet doesn’t work…or oh no its raining…and I can’t go for a walk…well wear a rain coat…or if internet connection is down and you do need to speak to someone there are the phones…or even better go and see that someone. we have lost the conection with family -real life friends…etc…we connect with facebook even if were across the street….ya ok for people like you and us far away from family but when we can see someone near to us we don’t do the efford to walk to there home or even drive to really connect…and there are things like a simple hug that facebook can’t give…and a simple hug in a time of need it can work miracles for someone that really needs it…! Trust me I have made my life reall simple…I do things the simple way and every day I try to find better ways the simple way to do things…and right now I’m trying and thinking of making it even more but for example by facebook I connect with family in canada. this way I also let mom know whats going on with her family…my mobile I want to stop it but I don’t have phone at home and if anyone needs me like my parents that need me to take them to doctors they cant find me…! for cooking…in canada I could find all kinds of things that were ready like say chicken brouth in greece we make our own…from scratch…or all kinds of spices in greece they don’t have all of them…only in Athens and its 5 hours drive to go find it…tartar sause or coleslaw we don’t have I make from scratch all the cooking is from cratch…pie crust for lets say pumkin pie..I have to find the pumking make it into pumkin puree make the pie crust and then the fealing…(if I find pumkin. I was lucky on this 2 weeks ago I wanted to find pumking I wanted to feel make things we make in canada but I knew it would be hard for me to get so I let go of the idear…and then someone I know came and had 2 pumkings in a bag I asked were he found them and he gave me one…that made my day…I was like a little kid that was taken to disney land..what I want to get down too…its…if the people with less can make things happen why can’t we…tell jenny for cleaning simple vinegar can work from windows to cooking and cleaning the alkaline( the white hard thing that the water makes in different places like bathrooms sinks etc.) even if the kids get bugs in there hair from school vinegar does a good job…it is also disefectend. for wood furniture simple olive oil will do just put some on a cloth ok not make the cloth all oily…just a bit at a time …plus you have kids its not good to be around chemicals all the time…vinegar helps with the grease on surfaces…trust me it does work I have been using things like that for more than 5 years now…I have found all kinds of ways to make my life simple and more healthy for bathroom toilet baking soda gets the durtiest stains out and lemon help to clean and shine the tub….plus the nice smell natural smell!!! I can go on and on of the way I found thikngs for cleaning .. well it was used years back and it worked for them and so it does for me too…
    you don’t have to be sad that your far away from family…you are not the only ones…at least you know you are loved thats what counts…and lots of people are praying for you…plus the lord has you in his arms…think if you were far away alone and not loved but also not having someone to let you know that your heanenly father loves you….?
    Sorry to writte all this but its true…now you can apriciate the simple things in life and finaly see what is worth fighting in life for and what not…what life has tought me is that all the material things will stay here even when I’m gone…the only thing matters is to save my soul and try to walk the path that leads to the lord…us much as I can ( I’m only human I’m not perfect…but at least I try…)
    One thing I can say its that by making my life less simple I have come to enjoy the simple things in life that I have never enjoyed before…like the sound of the birds…I love sitting out in the garden and listen to the sound of the birds or see them fly…arround there colors and how try to find food . my dog Noah sits with me showing love…the flowers in my garden there colors….some times I look at the sky and try to see shapes in the clouds just like I did when I was a small kid….its so peacefull…even the rain in the winter or snow I put my rain coat and walk in the rain…the snow I make snowman llike a liitle kid…even if I don’t have kids I still do it…brings back good memories and this good memories warm my soul and heart…Life makes us to rush around all the time we do need to stop at times and just enjoy whats around us and find good even in things that look bad…! you can all call me crazy but for me it works….I need the peace in my life and I try to find it in every little thing…
    So I hope you all can make it with less things that you had in canada…everyone else can do it ( that don’t have anything) well so can we…!!!!
    Well I know the Lord has you in his arms…but this doesn’t stop me from praying for you ! I LOVE YOU ALL! TAKE CARE. and keep safe!

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