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Today I am struggling to find the words to write about today. Yesterday the words flowed so freely and we were able to share many victories and praise reports. Today was simply harder.

Today started off like a normal work day. We had breakfast at the hotel and then headed out to the work site to begin once again on the construction project. The team is full of many hard workers and we know that all the work that is being done is taking off huge tasks that the church would otherwise have to do on their own. Great things are being done in the physical sense on that work site and that is a definite praise. We are thankful for God’s strength and the chance to work along side our Bolivian brothers on the work site. It is truly a joy to see projects come to completion one step at a time and to look out and picture the sanctuary that is to come.

There are, however, other parts of our day that made today more difficult. Today has been an emotional one for us. While Ann is doing incredibly well, she is still in the grieving process over the loss of her dad and we are all hurting along side of her. Jerry’s cousin passed away at the beginning of our trip and he is going through the grieving process on this trip as well. One of our team members broke down and cried because of the weight of many hard decisions he is facing at home this week and burdens that feel too great to bear. Another team member, besides feeling poorly today, is going through an emotional loss as well. We, as a team, have experienced heartbreak after heartbreak this trip and today was especially full of shared sorrows.

Isn’t that just what the enemy does? When we have a day full of victory like we did yesterday, he comes to steal, kill and destroy. The same hands that prayed for healing yesterday and found prayers answered, felt sick today. The group that laughed until they cried yesterday, cried tears of sorrow today. In a very real way, the enemy did his best today to steal some of the joy we were celebrating last night.

But God has different plans for us. We have been saying over and over again to the Bolivian people that God has been knitting our hearts together with theirs. That is very true. But while we were not even looking or expecting it to happen, God has been knitting our hearts together as well. Today might not have been full of laughter, but it was full of healing and shared sorrow. Today we didn’t lay hands on the Bolivian people, we laid hands on each other. Today instead of encouraging our Bolivian brothers and sisters, we sat and shared and listened as some of us grieved. We cried with one another, hugged one another, prayed for one another, stood beside one another, and God worked to build a family out of broken people…and it was beautiful.

We know that the enemy had plans to bring us down today but God always has plans for victory. He always has plans to turn what the enemy planned for harm into something good for his children. Tonight we are physically, mentally and especially emotionally exhausted but we are also thankful. As we sat in our team devotion time today we sang, “Through it all, through it all my eyes are on You. Through it all, through it all it is well with me.” That is true for us as individuals today and for us collectively as a group. We are standing on God’s promises and believing the truth that “these mountains that are in front of me, will be thrown into the midst of the sea.”

And so today we are thankful, for the great comforter. We are thankful for the courage it took to share the deep hurts of our hearts. We are thankful that we don’t have to walk this road alone. We are thankful for a God that knits our hearts together with our Bolivian family and who knits the hearts of a team into a family. We are thankful for mercy that is new every morning and for a God that is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask or imagine. We are thankful that because we keep our eyes on Him, because of the power at work in us, we can say, “Through it all, It is well with me.”