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As I am writing this post, we are on our flight from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Miami, Florida. The last two days have been a flurry of activity. Friday was our last full day at the work site. The first part of the day was spent with the guys lifting extremely heavy cement beams from the ground to the balcony. These beams will work as the support for the balcony weight. It was a slow and meticulous process but one that is necessary as they get ready to lay the concrete for the balcony.

While the guys were lifting the beams, the girls had a different task altogether. As some of you know, Brandy Caudle sells LuLaRoe clothing and she was gifted two suitcases full of brand new, beautiful LuLaRoe clothing for us to give to some of the Bolivian women here. We spent the morning cleaning and organizing a room and preparing a little area where the ladies could come in and “shop.” The church has several ladies that are there everyday to just help us out. Two ladies cooked our meals, one made coffee for everyone, one is there every single day just sweeping and mopping the outdoor floors, the missionary out at Peji came in several times to pick up things we needed for the medical clinic, some helped us in the office. Pastor Isabel and Pastor Alejandra also got to join in the fun. When it was all said and done we had about eight ladies that had blessed us everyday and we were able to bless in turn.

Those ladies are all extremely precious to us and we cannot express how much we love them all. They work so hard to bring us joy each day and they truly are the lovelies of people. What fun it was for us to see their faces as they got to pick out new clothes. One of the sweet cooks, Alejandra, had tears streaming down her face as she packed up her clothing items. She has the most sensitive heart and is so, so loving. Nothing has filled up my tank more than seeing the joy these clothes brought. Then came sweet Elva. Elva helped us last year beyond measure and this year, even with a four month old baby, she was back to help us some more. She is such a treasure and I wish I could share with you her entire story. She has cared for her younger siblings almost her entire adult life as her parents moved far away from her and her siblings when she was a teen. She has been the soul caregiver to her younger brothers and sisters and then got a job at the church where she cares for others. When we brought her into the room, we immediately found a dress that was perfect for her. She put that on right over her own clothing and began to sway back and forth. The swaying soon gave way to twirling and she continued to twirl around the room for several minutes. We helped her to find some more clothing items and she excitedly approved, all the while still in that dress over her jeans, spinning for all of us to see. When she came to a stop, she looked at us and then started to shake with sobs. She cried for a several minutes, clinging to one of us and then another. Her precious heart made all of us cry too and it was such an honor to bless someone who has been blessing others for so much of her very young life. I will replay those moments with joy for many years to come.

Soon it was time for lunch. We ate quickly and then we decided to move our devotion time to the actual sanctuary site. There in the middle of the work site, we worshipped together, listened to a word from Ann and Derek, and then we spread out and prayed over the entire sanctuary. After a time of prayer, Jim led the entire group in a prayer of blessing over the sanctuary. In those moments we were able to catch a small glimpse of all that God is going to do through that church building, of the generations that will be impacted because of what God is constructing. It was humbling and marvelous. We ended our devotion time singing one last songs about the goodness of our God and it was an impactful way to end our last devotion time at the church. What is happening at that church site will impact a nation for the Lord. It’s impossible to see all that God is going to do but we believe that one day, God will show us all that came to pass through that church building.

After the devotion time, it was back to work. The guys poured some more cement on the stage to make two large steps going up the platform. Once the cement was poured, they took some time to organize and clean up the work site so people who came in could see how truly beautiful it is. Pastor Ruben’s face was beaming. He couldn’t contain his excitement. By the time we left, there was no more dirt on the floor of the worksite. It looks like a church and his preaching platform is ready for him. What a great moment for him as he was able to stand and imagine a church full of people hearing the good news of Jesus.

While the guys were on the work site, the girls were busy cleaning and organizing the conference room we had used as our home base for the week. After a week of cement pouring, you can imagine how those white tile floors looked before we started to clean. We worked hard to try to make the room look as nice as it did before we arrived. Once that was completed, we started to pack up all our gear and get everything ready to go. As soon as the guys finished for the day, we were off to the hotel to shower and get ready for a special evening the church had planned.

We returned to the church that evening a little after 7:00 for an amazing dinner Maribel and Alejandra had cooked for us and several of our precious friends from the church. We spent time taking photos on the work site, we ate another amazing meal and then they had a special time for us where one by one, people from the church came forward to say something to us. They truly are the most wonderful of people and they blessed us over and over again with their words. What was even more precious for us was to see how each one honored their pastor as well, telling him how much his faith had grown their own. A decade ago, the Faro del Cielo church met under a big tree. They used small rocks to hold Pastor Ruben’s Bible pages in place as he preached. When Pastor Ruben told his people that they were going to build a church, it was hard for any of them to believe it could happen. But here they are years later and they see that Pastor Ruben’s faith was strong enough for all of them. God is building the church and their faith and trust in the God of Miracles is growing stronger and stronger each day.

We stayed at the church, hugging our sweet friends and saying our goodbyes until late in the night and then we pulled away with hearts full and with plans to return next year. It is impossible not to be excited about what God is doing in Bolivia. He is indeed a miracle working God and we are so very privileged to be chosen by God to reach this country for Jesus. It is a testament to His love for us, also, that He blesses us with these very, very good things. We serve a good God, sweet friends, and what an honor it is to be used by Him.