Posted on August 26, 2019 Seeing God’s Spirit move in Bolivia
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Seeing God’s Spirit move in Bolivia

It is winter here in Santa Cruz, Bolivia! Lately, it has been quite windy which reminds of how the Holy Spirit is described in Acts 2. On the first Pentecost Sunday, God’s spirit came down as a powerful violent wind and filled the room where the disciples were. The wind helps me to remember that story and how the Holy Spirit is moving around us and through us and that God is present with us!

About a month ago, I was walking around the city and I realized how hyperaware I was of my surroundings. As I walked, I watched every step, looked out for stray dogs, noticed the people around me, and watched for vehicles on the road. Then immediately, I had this conviction and I asked myself, “Am I this hyperaware of the Holy Spirit?” Since then I have been wrestling with that question. Honestly, it was hard for me to answer with a quick yes! I’m sure it has to do with the transition that I have been in since moving here, but once I realized it then I started to pay attention. Over the last couple months God has given me opportunities to see where he is at work through different ministry opportunities he has given me in Cochabamba and in Santa Cruz.

During my last visit to Cochabamba with a team from South Parkersburg Baptist Church, Parkersburg, West Virginia, I saw firsthand God’s spirit moving. I went to help translate for the team as well as use the time to learn more about the ministries of House of Hope. We had the opportunity to serve alongside a Quechua congregation.They have been building a new sanctuary because they outgrew their current building space! This congregation has become a light in their community and people are interested to learn about Jesus and the hope he gives.

For a few days we worked with construction and one day we worked with House of Hope doctors at a mobile medical clinic. I had the privilege to help with translation in the lab, waiting area of the clinic, and at the worksite.

We were invited to come to their Sunday evening worship. My favorite part was when a group of men performed with flutes and drums as women danced. As I watched them worship our God with all their body, soul, and mind it was obvious that the Holy Spirit is working and moving within this community. The lyrics of a song they sang were “Bolivia for Jesus Christ, Los Olivos for Jesus Christ, West Virginia for Jesus Christ, the whole world for Jesus Christ.”

After they sang a few songs they invited us to receive the ponchos as a token of their appreciation and partnership in ministry. We joined in the dancing as they sang a few more songs. Click on the button below to watch! I was blown away by their generosity and the hospitality.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting (Acts 2:1-2).

Praises and prayers:

  • Thank you for your prayers! I have my three year temporary residency visa and my Bolivian I.D card! This is a huge praise after three months of immigration appointments. 
  • Pray that I will continue to discern where God’s Spirit is leading as I help start a new House of Hope in Santa Cruz.
  • Pray for doors to open and I can have meetings with pastors in Santa Cruz in these coming months and hear the needs of their ministry.
  • Pray for my transition to life here.
  • Pray for me that I will give myself grace through all the cultural, ministry, and language learning.
  • Pray for the relationships that I have started to establish here will continue to grow and deepen.
  • Praising God for each of you who pray for me and who make my ministry here possible!
  • Yay God for a great June and July. I got to help with two summer mission teams with the House of Hope! It was a joy to see how people love and support the ministry of House of Hope and keep coming back year after year.
  • Praise God that I am feeling more settled and at home here in Santa Cruz!
  • Praise God for all the support that I have received from International Ministries staff to help me with my transition to life and ministry here.

Cultural discoveries:

Sloths are wild in the trees at the zoo just like squirrels are at the zoo back home. However, here the squirrel is in an exhibit! 🙂

Words of affirmation are important to my women’s small group. We had a gift exchange and before giving our gift away we shared affirming words about our person we drew.