Our last two days in Cochabamba have been absolutely awesome. We have been two very tired dudes at a few moments but the Lord has had such a purpose throughout our time here.
Monday morning we were able to get out and see a potential guest house for bringing teams to Cochabamba. It was a little more challenging than we thought since we were just given a street name and told “it’s next to the church.” The challenge was that there were 4 churches within a few blocks and the house wasn’t on the street we thought it was!! Luckily we did end up finding it.
Monday evening we had a scheduled training from 6-9 with all the churches we had shared with on Sunday. We challenged everyone to be on “gringo” time (meaning on time and not an hour late). As we were driving to training our car broke down! So guess who ended up being 45 minutes late….the gringo! Despite our tardiness, God’s purpose prevailed. We had 30 believers in the training and they soaked up everything we shared for almost 3 hours. After we finished they made it very clear that they could not wait until we would bring a team to start obeying. What an answer to prayer!!
Today we went and visited a potential site that was way, way, way out of the city. It was awesome to see the beauty of the mountains and countryside outside of the city. We had a great lunch with our potential partner and shared our hearts for the city and country. The day ended with a quick training of a few potential translators and dinner at Menchos.
Osvi and I are both really excited about the potential in Cochabamba and we can’t wait I see what God has in store. As I write this we are sitting in the airport waiting for our flight to La Paz. This starts the journey home for me. Pray for both of us as we miss our wives and babies very much and are super excited to return to them!
Here are some things to be praying for:
It’s been very cold in La Paz so pray there are no travel issues getting in or out
Pray for my journey home from La Paz to be smooth and quick
Pray that God leads the NLGM team to the ministry we need to be a part of in Cochabamba
Pray that these churches do implement what they’ve been trained on and make many disciples and multiply churches
These days in Cochabamba have already been, and will continue to be, insanely fun due to the brother-like relationship I have with our national coordinator (Osvi). It’s especially fun since Osvi’s dad owns a restaurant called “Mencho’s Sexy Hotdogs” at which we will eat and hang out every night. Don’t ask about the sexy part…that’s what I’ve been told.
One of the interesting things that happens to me when I’m out of the country is a complete loss of time awareness. The last few days have been a blur and I have to think very hard to remember what happened when. Despite this, Jesus has been showing me over and over how serious He is about accomplishing His mission.
Last night (at Menchos) we met up with a potential ministry partner named Edwin. We got to hear his vision for planting and multiplying churches and how we could assist him in accomplishing the ultimate vision of the Great Commission. What an awesome God conversation!
Thus far he has planted 4 churches in communities around the city and is looking for ways to equip these churches to plant more churches. Over the last two days Osvi and I have “preached” (mini-trained) at 4 different church meetings to start the equipping process. The churches represented in these meetings were so interested and engaged in our message that they weren’t satisfied with only an hour! We now have a three hour training scheduled for tomorrow evening so that we can share more and help these churches practice/implement these principles and tools. We are very excited about these churches and their leaders.
Tomorrow will be another busy day with meetings at a guest house, with potential translators, and with other partners.
Please be in prayer for a few things:
Meetings to be kept
Rest for us. It was a busy missionary journey and it’s been a looong two days in Cochabamba
“The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.”Psalms 23:1-3
If there is anything the Lord has been teaching me this week, it’s how ferocious He is about His glory. This past missionary we got to see many people choose to follow Jesus, take steps of obedience, and be disciples by making disciples. However, I think that the best part for me has been watching God work in the lives of our team and drawing them closer to Himself.
The Lord had provided so many things at just the right moment this week and constantly reminded me that it is all for His glory. In the world that we live in it becomes so easy to see everything through the lens of our little lives. Even being on mission with God. When things go right or wrong we think that is was due to us or done for us. The reality however is that all of things God is doing around us is ultimately so that we would give Him glory and point others to do the same.
Here is a quick update on where I’m at…
I ended up staying an extra day in La Paz to be with both of our country coordinators. I’m praising the Lord for the conversations we got to have heart to heart between the 3 of us. I’m also praying that He will receive much glory for the results of those conversations.
I’m headed out to Cochabamba this morning with one of our coordinators (Osvi) to meet up with potential partners and have a few trainings over the next four days. We currently have four sites to visit, two houses to see, two translator/disciple trainings and a number of up in the air appointments.
Here are a few things to be praying for…
Wisdom for Osvi and I to communicate vision and see with whom and where God wants us to work
Continued heart to heart discussions between Osvi and myself
Make the most of the time (potential partners make it to meetings and trainings)
The first few days of this journey have been an absolute answer to our prayers! We have seen that God truly has gone before and set up divine appointments. There are four teams in three different areas. Each team has had multiple conversations with people whose hearts were clearly ready to receive the gospel because of God’s grace. As normally happens, almost all of the plans we had prior to arrival have changed. But it is all for God’s glory and He has shown us that He is absolutely in control!
“Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails”
For the first time for me, I am able to “float” between the teams and spend time with each of them. What a blessing this is from the Lord to be able to shepherd people from both our North American and South American team! I’ve already had many opportunities to speak encouragement and truth into disciples. The most beneficial conversation I had yesterday was with a translator struggling with the apathy she finds in many people of her church. We talked about our role as ambassadors for Jesus and disciple-makers and how she can overcome apathy through leading by example and leaning heavily on Jesus. The Lord has really been pushing me to push our team to “not miss knowing Jesus in the midst of making Him known.” I have been greatly encouraged to see many of our team spending their down time in God’s Word and seeking to really KNOW Jesus. How good God is to be enabling our team “to both desire and to work out His good purpose.” (Phil. 2:13) I’m so excited to hear what God has already done and to see what He has in the next few days.
Here are some things you can be praying for me:
Vision from the Lord (to see the needs of our team and address them according to His Word)
Grace and Mercy
Dependence on God’s Word and Spirit
Good internet at the house to be able to speak with my wife and daughter (I greatly miss them!)
Stamina to give myself fully to encourage, equip and empower our team as well as engage in the harvest as my heart so desires to do
You may be wondering why the title of this update is “F Is For Fuego.” We have a younger team this week (9 out of 12 are 25 or younger) so we have had our share of laughter. There are a number of jokes circulating but F is for fuego came up this morning at breakfast. In Bolivia, hot water is on the left and cold on the right. Hot is marked with a “C” for caliente (which means hot) and cold is marked with an “F” for frio (which means cold). One of our teammates was confused as to why the shower was cold because she thought F was for “fuego” (which means fire). We had a pretty good laugh together. I am truly grateful that this team can laugh together as we share the journey of following Jesus.
Abigail and I are truly truly grateful for your prayers. I genuinely thank the Lord daily for you. We could not be doing this without each of you.