Can you believe we’ve been here for almost a year?… except our brief trip home for Ruth’s herniated disc. We want to thank you for all your interest and support in this time. We really appreciate all our friends and family near and far.
So Bolivia was doing very well to avoid all Coronavirus news, but sadly the past few days there have been a number of cases here. The president took immediate action and closed the schools, universities, interdepartmental transport and international flights to and from Europe/UK. They said that there would be no visitors or volunteers at the youth rehabilitation centre until the end of the month. So we have an unexpected chance to catch our breath and have a bit of a break. Today we heard a new update enforcing a curfew from 19.00-05.00 every day and the ban on all sporting, cultural and social events. We are praying that everything is ok and all our friends around the world are able to stay healthy, especially the people in vulnerable groups. Bolivian health services are not great (as we found out last year) and facilities for isolation and quarantine are unknown. We had a couple of strange reactions from local people, who see us as foreigners and have stepped away from us or refused to serve us without washing their hands. But… loo roll is in plentiful supply. Happy days!
But on to the news… we have continued with all our classes and groups (up until Thursday). We love going to San Benito to see the girls who are so enthusiastic about doing drama. The Mosoj Yan group have had a couple of new additions, two new girls and one girl has had a baby this month. His name is Daniel and both are doing really well. The group of boys at Camino are enjoying the Alpha course – although three of the original group now go to school in the afternoon. The new kids are straight off the street so have a lot of ‘character’! The girls at Cometa have almost finished the Alpha course; we’ve been talking about the Holy Spirit and how best to read your Bible on your own. We have a core group of 12 boys at Cometa that tend to come to both the drama and the Alpha course. All are really responding well to the questions and are all more confident in sharing their ideas. We did a drama called ‘Light of the World’ and made friendship bracelets based on the ‘colour book with no words’ idea. The black represents sin, the white is cleansing, the red is the blood of Jesus, the yellow signifies heaven etc.
We are leading more Saturday sessions along with the team of volunteers. Charlie, who is the pastor of Kairos church, has come along to help with worship and group discussions. This month the themes have been prayer and faith. We were amazed that more than 30 of the boys expressed their faith after we led them in a prayer. The well-known picture of Jesus knocking on the door by Holeman Hunt gave a number of them a ‘WOW’ moment when they saw that they had to invite Jesus into their lives as there was no door handle on the outside. Those kind of moments make everything seem worthwhile.
The Familia Kairos church has been a welcoming place to invite young people to. As a way of getting to know more people better, we were asked to share on the family day out – which was a BBQ at a local cabin. Together we did an activity which involved teams building paper towers and showed how we each have a role to play in the team and this is an illustration of how we can each use our unique skills to serve the church. The interactive, reflective style went down really well and was quite new to many of the group.
Thank you for all your support and continued interest in what we are doing. We love hearing from friends and sharing news, so please drop us a message. Also if you want to send us a parcel that would be amazing. Our postal address is Casilla 15, Cochabamba, Bolivia. South America. Label anything as ‘household items’. We finished our supply of Cadbury’s this week! (serves us right for SHARING WITH OTHERS!)