When normal is not normal

This month has seen elections here in Bolivia. We were slightly nervous to see what would happen after all the violence last year and the resignation of the President due to electoral fraud. But thankfully the election last weekend was peaceful and calm. Ironically, after all the protests and unrest the same government that committed the fraud has been re-elected by the people. As visitors to the country we need to remain as neutral as possible. I guess when you have been used to a socialist government for so long it must be so hard to accept change. We are praying against the corruption that so often claims the integrity of Bolivian leaders.

Despite difficult circumstances we were able to see one girl named Belen who we knew four years ago, who is expecting a baby in February. She lives in a neighbourhood 8km on the outskirts of town, but have linked her with a church/community centre in her local area through various contacts that we have. This was always our vision for the young people to have a support network when they left Cometa. We have also learned that many of the young people really cannot return to their communities due to fear of retribution. They want a fresh start and need help setting up a new life, getting a job and making new friends. Our attempts of getting ex-offenders together has fallen short because they do not want to keep in touch with each other. They much prefer to see us individually. Our hope is that the churches who showed an interest in the ‘Transformation’ process will carry that vision in the future to welcome these young people into their communities and show them the unconditional love that we have received through the sacrifice of Jesus.

We are both well and keeping busy. The number of Covid cases here is decreasing, although testing is limited so we are not sure if the information is accurate. We managed to find some bikes this month so we have enjoyed cycling on a bike track behind our house and venturing a little further a field. It’s good to remember there is a whole world outside of the 10 block radius which we have been confined to the past few months.

Thankfully the elections passed peacefully this time
Belen was grateful for her food package
Lots of basic supplies and a few goodies too!

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