Another busy day in Bolivia. Clouds greeted us again this morning threatening rain, but as in Colorado the weather changes quickly, and the skies cleared. Our team headed to a different Compassion Center today and will work there on Friday as well. Our building crew reviewed what projects they were going to do which included electrical work. Tomorrow shows signs of concrete work for them. Laughter and hugs greeted the team doing work with the kiddos. Small group in the morning, only preschoolers, coloring is always a hit. One team member was able to help fingerpaint a creation scene with them. The afternoon group of children arrived and wow did we have fun. After they ate lunch we headed over to the park area, which consists of cement and dirt. Soccer games, parachute games, hokey pokey, duck duck goose, and jump rope were all on the agenda and then the ever popular pyramid slide. The last team to visit Bolivia will remember the thousands of times we climbed the cement steps and then slid down. The children can do this over and over and over, but wow it is hard on us low landers. Two home visits today. Intense as always, but an awesome experience. One woman the team visited was a blind woman who was raising 5 children on her own, she barely has enough to feed her family but insisted we shared some fanta (soda pop) with her. The Bolivian people are so loving and giving. Hard to comprehend when they have so little. We can learn so much from them. The second home visit was to a home where a single father was raising 3 children. Most of the men from our group went to show their support and lend a shoulder to lean on.
Hard to leave the center today, many children held our hands and wanted hugs before we boarded the bus. Glad we will have another day there.
The day ended with the final day of the Pastor’s conference. We had an incredible time of worship together followed by some challenging and motivating teaching from Rob and Torrey. Each pastor received a certificate of recognition for attending the conference signed by Torrey and Rob. The Bolivian Compassion team also provided a certificate to each of our team in attendance as well. Torrey’s church, Creekside Bible Church, provided 3 different books as resources to the pastors and they were so incredibly thankful. They don’t have much access to resources like these and they were so grateful. At our table, one of the local pastors kept explaining to us how incredibly thankful they are to Compassion International. He said because so many of these small churches have absolutely no way to access training, conferences, seminary or seminars of any kind, they are overwhelmed with gratitude to Compassion because as an organization they organize seminars and conferences to help train pastors. Again, we were thankful for Compassion ourselves and that we have the opportunity to link arms with them on this trip. Goodbyes were hard and we spent about an hour post conference signing the books for the pastors as they brought them around to us. We are certainly now more than ever before, realizing that there is so much to do and we are determined to be diligent in seeking God’s plan for what that looks like.