Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bolivia: From Bad to Worse?

Last night I surrendered the conference here to the Lord, translator and all. To tell you the truth, I had it all worked out in my mind how today was going to be glorious.

But it wasn’t anything like I thought.

As Pastor Enzo, our Bolivia National Director taught the first session, I felt worse and worse. Back in Dallas I had some upper respiratory gunk. I hoped it was allergies, which would disappear once I left Texas. But the gunk has persisted here. I felt weaker and weaker, even as the conference folks were very enthusiastically learning how to use the EvangeCube. (See pictures below.) So Enzo grabbed a taxi for me so I could come back to the hotel to rest.

I was strongly tempted to whine. Woe is me, in a far foreign land with a nasty head cold. But James 1:2-4 kept ringing in my clogged head—

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing
So I’ve been laying here “counting it all joy” and looking forward to growing through this—

**The turnout for the conference has exceeded expectations. Over 100 attending.

**In the midst of political turmoil here, believers are excited about evangelism, discipleship and church planting. One pastor from Potosi (3 hours away) brought 15 from his youth group to be trained!

**The conference will go on great without me. Enzo could do the whole thing, and not need a translator. And Chris Horton came along to help teach. They both do as well, or probably better, than I do.

**I am not indispensible. (I know that all of you already knew that, but I have to keep reminding myself of this fact.) Jesus commanded us to make disciples to carry on the work with or without us.

So, no, the conference did not go from bad to worse. It just went to “different.” But I guess that is what surrender is all about—being willing to accept what He does.

Please pray for God to bring glory to Himself as He raises up laborers, and leaders of laborers, for His harvest in Bolivia. Please also pray for the Head of the Church to show us exactly who to work with when our team comes in June.

PS I don’t know how the translator situation turned out. I left before Chris started to teach.


Mike said...

Over 100. Wow. What an improvement from a few years ago! That is so great.

Hope you feel better. Grab one of those good soups in the hotel.

Hal said...

Thanks for these updates. I hope you can get some rest and take care of yourself.