I was blessed to be part of the prayer team that went to Bolivia earlier this year. We had the perfect tour guide in Darrell Kehler, due to his experience in Bolivia as a missionary for 10 years. His knowledge of the language and customs of the country was invaluable.
A highlight for
me was joining the Spanish-speaking pastors at their Thursday morning Bible study and prayer time. Scripture was read, pastors were encouraged, and then we spent time in prayer. We went around the table to share prayer requests, and then got down on our knees. Everyone prayed at the same time, out loud and I was given a glimpse of Heaven – where all nations, tribes, and tongues will worship God at once – what a glorious thought!
We spent time visiting most of the LIEAB churches, listening to the pastors share their hearts’ desire of reaching their neighbours, cities and country with the good news of Jesus Christ. The hospitality of these believers was overwhelming – I did not expect so much food!
One of the few tourist experiences we had was visiting Las Cuevas Waterfall near Samaipata. Tucked away off the mountain road lies a beautiful waterfall; a refreshing swim in the heat of the day revived both body and soul.
Another tourist experience was the Ideal Coffee Shop in Santa Cruz; they serve simply the best iced cappuccino I’ve ever tasted.
My husband Michael and I enjoyed spending time with Abe and Margaret Harder, as they are from our home church of Aylmer EMMC. We were able to have hours of conversation, catching up and hearing of their joys and struggles in the work they are doing in Villa Nueva. We were also the recipients of their lavish hospitality and Margaret’s amazing cooking. She makes the best CUÑAPÉ (cheese bread) in all of Bolivia!
We also enjoyed spending time with Benny and Ester Fehr and their four children. The Fehr family is from our home town of Aylmer, and their children were excited to see us, speak the language of someone from “home” and were happy to receive our gifts of Heinz ketchup and Nutella. They are doing wonderful work on the radio and other ministries in the San Jose and Hacienda Verde area.
As a prayer team, we bonded over our shared experiences on the “micro” – the air conditioned bus that was a respite from the heat. It was neat to see how our hired driver Eddy (not a believer) – first stayed back and kept his distance, observing how we interacted, but after a few stops he began to join us at the table for meals when visiting churches. He heard the gospel more than once in the few days he was our driver. We later heard that our interactions with him have sparked an interest in him to attend a church. We gave him a Bible and prayed for him and his family that they might come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
This trip was a blessing to me, where memories were made and lifelong relationships were formed. I continue to pray for the people of Bolivia, the missionaries and workers that are giving their lives to spread the gospel.