It was our last week working at the project last week, and we feel sad that this awesome time in Bolivia, and South America, is coming to an end. It has been a pleasure and a blessing to be able to serve God here for the last four months.
I think we all felt that the project was really productive as we attempted to do as much as possible while we were still there. In the garden, the boys dug a huge hole to build a well to store water. It was hard work, and I feel lucky that Carlos often instructed me to attend to the flowerbeds insteadm and mix around the dirt with a rake.
The football with the kids was also back on, after it was stopped for kids club the week before. We enjoyed spending time with the kids for the last time before saying goodbye to some of them on Friday. It has been a pleasure going to these sessions most afternoons, as football brings such joy to many children who may have difficult backgrounds at home.
Meanwhile, the girls worked hard to finish the mural in the living room for the kids. At the beginning of the week the jellyfish looked like an upside down bicycle helmet, but by the end it looked muy good – like a jellyfish! It’s always cool coming back from football or the garden to see what has been added to the wall, and it looks very good – the girls have done a cracking job.
Communidad also ran throughout the week, and those who went found it wholesome working with the kids.
As it was our final week, we also spent a lot of time with the members of the church. On Wednesday, the guys from church got together with us boys to play a big football match. It was great fun and the England team (including Simon and our friends Abel and Juan Gabriel) won!
On Friday, Simon, Carlos and Ruddy kindly took us out for steak to say thank you for our hard work. It was good food, and we’re so grateful for all the work they have done for us, making us feel at home and organising various activities for us to do on the weekends. There was also a bonfire organised that evening with some of the young people – we had a splendid time dancing to music, playing games, and melting marshmallows on the fire.
Saturday was super busy. First Ruddy came round to share a devotional with us over bacon pancakes, after which we headed to the clothes market. From there we headed to Yvonne’s house (she is part of the worship team at church) where we tried some Bolivian dishes and had the most delicious cheese bread! It was really sweet because others from the church also came, but they waited for all of us to eat first before they did. After Yvonne’s house it was a quick rush to make some scones for a youth group party that evening. The party was great fun and we really felt like we
had made special friendships with many of the youth there. We had interesting Yuca pizza and long missed Oreos and Cheetos. We also had fun dancing to Bolivian music, barn dancing, and the classic ‘Shake It Off’ which has been played on every car journey and at every party while we’ve been here. Afterward, Juan Gabriel, Abel and Ovidia came back to our living room to play chess and watch a movie – an example of the friendships we have made.
Sunday’s church service was very emotional as we said goodbye to many of the people who have looked out for and cared for us so much over the last two months. We have really felt their blessings while we have been here, and we hope that our presence has also been a blessing to them. We were called to the front and prayed for, before being part of a big church photo.
After the service, we headed to the lake and it was lovely to spend our last Sunday all together with the church who we have built a special bond with. We had lots of lovely food, and the lake was beautiful Unfortunately, we couldn’t swim in it because of the alligators, and the canoe we were going to use contained a big snake! Instead we had a nice time talking, walking and fishing (James finally managed to catch one, albeit small!).
Our final week started fairly quietly – the girls continued to work on the painting, and Amanda came to share lunch with us. We had our final football session that evening, and all the girls came in support to watch.
On Tuesday, Amanda took us through a series of debriefs – asking us challenging questions to help us reflect on our time in Bolivia and Argentina. We started by writing a grateful prayer before answering questions about our most significant events, favourite events, worst moments, etc. We ended by writing something we were grateful for about each member of the team. We all found this really great, and it helped us to see the impact we were having on each other as well as the projects.
That evening we had a lovely time celebrating Josea Miguel’s birthday, with yet more delicious food! It was nice to be able to spend time with our new friends and family in our final evenings here. On Wednesday night we returned to celebrate Tim’s birthday too. We danced and exchanged small gifts as we spent our final night with our favourite Bolivians.
We have loved our time serving here in Bolivia – we have learnt so much and have enjoyed making new connections and growing closer to God.
We just want to say thank you to everyone who has prayed for us over the last four months!
Just a last few prayer requests:
- Please pray that the rest of our holiday week goes smoothly.
- Please pray that we’re able to integrate back into our normal lives in England, but at the same time not forgetting what we have learnt and not losing connection with each other.
To read the previous report click here.