Three times a year Cochabamba celebrates what is called “El Día del Peatón”, which translated means, “Pedestrians Day.” You might ask, what is that? Well, these are days when within the city people can only travel by foot or bicycle. It’s always held on a Sunday and begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m.
At first it was kind of hard to get used to, but it has now become a day many of us look forward to. We have worship as usual (around 30 end up attending) and then we spend the rest of day in fellowship. The most recent Día del Peatón was the first Sunday of December. We shared a mean and spent the rest of the afternoon in fellowship and playing games.
I don’t know if something like this would work in the U.S., but it sure is a good idea. Not driving for a day wouldn’t hurt anyone plus it really helps, at least on that day, with the smog. Cochabamba, what a city!
El Dia del Peaton
This past Wednesday and Thursday we made a very important house call about 400 miles from our house. Let me tell you the story.
In 1990 Trish, the kids and I moved to Santiago to work alongside the Bowen's with the Bustamante Church of Christ. Upon our arrival we met some wonderful brethren. One of those was Teofilo, a new christian and soon to be a new husband (but that's another story).
Teofilo had lived in Chile for a few years already, but was originally from Trinidad, Beni, Bolivia. He didn't talk much about his family nor about his past, just that he had family there. Teofilo was always one to enjoy talking about his faith and about his personal struggles, but always with a smile on his face. After years it had come time for him to visit his family and share with them the Gospel that had changed him. In January of this year he made it all the way from his home in Santiago to his hometown in Bolivia, the city of Trinidad. While there he spoke to his family members, many of whom he had never met, about the Gospel and about family. The result ended up being 9 baptisms. The sad part of the story is that he had to leave, although I can only imagine how torn he must have been to leave all of these young believers "on their own." Well, the church in Bustamante, told Roland, Roland told us and we decided to make that "house call".
As I have mentioned before, it never ceases to amaze me the ways God works. We met up with Nicolás, Teofilo´s youngest brother and he offered to take us to his home; "It is very humble" he said but that is where his family lived. That night we met with 6 of those who had been baptized and a whole bunch of little ones. We had a wonderful evening, talking about Teofilo and how he had brought them the message of Jesus. I asked them if they had a Bible and they responded, "Yes!" They ended up bringing me Teofilo´s Bible he had left with them. It was the only one they had. They didn't want to use it too much since it had gotten wet when the flood waters entered their home in February and left them out in the street for 2 weeks. Even though that was an experience that will be hard for them to forget, all they wanted to talk about was how they could continue to grow and learn. None of them have any Bible knowledge, only enough to have led them to conversion. We talked to them about how important it is for them to meet together and of they can't have a Bible study, at least they can read the Bible together. They have tried meeting on Sunday afternoon and when they do about 25 are present. What an awesome opportunity! (was my thought) But how are we going to help these new christians out.
What we are going to be doing for the next few months is in he first place, get them some Bibles. Secondly we will be lining up brethren from different parts of Bolivia to commit some time every month to teach some of the basics of faith to them. From there we will see how things go. Their needs are so much, but more than anything their need to the word is what really is urgent.
What an awesome house call we made this last week. We pray that God will give us the means to serve these new christians and their families. Who know, maybe our next church plant will be 400 miles away from the valley of Cochabamba. The glory will always be His.
Butch n Trish
Phase 2 in Full Swing
After many delays, on April 30th we began Phase 2 of our building remodel. For the next three months we will be focusing on restroom facilities, repairing the 200 year old 3 ft. thick adobe walls of what will be classroom facilities, a corridor, multipurpose room and roof.
The guys are hitting it hard and doing a great job. Removing bulging adobe, breaking old concrete and laying new brick in it's place is hard work and very messy. Our patio is full of debris and junk and dust is flying all over the place. I call this the joy of making progress. It's messy, but it is going to look and work great once it is done.
Please keep us in your prayers as we go through this process, knowing that God will use it for the furthering of His kingdom. May the glory always be His.
After months of hard work, dust, rubble, disorganization we are finally finishing up with the major repairs of Phase 2 of our remodeling process. The roof has been on for a while now, the restrooms are at 95%, classrooms are at about 90%, we have a new stairway, kitchen, water system, drainage system, patio and our multi purpose room should be at about 80% but Saturday. I will be working on the electrical installation in the kitchen and hallway for the next couple of days. It has been a long and at times frustrating process but we are thankful that it is coming to a close. So many of you have played in important part of this process and we thank God for your participation also. Here are some of the latest pics.
1. Main entrance - you can see the patio in the background
2 & 3 New Courtyard
4. Metal structure for Multipurpose Room
5. New Roof
6. New restrooms
7. Hallway going towards the rear of the building (teacher's workroom, adult classroom, multipurpose room, kitchen and new stairwell).
8. New kitchen
9. Teacher' workroom
Progress has really been made these past few weeks on the building. The guys have been really working hard, but progress has been a bit slow. Restrooms are pretty much done. We are just lacking some electrical work. The kitchen and multi purpose area are taking form. The kitchen should be done within the next week to 10 days. The hallway that accesses the multipurpose area and kitchen has really taken form. We are also adding a stairway to access the upstairs area and loft above the kitchen. The patio has been cleared out and the stones have been placed in order to start pouring the concrete floor. Ceramic tiles will soon follow. We have also taken advantage and made some structural repairs to concrete columns and beams that have suffered a bit of stress during the past 200 years.
Much of what has been going on has been accomplished thanks to the generosity of so many of you. Please know that we are so thankful for your participation in this work. Here we go, full steam ahead!
B & T
National Leadership Workshop
This last weekend, September 19th thru the 21st we held our second National Leadership Workshop and it was a hit ... again! Our first one was (How We Got the Bible) held in June, and led by Bill Richardson from Harding University was an incredible success. Our second workshop held by Roland Bowen from Brownwood, Texas, (At The Feet of Jesus) was another success which means that this ministry is headed for great things. We had a total of around 50 by the time all was said and done. We had 35 that made it for the whole workshop while another 15 or so audited the study coming and going. Roland challenged the group on many occasions to think in practical, specific terms in regards to living out Jesus words, "unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven."
The success of both our leadership workshops for 2013 has left me so encouraged about the future of this ministry. Watching the enthusiasm with which the 20 men and 2 women that came from the churches in La Paz, Sucre and Santa Cruz along with the group that attended from Cochabamba studied, fellowshipped and encouraged one another lifted my spirits way beyond where I imagined it would.
Although many of the attendees excelled in their homework, Daniel Calzadilla, a young christian from Santa Cruz received a brand new study Bible for his efforts and excellence during the workshop.
I would like to thank Roland for his hard work in not only preparing, but for leading this three day workshop. It is not easy speaking and teaching for that length of time.
I would also like to thank all of you who keep this work in your prayers. God is doing wonderful things here innBolivia and specifically in Cochabamba. May God continue to bless us all as we make His will our own! The glory will always be His.
B & T
Our new roof did great during it's first rain. No gutters yet, but the rain slide straight off the roof with no seepage.
We are also making progress with the restrooms, which are being tiled. Felipe is doing a great job! Hopefully within a week or so they will be in working shape.
We arrived in Cochabamba in January 2006 with the mission of bringing the saving message of Jesus Christ to this city. Since then God has blessed our feeble efforts in powerful ways, making up for our shortcomings. We hope you enjoy the updates to our blog.