Another two months have come and gone very quickly and we have been very busy.
As you may remember, we had to return from our stateside furlough early to finish our residency paperwork. We are happy to report that after 4yrs of work, we are officially Bolivian residents. This has taken a lot of time and a lot of money. We are happy to have this behind us. However, we have something else we may do. Because our children were born here and are Bolivian citizens, we now have an opportunity to become citizens too. This would make all of us dual citizens of the USA and of Bolivia. This will give us more security to be able to stay as this government is quickly turning socialist. It will also help us in our day to day business and as we deal with the government.
We recently had some visitors here on a survey trip and we are very excited that they have surrendered to come to Bolivia as missionaries! We had the opportunity to show them around different parts of Bolivia. We tried to encourage them in the need all across the country. Please pray for Jacob and Shera McKinney as they
prepare to start deputation.
I also had the opportunity to preach in the state prison here in Santa Cruz. This was scary to me but ended up being a great blessing and encouragement. Inside, there is a baptist church that was started by a local pastor. They have 2 services EVERY DAY with about 150 men coming to the services. What encouraged me most was seeing 15 of these men (in photo above) with a desire to study God’s word. As a result, we are partnering with the pastor in helping these men in a new Bible College. These men have been abandoned by their families due to their past so they do not have the money to pay for the materials for their classes. We have been trying to help in this. So far, we have 7 men’s classes paid for over the next 4yrs. The others have their first year paid for but we still lack to secure their future classes. Maybe you would like to help. Each student needs $100/yr and there are still 8 students that need help for 3yrs. I am excited to see what God does through these men both inside the prison and also once they are released. Thank you to those that have helped with this project so far.
As I write this letter, I am back visiting in La Paz, where we worked our first 3yrs in Bolivia. I have the opportunity to preach the revival/anniversary service for the last church we worked in. It has been good to see these people continue faithfully despite the circumstances they have faced in the last year or two.
We want to make sure we remind you of our need to purchase land in Santa Cruz. We are returning to the states to finish our furlough in May, with the hopes of trying to raise the money to purchase land and to build. We currently have about $6,500 given. That is a great start to the $30,000 we need to purchase. We have also had a $3,000 offer to match funds given to this project. That means they will give $1 for each dollar given. This is a great opportunity for us and you to invest in this work. This would also almost double the amount we have raised so far! As we have been back, I have gone to visit the area where we want to purchase. I have been greatly encouraged at the opportunities that are ahead!
Please be in prayer for us. We already have some long trips lined up for our time in the states. We hope to be able to reunite with some of you that have been so faithful to pray for us and support us in these years. What a joy to serve the Lord together! Thank you again for making all we do possible.