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It was nice to see so many of you during July, and I hope you are doing well. Thank you, as always, for your prayers, financial support, and spiritual encouragement. How is your summer finishing up? I´m back in Bogota, and it does not feel like summer; it´s cold! But even on cold and rainy days, God is still working in Bogota and around the world.
This summer was special because I came home with Santiago, age 8, and Juan Nicolas, age 11. We tried to fit an entire American childhood experience into a month while we were in the states, so it was fun but very busy. They enjoyed Camp Wightman, visiting parks, swimming, and eating lots of hamburgers. Thank you to all who blessed them this summer.
Hi friends! How are you? School's out, and I've had more time to think and pray about many of you. Let me know how I can specifically lift you up in prayer. I'll be home in 2 weeks- from June 25 to July 26- so hopefully, I'll see many of you soon. Santiago (age 8) and Juan Nicolas (age 11) will be with me, and I hope they have a good experience spending their summer with me in Connecticut- a very different place than Bogotá. I pray that our travels and time in the states goes well.
School ended well. The last week of school was service week, and I went with the juniors to work for 3 days in the special needs orphanage we've been visiting one Saturday a month. It was great to spend lots of time with the orphans and my students. In the morning we put the kids in groups that passed through stations with crafts and games, and in the afternoon we did an activity with all 52 kids (i.e. presenting a skit with a Bible lesson and then playing kickball). We slept in a student's vacation house near the orphanage to keep the commute shorter, so in the evenings we shared devotional and worship times together, focusing on building Cross-centered community. When we returned from the trip we had a final day of school, then a teacher workday, and then a Saturday awards assembly. Saturday evening was the senior banquet, and Sunday afternoon was graduation. It was a busy week but provided good closure and transition time both for the graduates and underclassmen. The graduating class had 20 students who loved each other very much, and I know it is hard for many of them to say goodbye and move on to study or work in different parts of the world. I need to keep praying for them.
Blessings, family in Christ,
How are you? I hope you are enjoying the spring weather. Write me to let me know what is going on with you. A lot has been going on here with me, so here"s a few highlight.
Bogota, Columbia (Think about it!)
Cindy and Steve arrived in Bogota on Sunday April 17th and were greeted by Robyn, Marlene and Mauricio, our hosts. We were told our house is your house, and that is truly how we were made to feel. The next day Robyn had us on a bus to a small church about 1.5 hours from where she lives to a small church where her missions team to the Amazon spoke.Three of Robyn's students shared their experiences and Robyn delivered the sermon in Spanish. She preached on the feeding of the 5,000. She feels that God has given her 5 fishes and 1 loaf of bread, but with His blessing is able to do so much more. We all are given some gifts, which God can multiply. We met the pastor and his family afterward for a chicken dinner. Later we went to our host family's big church for another rewarding experience. It was a lively service, and although we couldn't understand much, we felt God's spirit there too.
Happy Easter; Christ is Risen! I hope you all had a meaningful weekend, remembering and celebrating the death and resurrection that gives us undeserved life. I missed sharing the holiday with you, so write if you have time. I spent Easter doing laundry and cleaning, which was a nice break after last week. We had a week off from school, so I spent 6 days with a group of students visiting missionaries in the Amazon jungle (based in Leticia- see map). It was an unforgettable experience.
First, let me give you an objective account of what we did: Day One we helped out in an orphanage and then rode motorcycle taxis to Brazil to watch the sunset on the Amazon River. Day Two we took a boat 4 hours down the Amazon to an indigenous Ticuna community called Zaragoza. We set up our tents in a school, and in the afternoon our kids did children´s programs or house visits, some teachers gave haircuts, and I, with the school director, gave a presentation to parents about health and hygiene and then talked to some of the adults in the community. After dinner we made popcorn and watched the Jesus movie. Day Three started with a walk through the forest to see where they grow their crops, followed by a swim in the Amazon River, and then lunch. In the afternoon we did more children´s activities, and I went with a local missionary on house visits. They took me to the houses where they knew kids were sick- we shared what little medicine we had and prayed for them. In the evening we presented choreographies, skits, and testimonies- I got to dance. In this village of 500, 20 go to the church, so the idea was to encourage people to seek Jesus. Day Four: Back in the boat for a few hours (on the way we saw dolphins!) to a village in Peru called 2 de Mayo. More house visits, children´s programs and health presentations. At night we showed a movie. Day Five: We visited their local school and I gave a little nutrition/anatomy lesson and reviewed with kids how to brush their teeth with their new toothbrushes. Then the local kids showed us the tree they use to jump into the river, so we splashed around with them. We read the kids stories, had lunch, did more haircuts, shared with their youth group and at night repeated our presentation again in this new village. Day Six: Back in the river to the missionary base in Leticia, showered for the first time in a week, and flew home.
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