The trip home from Bolivia was tiring for many of us, and so the past week since our return has been restful. We’ve done plenty of processing and meditation on the trip, and we all have a few words to share about the week, as well as a final gallery of pictures from the trip.
We are sincerely grateful for all your continued prayer and support of this trip. We’re thankful to the House of Hope and International Ministries, to the Reed Family, to the supporters in and around the West Virginia State Baptist Convention, and within the WV State BCM. Many people worked together in God’s Kingdom to make this week happen. We managed to complete the work we set out to accomplish, build relationships with new friends, and experience the work of The Lord in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
– Leah Haines
“In any situation, when you work yourself to exhaustion and illness with a group of others, your ability to mask any bad attitude, frustration, false joy, etc. goes out the window. During our time in Bolivia, we experienced exhaustion, illness, injury, you name it, and it didn’t wait until the last day of the trip to hit us. All throughout the week the seven of us had felt one or all of these things. With all of this, we were able to complete what we set out to do. I couldn’t be more proud of the group of students and leaders on this trip. We were able to walk with God in a way that exhorted one another in the midst of feeling tired, ill, or hurt. Satan attacked us, but he was unable to get in the way of the mission. That mission was a simple one, one that was easy to seem worthless for the Kingdom. Our mission was the simple task of building bathrooms for a small church, and we completed it only by the grace of God living in us. If you are a Christian, you are on a great mission found in the Gospels. Satan will fire flaming arrows at you as you go to complete the mission and you will become exhausted, sick, hurt, and confused but God walks with his children and protects them as He is the good shepherd. Don’t think that any mission is too small but rather view it through the eyes of our Father and see the marvelous plan He has for every mission. It is a good plan.”
– Andrew Suggs
“Honestly, I had no idea what to expect when I boarded the plane two weeks ago. However, I knew God was calling me to go, so I was confident He would show up, and He showed up mightily. By His grace, we practically finished building the bathrooms while building relationships with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. They were patient to teach us, eager to communicate with us despite the language barrier, and undeniably hardworking. The love of Christ radiated through each of them. I believe His love shown thru us as well, and that we were able to be a blessing to the church members. The hospitality and selflessness of Richard, Carmen, and their family was abundantly clear, and JD made sure everything ran as smoothly as possible, both of which were huge blessings to me. I left Bolivia changed, my life touched by the people and by God. He took me out of the comforts of home and made an unfamiliar place another home I can come back to. He used the trip to remind me of His constant goodness, grace, provision, and faithfulness.”
– Krissy Hotlosz
“On this trip we had the task of building a bathroom for a local church. But for me, this trip was less about the physical work that we did and more about relationships we made while doing the work. We built relationships with the missionaries and church we worked with. We were all different, we spoke different languages and were from different parts of the world, but we all came together as the body of Christ to accomplish this task for the Church. We served the Lord together, we learned together, and we worshiped together. ”
– Kendra Starcher
“The country of Bolivia, and specifically the city of Cochabamba has forever left an impression on my heart. Although the view of the mountains was spectacular, I think the thing(s) that I loved most were the people (and the Coffee!!). The relationships that we made were so special and ones that I will never forget. The work that we were able to do and the relationships that we were able to make are a testament to the face that we are all part of one body, and that we are brothers and sisters in Christ no matter where we come from or the language that we speak. The memories that were made are some that I will truly cherish. I’m thankful the Lord gave me the opportunity to serve alongside this wonderful team and to partner with the House of Hope. I look forward to the day when I can return!”
– Emily Griffith
Having the Opportunity to write this blog throughout the week has allowed me the chance to really reflect on every single day. The good and the bad, the ups and downs. I’ve watched this group grow together in doing ministry, and I’ve interacted with – and made relationships with – the people of God in Bolivia who helped us along the way. It was truly a wonderful week where relationships were paramount and labor was only a method to interact with the people, the culture, and the local church. The Lord taught us a lot this week, and I think we all left with relationships formed and strengthened, and we developed a greater understanding of the Lord’s work around the world. I truly loved every minute of this trip, and getting to share it with all these wonderful people.
– Ethan Starcher
We truly appreciate all the prayer and support and we thank God for you all. There are more pictures below, just click on them to zoom in!
“6 Por nada estéis angustiados, sino sean conocidas vuestras peticiones delante de Dios en toda oración y ruego, con acción de gracias. 7 Y la paz de Dios, que sobrepasa todo entendimiento, guardará vuestros corazones y vuestros pensamientos en Cristo Jesús.”
“6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:6-7 (RVR1995 & ESV)