On Sunday we had the opportunity to visit a small church that has been planted in another city from the mother church, which we attend here in La Paz. Friends of ours from the church are involved in taking the service once a month so we asked if we could join them. So at 6am yesterday morning we were down at the bus station to buy our tickets and board the bus for a 3 and a half hour journey to Oruro.
Next week the church celebrates its first anniversary and has seen a growth in numbers from about 5 individuals to 30. Most have been Christians who have moved from other churches, though there has also been two new converts. After the service we shared lunch together with a small group and they shared their dreams in how they would like to see the church move forward. Their hearts desire is for their small church to grow, but not so much in numbers as in the deepening of faith of the believers that already attend.
We found the people there to be very warm and welcoming and friendly. After lunch together we were taken on a tour of the relatively small city, then for ice creams. Alana was very happy to have a little friend to run around and play with, though Alvaro wasn’t too sure of Alana’s advances in giving him a cuddle when it came to leaving.
It has been interesting in our time here in Bolivia to visit different cities and towns and note the subtleties of difference. Many things remain the same from place to place and have similarities about them, however at the same time each place is different due to its climate and situation. Oruro is flatter than both Sucre and La Paz, but is much more ornate to look at, a lot more effort seems to have been made in order to try and make the place look nice, with steps and plazas painted in different colours, roundabouts with detailed centre pieces, and railings painted gold with intricate details of flowers. Even some of the paving slabs were etched into different patterns and designs.
We look forward to visiting our newfound friends again at some point in the future and seeing how they have grown and moved forward.