Monday, 12 July 2010

Serving the local community

One of the important principles taught to local churches is the need to be out serving their local communities. As a way of demonstrating this principle in practice it was decided that all the staff within the La Paz FH office should be involved in a small seed project. As in so many cases it is very easy to talk the talk but yet not as easy to walk the walk, so we were all encouraged to actually do something in relation to what we talk about others doing.

As a result of this idea, 3 small seed projects were put together in such a way as to support and encourage a church or individual. The office staff were divided into 3 teams and assigned to one of the projects. We were assigned to the team that were to help paint the inside of a small church in El Alto, called ‘Centro ministerio Agape’ and Ed was designated co leader to co ordinate the project. The church had been in existence for 9 years and was in its 3rd year of receiving training from FH about its place within the community.The small congregation had already done much to build the church and prepare it for painting, our job was to give a helping hand to paint it.

Finally after a couple of date changes a team of 8 people (Plus Alana) set off for El Alto at 8am armed with paint brushes and rollers to the small church. When we arrived our first job was to sand and wipe down all the walls to prepare them for the paint. Ed and I then enjoyed a cultural lesson on how to mix paint. Rather than just purchasing a big tin of paint to the colour requirements, they buy big tubs of white paint and then small bottles of the required colour to mix in then mix together with water. This is all very well and good if you can do all you need to with the first mix, as it appeared to be quite difficult to create exactly the same colour second time around.

Still we managed to do a good job and worked well together as a team and had a good laugh. For Ed and I it was a nice change to have been doing something practical again, having spent so much time sitting at computers in recent months. Even Alana had a go at it all, sanding the walls, mixing the paint and then turning her hand to painting. It was nice that she had little company to enjoy it with too. It didn’t take too long before the girls were best buddies and sharing their lolly pops with each other.

By midday we had finished the job and enjoyed sharing a lunch together which some of the women from the church had prepared. It was an array of different food, which when served together was known as ‘Ajtapi’ . All in all a very satisfactory experience.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Moulding Chronicles July 2010

Dear Friends,

One of the big lessons we have been learning lately is the need to walk, not so much in the practical sense (though that is good to do) but more in the sense of walking alongside people as they find their way in life.

The mission statement of FH talks about walking with churches, lead- ers and families in overcoming all forms of human poverty by living in healthy relationship with God and his creation. However, up until recently we have never really grasped what this means.

We are gradually becoming aware of how key this principle is in all aspects of life, family, church and work. If we think of the example of Jesus, He impacted and touched the lives of thousands during his time on earth, yet he selected just a few to walk with closely. They walked together though good and bad times, with opportunities to try and space to fail. Yet Jesus was always there to help pick them up again and teach them new things as well as re-teaching some of the old things. He kept walking with them and by doing so had a far reaching impact on the whole world.

By walking with Jesus, the disciples got to see both his godly and human side such as times when he was hungry, tired, happy and sad. When we walk closely with people they get to see a lot of our human side, but also hopefully some of our more godly side too which challenges us to be consistently living up to Gods standards. Walking with somebody is not an easy quick fix solution, it takes time and a lot of energy. Yet it is also very effective.

Just as we have been seeking to walk with individuals and families here in Bolivia both through the local church and in the FH office, so you too have been important in walking with us on this journey. We could not have gotten this far without your prayers, support and encouragement, and so we are very thankful to you for that.

October sees the end of our first 3 year contract with FH. Through much prayer we have decided that it is right for us to extend that contract for a further 3 years or until God says otherwise.

Thank God for:

  • Being able to renew our contract
  • Good friendships
  • Safe travelling

Ask God for:

  • Rest, we are both feeling really exhausted, made worse by the fact that neither of us are sleeping well at night

We are very much excited and looking forward to what new things God has to teach us next.

With much love

Ed, Sarah & Alana