In our last newsletter we informed you of our decision to extend our contract until 2017. This month we would like to share with you in a little more detail about the work we are involved with.
For Sarah her role is now a stay at home mum with the additional responsibility of homeschooling Alana. We know what a privilege it is for Sarah not to have to work and to be able to be home for our children in these early years as we know of many friends and family both in the UK and here in Bolivia who do not have this opportunity.
Both Sarah and Alana are enjoying homeschooling and some of the freedom it offers to follow areas of interest. It is great to come home and hear from them both about what they have learned that day. To help Alana continue to develop her Spanish and have interaction with other children she is going to Kumon (a language and math’s institute) two mornings a week, as well as taking swimming lessons. Since moving house she also now has more opportunities to play with other children who live near us who are of a similar age.
Within FH Ed now has 3 main responsibilities, as well as continuing to support Oscar (the Country Director) as his assistant.
FH wants to see communities transformed by biblical truths that enable them to break out of poverty, but for this transformation to happen our staff must also be in this process of transformation as they are walking with others. As a result of this Ed has been working together with a Bolivian colleague in developing a discipleship system for all the staff that seeks to turn the theory into practice. In February they started discipleship groups which will meet twice a month to study the values of FH and to think about the practicality of these values and consider how these should influence all they do.
The second responsibility is to look to implement Foundations for Farming in Bolivia. This is a step of faith as he is not sure at present how to get it off the ground or what will come as a result of it, however we are learning through it to trust in God and follow his lead and his timing. Having seen God’s transforming power at work in Zimbabwe we believe that there is much potential for using the principles and methods here in Bolivia.
The third responsibility involves working with FH at a global level as part of a team working on revamping the International Staff program. Ed’s specific roles in this team include creating international and national staff cross-cultural training, training for new international staff over the first two years of culture and language adjustment, preparing expats for effective service as well as being able to grow and disciple national staff in that time, and working on the exiting processes for staff leaving the field to help them finish well, prepare for returning to their home culture and learn from their experiences with FH.
Outside of FH our involvement with the families group (mentioned in our November Chronicles) at church has grown so much that we are now looking at how we can split the group (into 3 or 4) so that more families can be part of a group. In this we are working with two other families from the group to create a discussion guide for the parenting book we are discussing to enable people to get more out of it with the hope of making the meetings more interactive.
For us building relationships with people has always been a central part of our ministry and we praise God for the many relationships he has built here, especially that a number of them are now mutual two-way relationships.
At the start of 2013 we looked forward with excitement at the plans God had laid ahead of us. They are big plans and in many things Ed is not sure how he will be able to fulfill them, both in terms of what he feels his abilities are, fear and worry of what God may be asking him to do and what cost that will have on our family. But at the same time we know that God is a BIG God and recently Ed has been challenged/amazed about the promises that God has written in the bible. Not only are they as true now as they were when they were written but even more amazing is to think how many people through all those years have believed in those promises and not been disappointed. That’s a lot of people.
So please pray with us as we move forward committed to serve the Lord in Bolivia until 2017 that we would give our all, trusting in God who keeps His promises, knowing that if we choose to step out and trust Him when we get to 2017 we will look back and not be disappointed at taking the risk we took in believing in Him and His promises.
Thank God for:
- Neighborhood children to play with
- A clearer direction within work
- The many positive relationships we have
Ask God for:
- A good balance and prioritization within work
- Sensitivity to the Bolivian culture when putting projects together
- Continuing provision of financial support
Ed, Sarah, Alana, Isaiah & Lucas
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.