By Faith | Weeks 17-18 Update

Started out school last week with the kiddos bringing what I’m pretty sure is the most venomous caterpillar in the world to school. #boliviaproblems Ha. They knew not to touch a fuzzy caterpillar, so they coaxed the beautiful little thing onto a stick so that they could show it to me. They know I love things like that.

A species of giant silkworm moth caterpillar (I think haha). Kinda looks like a grub with sea anemones growing out its back.

We ended the week with a make-shift snow party; I brought white balloons to school and we had a snowball fight, made snowmen, and attempted a snow fort. It was a lot of fun and made for a great last day of school before Christmas break!

Christmas week started with a trip to Santa Cruz to continue my immigration paperwork! I am officially a Bolivian resident!!! I’ve had questions about that; it’s not citizenship. I’m still a foreigner, but I have permission to stay until December 2021.

The offices for getting my ID card are located at a beautiful mall – Ventura. It was literally one of the nicest malls I’ve ever been in. It felt more like I was in California than in Bolivia!

Ventura Mall

We have just one trip left to finish up all the immigration stuff, and that’s to pick up my ID card. What a good feeling it will be to hold that in my hands!

Tuesday, Christmas Eve, was the day for Christmas festivities. Lights and snowflakes and Christmas trees and presents adorned the living room. (It’s always amusing to me how even the Southern Hemisphere decorates with snow at Christmas.) I got to decorate Christmas cookies with the kiddos in the morning, which was a big mess and lots of fun!

Tuesday night we celebrated Jesus and exchanged gifts. Phil talked about some of the difficulties Mary and Joseph probably faced for the sake of God being born into this world. It made me really think, what difficulties am I willing to face, what misunderstandings am I willing to walk through, for the sake of seeing the life of Christ born in me and in those around me?

Feliz Navidad, Concepción 🎄

Christmas was an odd day for me. It simply didn’t feel at all like it was Christmas. We went swimming. In the middle of December. As a girl who has spent every single Christmas in the North, I was having to accept by faith and not by feeling that it was, in fact, December 25th. Ha. But what was cool about that was the reminder that my faith in Jesus is like that; not based on wishful thinking or on what I feel, but based on rock-solid reality.

Thursday I got to play with some of the kiddos in a newly-restored sandbox! It was lots of fun and brought me back to my childhood, haha.

Yay sandboxes!

The family cat had her kittens on the 21st! 😻 But then Screwtape died on Christmas Eve… 😢 Haha. 😜 C’est la vie!

Jesus is up to a lot right now. Comfort zones being shaken and difficult decisions being faced. But as always, He is taking and will take it all and turn it for our good and His glory. And I can’t wait to watch Him work.

As you pray for me and the work being done in Bolivia, please especially pray for staff for the children’s home. It’s pretty much a desperate need at this point. I do believe there are people out there God is preparing for this work; pray He will bring them here quickly!

You can also pray…

  • For endurance and wisdom for the staff that is here; that they would have abundance of grace for everything they have to carry, but wisdom to know how to do it best and do it in a way that doesn’t leave them burnt out.
  • For a good week back to school! Four days of classes this week; we have New Year’s Day off.
  • That the rainy season rain would finally come in earnest! It’s certainly raining a lot more than it was a few months ago, but it’s not quite into rainy season mode yet…

I so love and appreciate all of you. Have a wonderful New Year! May our God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing!

Blessings in Jesus,

Olivia

7 thoughts on “By Faith | Weeks 17-18 Update

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  1. So, what DID you make snowmen out of? Balloons? You had me there. lol I was, like, thinking, :I didn’t know they had snow in Bolivia. That picture sure doesn’t have any snow in it….”
    That’s a cool analogy about faith. A lot of the associations we have with Christmas, like snow, are cultural, and we don’t even realize it until we spend that special day in a different culture!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, balloons! I’m sorry, I probably should have thought to communicate what the snow substitute was, haha.

      What’s so funny to me is that other cultures also associate snow with Christmas! There were snowflakes in some places down here where decorations were put up. And I have Australian friends who told me that Australians decorate with snow, too! It was neat to see the things that Bolivians associate with Christmas and get a taste of a Latino Christmas. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s very interesting! I didn’t know that! Very cool! In the African and Asian country I was in at Christmas, most people didn’t even celebrate Christmas. And the closest I got to a Latino Christmas was Puerto Rico in November. There was a display with the wisemen, if I remember correctly! Perhaps they put more decorations up later on in the year.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow, it’s hard to imagine people not even celebrating Christmas! At least in Bolivia, it wasn’t until December that decorations started to show up more. I think it has to do with Advent? But I couldn’t say for sure, haha. Some places here still have their decorations up!

        Liked by 1 person

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