Hello, world! 😅 Part of me thought that when my boyfriend moved ten hours away to study, I’d have so much more free time and be able to keep up with my blog. Apparently not. 🤷♀️🤪😂
February’s highlight was going to my friend Maria’s wedding! We stayed in a beautiful cabin on the same property that the wedding took place on. The wedding itself was gorgeous and unique. Maria and Limber wanted very much for their ceremony to be a picture of the Gospel. Maria and her bridesmaids came in first, singing about Christ’s return and the church waiting faithfully for Him. As Limber walked toward the entrance, a shofar blew and his groomsmen ran out to meet him. That moment gave me chills! It truly was a blessing to meditate on Christ’s return and the coming wedding day of the Lamb.
But really, my favorite part of that weekend was getting to spend it with my boyfriend. It was a crazy emotional ride – at first he was able to come, then quarantines were going to prevent him from coming, then he was able to come again… haha. In the end, all of that made me even more grateful for the chance to be with him (especially on Valentine’s Day!) and recognize that the time I have with him really is a gift. And our Father delights to give us good gifts! 😃
Later in February I got to visit the community where Juan Luis was born. And much to our delight, we discovered that an aunt of his is caring for his two youngest siblings! He had been fighting to get them a better situation for months. Praise God for how He has provided! Pray that those two little ones will come to Him as their Heavenly Father.
In March we had our 100th day of school, and a middle- and high-school teacher arrived for the children’s home! We’ve been very blessed by the help and presence of this sister in the Lord.
One weekend, a street race went by the house! There was just about every kind of vehicle you can imagine zooming by on the dirt road. We stood at the end of the driveway and cheered as cars passed. There was something very exciting about being so close to such speed and power!
In April, four more kiddos came to the orphanage. This is always very bittersweet. We are so glad to welcome them and have the chance to love them, but our hearts break that their situation was such that they had to come to an orphanage. Pray that God would fully heal them, and that they would be built into world-changers for the Kingdom of God!
We also celebrated the Día del Niño! This is celebrated kind of similarly to the way Morher’s Day or Father’s Day is celebrated, but with the focus being on the children. And in Bolivia, it’s a big day! We had a half-day of classes and spent the rest of the school hours playing games and enjoying snacks.
It was also this month that it dawned on me how much my Spanish has improved! I can read smoothly and understand what I’m reading without effort, though it’s not uncommon for me to come across a few words that I don’t know. I no longer feel the need to rehearse in my mind what I’m going to say to make sure I have all the words that I need. (Which means that occasionally I get partway through a sentence and then get very stuck. 😅) Building relationships with those around me who speak Spanish is getting easier and more enjoyable. Aaaand I recently discovered that I can speak Spanish well enough to share the Gospel! I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving to the Lord when that realization dawned on me!
Most likely I’ve been able to do all these things for a few months now. But sometimes as one is learning a skill, it’s hard to notice one’s progress. It just hits you one day: Wow, I’m so much better than I was a year ago!!! But it takes many, many little steps to travel a distance. I’m learning once again that it’s okay when the only progress I can seem to make it slow progress. I may not realize how far I’ve come as I’m going, but some day I will look back and be amazed at the distance between where I am and where I started.
Now there is a lot on the horizon! Hopefully I will have a moto soon, and in a bit more than a month I will be in the US again! We have two weeks of school left as I write this. The Yoders will be visiting the US this year as well, but I’ll leave about two weeks after them and return about three weeks before them as my visa will expire if I’m out of Bolivia more than 90 days.
Please pray for a good end to the school year and smooth and safe travel in May.
God bless you all abundantly and fill you with the knowledge of His will!
His and yours, Olivia