Update | April & May

And our school year has come to an end! It’s a weird feeling as the end of school draws near; the pressure of needing to finish on time increases at the same time that the workload decreases. Which makes it feel like the amount of work that needs to be done doesn’t really change at all, haha! But once again a year of school has been completed, and my soul rejoices thinking back on God’s faithfulness throughout the schoolyear.

Early on a new challenge that I faced was handling all the emotional things a girl goes through when her crush asks her to be his girlfriend! I definitely was not expecting it to change my whole world as drastically as it did. But the Lord has been, and continues to, strengthen my soul in unexpected ways through this. And I must say, it has not been an unpleasant experience. Vale la pena, as they say… Especially when there is a lot more gozo than pena! Haha 🙂

All that to say, it felt at times like I lost my equilibrium in teaching early last semester, and I didn’t really realize it until I was able to visit home for Christmas. The Lord used that break to build me up and give me a reset of sorts. Then when we began our second semester, every one of my student’s grades went up, and trended upward until the end!

I feel like one overall theme the Lord grew me in this year was attitudes. Part of this was learning how to discern attitudes in my students, such as when someone genuinely needed help versus when someone was being lazy. Part of this was learning to help them by refusing to put up with bad attitudes. That can be hard for me sometimes as it requires a level of confrontation. But loving my students means not letting them stay stuck in states of mind that will hinder them!

And all this focus on attitudes came right back around to me. Am I grumpy? Lazy? Complaining in my heart? Feeling impatient? Giving in to frustration? The Lord lead me through a lot of preaching to my own soul and repenting before Him when my own attitude started to get bad. I definitely have more practice to go in this area, but I am so grateful for the lessons the Lord taught me this year in ruling well over my own soul.

Now I am in the United States and will be here until August! Please pray for me that this will be a restful time and that it will be a productive time as well. But ultimately, pray that God will accomplish everything He wants to accomplish in me and through me during my time here.

Pray that Juan Luis and I will be able to communicate well during my time in the States! Being away from him will definitely be the hardest part of my time in the States. God gave us a sweet gift of lots of time together before I left Bolivia, for which I am so grateful! But it did make it harder to leave! Once again… vale la pena. Keep praying that God will be glorified in us, use our relationship to further His Kingdom, and give us clarity in regard to our future together.

God has continued to provide and prepare the way for the children’s home! The Yoders are also in the US this summer, but God beautifully set things in place for their trip, getting volunteers where they needed to be and providing for major projects to be finished and major problems to be resolved before the Yoders left.

One specific moment was when the brakes in the children’s home’s Tundra went out… in the first place, God kept everyone safe and kept the road clear when this happened! Then in the process of fixing the Tundra, the mechanic found other issues that might have been just as disastrous were they not taken care of right away.

The day that happened, I found myself the only adult around, so for a few hours I got to be the boss of the children’s home! Which was uneventful and pretty simple, haha, but it was a cool feeling and kinda fun to be able to say that I was in charge of an orphanage… 😏

Pray that my Spanish wont deteriorate while I’m in the States! Though I’m sure that Juan Luis will continue to give me plenty of opportunity to practice. In the last couple months, I’ve been very encouraged to notice ways that my Spanish has improved. I’m even able to share the basics of the Gospel in Spanish now! And when I got to visit Juan Luis recently, several people I got to meet were impressed with my Spanish abilities. Often as one learns a new skill, others around you can see your improvement better than you can. It was so very encouraging to me to realize how my Spanish has improved! There’s still a lot to learn, so keep praying for me as I continue mastering it!

God bless you all abundantly this summer!

His and yours,

Olivia

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