Week 40 Update

Well, this week was definitely unique! One thing that made it unique was how unstructured my days were. Not that they were empty – though they certainly were less full than what is normal. I had the opportunity to continuing to tutor and love in general one specific girl, and though I’d never really seen that coming or expected it to turn out as it did, it was a privilege and a joy to my soul. I was reminded over and over that in my human eyes it sometimes seems like I’m accomplishing less if I’m giving my time to serving fewer people. But when we faithfully love those God has put in front of us, whether it’s many or just one, we impact eternity.

There was a bridge here. Then it rained. A lot. In other words, flooding washed it out. 🌊

On Memorial Day we had a wonderful American flag cake. We also visited the site of a washed-out bridge! We played in the forest nearby for a bit, and I actually felt like I was in a South American jungle! Surprise 😂

It’s blooming season for some of the trees! Here’s my schoolhouse, and the sign for the orphanage!

Sunday (the 31st) we had church and lunch in the mountain. We recognized Gina and Jesse, two volunteers who have been here for a few years now and are leaving on Tuesday.

And speaking of leaving on Tuesday… I’m gong with them!!! We have permission to travel from the US Embassy. We’re going to stay in Santa Cruz until Saturday, and then finally fly home! For them it’s an “adios,” but for me it’s a “nos vemos”! I’m coming back to Bolivia in August 26th! Lord willing. 😁

Had a kitten date with this sweet girl. It was everything my soul needed 🐱

Please pray for me and the others as we travel! You can also pray…

  • For a good transition home for us all (culture shock is a possibility haha…)
  • That I would stay sane for my first two weeks home when I’m supposed to quarantine. That’s gunna be rough haha.
  • That volunteers would come to HERO soon!

One week left! Still expectant for what the Lord will do, in this week and all the weeks to come, in Bolivia and in the United States.

Blessings in Jesus,

Olivia

Weeks 33-35

The quarantine continues!

Originally the quarantine in Bolivia was supposed to go until April 15; it’s currently set to lift on April 30. We’ll see what happens!

This extension has prevented volunteers from leaving the children’s home, who had planned to leave in April. They’re handling it really well, but please pray that God will open the way for them to go home!

Recess in the rain ☔️

My own flight home is scheduled for May 19th. Originally I’d wondered if elections would prevent me from flying on time, but now I’m wondering if the Coronavirus will instead! Please pray that borders will open up and travel within Bolivia will open again so that I can give my Dad and Mama a hug in May!

Meanwhile, God has worked a miracle in the midst of this nationwide lockdown – He brought house parents to the children’s home!!! Just like Him to put things together when it’s supposed to be the most impossible for it to happen! We are all rejoicing in what He is doing. But do keep the home in your prayers; a transition like this isn’t easy. There are good and beautiful things happening at HERO, but all the change isn’t easy on the kiddos. Pray for the wisdom of Heaven for the leadership of the home, that the peace and presence of Christ would rest there, and that the kids would adjust well and learn to love well through this.

Our Easter service on a mountain ⛰

As for me, things continue on relatively normally. A blessing this last week was that the kiddos from the home were able to come to the schoolhouse again! That made for a lot more fun at recesses, and my heart is always so happy to have more time with those precious kids. 😊

Sleep still isn’t great, but it was a little better this last week! Keep praying for me in that area; it would be great to be able to sleep well again haha. 😅

Exciting news though: I HAVE AN ELECTRIC SHOWER HEAD. 💃💃💃 In case you don’t know, that means that I now Can taken WARM SHOWERS. PRAISE JESUS. Haha seriously the only fear I had about coming to Bolivia that was realized was that I’d have to take cold showers. I’m grateful to have learned that I can survive such a trial… but I’m also glad that I don’t have to now haha! Haha I am genuinely grateful for the refining work Jesus did in my soul through that. But now I’m going to enjoy – and be forever grateful for – warm water coming out of a shower head. 🚿

What is the meaning and purpose of life? JESUS. Something I was pondering one day. This board often is the first to know when something is stirring in my heart. 😂

Two weeks ago a small tarantula showed up in my room… so I named it Creep and caught it in a jar! ‘Cause that’s what you do with those, right? 😜 (Everyone says that I at least gave it an appropriate name. 😂) I then discovered that tarántulas are actually a mess to take care of so I left it go after a few days. Haha. But Creep was a lot of fun, and I’m glad for that gift from Jesus. 😁

Three weeks of school left! Which means three weeks left of my original commitment in Bolivia. So crazy to think about. Please pray that I can finish these last few weeks strong! It can be easy to lose steam as the end nears, but ours is a God who can make these last days the best we’ve had yet. I’m excited to watch what He will do!

Climbed a tree. Because I could. 😁 🌳

And He wants to work wonders in your soul, too. May you know every day more and more of His love!

Blessings in Jesus,

Olivia

Weeks 30-32 Update

My, has it been an eventful three weeks!

Bolivia is currently one of the countries with the strictest quarantine laws in place. Only people 18-65 may leave their homes, and only one per household, and only on certain days, and only on weekdays, and only between 8am and 12pm. Anything else requires a permit… or jail time and a fine. Exciting times! Haha…

The number of confirmed cases and deaths are growing in Bolivia, though it’s hard to know with great accuracy what the stats are. Still, we remain safe out in the campo. It’s such a blessing that when so many are cooped up in small houses, we are able to continue our work and to have something of fellowship with one another.

I keep hearing tales of those who are enjoying the forced time at home and away from busyness… but that hasn’t changed much for me. Though I’m kind of glad for that, to be honest. 😁 I’ll have plenty of time to do nothing when I visit home in May!

Quarantine isn’t so bad when you’re still surrounded by some of your favorite people. And you have a guitar. 🎸

And it was recently decided that it will be just a visit… I’ll be flying back to Bolivia for round two in August, Lord willing! This has been my desire for quite a while now and I’m so excited for what the Lord will continue to do in and through my life as I love Him and love others in Bolivia.

Recently one of the older girls from the children’s home has needed some extra help with algebra, and it has been my great delight to be able to tutor her! I’m praising God for the ways He is using my life, even to meet practical needs like those. Surely if there is a reward for all those who give a child a cup of cool water in the name of Jesus, there is a reward for those who tutor in algebra and babysit and listen to kiddo stories! 😁

Lots of recent rainfall has made for lots of recess fun! 😁

I got to add “Get chased by a swarm of bees” to my list of things I never expected to happen while I was in Bolivia. (It’s a constantly growing list. 😂) I went to investigate a fallen tree and found out there was a bees nest in it when I saw the little soldiers flying at me. I ran for it, but because I was giggling the whole time (might as well enjoy being chased by bees, right?) my students thought I was playing. I never got stung, but one of them did. Lesson learned; when being chased by bees, for the sake of those around you, it’s a good idea to show a healthy amount of panic. 🤷‍♀️😂

A new precious little girl recently came to the children’s home, somewhat of a George Mueller move with the current staff situation. Please keep praying that Jesus will call out those He is preparing!

And also pray…

  • That I’ll actually be able to fly home on May 19! Sometimes the current global situation makes that seem unlikely… Pray me home, guys. And then pray me back again, haha!
  • For protection from fear as the fight against Coronavirus continues.
  • That God would enable me to speak His life-giving truth into the lives of those around me, especially the kids I’m surrounded by.
  • That God would teach me what it means to truly take delight in my students and the other kiddos I interact with!

Dear believer, our God delights in you. Seek Him, and you will find Him.

His and yours,

Olivia

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