February Update

Anita doing a health talk before one of the Evangelistic Meetings held each night in Cochabamba for two weeks.

See Photos Here…

Dear family,

We have been VERY busy with traveling for almost 3 weeks doing evangelism, as well as dealing with the fact that the houses would not be ready for the opening of our school on March 14. God has been SOOOO good and at the last minute provided us with a rental. It is closer to the city but on the other hand is 11 miles down the worst road I have ever been on. In fact, yesterday the neighbors told us that when it rains no one goes in or out. I understand why as it only sprinkled yesterday but it made the road so slippery that our truck we are using to move got stuck and our Toyota 4runner got stuck too on the way in. We also have to cross a rather wide, but usually shallow river with no bridge.
We had been facing challenges at the project in Samaipata for a while, with personalities as well as a realization that maybe the vision of the person funding the project was not exactly the same as ours. At first that did not seem like a problem as the visions seemed similar enough, but as we got further down the line, we could see many problems looming. We do not regret our year working here and have learned many valuable lessons, as well as getting to know many precious people.
While we were traveling, God clearly opened doors for us to work with the organized church as well as partnering with Wildwood and Breach Builders(another supporting ministry based in California).

With less than 2 weeks till the start of school we were getting to the point of thinking of canceling the start of school. We already had arranged for 3 different teachers to visit and help, one from America, one from Germany and a pastor form Bolivia. Dosung said that postponing school for another year would be the last option and we had to wait on the Lord. After getting back from a three week trip I didn’t even have time to unpack as we started looking for a new location close by. It is a tiring 3 hour trip to Santa Cruz and we were going down every day but one last week, getting back home a 3 am one time.
God put someone in our path who decided it was his mission to help us. He even said to us,” I will not rest till we find a solution to your problem” and “I am your physical angel”. He was a blessing as he speaks english as well as spanish and has many, many connections in town. In Bolivia you can get things done 2 ways. Using money or knowing people. He knew a lot of people. After looking at several discouraging options we tried to convey the idea we were not looking for a place with easy city access but rather somewhere more secluded so people could get away from the city and for the students to be free of distractions. He finally said “I know just the place!” We tried to get there that day(Thursday) but after getting a little stuck in the river after sunset we were afraid to try the rest of the road that night and drove back home with the promise to come back Friday morning, I was getting pretty discouraged and the trip down that terrible road friday morning did not help. It took more than an hour to travel 11 miles. I was ready to reject the place before we even got there. I couldn’t believe what I saw as we turned the last corner. It was a beautiful hotel out there in the middle of nowhere. I have no idea how they got all those building materials out there. It has a large porch area, large kitchen, 14 guest rooms and a separate one room building we can use as a classroom. It also has a thatch roof pavilion we can use for a chapel. It is an older building but is perfect for us. We took a walk around and found the clincher. It has its own private waterfall!! About 3 stories high and another one above it. Both with pools for wading and swimming below. It was beautiful and peaceful. I felt overwhelmed with God’s gifts to us. The owner of the hotel just found out he has pancreatic cancer and has not been able to take care of things out there for the past few months. Our project was explained to him and he really liked what he heard. He got an offer to rent the place for $2000 US a month but is renting us the whole place as well as full use of the 87 hectares {215 acres) it sits on for $700 a month for the next four months with an increase in rent by $100 every 4 months till it hits $1000. He has 14 hectares or fruit trees and we can pick, eat or sell them as we wish, keeping all profits. He even said if we have room, he will send us clients to stay for a weekend. He charged up to $150 for 1 room for a long weekend and even if we rented out 4 rooms one weekend a month it would almost pay for the rent. There are many challenges at the new place as well. It has no phone or internet or electricity. It does have a generator that does not work now. We will fix that as soon as possible.Believe it or not, the only washing facility for clothes is the river. We will deal with all these things as soon as we can so we can stay connected to you all. The road is a worry and a blessing all at once. A worry for getting in and out and a blessing that it keeps the area from getting too commercial and crowded. We have moved 1 truckload of our things there and will be taking the second and last load tomorrow or friday if it doesn’t rain. We loaded up the open top truck on Monday night thinking we would leave first thing in the morning. We didn’t worry about rain as it hadn’t rained at all in over a week and we thought rainy season was over. Monday night it poured!! I woke up to the sound of rain at 4 am Tuesday morning and couldn’t sleep anymore worrying about all the books we had bought and had shipped from the United States for the school. 40 boxes of books. God is GOOD. When we unloaded this morning (we had to hire our neighbor with his Land Cruiser pickup truck to get all the things up the driveway to the hotel because the truck could not make it up the driveway) we found only a few books were ruined and most of them were not even wet. We do have an option to buy the property but we will live there for a few months to see if it will work for us first. We do not have all the funds to buy it but we also know that if God meant for it to be ours he will provide the means.
If you are asking “What school are they talking about starting?” let me explain. We are trying to start a 1 year program teaching bible and healthy lifestyle and natural remedies so people can be medical missionaries. Ellen White says”We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work.” 7T pg 62 and “Soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work.” GCB April 12, 1901. We hope to help each student have a deeper experience with the Lord so they have something to share and that no matter where they go afterward, they will be able to be witnesses for HIM. We would love for some of our students to go to small villages in the jungle or altiplano to share the gospel and plant churches, using health work as the opening wedge. There are so many villages in Bolivia where people hardly ever see a doctor and basic health principles are not known. At our last health fair one 83 year old man was complaining about prostate problems as well as some other complaints and when asked how much water he drank he replied he never drank water. He started to drink several glasses a day, and a couple days later he told us he felt much better, just from drinking water, such simple things with an impact.

For those of you who may visit, it is lower than where we are now and more jungle, with big spiders and cute lizards. The water is clear in the waterfall because it comes from springs on the property. They take the water from the source and use it for the hotel. We will have to do our laundry in the river for a while until we figure something out. There are mosquitoes, but not bad, usually at dawn and dusk. A sweater or light jacket is useful but probably nothing heavier. It is only oppressively humid right after it rains, otherwise the weather is quite pleasant.

We have 10-15 students coming so far and it looks like we will be busy for the next 10 months. God has been good sending us people to help as the need arises. We have some graduates from Wildwood who want to come help for a year or so as well. There is a young man from Mexico living with us now who came to fly with the airplanes of David Gates. Unfortunately, the planes have all been grounded by the government for the whole 3 months he has been here. That has turned out to be a blessing for us as he is a linguist who majored in English in Mexico. He has been translating material for the school for us as well as translating sermons when Dosung preaches or needs to make phone calls and helping us out as we move etc. God knows just what we need and has been so good at providing for us we are constantly overwhelmed with his grace.

Love and Miss you all, Anita, Dosung, Benjamin, Ryan, and Justin

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