December 02, 2011
The week started with a bang, literally. At 5:45 am, there was a loud knocking at my door. When I opened it, there was Jhon, wanting to know if he had left his flip- flops in my room. After explaining to him that he could come ask later, I shut the door for a few more minutes of quiet time. Around here, if you want any kind uninterrupted quiet time, you need to go out into the jungle somewhere, where you can’t be found. The next morning, when the knocking came about at the same time, I was ready! Only this time, it truly was an emergency. Lyseth had spilled a glass of boiling hot water on her face, arm and armpit. The burns were quite serious, and after initial first aid, I had to take her into Rurrenabaque to see the doctor.
Tuesday night, around 8:30 in the evening, we realized that two of our female volunteers hadn’t returned from their day off in Rurrenabaque. They had planned to come back in a taxi, but if one isn’t back at least by 6:30 or 7:00, it can be assumed that there were no taxis available. If you wait past 5:00 to try and get a ride, the chances are slim. Max was sent on the motorcycle to see if he could find them. About half an hour later he came limping back onto campus. In the dark, he had somehow hit a pile of sand that had been dumped in the middle of the road, and the bike had flipped on top of him. He had managed to get it upright, and urgently prayed that God would help the bike to start. It did, much to his relief. The seat was broken clear off, and things were bent out of shape, but thankfully the bike was still running. Later it was discovered that Max’s wrist was dislocated and cracked, and three fingers were broken between the wrist and knuckles. That was the hand that he had to use to get back home! It was now 9:30, and we not only had two girls still somewhere in Rurrenabaque, but now we had Max to patch up and take to the doctor! Close to 11:30p.m. we finally located the girls who were safe in a hotel, allowing me to shift my full attention to Max. After visiting the doctor, Max’s wrist was snapped back into place; x-rays would have to wait until the next day. We finally had to send him to Santa Cruz where he was properly casted up. Now we were assured that things were under control.
That same week, Edwin was wrestling with his boys and cracked one of his ribs, also receiving some severe bruising. He limped along for several days, and of course, that involved a doctor’s visit and x-rays. Miguel came down with a severe case of tonsillitis and it was discovered that Rebecca had developed some nasty sores on her scalp. Head sores are a common occurrence and it is easy to miss as they are covered up by the hair. We have to do regular head checks to prevent serious infections.
Most weeks aren’t this eventful, but when we started to face the chain of emergencies and sicknesses, we become aware of how much God had intervened in our behalf. Max could have been knocked unconscious. He could have laid there for hours before being found. The girls were safely in a hotel, but what if they had encountered serious problems? Joy (my daughter) and I had prayed and asked God to help us find them. We went up and down the streets checking all the internet cafés and hotels as we searched. You can’t imagine the relief we felt when we found them safe and sound. All of the others recuperated without any complications in an environment where we are constantly fighting secondary infections.
As I was sitting in my room reflecting on the past week’s harrying events, two things were impressed on my mind. First was realizing the huge potential for problems, health and otherwise, on a campus with 100 plus people, in the middle of the jungle with limited transportation and medical facilities available. God has been taking care of us and helping us far beyond our capacity to comprehend. The second thing was realizing how totally dependent I am on our Father God! I don’t dare step foot outside my room without making sure that angels go before and after. Who knows what the day might bring! I need to understand so much more fully how to act in the Spirit, and not by my might. The God we serve is so good, so gracious, and so mighty!
Just to give you an update on the ongoing projects here. We are still working on the new water system in conjunction with the local communities that are involved as well. This will probably involve a couple more thousand dollars by the time everything is completed. We won’t know the exact figures until the project is actually completed.
The new house is still moving forward. Everything in Bolivia seems to take longer than hoped, but steady progress IS being made! We are hoping for it to be habitable by the time the new school year starts at end of February.
Melissa has been doing some intense research on growbox gardening, and with the school break now here, we are planning to seriously focus on this. It is a huge challenge to learn how to stay ahead of all the worms, insects and pests but with God’s help and our effort it can be done. We will keep you posted.
As I was writing this newsletter an answer to one of our prayers just came! One of our trucks has been down for months, needing a complete engine overhaul. The other pickup has been barely limping along. 1st gear is gone, the water pump is almost gone, etc., etc. Our vehicle situation has been a matter of urgent prayer for some time. Five minutes ago, a friend of the school walked in and told me he had been discussing it with Edwin, and plans have been made to get the first truck on the road again as well as shopping for a vehicle in good condition to replace the second truck! Praise God!
I just want to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the support you give through your prayers and donations. Both are so vital to the existence of Familia Feliz. We, who are the “hands” here on campus feel a personal responsibility to do our best to utilize the resources that are shared with us. When Jesus comes, we want to have a bountiful harvest as a result of the prayers, and commitment of the many people God has impressed to be a part of this project!
Your Sister in Christ,