“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10)
We recently came back from a missionary retreat in Puerto Rico sponsored by Grace Ministries International. It was for all of our GMI missionaries who work in Latin America. It was wonderful to be able to spend time with all of the other missionaries…some we had known for years, and some we were meeting for the first time. We were encouraged by the teaching times and enjoyed planning sessions for the future of our mission fields. Our kids enjoyed sessions geared just for them exploring issues that they deal with as MKs (missionary kids). Our son, Trevor, helped lead the worship times on the guitar. And, of course, we have to mention our trip to Taco Bell and shopping at Walmart…things we just can’t do in Bolivia. Needless to say, we came back home refreshed and ready to get back into our ministries here. Thank you GMI for making this retreat possible! It really was just what we needed!
We were so excited to hear from Pastor Herland Gutierrez that 15 adults and youth had recently accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior in his church Dios es Amor. Three months ago Pastor Gutierrez challenged his church members to pray every day for one unsaved person. Then he asked them to commit themselves to invite these people to church on a specific Sunday when he planned to share a clear evangelistic message. His congregation accepted this challenge and have been blessed by the overwhelming results of their actions. Dan was invited to take part in the first discipleship class for these new believers. Only a few attended the first class, but there were nine at the last class. Please pray for spiritual growth in these new believers. Another neat thing that this church has been doing is Sunday afternoon soccer games with evangelism as their main goal. They have about a dozen teams that show up each week to play. Pastor Herland is encouraging his congregation to strike up conversations with these athletes who are waiting for their turn to play, and to share the Four Spiritual Laws pamphlet with them one on one. We are so encouraged by what this church is doing and for their desire to see people come to Christ. We want to come alongside them and encourage them to persevere in these efforts. They may not see results right away, but what we do for the Lord is never in vain!
Last week we drove out to Camp Buena Vista along with Jerry and DeAnna Olson. We were truly amazed by all of the progress that had been made. We had seen progress from time to time, but it had been a few months since we had been out there. There is now a new dormitory with 8 bedrooms and two bathrooms. They are also planning on putting a small kitchen into this dormitory. The new kitchen is so much bigger than the old one and the chapel/dining hall has been expanded. There are now sidewalks where there used to be muddy paths after each rainfall. A new drop ceiling is in the main house which will help keep the house cooler, and it looks so pretty, too! Wow! We are just thrilled with all of the improvements. To top that off we have a new camp director who will be starting on June 6th. We are really excited for the future of our camp and the increased ministry opportunities the camp will have with a camp director. On our way home we had a little excitement of our own. All of a sudden we came to a dead stop in traffic. There we sat for three hours. We finally realized that there was a bloqueo up ahead where some protestors were blocking the road. Traffic was backed up for miles in both directions. So what would have normally taken us just two hours to get home took close to six hours. What a day! We were so grateful to finally make it home safely.
The next evening we had a special Noche de Gala, a special evening for couples. We are thankful for the hard work of the Women’s Committee, with representatives from our churches here in Santa Cruz. There were around 270 people who filled the La Gracia Church for the evening program. A dinner followed served by the youth of the church. It was so encouraging to see Darwin and LuLu, a newlywed couple from Jesucristo Church, as the master and mistress of ceremonies for the evening. They have a lot of leadership potential, and have a real interest in missions. We look forward to what the Lord has in store for them in the future.
Our kids will be done with school next week. They have been anxiously looking forward to summer vacation (winter vacation here). On June 3rd the Olsons and Gablers will be leaving to go back to the States, and then we will be moving back into the main mission house. Lots of packing, even though we are only moving a few miles away. We have some busy days ahead of us!
We want to thank each and every one of you for your prayers and financial support. What a blessing you are to us! If you would like to donate online to our ministry through Grace Ministries International, please click here. Thank you for being part of our ministry in Bolivia!
1. for the 15 new believers at Dios es Amor Church, that they would grow in their walk with the Lord.
2. for the new camp director (Henoc and Liz Juanquiri) and their family as they start on June 6th.
3. for Lilibeth Ortega who is ministering for two years on the Logos Hope ship.
4. for our family as we adjust to being the only GMI missionary family in Bolivia, that we would have wisdom in choosing our ministry priorities.
5. for Dan as he preaches in two of our churches in the next two weeks.
1. for all the construction and upgrades that Steve Gabler was able to do at camp over the last 18 months. We are also thankful for the teams from the US and Bolivian nationals who have helped him.
2. for the wonderful Noche de Gala and the great attendance for the evening.
3. for the interest in evangelism outreach we are seeing in several of our churches.
Serving through Christ,
Dan, Mary Sue, Trevor, and Tasha Reed