Dear family and friends,
As we start this new year, we are excited to see what the Lord has in store for Bolivia. When looking back to the end of 2013, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness in so many areas of ministry here in Bolivia! Back in Oct. the women of our mission gathered for their annual Women’s Camp out at Camp Buena Vista. What a blessing to spend time with these precious women in such a relaxing, beautiful setting. We had about 70 women who participated. We had a wonderful speaker, and as always the food was so good! One of my favorite things at camp was the singing…..women worshiping the Lord together. On Dec. 7th the Vida Nueva (New Life) School (one of our mission schools) had their High School graduation. There were 70 graduates with over 500 family and friends there to celebrate with them. The next weekend we along with Aimee hosted our pastors and wives and the MEB leadership on our back patio for a BBQ dinner and time of encouragement. The next day was our Bolivia Missions 55th anniversary celebration held at Jesucristo Vive (Jesus Christ Lives) Church. People from all of our Santa Cruz churches were there and participated with special music. It was a busy weekend but so full of blessings. Dan has recently had several opportunities to preach and teach in several of our churches. A week ago he gave the evening message at La Gracia Church and this Sunday morning he will be preaching at Jesucristo Vive Church.
One of our newest churches, Vida Abundante (Abundant Life) Church has had some real struggles over the last year. It has been such an encouragement to see how the church has come through these hard times and has learned from these experiences. 2 Cor. 1:8-11 “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. (vs 9) Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. (vs 10) who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us. (vs 11) you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.” God has really used one of our younger pastors, Lucas Guzman, through his teaching from the Word of God to help this church come through this time of testing. It was so exciting a few weeks ago to visit the church on a Sunday morning and hear of their plans of an evangelism trip. During the service Pastor Lucas recited several verses and had the congregation try to memorize them right then, if they didn’t know them already. He then turned it into a competition between the men and the women to see who could recite more of these specific verses by memory. It was a lot of fun and the congregation really got caught up in learning these verses. The pastor then pulled out a large EvangeCube and explained to them that they now knew the key verses needed when sharing the gospel. He then went on to show them step by step how to share the gospel using the EvangeCube. He repeated this process several times so they could get a good grasp of how to do this on their own. He explained that the church had ten little EvangeCubes and on Thurs night they were going to get together to practice in groups of two. He wanted them to be prepared before their evangelism trip. On Jan 4th Pastor Lucas and about 20 of his congregation traveled five hours to the Guarayos region. There they had the privilege of ministering to these wonderful people. They met their physical needs by taking two dentists with them who offered free dental care. While people waited for their turn they shared the gospel one on one with the EvangeCube. They took gifts for the children, showed an evangelistic movie, and then had a Sunday morning service the next day for all of the community. We saw Pastor Lucas this past week and he was so excited to tell us about their trip. He said it was a huge success and they hope to go back sometime. To think of all that Vida Abundante Church has gone through, and is now choosing to reach out to others…….to share the love of God with not only words but with their actions too. This church is growing and we are anxious to see how the Lord will continue to use this church in 2014 as a light in the community.
Thank you for your faithful support of our ministry here in Bolivia. We are so thankful for your prayers and financial help. If you would like to donate online to our ministry through Grace Ministries International, please click here. Because of your partnering with us, we can continue to minister here in Bolivia. We wanted to share just a few of the ways that your faithful giving to our ministry has been used to help others recently.
– We were able to purchase 22 chairs for the Carlos Laborde church plant.
– We were able to help with Christmas gifts for the children in our four La Paz churches.
– We were able to help Vida Abundante Church with the gifts for the Guarayos children.
– We were able to help one of our youth with the cost of going to the CIMA Argentina conference.
– We were able to help financially with Awana and children’s clubs in 17 of our churches.
– We were able to help with funds for construction at Emanuel Church, the Km 14 church plant, and at Camp Buena Vista.
– We have received and distributed amongst our churches and in the city of Santa Cruz, several thousand evangelism cards.
We were able to do all of these things because of your continued faithful giving. Thank you so much!
1. for the youth from our churches who will be traveling to the CIMA missions conference in Cordoba, Argentina later this week.
2. for Rachel Matychuk who will be arriving in Santa Cruz next week to begin her year of ministry here in Santa Cruz.
3. for our kids (Taylor taking classes and working in MI, Trevor studying at USC in Los Angeles, and Tasha finishing her last year of high school here in Santa Cruz)
4. for Lilibeth Ortega who is planning on studying and ministering in Uruguay very soon.
5. for our mission schools as they begin classes in Feb.
1. for Aimee Johnson’s adjustment to life in Santa Cruz and her new ministries.
2. for the wonderful evangelistic trip by the Vida Abundante Church members to the Guarayos region.
3. for the youth in our churches who are actively involved in ministry.
4. for our Bolivian pastors and families.
Serving through Christ,
Dan, Mary Sue, and Tasha Reed
Pastor Lucas Guzman teaching how to use the EvangeCube.
Mary Sue with Lilibeth Ortega (in green) and her sister, Silvana.