Every Day Is An Adventure In Bolivia

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Dan and Mary Sue Reed continue to serve the Lord in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and are looking forward to the arrival of Frosty and Cathy Hansen who have tickets to leave Grand Rapids, MI, on March 6. Dan and Mary Sue work alongside the Bolivian pastors and their wives; they are involved in Camp Buena Vista; they work closely with the Bolivian churches and visit them often, even up in the Altiplano; and they are active with the MEB which is the national leadership in Bolivia.

I want to share with you the Reeds most recent email update but first I would ask you to pray for Dan and Mary Sue as they have traveled to Michigan to attend the services for Dan’s mother, Jane Reed, who went home to be with the Lord. The service was held at Muskegon Berean Church at 10am on Saturday, February 25.

EMAIL UPDATE – February 14, 2017: “Dear family and friends, My how things have changed….. We think of the early missionaries who left the US to live in Bolivia in the 1950′s. Santa Cruz was a cattle-producing town with a tropical, hot humid climate and roads were few and dusty. As they walked, their hearts and minds probably thought what is the need here, the true need and how do we meet it? What do we do about it? They started a ministry with orphans, kids from the streets. They were meeting needs, they were sharing the good news of God’s love and salvation. As they met needs other needs became evident so they started a small school and the first church.

“It’s 8:30 am Sat. Feb 4, 2017, and we are sitting in Jesucristo Vive church (Jesus Christ Lives Church). Around 80 pastors, leaders, and youth representing 20 churches from three states have gathered together to do business…God’s business! We sing together, listen to some opening words and a prayer, then we are on to ministry business. We hear reports of what is happening in our churches, schools and Camp Buena Vista. Dan even had to present a report on what we as Grace Ministries International missionaries have been involved in. It is so encouraging to hear that our Bolivian mission national committee, called the MEB is helping to support 23 of our pastors monthly. Our pastors all have other jobs since their churches can’t fully support them. Our mission schools (staffed by many of our church members) are ministering to 2,000 students. They provide a quality education that many families desire for their children. These schools continue to have a big part in providing the mission with funds to support these 23 pastors. Praise the Lord that one of our pastors here in Santa Cruz is stepping out in faith to serve full-time in his multi-staff church. For some time he has shared with us his desire to move forward in this way and feels that the Lord has impressed on him that now is the right time. This is really a big step for him and we pray that the Lord would provide in very special ways for him and his family.

“Camp Buena Vista is ministering all year round to groups from our own mission as well as other churches and organizations. Just last week the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center (the missionary school where all three of our children studied and graduated from) held their high school camp out there. This week they will be taking their junior high students out for camp. At the end of Feb. the youth from our mission churches will have their annual youth camp for four days. This is something they really look forward to and the camp is always overflowing with as many youth as they can squeeze into the cabins. Camp ministry is so important! It’s an environment where lives are changed! In fact, Dan accepted Christ as his personal savior many years ago while at a youth camp! So, we definitely value camp ministry!

“Every two years new members of the MEB are voted on and elected. That was another part of the all day gathering. They try to have as many of our churches as possible represented in the committee. The newly elected president of the committee is one of the original orphans that the missionaries worked with. After the elections of the new MEB members we were blessed to hear Pastor Adalid Mendoza share a closing message of encouragement and challenge to all who had gathered for the day. Who is Adalid? He is a highly respected, professional, talented, teacher of God’s word. His wife Tuti (who passed away a few years ago) was a leader among the women in our mission, taught Bible in one of our mission schools for over 25 years, and was also one of the original orphans. Pastor Adalid was given the opportunity to speak, because Dan intentionally turned this into an opportunity for one of our leaders. At the last regular MEB meeting the committee asked Dan if he would speak on Sat. He responded by saying that he wanted to hear a “Bolivian voice!” We have confidence in our leaders and they bless others by using their God-given gifts. Pastor Adalid did an incredible job sharing with the leaders and it was truely what we all needed to hear!

“This past Sunday morning we headed out of the city a bit to the Km 14 Casa de Misericordia Church (House of Mercy Church). We had had some heavy rains a few days before but really hadn’t seen any damage in the city. As we turned off the main paved road and started driving on the dirt road leading back to the church we saw the damage. The heavy rains had washed away the sides of the road in a few areas. Thankfully we have a heavy duty vehicle that seems to enjoy getting through tough spots so we had no problem getting to church. The two-level church structure stands out in the neighborhood. The service was wonderful even though the pastor had to compete with a rooster next door and also a bird that kept flying into the sanctuary to check on a nest up in the eves above the platform. He kept flying in and out, chirping all the while. At the end of the service Dan was asked to share with the congregation. He spoke of the early days of this church, when it was just a one room brick church plant, and how our family had the opportunity to have an active role in the development of it. It is a place where we feel at home!

“Over the years many things have changed, and yet certain things are still the same. Every day is an adventure in Bolivia! Just like the first missionaries experiences it can still be a challenge to try to decipher what the priority needs are and how we can best meet these needs. We are so thankful for the missionaries who walked this path before us and helped the Bolivians establish the ministries here. We feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside the Bolivian church leaders to encourage and empower them to continue to move forward in the ministries that the Lord has given them. What a privilege! Thank you so much for your support of our ministry here in Bolivia! We appreciate your partnering with us! If you would like to donate online to our ministry through Grace Ministries International, please click here.”

Please pray:

1. for our Bolivian pastors and their families.

2. for Frosty and Cathy Hansen as they visit churches and prepare to move to Bolivia.

3. for the new MEB leadership as they work with our mission ministries.

4. for Dan and myself in our ministry and health.

Praise:

1. for seven youth who recently accepted Christ for salvation at Vida Abundante Church (Abundant Life Church).

2. for the GMI project funds given by individuals for specific Bolivia projects.

3. for the ministry of our schools and Camp Buena Vista.

Serving through Christ,

Dan & Mary Sue Reed

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