(What a day!)
The sun rose bright and early in beautiful Cochabamba, bringing with it, another day full of bountiful blessings and unexpected adventures.
We ate breakfast at varying times, and enjoyed the lovely view from the hotel roof.
Just before the team was ready to head off to the Project, we were joined by Art, Genda, and Noah Freeman, who are missionaries in Cochabamba supported by Woodlands.
Once we arrived at the project, we were instantly greeted by a warm and welcoming Bienvenidos! (Welcome) from the many children and staff already gathered at the site.
We had originally planned to be at the main Compassion project all day, playing in the morning, and orchestrating a VBS in the afternoon. However, that was not the case.
As our wonderful Compassion representative Andrew says repeatedly, "Flexibility is key."
After being introduced to the main Compassion location by the pastor, we had the incredible privilege to visit the property where the church is constructing a new and bigger building. We were honored to see the location where the bathrooms that Woodlands provided are being built.
Immediately following the construction site visit, the team was split in two and sent to two different "daughter projects", where each ran a mini VBS session for the children there.
Both projects were quite amazing and and impactful. The children and parents were overwhelmingly warm and loved to barrage our teams with hugs and kisses and mucho ama (much love).
When the split teams were reunited back at the main project, we were served an incredible lunch as if we were royalty. It was a truly humbling and moving experience.
After the meal, the team split again into three groups (craft, Bible teaching, and games) for the afternoon VBS. We were told that the nearly 300 children attending had a great time. The games were fun and exciting, and got everyone involved. Our stupendous craft team planned an amazing craft that showed how life without Jesus is bland and colorless. But, when Jesus is in your heart, everything becomes alive. The teaching team taught three stories: calma de la tormenta (the calming of the storm), alimentacion de 5,000 (feeding the 5,000), and la Resurreccion (the Resurrection). Mucho gracias (many thanks) to our absolutely wonderful translators, Peter, Ana, Evelin, and Jacob, who kept up with our team all day and kept everyone informed. All the children were so well behaved and loving. The whole experience was a blur of moving emotion and life-changing love.
When we returned to our hotel, teary-eyed and awe-struck, we had a little down time before heading out for a delicioso (delicious) meal at Paprika, beautiful restaurant recommended by Raquel.
Once our delightful dinner was done, we said "Adios, amigos!" (Goodbye, friends) to the Freeman family and rushed to the roof for a quick time of praise, worship and daily debrief.
The day was beautiful and such a blessing. Everyone we came in contact with was so friendly and affectionate. The Lord brought such amazing and encouraging experiences into our day just as we all needed.
We thank God for such an amazing day, and pray that our team would be healthy and well in the coming week.
Dios te bendiga
(God bless you)
The Bolivia Team Bloggers (Dylan Shifflett and Elizabeth Smith)