Day 5: Eyeglasses, eyeglasses, eyeglasses! [Sucre, Bolivia 2016]

Hola amigos!

(practicing my Español)

I can’t believe day 5 is over! It was an exhausting but rewarding day.

This morning we had a team meeting/devotional over breakfast. The passage was Ephesians 6:10-20 (if you’re following the prayer calendar on the Sucre page above, that’s the passage for today)—we talked about boldness in all we do, from knocking on doors to praying for our brothers/sisters to sharing the gospel even when we get home. Boldness ≠ obnoxiousness.

PG and I arrived at the church with our translators and Pastor Fernando like yesterday. We (and the nationals) spent some time going over the Bible story about the sinful woman who wipes Jesus’ feet and pours oil, etc. (Luke 7:36-50) and practicing sharing it with each other—the point of the morning was to go back to the houses we visited yesterday and follow up with new believers, by sharing ‘true stories from the word of God’, praying for/with them, etc. We also practiced with the Evangecube for the first time—it’s a folding cube that manipulates to show helpful pictures while you share the gospel. 

We went out in the same groups as yesterday. Carmen and I shared the Luke story with the first ‘baby Christian’ we visited. At each house we also asked what they learned about God and themselves—sort of a mini Bible study. It was really good to see some of the people we met yesterday and ask how they were doing, see them have a real interest in learning more about God, see their openness. At some houses, other family members who weren’t there yesterday opened the door, and we were able to share the gospel/stories of hope with them too.

The afternoon was the long-awaited eyeglass clinic! It was long too. 4.5 hours?

We sorted the glasses by power in the back of the church room. We set up two fitting stations, one manned by PG and Isabel and the other by Carmen and me. When it was their turn, each person would come and sit down, I/PG would place an eyechart the right distance from their face, and ask for the lowest line they could read clearly. Based on that, we’d have them try on a pair of test glasses we had out, and if they could read the right size Bible verse on a separate paper, we’d fetch a new pair of that power of glasses for them. And meanwhile ask what they thought about the verse (sneaky!), or if they’d like someone to pray for them, etc. Then they could go to the ‘spiritual counseling’ section of the room, where nationals were sharing the gospel or praying for them or talking or, you know, giving spiritual counsel. It was really, really good to see some of the people we’d visited before and help them out.

Interesting encounter: little girl who could see better without our lowest power of glasses than with them, who refused to budge from the seat until she got glasses. Carmen and I tried to explain to her that they’d make her eyesight worse, she didn’t need them, etc. to no avail… and I found my patience taking a hasty goodbye… and being Christ-like in kindness was far from my mind… and I even got snappish at Carmen. Where’s Jesus in this story? I dunno. But PG eventually gave her glasses and it gave her joy and I learned something about self-control, or my lack thereof, and about trusting the Holy Spirit, and something to pray about.

But when I handed a pair of well-fitted reading glasses to a weathered Bolivian and their faces were radiant, I felt some of that light—it was a different way to serve, meeting their physical needs (and to segway into meeting their spiritual needs). Carmen and I were brain-dead afterwards, which made snacks and dinner that much more of a comfort.

Great day today! I also met Carmen’s dad and little sister, which was very cool. And we got ice cream.

Check back tomorrow for more cool stuff!

Zaijian,

Isabella – 7/12/16

remembering Alexei.

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