Day 6: Play ball! [Sucre, Bolivia 2016]

Muy bonito!

That’s my Spanish phrase of the day. What? Look it up yourself! All the puppies here are muy bonito.

The schedule today was much like yesterday’s—breakfast/team meeting at 7:45am, leave for churches at 9am, morning session, lunch, afternoon session, tea, back to hotel around 7:30pm, dinner, bed.

This morning, we learned how to use the eBall—a soccer ball with different colors that represent different parts of the gospel. The idea is to play, show, and tell. More on that later. Then we practiced a different Bible story with each other: the Pharisee and tax collector who pray differently, and Jesus loving on the children brought to him. 

My evangelism team tried to visit the ‘baby Christians’ we missed yesterday. As we passed the homes of people we did follow up with yesterday, we shared this new story with them and prayed with them. At second-time homes, we shared the sinful woman story. We shared the gospel for the first time with several new homes, and also with new family members at homes we’d visited before.

One huge encouragement: a home we visited today for the third time overall. Maribel, Gabriella, and little Fernando all have accepted Christ, and they came to the clinic yesterday, and they’ve been so receptive and curious with God’s word. I dunno. I just feel a peace and this pure joy at seeing them and talking with them, and I know God’s really present with them, and that makes me happy.

In the afternoon we held Eyeglass Clinic Part 2, fitting the people who were still waiting in line yesterday when we had to stop letting people in. This is where I had some problems. Some people, when I/PG had tested them and explained their eyesight was great and glasses would make it worse, got back in line to be tested by the other person. Not to complain—and I was a bit stressed out again and ready to assume the worst in people—but I suspected these people faked it the second time around so they would go home with glasses. One man who wanted a second testing went home with a +3.00 pair (almost the strongest power) when the first time, their eyes were judged too good to need glasses. Carmen says the frames themselves are very expensive in Bolivia. I felt more frustrated than anything and wanted to tell Carmen to tell them to tell the truth but I didn’t, and instead got into a funk. What did they think they were doing? We were there to help! We didn’t want to hurt their eyes! We didn’t want to be taken advantages of! I dunno. (I’m realizing I say that a lot). PG’s advice: if it were up to me to keep justice in the world, I should be sad. But God has His plans and ways, and if people really did ‘cheat’, I can leave it up to Him to make things right in His way.

God really has a way of speaking through pastors.

After the clinic we took the eBall to a nearby basketball court and played soccer (er, football). After a few games we all gathered around while Isabel explained the symbolism on the ball—red for Jesus’ blood, black for sin, etc. The hope was that the kids with us would be able to use the ball as a tool to reach their friends, and to connect with new people to share the gospel.

Carmen ate dinner with us for the first time! Note: Bolivia has excellent steak.

Tomorrow’s our last full day of ministry! Check back then for updates 🙂

Later gators,

Isabella – 7/13/16

remembering Alexei.

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