I’m writing to you on a bus ride out of Bolivia. This is by far the sketchiest ride of my life. The good news is, we’ve been riding for 21 hours and we only have 13 hours to Cusco, Peru. Lol.
Our time in Bolivia was supposed to be just a training for the rest of this South America mission. It was a great time and great things happened, but then it became so much more than that.
We had planned to reach Peru by plane on the 17th. But, out of nowhere I felt a strong calling to stay in La Paz for one more week.
We had no set plans, no leads, and not a single idea about where to start looking. All we had was an urge to stay longer and a belief that something big would happen. And it did.
Once we decided to stay I searched online for a justice organization to serve, but I couldn’t find anything. It wasn’t because the opportunities didn’t exist. It’s just hard to find South American websites when you’re searching for them in English.
Remar, Bolivia’s Dream Center
Then I found Remar. It seemed to be a legitimate organization. So we put on our shoes and headed there right away.
From the outside we had no clue what we were getting into. Everyone there spoke Spanish. It was impossible to explain that we wanted to volunteer. But then we found a tall Bolivian man named Eduardo. From the second we met Eduardo we knew that we made the right choice to remain in Bolivia.
Here is what’s really wild. When we had prayed about what we should do with this extra week in La Paz, I heard the words “Dream Center,” which is a well-known ministry for the destitute in California, USA.
As we stood there and talked with Eduardo, we found that Remar is a spitting image of the Dream Center! For example: They provide drug rehabilitation, they rescue women from prostitution, and they help single moms too poor to raise their children.
I quickly noticed that Remar had more vision than they had support. So I offered my skills in graphic design to create a magazine and a calendar.
Everyone buys calendars in Bolivia. It might not seem like a big deal in the US, but they will raise good money from doing this. The new magazine will be their first English publication. This means they can finally attract supporters in English speaking countries, and who can imagine the difference that will make.
At Remar we met a young boy named Luisitos who needed immediate surgery or he would die. His family didn’t have money to pay for this surgery, but thankfully we met them at the perfect time and we were able to help with the finances. The surgery was a complete success! Now Luisitos is in recovery and getting better everyday. Here is his photo (pre-surgery).
During our time in Bolivia we met with so many great people. I’m positive I will work with them again to make a difference in their city and nation. For example, here is a photo of Miguel and his family. Miguel was my translator.
Miguel is one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. He’s a fellow YWAM’er and he shares my heart. Miguel encouraged me every time he opened his mouth. I’m positive he is my friend for life.
Then there is Eduardo, Remarcobija, and Matthew. Matthew is part of a movement called God In The Streets. The work he’s doing in Bolivia is unbelievable. These guys are also friends for life.
An Unforgettable Youth Event
One of the highlights for me in Bolivia was speaking at a youth event the final night. I spoke about the potential each one of them has, and how they have a purpose with the true ability to change the world.
After the message Tannen and I offered to pray for them. We wanted to say what God is saying to them, to cancel the lies they’ve been getting all their lives in this world.
I have never been truly used in prophecy until that moment. I saw things about those kids and I had no clue where it was coming from. Just out of the sky, the messages kept coming!
Later they told us that every message was 100% accurate. It was the first time most of them had experienced anything like this. It deeply impacted everyone in the room including myself.
It’s cool to see how God never fails when you trust Him. When I decided to prophecy over the kids I was scared, but it was encouraging to watch God show up in my life like that when I had the courage to step out. Here’s a great photo from that night.
Now, we’ve been in Peru for two weeks and I’m finally able to finish this blog. I’ve seen more doors opened here than ever in my life.
Into The Wild
Tomorrow I will begin a challenging 10-day trek! There are amazing stories that led to this moment, about how God has guided me to these mountains in Peru.
This is my first trek without a guide and my most courageous alpine adventure so far. This entire area is unexplored. I’m going to search for remote villages and I’m not even sure if they exist.
I’m going with old maps and rumors of villages. To get there, I will cross a glacier river with water temp just above freezing, sleep in the tents over a bed of snow, and reach around 18,700ft. Half of this trek will be above 16,000ft.
My goal is to find the villages and see if the passes between them is doable. Then I will map a circuit with my discoveries. This will make it possible for me to send other missionaries into these villages.
I don’t know where they exist or how I can help them, but I know that God is sending me to find them! If I don’t find them, there is a real chance that nobody ever will.
I’m thankful that Tannen is still with me. We’ve learned a few Quechuan phrases to survive. At least we can ask if we can camp in their villages. Quechua is the language of the Inca Empire, spoken in these Peruvian Highlands.
For food, we packed 10 days of cliff bars, canned meat, nuts, and dried fruits. We’re also bringing good gifts for the villagers, and a life changing smile.
I plan to post a blog as soon as I return. Until then, have a great life and talk to you soon. Pray for us over the next 10 days, and for the villagers we hope to reach. Thank you so much!