Friday, August 22, 2014

9 favorites about Bolivia!

1.  Coffee/tea time.  Especially when I'm with the Vargas or Spies families!  We sit around and sip our hot beverages and talk about all sorts of interesting things.
2. Lots of walking.  We take lots of public transportation and it's a great way to figure out the city, observe the people I live around, and not worry about the traffic.
3. Licuados.  This is like a light milkshake.  Fresh fruit, a little bit of sugar and either water or milk (that's milk in the bag). My favorite is strawberry or banana.  Try it sometime!

4. Tiendas.  No matter where you are there is a tiny corner store less than 5 minute walk away.  They have all the necessities (toilet paper, bread, milk, butter, and tons of other things).  And the prices are similar to the bigger stores!
5. Fresh fruit and vegetables.  There are amazing produce stands and for pretty inexpensive.  The flavor is so much better and fresher!
6. My garden!  Talk about seeing the fruit (Or vegetables in this case) of your labor!  So many good analogies too--The importance of weeding, watering, cultivating, etc.  Someday it will be grown enough to be impressive enough for a photo-I hope!
7. Learning Quechua!  Miss Ely is teaching me and we started this morning. This will be challenging, but right now it's fun!
8.  Playing sports.  Fortunately so far, I've been living in environments where there were enough people for teams.  I hope my skills are improving, but either way it's a fun time and a good way to get to know people a little better.
9. Speaking Spanish.  I quickly realized how much more I have to learn, although I think I will always feel a little bit like that...for now I want to brush up.  The goal is to not immediately be identified as a foreigner.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Random thoughts from a sleepless night

  1. Trust God no matter what.  Because after all, His goodness isn’t dependent on our circumstances.  I’ve been reminded over and over for the past few weeks that God calls us down paths we never would have chosen for ourselves.  No one would choose death, injury, sickness, conflict, loneliness, war, abuse, disaster, etc. But that’s part of living in a fallen world, and the presence of God doesn’t mean the absence of these things.  The presence of God means we don’t walk these roads alone.  He’s the one we cling to, because He’s the one who cares about our hurts, He wants us to come to Him, trust Him and find our strength in the One who gives us breath every morning. 
  2. If He cares about the lesser, of course He cares about the greater.  I was provided some things from my hopeful list--you know not necessities, just desires.  A lamp, a rug, a mirror, etc.  Through some thoughtful friends I was loaned some things--the things from my list-they had no idea what I was praying for. My friend was provided a job, in a really cool way.  It was a cool reminder that God’s got this.  My life looks really different than I thought it would, but I can be confident that He knows what’s best and will get me right where He wants me.
  3. Give thanks. Always. I’ve been reading in Psalms and David is always giving thanks and telling the people to give thanks.  He can be in the middle of a war, betrayal by a friend, mourning the death of a loved one and He still gives thanks. And I should to.  I have plenty to be thankful for. 
  4. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.  Everything.  Sometimes I have to remind myself of the big picture, and remember that anything I “suffer” here, is a small thing compared to the glory of seeing my Savior face to face. “If Christ be God and died for me then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” -C.T. Studd.  These are my adorable grandparents.  They've been through some really crazy stuff too, this is where I found them one day this summer.  Singing from the hymnal, "It will be worth it all when we see JesusO".  Timely reminder from some who have experienced-and are experiencing-some significant changes that have caused them to lean hard on God.  

    Ok, I think that's it for me...I'm off to sleep. Buenas noches.