Two summer interns joined Becky in Ixiamas, Bolivia. Although they did not post throughout their time, we asked them to share about their experiences. This is the second part in a multi-post series.

So prepare, because this might be long and it might be mushy. Sorry.

I’ll start with the Holy Spirit because truly He or It has been what I have thought to be the strangest or most unknown relationship. I now call Him (or It..hah) my wonderful friend. I read through some books and prayed, but where I understood the most of whom this Holy Spirit is was through the Bible, and well I guess, himself. The Bible says the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, for the Holy Spirit is with me constantly, convicting me when I mess up, telling me to seek forgiveness or encouraging me when I’m down. During the day I’m constantly talking to him, telling him how I feel or how thankful I am for his presence. He has become a great friend to me, a truly wonderful counselor, always pointing me into the right direction. I do love him.

After that my respect and appreciation for Christ increased. Well, everything about him increased. I read through Donald Miller’s Searching for God Knows What about three times. I’m reading it for the third time now. There are many chapters talking about Jesus in ways I haven’t thought about before, and it strongly encourages the reader, at least I think, to read through the gospels and take a good hard look at who the person Jesus was while he was here on Earth. Man, I did that, and I can’t say it enough of how much I am thankful for a Savior, a redeemer. He is my rescuer, my Lord, my best friend who I don’t deserve but nonetheless have. I owe him technically and just because my life. I realized Jesus did the most beautiful thing that could have ever been done. Without him my life would be headed nowhere. There would be no peace, no true life, no God, at least no God that I would have a relationship with. Yes, I do love him so very much. Thank you Jesus. Thank you.

And lastly my beautiful Father in Heaven. I grew with him through the Old Testament and prayer. I looked back at how he faithfully guided his people through Moses. I looked at how amazing Eden was, how things were intended. I imagined and thought about how hard it must have been seeing the life intended was now gone, and the price He knew would have to be paid if He wanted a relationship with us. And boy he does. God, He created the heavens, the earth, and every clear night when I could clearly see he created those wonderful stars. They don’t shine brighter anywhere else I have been. He made me and because of everything He has done, I know him. He has spoken life into me. His affirmation and He fulfills me. I have my identity and my purpose in Him.  I know who I am, and I know who He is, and we have a wonderful relationship that will never end, and that knowledge alone is enough to change anyone’s life. Forever. I love you Father, you are so wonderful.

So sorry for the mushiness, but we’re done with that part. So lastly the thing I got from this trip was a calling. When I was in Australia, I of course got my calling to South America, but the Lord also asked me to stay in Columbus for a few years to go to school, minister to my family, serve my church and help my community. Last year when I left Bolivia, the Lord highlighted my family. I would like to say that I was wholly dedicated to them since I left Bolivia and returned but that would be a lie. I did however love them, pray for them and allow God to work. And so many of my siblings now come to church with me. We, as a family, have had a long year, some unexpected bumps, but overall I think we have all grown a little closer to the Lord.  So this years calling is for my community. We will see where that ends up, but I know right now I have accepted a job to work in local high schools with sophomores, juniors and seniors in a wonderful amazing organization known as Teen Advisors…if you want to know more (teenadvisors.org) And I have said this once, and I’ll say it many more times I think that organization is one of the biggest community changers in Columbus, and we just don’t even know it. But the Lord is showing me more than just that. I can’t wait.

Well I know its long, I’m sorry and there is so much more, but I don’t want to make you cry if I were to write it all. So if you want to know more, gladly I will tell you. Just buy me dinner one night, and you will learn everything I can think of…haha. I pray you are all well, wherever you are. I love you. Thank you for your support and prayers, and may you continue to grow closer to our Savior, our Wonderful Friend and our Father in heaven. Amen.

Chas Jordan

Two summer interns joined Becky in Ixiamas, Bolivia. Although they did not post throughout their time, we asked them to share about their experiences. This is the first part in a multi-post series.

 

I was begged to write this. I’m not much of a blogger, so this was one of the last things I would have ever really done. But here it goes.

My name is Chas Jordan, and I’m a business major at Columbus State University. I’m 21 years old, and for the last four years, I have had a calling for South America and missions. In these last four years, I have been blessed to go to South America eight times. This summer, however, I wanted to stay here for a little longer than a week. So I applied for the internship in Ixiamas, Bolivia. Here is what it has been like.

  • 70 days in Bolivia.
  • 50 cold showers (I promise the kids must have poured ice cubes inside of my water when I wasn’t looking because I don’t understand how water can just be that cold.)
  • 95 plates with rice as the main course (probably a lot more)
  • 200 plus bug bites or some kind of chigger type bug…. I hated that.
  • 15 or more books some that have changed my life
  • 1 and a half chicken coop, 1 rope and washer pump, 3 painted rooms and 4 painted walls.
  • 2 trips to Rurre, where I really enjoyed some fried chicken and Juliano’s cooking…he might be the best cook I know other then my mom and grandparents
  • 50 hours plus or minus a few, inside that wonderful hammock, reading, praying, listening to the Lord…those were wonderful times
  • One group from my home Columbus, Georgia. That was too wonderful a time.
  • And then, of course, countless hours just hanging out with the Lord, that was the best, no doubt in my mind.

And so those are some numbers, but let me get to the real point of my trip. Yes, I did hang out with the kids at the Internado. Some very beautiful relationships were made. I did build a chicken house, ha, and I did live in a wonderful community with some great people, but what I will remember the most from this trip is what I think all people remember the most…not what they or I did, but what the trip did for us. Some of you may be my supporters both financially and through prayer and encouragement, and so I thank you for what you did, here is how your money and prayers paid off.

I did have some wonderful relationships made, but there were three that grew to places they had never been before…and just in those three relationships, life changes in remarkable ways. I’m talking about my relationship with Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Because I was separated from the busy-ness of life, the craziness of living in the States and the small distractions of school, family, friends and finances, it is sometimes hard to grow these relationships. But I had all of those distractions wiped away. I had hours and hours of reading, sitting quiet, listening and then after all those hours were gone, well I could just sit in that hammock and pray or give thanks for this wonderful life.

Come back to tomorrow to read Part Two of Chas’ summer.

Our current intern in Ixiamas, Bolivia, is 2008 Practicum graduate Becky Forrest. During Practicum, Becky shared her experience on our blog. Now that she is in an intern in Bolivia, she will post updates as our interns in 2008 did. Becky served on short-term mission trips in 2007 and 2008 in Ixiamas.

The last three weeks have been different because the kids of the Internado have been out of school for winter vacation. The vacation is supposed to be two weeks, but because of the swine flu outbreak in Bolivia, they decided to extend the vacation two more weeks. A week ago Bolivia had around 500 cases mostly in the Santa Cruz area. Unfortunately, we have a team arriving from Christ Community Church in Columbus, Ga., tomorrow. I am sure they will be disappointed not see all the kids here. However since the kids are not here, the team will be able to help us with painting the dorm rooms and lower level of the Internado, which we are unable to do with the everyone here. More about the team in my next post.

Midweek of the first week of vacation, Rachel, Mateo, Chas (our summer intern) and I departed for Rurre to get a flight to LaPaz. When we arrived, it was pouring rain. Rurre has a grass runway and no landing or takeoff when raining. Chas declined the bus trip and stayed a few days in Rurre. I had to go back to immigration to see if paper work was finished for my resident visa. Yeah, Praise God, it was ready and I have my passport with the resident stamp good until June 9, 2010. After six long weeks of work, I am legal until my departure in December. However, I still have to obtain my ID card. I was told to return in a week to have a photo made for my card. Guess what; when I returned I was told no photos could not be made because the printer was out of ink…so I will be returning to LaPaz with the team to hopefully have my photo made. I must tell that my return to Ixiamas was done in record time. I flew from LaPaz to Rurre and then took the minibus to Ixiamas in only 8 hours, the minibus being 4 of those, the flight from LaPaz in only 45 minutes.

In my last post, I told you a little about the brothers and sisters living here. Now I would like to tell you a little about the remaining girls. Pati (14) was here last year. Her mother runs a restaurant in town, but because of her busy schedule there, she is unable to keep up Pati’s school work.  Yoisy (14) and Rosa (12) are from the same community about one hour from here on the road to Rurre. We will be visiting their community next week with the team. Carmen (14) lives several hours away and about an hour in the jungle off the main road. Ericka (10) is our youngest girl and an orphan. Her uncle is raising her in the same community as Marivel and Miguel.Ericka is originally from LaPaz and has been a challenge to the dorm mom because she had not been taught a lot about the hygiene necessary living in a jungle area. Once, she had to be hospitalized for a few days because of an infection from scratching bug bites. She is learning the hard way, but she is doing better with her cleanliness.

Please keep our visiting team in your prayers for travel and health while here in Bolivia.

 

Hasta Luego,

Hermana Becky