Our current intern in Ixiamas, Bolivia, is 2008 Practicum graduate Becky Forrest. Becky served on short-term mission trips in 2007 and 2008 in Ixiamas. She is now in her second year as an intern.

Rachel, Mateo and Becky at churchMuch has happened since my last post. First of all, I am now home, and I will not be returning to work at the internado next year. Leaving was very hard and emotional since the staff and kids had become my family. However I feel God is leading me somewhere else yet to be revealed. The last two years have been a remarkable experience for me. I went to Ixiamas thinking I was going to help the children of the Internado, but as with most missions experiences, I have received so much more than I gave. There is no better way to increase your faith than to step out of the box — living in Ixiamas for two years was a giant leap for me. I just can’t thank God enough for giving me the courage even though there have been moments when I cried, “Lord what am I doing here?”. Now, I will try to highlight some of the events since my last post.

It seems there was always some kind of shortage in Ixiamas. In November, we dealt with shortages of propane gas, which we use for the small stove that we cook biscuits, corn bread and the few things that we don’t cook in large volume on the wood burning stove and oven.

internado students' fishing tripDecember 1 was the start of summer vacation in Bolivia with the exception of those required to attend summer school. Before the end of school, we took everyone on an overnight trip to the Troyer family’s home and  to fish at one of the rivers. On the way to the river, we stopped by Luis’s house for his dad’s cast net. The students caught some minnows. When we returned to the Troyer’s, they cooked them, but left them unattended long enough for the family dog to have dinner. The Troyer’s are an American family from Tennessee and a part of the Mennonite community. The kids all camped out in the yard, but thank goodness they had an extra bed in the house for me. The Troyer’s provided us with wonderful food and on Sunday a church service in English and Spanish. That was really a blessing to me since my language skills are a long way from fluent. It was truly a fun excursion.

enjoying a friendly soccer game with the Troyer familyWith the end of school all the students had projects to finish. During the last few weeks of school, they have presentations to exhibit products of their various subjects. The students really put on quite the display and production of activities. I finished up classes with my three adult English students and two of the internado students received certificates for completing the class.

Please keep Rachel and Mateo in your prayers as they make decisions for the upcoming year.

Grace, love and peace,