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 fourth (and final!) part in a multi-post series.
My first weekend was a little long to be honest. We worked on the chicken coop, went to the internet and hung out with the kids. It wasnâ€™t bad, but just not the busy life that I usually have back home. Sunday we got up early and went to church. It was good, but really long. When you donâ€™t know the language that well, sitting through four hours of songs and messages can be kind of hard. We also took a lot of pictures during our spare time. I love photography, so to be able to take pictures of the beautiful people and awesome sunsets was great.
One thing that God has taught me from being down here for a couple of weeks is to just wait on him. Itâ€™s so easy to get caught up in everything and lose focus, even in a situation that involves mission work. Just sitting in the hammock and listening to creation is an amazing thing. I love that there is so much time to spend with the Lord and really seek him. Another thing that really has stuck with me throughout the whole trip is something Pastor Keith talked about in one of the devotionals. Basically, he said we donâ€™t need to see people of a different culture as scenery or machinery, but to see them as people who Christ loves. I guess thatâ€™s been a big thing for me. Just loving these people and realizing that they are just as valuable to Christ as we are to him.
This past week Rachel, Mateo, and Miss Becky came back. I was pretty happy to see them. Also, the kids went back to school, which meant all of them would be back at the Internado. Speaking of the kids, they are all amazing. Iâ€™ve enjoyed being around them so much. Especially the girls, they have helped me in a lot of ways. Rosa, Nancy and Patty all helped me with washing my clothes in the river. What a learning experience. They are so committed to each article of clothing. They wonâ€™t wash one shirt really good and then half way do another. They do every single piece with power and efficiency. I wish I could say I washed ALL my clothes, but when it came to my jeans, I gave in and asked for help. After we got done washing, they talked me into going for a swim in the â€œfrioâ€ water. I thought the shower was cold, that river was freezing. Oh, and side note. When braving the cold waters of the shower, you must slowly submerge yourself. Getting in quick is just simply not an option. Okay, back to the river story. So I decided to be all cool and jump from the tree. Well there is a tree right beside the one you jump off of that has huge thorns all over it. I took the first step to the top and my foot slipped and it went right into the thorns. My foot was sliced up and bloody that day. The girls didnâ€™t freak out or anything, so I figured it would be fine. The boys are fun too. We got in the yard one day and did flips and cartwheels, of course they showed me up. Each kid is different and unique; I know God has big plans in store for them.
Towards the beginning of this week, I started working with the girls on a dance. I had no idea they would be performing in church. We just kind of had fun with it and had some good worship time in the process; until the girls found out they would be doing it at the Saturday night service. We found out Saturday morning so we began practicing over and over again. The words â€œOtra vezâ€ have been imbedded into my brain, which means â€œagainâ€ in English. They danced that night, and it was great. It made me remember how much I enjoy working with young girls through dance.
I feel like Iâ€™ve grown as a person and grown up a little bit. Itâ€™s only been three weeks, but God can do a lot when youâ€™re just open and willing to do whatever he wants. I have to say, Iâ€™ve enjoyed being off on my own. Itâ€™s not the easiest thing, but a lot can change in a short period of time when comfort is at a minimum. I mean, if you can get past the cold showers and eating rice three times a day, youâ€™re good to go. I would definitely encourage anybody who reads this to just get out the box. Do something different. Ask God to lead you in a new direction and just follow. Follow the one who loves you unconditionally and wants the best for your life. Iâ€™m the worst at being on fire one minute and then being below lukewarm the next. However, God is a constant God and that is what Iâ€™ve held on to this whole trip.
Ixiamas, Bolivia is an awesome place. God is doing so much down here and to be a part of it for a short time has been a great experience. My summerâ€™s almost over. Iâ€™m about to move, and Iâ€™m stepping into the next chapter of my life. Being here in Bolivia has probably been the most perfect, God-orchestrated thing for me just in the sense that itâ€™s hopefully prepared me for whatâ€™s coming in my life. I pray I get to come down here again and be here a little longer, because it has been an amazing ride. I leave for La Paz in a couple of days; Iâ€™m pretty stoked about having a hot shower and eating some good food. I would like to thank the people who have been praying and supporting me throughout this trip, words canâ€™t express how much you all mean to me. So, thank you so much and may the Lord bless you all.