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.
We are still having long lines to get gasoline, and we may soon be without since there is another blockade in Caranavi like the one at the end of April last year. When the gas trucks donâ€™t get through then we donâ€™t have power because our electricity comes from diesel generators. Right now, we are on a limited schedule. Just think if you had to do everything that uses electricity on certain hours. It makes it difficult. Of course, we are not as dependent on power like everyone is in the US. We are hoping the blockade doesnâ€™t last too long because much of our food and supplies come by bus and trucks from LaPaz.
September was very hot and dry with many wild fires in the countryside. One blazed through our farm (Two Trees) and destroyed the building and all of our cocoa trees. This is the 3rd time our trees have been destroyed by wild fires. It seems like every time the trees start to mature they are burned. Some of the young trees that were planted last November may survive, but we wonâ€™t know for a while. Join us in praying some may be revived when the rains start. They donâ€™t have any burning regulations here and with hot dry winds and temperatures over 100 degrees the fires spread rapidly. In September, everyone is burning their fields getting ready to plant rice in October and November. We have had a couple of rains that helped put the fires out. There is no way of controlling fires here. Once they get out of control, they just have to burn out. However, we now have some areas we havenâ€™t used for planting before cleared. With the help of some of our students and Delia (our groundskeeper at the Internado), Rachel has planted beans, peanuts and watermelon. Andres (our farm worker) has already planted our rice before the undergrowth came back up.
Rachel, Mateo and I joined the principal of the schools in the surrounding communities for a visit to two schools, so we could share with them about the Internado. The small schools in the communities only have classes through the 6th grade. If they continue their education, they need to attend middle and high school in Ixiamas. We really had a fun morning sharing the word of God with these children. We made gospel bracelets and sang some fun songs like Father Abraham. We have plans to visit more schools in the next month to spread the word about everything we offer families here at our boarding home. Pray for the doors to open for children that need our services in the upcoming school year.
Bolivar finished with three wells in Nuevo Esperanza before his visa expired, and he returned to Ecuador. We still have many people in outlying communities that need clean water. Please keep this in your prayers for a new project next year.
Please remember all the staff and children here in your prayers as we are beginning to make plans for the new year. The school year here is from February to the beginning of December, so our year is quickly coming to a close.
Grace, peace and love,