It is always good to return to the place that you love.
October 12th, I arrive to Cochabamba Bolivia after a few months of been in USA getting my cancer treatments. The experience is that of feeling good at home. Without a doubt the passion for my ministry is here and does not go away. Let me tell you about this wonderful time in Bolivia.
The trip started with my check up visit to Houston, Texas for more exams and possible treatments. Mario and I made reservations for me to fly to Miami and then to leave on Saturday the 10 to Bolivia. The visit at MD Anderson started with a long day of so many tests and initial conversations with my doctors and with a phone call from the Bolivian Airline changing my departure date to Sunday the 11. We were not sure what the next step was actually going to be but we live day by day by faith.
After a doctor’s team meeting on the 8th, the next day, they came to me and told me that I needed to start this aggressive Chemotherapy treatment very soon in order to control my tumors as they seem to be growing. I got scare and sad since the medication is very strong and probably they won’t let me travel, but God is good, because the medication that I am supposed to take was not ready for me. My oncologist doctor said that it will be ready in 10 days. I smile as I was processing the news for this was exactly the days that I had planned to spend in Bolivia during this trip. I asked the doctor if it was ok to travel and his answer was only for the ten days that you will wait for the medication after that you need to come back and start right away.
I was so thankful and happy for the opportunity that God was giving me one more time to go back to what I feel so passionate about, the ministries of the House of Hope in Cochabamba. Right after I finish with all my appointments Mario and I rushed to Huston Airport, so I could fly to Miami and rest that night in my mother-in law house. As I was waiting to board Mario called me and informed me that since the Bolivian airline cancel the Saturday flight, me and the West Virginia team going to Bolivia were going to have to create a plan B as we were going to spend Sunday in Miami. With plan B, we were able to get together for lunch on Sunday and then get ready to leave that night.
“Welcome to Bolivia” the beauty of chaos made me feel back home: None of our luggage made it with us, we were late getting visas and missed our connection to Cochabamba, the traffic was so chaotic and yet the beauty of it is that there are no accidents, of course no one is on time nor in the bank nor in the church. But most importantly, how good it feels to be home at the House of Hope where a spirit of enthusiasm can be felt among the leaders ministering in the different projects. All of the ministries we started are now lead by national Bolivian leaders and of course new ministries are developing thru our discipleship ministry based at First Baptist Church in Cochabamba.
“Children with a future” is a new project that offers school support, medical, nutritional and spiritual support to children whose mothers are in prostitution. This program in directed by Gorety a Bolivian chemical engineer who emigrated to Germany and while she was finishing a masters degree felt the call from the Lord to serve these kids giving up on a promising career. Gorety and her team serve these kids and teach them a better way to live. The program can only run for three days a week. It is run at her own house and despite the challenges and some opposition from her family this ministry is making a difference of hope in the life of these kids in need. One of the biggest challenges for Gorety is to find financial support to feed these kids and that is why she became part of the House of Hope discipleship team. At this point they are feeding these kids with soy food products and in the near future we are planning to help in the construction of a better place where to take these kids to give them the dignity that the unconditional love of Christ gives us humans no matter where we come from.
It is wonderful to see the impact of the Hose of Hope ministry also at “Villa Porvenir” we continue to provide medical services, dental services, baby baths, vacation bible schools, soy milk and little by little we are entering in the lives of parents to provide parent’s education. We hope to open a workshop center for these kids so they can be able to learn different basic skills and become productive citizens. While my visit we celebrated a block party Sunday morning with medical services, dental services, pharmacy service, baby baths, we serve soy milk and soy-burgers, gave early Christmas gifts and must importantly the spiritual gift of salvation.
Perhaps there is not enough space in this letter to tell you about the other House of Hope ministries; I leave them for our next letters and updates. However, I wanted to share with you my missionary passion which can be encapsulated in the experience I had in this trip at Gorety’s ministry and also at Villa Porvenir where we had around 160 kids of all ages, 23 accepted the Lord as their savior and to me this was the most rewarding event during this trip to Bolivia. Now, I have to go back to Arizona and start that treatment the doctors recommended to treat my Cancer, please pray that this medical intervention in my body will stop the growth and spread of the tumors and that soon I could come back home to the House of Hope.
In His service,
PS – I want to thank my sons and husband for their support as well as to each one of you who are reading this letter without your generous support we could not be doing our ministry. Thanks to the Elizabeth Church VW team for doing ministry hands on with me.