Journals
Posted on June 25, 2021 On the road to Emmaus
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ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

Luke 24:15 (MSG)

Just like in the story in Luke 24, God meets us where we are, walks with us, and accompanies us on the journey. These times have been challenging, but God is at work and has given me many opportunities to accompany my Bolivian ministry partners in this time of illness with COVID-19 and walk with those who are grieving family members who have died due to the virus.

My faith has grown immensely over the last couple weeks because we witnessed a miracle! My Bolivian ministry partners, directors of House of Hope, Carmen and Richard contracted COVID-19 and pneumonia. They were severely ill and needed to be in the ICU. They were in need of oxygen, but with no oxygen and lack of ICU beds in Cochabamba due to hospitals being at capacity during this third wave of cases. All we could do was pray for a miracle and for oxygen. We mobilized our Bolivian medical doctors to search for oxygen concentrators. Thanks be to God we were able to find two concentrators for Carmen and Richard. The oxygen and prayers have help them greatly! Also, we have been able to find the medicines they need to recover at home. They are still needing oxygen but they are getting better day by day. Their road to recovery is still long, but we know that God is with them every step of the way.

God is a relational God who calls us to be in community with him and others. In the gospel story of Luke,  Jesus walks with his disciples even though they didn’t recognize him. I wonder if Jesus did that so he could share in the sorrow and walk with them as they grieved? During this time of crisis, God has given opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus to share with others in their grief, to walk alongside daily via WhatsApp audio messages and text messages. I have been able to offer pastoral care, prayer, and encouragement for pastors and leaders in Cochabamba and in Santa Cruz.

 

House of Hope Directors, Carmen and Richard


PRAYER REQUESTS AND PRAISES

  • Prayers for Bolivia as a whole as they are in their third wave of COVID-19 cases.

  • For Carmen and Richard to have a full recovery.

  • For Carmen and Richard’s daughters’ health, stamina, and that they will feel God’s presence with them.

  • That the other leaders and pastors (about 20) connected to House of Hope who are sick with the virus will be miraculously healed and receive the medical care they need.

  • For Carmen and Richard’s friend Maria who lost her husband recently to Covid. She is also sick and needs our prayers.

  • Praise be to God for the generous donors to the Bolivia Emergency Relief to help cover the costs of medicines and oxygen concentrators. We have been able to respond to the abundant needs because of people’s generosities.

  • Praises for our volunteer doctors Dr. Danitza and Dr. Maria, Carmen and Richard’s daughter (a med school student) Liezbeth, and many others who are on the ground delivering medicines and caring for our leaders with COVID-19.


FAMILY LIFE

Luis and I have been enjoying our first year of marriage. We thank God for this extra time of working remotely to be able to build a great foundation in our marriage before we return to Bolivia. We are both furthering our education to prepare us for ministry. Luis is about finished with his BA degree in Business and Organizational leadership.

I have been enjoying my theological studies through Palmer Theological Seminary online. I began my studies in January 2021 and about to finish my first seven week session of Summer 1 courses. I have already been able to apply some of the things I have learned to my ministry context!

I am excited that God has called my husband, Luis, to global service. He has applied to International Ministries. Please join us in prayer for his upcoming interview. I look forward to the possibility that he will be endorsed.

Thank you for your partnership in prayer, giving, and walking with me in this journey.

Blessings,

Sarah Matos