Dear faithful partners in ministry,
I hope this letter finds you well and healthy. I would like to express my deep gratitude to each of you. In these difficult times that we are living in due to COVID-19, I am thankful for your faithful support to International Ministries so that I can continue my ministry in Bolivia. As we walk this uncharted path together, I am appreciative of your prayers and support as I serve in Bolivia while working remotely from WA (since May 2020 due to COVID).
Honestly this has been a very difficult 16 months of ministry. There have been many ups and downs and curve balls thrown at me along the way. Since you have journeyed with me you have read about them. You have rejoiced with me and prayed for me. Your prayers and encouraging words have sustained me through it all. Now we are all facing the affects of COVID-19 and how it has disrupted our lives, plans, school, and work. We may not understand what the future holds and plans are seemingly impossible to make. There are days that I feel hopeless and discouraged. Thankfully even in the midst of uncertainty I can hold onto to the hope that God remains the same and my call to serve God remains the same. Even if it looks a lot different than I imagined. It calls me to look deeper into my call and what God wants me to do for the Kingdom here and now. Although I still have a lot of questions of what, how, and when? I continue to be faithful and obedient.
Even though I physically cannot be in Bolivia, I am still in contact with my ministry partners on a daily basis. Relationships with my ministry partners are still growing. They just look different. They look like audio messages being passed back and forth over Whatsapp, text messages of prayer concerns and encouragement, video calls where we can cry and laugh together, and meetings over Zoom where we can talk theology and study the Bible together.
SPRING/SUMMER MINISTRY HIGHLIGHTS:
As a Foundation, House of Hope was given opportunities to serve Bolivian pastors, doctors, and dentists with monetary gifts to help them buy food, help them with COVID-19 related medical bills, and help with funeral costs for family members who died from the virus. Thanks to a grant from One Great Hour of Sharing (an ABCUSA offering) and from all of my donors, your giving allowed us to help fill this need.
This time of quarantine and being temporary relocation to WA has given me opportunity to focus on writing lessons for the Girls Club Curriculum (Talita Cumi) and collaborating with my colleague, Barb Bolick, on a weekly basis. Our goal is to finish the project so we can train women to lead the clubs by 2021. As you can imagine these plans are now fluid because of everything that is going on in our world, but we trust that it will be in God’s timing. This project will be ready when God gives us the opportunity.
Luis Matos and I were married on July 18, 2020! Instead of postponing our wedding we had scheduled for August, we moved up the wedding since I came home early due to COVID-19 and we didn’t know when the Bolivian borders would open again. We had a “Drive-in Wedding” in our church parking lot where all of our immediate family members, local extended family, and our wedding party were able to attend safely in their vehicles. We were happy that even in these difficult circumstances we were able to celebrate our love and get married in front our family and friends. We also had a virtual LIVE stream for our extended family and friends.
I wanted to share with you answers to some frequently asked questions:
When are we going back to Bolivia?
The short answer is: when it is safe to travel internationally again and the Bolivian borders are open. The border closure keeps extending month by month. The borders have been closed since the beginning of March. We keep waiting and are getting settled in our temporary home in Olympia, WA and are enjoying being close to our families.
What are you doing while you’re in Washington?
As I mentioned in the beginning of this update, I continue to work remotely over Zoom and WhatsApp. Luis has started learning Spanish on Zoom while we are in this waiting phase and will continue his language learning when we get to Santa Cruz. Luis is working full-time and finishing his BA degree in Business and Organizational Leadership online.
Will Luis be joining International Ministries when you go to Bolivia?
No, he will not be International Ministries employee yet! But, he is in the application process with IM. Our plan is that he will be Endorsed at the time of my U.S. home assignment and we will start raising support as a Global Servant couple.
What’s your last name?
Nash. I cannot change my last name to my married name legally because of my Bolivian visa and paperwork. Eventually when I have to renew my visa/residency card I will change my name. I go by Sarah Matos socially, but all support to IM remains the same under Sarah Nash.
Many hands around the United States helped make masks so that we could receive a $10,000 grant from Wheaton College. Thank you for all the hard work, time, and materials you put into making masks. Because of many churches, groups, and individuals we surpassed our goal! 10,000 masks went to Wheaton College last month in exchange for the grant funds. The extra masks we collected have been sold and 100% of the proceeds went to the Foundation House of Hope (Fundación Proyecto de Esperanza).
This was a huge answer to prayer since our financial giving to the Foundation had gone down due to cancelled mission trips in 2019 and 2020 along with a decrease in monthly support. We now have the funds to get us out of debt and continue ministry through the Foundation in Bolivia. Thank you, thank you for all who helped us reach our goal of 10,000 masks in under 2 months!
10,000 masks boxed up and sent to Wheaton College
Please know that I have been praying for all of you during these uncertain times! Thank you for your prayers and support.