My vision trip matched up with IM Director of Missionary Kid Care, Kristy Fujiura’s visit with the Reed family. It was both our first visit to Santa Cruz, so J.D. and Rhonda showed us around. We visited their kids’ school, the downtown plaza, and just enjoyed spending time with one another.
We went to Cochabamba for a day to help with Sonrisas de Esperanza (Smiles of Hope) Dental Clinic and for Kristy to meet the House of Hope directors, Carmen and Richard. However, due to the heavy rains we had to cancel the clinic. It’s all part of being a missionary, you must be flexible! The rain gave us opportunity to have wonderful conversations with Carmen, Richard, and their girls. It didn’t take long until I felt welcomed back and I felt at home. Carmen and Richard were sharing stories of when I was there with the Ignite team in 2014. And of course, when trying to figure out where to go for dinner the story of me eating guinea pig was quickly retold. Guinea pig is a delicacy in Bolivia, but since I had a guinea pig as a childhood pet it made it difficult for me to try in 2014, but like any good missionary, you eat what is placed in front of you.
It was a short visit with House of Hope ministry partners in Cochabamba, but it was great to know that I will be back soon. We shared many laughs around the table that my stomach hurt from all the laughter. I was inspired by Carmen’s stories of how the ministries of the House of Hope are all growing rapidly. In these ministries the children receive tutoring, meals, and medical and dental check-ups regularly. Children are learning how much Jesus loves them and how he cares for their basic needs.