A few months ago, I shared with you that I would be traveling soon but I couldn’t reveal where I was going. Now that I’m home, I can tell you that I went to Bolivia for almost a month. The reason it was so secretive was simply because I was the Christmas surprise at the House of Hope ministry gathering in Cochabamba. I wish I had taken a picture of the faces of Carmen, Richard, the girls, and all of the pastors and health workers for whom I surprised! It was well worth the effort to keep it a secret.
Bolivia was the first international location I’ve traveled to since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic…and it may be the last for several more months. It is simply not appropriate for me to add stress to already burdened health systems around the world by showing up and asking partners to step away from hospitals and clinics to host my visit. So, to be able to travel to Bolivia was both an exciting time and a bit stressful with all of the new protocols in place to keep everyone safe.
Although many of the plans for my time in Bolivia had to be adjusted, I was still able to spend several days in Cochabamba visiting ministry partners and spent time with Carmen and Richard. You may remember that Carmen and Richard were very ill a few months ago with COVID19. In fact, Carmen shared with me that she thought she was dying at one point. It is still quite traumatic for their family and I would ask for continued prayers as they navigate safety protocols and ministry outreach.
When I wasn’t in Cochabamba, I was staying with my colleagues JD and Rhonda Reed. It was a wonderful time of reconnection, rest, celebration, conversation, and seeing many parts of Santa Cruz that I had never had the opportunity to visit. I was reminded, once again, what fantastic and gifted colleagues I work with around the world!