We’ve been back in Bolivia about six weeks now, and we’ve hit the ground running. Most people will know what that means, but I’ll give you some details. Unlike the first time arriving, our furnished apartment was waiting for us. Even our plants survived, thanks to our colleagues. People in our apartment, community, the market, the grocery store all knew we hadn’t been around for a while, but were happy to see us.
Pastoring of Pastors—up and running:
I (Bill) had been wondering what would have happened to the Pastoring of Pastors ministry in my absence, so I was pleasantly surprised when a pastor from a group that had only met a few times before we left greeted me with, “Welcome back. You’ll have to visit our group. We lost one pastor but three of us are meeting regularly.” To ensure things were on track everywhere, my second week was spent arranging for a meeting of the Pastoring of Pastors national leadership team—15 leaders from 5 cities. We shared stories from our groups, learned about making time for what’s important, and planned for upcoming events and initiatives. The biggest challenge for pastors continues to be “making the time” for another meeting but I won’t forget the testimonies of two leaders who gave all the credit to their support group of pastors for surviving and thriving after a sudden breakdown of his marriage and another the sudden death of a spouse. When push comes to shove those relationships are not just another meeting. Two new groups have begun since that meeting a month ago. We’re looking forward to promoting PoP at our annual denominational meetings, and of course another week of trainings and a national retreat with Dr. David Kornfield from April 14-18.
Empowering through music—up and running:
For Janice, a top priority was getting back to teaching keyboard to her students. Janice was recently asked to share about someone she had met in Bolivia who touched her heart and mind. Here is what she shared, “Some of my students have really touched my heart. The Foundation where I teach is in the red-light district of Cochabamba and therefore many of the children have moms who are in the prostitution business. One of my students (letʼs call her Alice) is the oldest of five. Her stepfather died last year of AIDS. Her mother is very sick with AIDS and canʼt work to support the family anymore. Alice has the responsibility of taking care of her siblings and that means sometimes having to search for food for the family as well. Yet she is very smart, winning the mathematics contest for the city of Cochabamba in her category. She is also good at reading music and sight-read through two pieces for me recently. She is not without her struggles, as all adolescents are. She has become a Christian and was recently voted-in unanimously to be the youth group president at her church. The leaders there have helped her to grow in her faith and relationship with God. Another studentʼs mom did not want her (letʼs call her Angelica) to take piano lessons because she thought it would take away from time spent on homework. But after a few weeks, it became apparent to me that Angelica was talented. The first time she sight-read a piece of music, I was so excited that I hugged her and had tears in my eyes. I said to her, “You have made me really happy. You have no idea how significant what you just did is.” She just looked at me and said, “Really?” From then on, she has been motivated to keep learning, and is the most advanced of my students to date.
Everything else—up and running:
In addition to the things closest to our heart Janice has also been playing on the worship team at our church, and at the request of the leadership is planning to do a missions fundraising concert, now that the grand piano at the seminary has been repaired. I, Bill, have been making plans to speak at seminary chapels this coming semester, was on the selection committee for the position of rector of the seminary, have been a guest lecturer at another evangelical seminary, teach in the local church’s institute, preached in our local church, and last week spent a lot of time with SENT (short-term mission) team from Whyteridge Baptist Church in Winnipeg. Terry and Pat Janke, former CBM Global Field staff to Bolivia, came with a team. They have been doing retreats and workshops with students and pastors, and also helping out at the Casa de la Amistad (prison children’s ministry) and the Chagas Prevention Project. Last week I also spent a day with one of my pastors whose church, with the help of other churches and OBADES (relief and development arm of the UBB), had been providing over a 1000 meals a day to victims of a massive mudslides in part of our city. So, a lot has happened in six weeks. That’s what we mean by “hitting the ground running.”
Praise and Prayer.
1) Pray for continued strength and energy as we settle into ministry here.
2) Pray for peace and stability leading up to elections on May 2nd and thereafter.
3) Praise God for all the opportunities that keep coming and pray for wisdom in knowing which are the best ones to focus on.
Bill and Janice Dyck
E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Cell/WhatsApp: +591 774 82980; Janice Cell: +591 774 83061
Casilla 86, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Donate Online: https://www.cbmin.org/bill-janice-dyck/
Blog site: https://billandjanice.wordpress.com/