The Hand of Hur, Inc.

Loving the World and Connecting it to God's Infinite Grace & Power

Finally, a Place & a Call For Help

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— Printable Version: letter.usa.june.29.2009.finally.2

Greetings from Santa Cruz, Bolivia! We pray that God blesses your life and family in an amazing way during this time. I can say that God has been so good to us!

We finally moved to Santa Cruz on June 11th. Moving from one city to another is not my idea of fun. It’s a lot of work and stress. We are now probably 80% unpacked and can live normal lives again. We’ve had quite a few people over to the house in the past week for a meal, and that’s been nice. Our house is very nice, although the yard is currently unusable. The last people who lived there had a large dog that dug up the yard, so they pulled out all of the grass and replanted before they left. It will be very nice about 2 months from now, but right now the kids haven’t been able to take advantage of a yard… something we haven’t had for years in Sucre. Rent is twice as expensive as in Sucre. We are paying $500 dollars a month for the place. The location is very good for us, which is very important. Santa Cruz is a city of 1.5 million people and is quite large. We are happy to be living only 5 minutes from the kid’s school and about 10 minutes (in our car) from the place we’ve chosen for the church. We feel that God has blessed us tremendously with this place!

The kids have taken the whole move great. They love it. In Santa Cruz there is a much larger English speaking community. In Sucre we had more or less 12 English speaking friends. In Santa Cruz there are probably several hundred. There’s even an English speaking church. Erynn and Jordan went to their Bible School last week. They absolutely loved it.

Jordan’s language skills have just blossomed lately. He still suffers a lot in pronunciation, but I think that he will be OK going into Pre-K this year at the English school. We have decided to start him in school a year later than normal, and feel that he will be better that way. He is now five… entering Pre-K this year and next year he’ll start Kindergarten. Derrick is just jabbering away all day. We bought a bunk bed for the boys now that we’ve moved. Jordan’s excited about sleeping on the top bunk, and Derrick likes not being stuck in the crib anymore! 8-) We live next to several soccer fields. I (Jason) have been jogging pretty well every day, and Erynn has been accompanying me on most of those runs. It’s nice to get out and move around a lot more (In Sucre, I always felt closed in). I’ve been feeling so much better. Since our trip to the states in December/January, I’ve lost 46 lbs. It’s amazing what that can do for your health.

Norah and I continue to pastor both churches in Sucre and Santa Cruz. The leadership team is mostly in charge of daily activities in Sucre. We fly to Sucre every other week to minister to the congregation on Sundays and to our leadership team on Mondays.

The contract for the place that we’ve been using for services over the past 4 years in Sucre has ended. The owner has asked us to start looking for another place, which is tough because there are VERY FEW places that are the size we need. We’ve been looking for months, but haven’t found anything suitable yet.

The church is Sucre is doing very well. Our leadership team seems to be growing without us being there. The fact that we are not there most of the time, but we continue to supervise and guide works very well. They are maturing quickly, without losing focus. We’re 100% sure that we’ve done the right thing in moving to Santa Cruz.

Over the past few months we have become increasingly frustrated with the work in Santa Cruz. We’ve been traveling there since February, and have opened several small groups. We had the large evangelistic campaign in April where around 55 people received the Lord. Those two things have gone very well. Our main frustration has been that we haven’t been able to really START as a church. We’ve been looking for a place desperately since April but hadn’t found anything. Any place that was suitable cost $1,500 dollars a month rent or more. A new church in Bolivia just can’t do that. Additionally, we need to buy chairs, a sound system, projector, and other things. It looked impossible. We had hoped that maybe something would happen so that we could do it, but no miracles occurred.

Several weeks ago Norah and I decided, after talking to our mentor in Argentina, that the best thing to do would be for me to travel home to the states for 4 or 5 weeks and to try to raise the money. I didn’t feel good about it, but it seemed like the only possible solution. We would raise the money needed to start and to rent a worthwhile place, planning to cover 5 or 6 months rent. During that time we would work hard with the church, trying to grow enough for it to be able to pay the rent on its own.

We had pretty well given up on finding a place before the trip, but two days before I planned to buy my ticket, we got a call from a couple in the church. They had just seen a place and wanted us to go see it. We did, and after a little brainstorming session we realized that the place would be perfect. :!: The rent was $600 a month, but this couple really wanted to rent the back part for themselves. It’s quite a large place, with several large rooms in the front, a 3000 sq/ft middle part, and a small apartment in the back. It was decided that we would pay $400 and they would pay $200 a month.

The middle part is the perfect size for the church. We need to put in a portable roof over the center part, take out the plants, and place flooring in the center. We have permission from the owner to do that. ;-) $400 a month in a strategic place is so much cheaper than anything else we’ve seen, and is probably reachable for the church from the beginning! Glory to God!

Ok, here’s the deal. We need some help. We finally have a place, but we have a lot of work to do before we can begin and we don’t have the money to do it. We know that God will provide, but we need to let the need be known. We MUST put in a roof that we can take out when we leave. It will need to be a metal structure with some type of outdoor material as a roof. That will cost about $8,500. We need to take out the garden in the middle and put down a simple floor. We estimate that will cost about $1,500. We have reduced our start-up costs by bringing 200 chairs and 2 large speakers from Sucre. We also decided not to buy instruments in the beginning. We will use backing tracks instead. We still need to buy a projector, a computer, decorations, and a stage. We also need about $2000 to print evangelistic material and advertisement for the long evangelistic campaign that we HOPE to begin on July 24th.

We have been somewhat frustrated over the past few months, but we believe that God knows EXACTLY what He is doing. We have received so many promises from Him for the work that has started here. We will work hard and believe in Him until the end. God is good, and we know that He will abundantly provide!

If you can give, remember that all gifts are tax deductible. You can give online on our website or you can send a check to: The Hand of Hur, Inc., 293 Bray Hill Lane, Oakland, MD 21550.

We thank you so much. May God bless your life immensely, in all you do! Please continue to pray for us daily. We need it so much.

Love,

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