Hello and Greetings from Bolivia!
Happy New Year! May God bless you and you’re family in a wonderful way throughout this entire year. We want to wish God’s utmost grace, love and favor for you in this New Year. Norah and I and the kids are just great. Everything has been going so well here, despite all of the political problems, so let me tell you all about it.
The church continues to grow rapidly. On December 31st we had a big celebration in the church rejoicing for all that had been accomplished in 2006. Our goal for the end of the year was to have 150 cell groups. We ended up reaching 172 cell groups, 650 – 700 people assist those groups. We were happy!!! Although we have grown quite a bit over the past four years, we had never completely reached a year-end goal. This year we reached our goal and surpassed it. Now we must work hard to raise up more groups, reaching ever more people. That evening (the 31st), Pastor Mike Lantz, (who is the vice-president of The Hand of Hur, and was in Sucre with the team that comes every year to work with the Orphanage) came to preach in the church. He challenged the church for 2007. He said jokingly that he wouldn’t return to the church unless we had 250 cell groups by the end of the year. He later commented to me how surprised he was when no one even batted an eye when he said that. Until now we haven’t set a year-end goal for 2007. We need to sit down with each leader and find out what we can do – with God’s blessing. We do believe that we can at least double our cell groups by the end of the year. J In 2006, we also had 14 Encounter retreats for new believers, taking over 410 people to those retreats. One other big accomplishment was a large worship concert on December 2nd. Our church rented a coliseum and widely advertised the event. Approximately 1,200 to 1,500 people attended. That evening 51 people received the Lord (at least that is the number that we were able to get all of their contact information from). We plan to do several of those activities each year.
Next week we have a large activity planned in the main Park here in Sucre. We are inviting the entire city of Sucre, other churches and also the government of the City, State, and those who are writing the new constitution, to a prayer concert for Bolivia. In that meeting Norah and I will be giving a message on what God wants for Bolivia, and we will also be praying as a city for Bolivia – for all that is occurring here and for what will be happening during the next months during the writing of the new constitution. We will not be expressing our opinions or taking a political stance, but we will be talking about what God wants for Bolivia; unity, love, and faith in him. Please pray for us during that activity (It will be Thursday the 25th at 7:00 PM Bolivia Time (6:00 PM EST)). It’s important that we as a church take God’s word to our people.
Our family is blessed. Erynn is in first grade, and doing great. She got straight A’s in her last report card. Jordan is fine too. He turned 3 yesterday. He’s still as fun as always, and he is finally starting to talk a little bit more. I’m not too worried about him, because he seems very bright, and he understands two languages perfectly, so I think he’ll be fine. We just got back from a 7-day vacation to La Paz. We went to visit Norah’s parents. I played golf 2 days there (One of the nicest courses in South America is in La Paz), and we also went trout fishing up in the mountains two days with the family. That was fun – and cold! We went to some lakes that are close to 15,000 ft above sea level, and it was raining. We caught some nice rainbow trout, however, and just enjoyed having a week away from everything. We got back Sunday, and are now ready for more.
We plan to travel back to the states for at least a few weeks this year. We’re not sure of the exact date, but we will be letting you know as soon as we know. Keep us in your prayers always. We love you, and may God bless you richly. Jason, Norah, Erynn & Jordan