Giving thanks

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Summer greetings!

This will be a quick one,  it’s a busy time!

There is a lot going on here in Santa Cruz, but firstly a quick update on Don J. Thank you for responding and holding him in your prayers, his physical healing is extremely slow. Something tells me neither of his 2 surgeries was done properly because as I write, he is unable to walk and is confined to a wheelchair, which his family managed to get only this week. Prior he was confined to bed. His spirit, however, remains upbeat and joyful. He is an inspiration to many, especially his family and the small neighborhood community. We appreciate your continued prayers for him.

ded FallWe have just had a restful long Thanksgiving weekend as a family. The girls had most of the week off school, so we enjoyed some much-needed together time at home.  We joined in an expat Thanksgiving celebration with the people of South American Mission(SAM). There were about 40 people in total, it felt like home, minus the American football! It was great to share a meal, fellowship and thank the Lord for His goodness and provision.  We contributed homemade Yorkshire puddings,  yes there is a link, the Pilgrims who sailed to America on the Mayflower were English. Sadly,  it was a failed attempt at something different, the heat and humidity made for soggy bottoms, letting the UK side down, sorry!

Election excitement? Until now, I have not commented much on local politics,  best to be careful as a foreigner and stick to the facts- they speak for themselves!  This Sunday, the 3rd December is a judiciary election. Evo Morales, the current President, has nominated ALL of the judges standing for election to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, the highest court of jurisdiction in Bolivia, with 1 representative from each of Bolivia’s 9 departments. President Evo has, as of 28th Nov, just won a Court ruling to allow him to stand for a 4th term, despite a vote in the 2016 referendum against lifting presidential term limits. The Constitution was recently changed so he could run for a 3rd term. Is there a pattern developing here? His supporters say he lost the referendum because of an illegal defamatory case launched against him. So, when he runs for a 4th term in 2019 he will also have the highest court in Bolivia on his side. During elections in Bolivia, which always take place on Sundays, all shops are closed,  meetings/ gatherings are not allowed, no church to take place, no public transport apart from approved taxi companies going to and from the airport, no other cars allowed on the roads. All nationals are urged to vote and if you don’t, you will not be able to access your bank account for 3 months. I am sure there are other ways of ‘encouraging’ voting, but I have not heard of them yet…. For us, it will be a quiet Sunday. I wish the kids had bicycles as we could have the rule of the road and not feel like we are taking our lives into our own hands!

This time next week…Pastor Belisario (Bely) and Claire, leaders of the mission we help with in Satelite Norte will be in England! They will be visiting St Johns Hartley Wintney, our sending Church and, St Patrick’s in Wallington, the church Andrew grew up in and the church his mother Mavis has been worshipping and serving in for nearly 65 years. Bely and Claire are in England for Claire’s mums 90th birthday celebration, she lives in Guilford, small world. I know they will be warmly welcomed in both places. I am only slightly jealous that they will get to see our friends and family in person, have Sunday lunch with and prepared by my mother-in-law!

I must mention that Andrew’s networking skills are still being put to good use. He recently attended a mission fundraising dinner, where he met and chatted at length with the British Ambassador to Bolivia, James Thornton. Another small world note, Jess Bickerton used to work with him and was once his boss(he told Andrew this), Claire’s mum mentioned above, used to babysit him, and she and James’ mum are still friends.

Most of our news this time is being told in photos, which we hope you enjoy. Thank you as always for reading our posts, for praying for us and for the work of the Lord we are involved in. We give thanks for you!

Local time is 11.30pm. I am determined to publish this post before December, so I will check in with another post just before Christmas. Perhaps it will be a video blog Christmas address to rival HRH Queen Elizabeth?

With much love,

Lisa, Andrew, Liliana, Anayah, Jack Black, Fizz & Pop xx