“…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9

 

Today, I just want to share more in depth, how things have been going here in Villa Nueva, Bolivia.

I am not good with going super in depth with my daily blogs, mostly because I forget to write anything for a whole week, and just quickly write what I remember or the basics for each day.

The truth is, I love it here. I love teaching. The things these children say.. or how they say it.. the things they do… it just makes my heart fill with this unexplainable love and joy.

As most of you are probably aware, I have not been in school almost all of October. Due to having my appendix taken out, an infection and a few other health complications.

Through the hospital visits and being on bed-rest, I’d been feeling like I had no purpose anymore. I was in pain, I was bored. But in the pain, boredom and confusion as to why this had to happen right now, I had a lot of time to read my Bible and spend time just in HIS word.

I was feeling as I was in a pit, but in this time, I got a fresh insight and the chance to reconnect with God, and the person He created me to be.

I was missing my routine, my purpose, and most of all, my kids. My beautiful, loving, energetic, strong charactered children.

So, on October 30th, I decided to try to go back to school. I was greeted with many hugs and I missed you’s. Along with children following me every step I took. I missed it all so much. I only stayed for 4 out of 6 periods because my body was exhausted, but being back in their lives.. it’s the biggest blessing.

I am so thankful and grateful to GOD for blessing me with the wonderful opportunity to be able to come here, across the world to a small little community in Bolivia, to be a light for Him and to make an impact on these little people.

November 1st, we had our swim trip to the city. Man, was it amazing. I was a little scared to go, just because I wasn’t sure how my energy would do. But we left the school at around 8am, and got to the pool around 10. Right away everyone changed and dived into the pool! I have a few children who, for some reason, I am sort of like a security blanket for them. They follow me around like little puppies and want to be my my side every move I make. It’s so sweet. I was sitting by the edge of the pool, feet in the water, and these 4 little ones follow me and sit beside me. One of the boys goes to where some moms are selling food, buys a bag of chips, comes back squishes in between the girl who was now attached to my side, ands tells me I should eat some too, because “du bast in ziya faena manch no alla.” Seriously guys ❤ ❤ The whole day is busy and fun! I often had to watch the same few students do their tricks in the pool, which just reminded me of my younger siblings when we went to the pool, the “mom! KYICK!” kind of thing which is the best. I really do love these children. From the kindergarten students, to the grade twelves. I see so much of myself in so many of them. Anyway, I sat in the sun until about 1, then I relaxed in the shade. We left around 4:45. The bus ride home was so good. I was (internally) getting a little frustrated with some students because they had so much energy and I had none to try to deal with them. But before I knew it, God gave me the love and strength again. A few of the boys were stalking me on instagram, which for some reason made me happy, I guess because I want them to see me as a real person loving them, not just as a teacher figure.. if that makes sense… for the last 1/2 hour of the trip, the boy in front of me, with whom I’d had a difficulty connecting with lately, wanted to know what I was listening to, (i had an earphone in) so I gave him the other and he was just loving it. He started drumming along and just really seemed to actually like my music which to me was awesome, since I don’t really know where he is at in his spiritual walk with the Lord.

The past few days, I have had a hard time with wrapping my head around leaving. Leaving these people. The people who I am not ready to leave. This lifestyle. This country. This community. I just have such a big love for it all.

I have recently fully adjusted to life here, and really truly loving it. I am finding myself getting sad when I think that I only have one more full month here. Only a few more weeks of school. Seeing these people 5 days a week.. being able to truly impact these young people. To show them my heart.

So, my goal is, for the next month, to be as open and as vulnerable as God allows, to have a positive memory and impact on these beautiful people.

God has given me such a desire, passion and love for the mennonite people. I have been, and still am in the same shoes many of they are. I long to tell them of freedom, of love, the beautiful true love of Jesus.

I pray He has used me for His glory and will continue to do so.

 

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

 

all my love,

joanna ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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