Posted by: powellsinsantacruz | March 21, 2010

Our Church- Fuente De Vida

We have just got back from Church so thought we’d tell you a bit more about it.

It is a young Church, full of children and youth (which in Bolivia means anything from 12-25! Unless you are married which counts you out I think). There are lots of people and families who are part of the Church, but it is very rare that everyone can come, so for example today there were about 25 adults/youth and maybe 20 children (0-12). Numbers on Sundays are often similar to this.

We meet on Sunday mornings in an office  about 6 blocks from the centre of town. It is a central location so people can get there on micros from where they live, although this takes some people around 1 1/2 hours. We are renting an office and all meet together in a room downstairs that feels packed out. After the worship time the children stay downstairs and the adults move upstairs to a smaller room for the sermon. The office is currently for sale and there is no telling when it could be sold so we may find out we need to move at any time, although we would probably be given 3 months warning.

In terms of how Sundays work David (the pastor) helps to lead worship every week with a small team, usually meaning that a young guy called Pedro plays the keyboards and takes turns to lead. There are a few others who play guitar sometimes but they have not been able to come so much recently. David then also preaches every week. Sarah (his wife) leads the children’s time which is one group for ages 3-12. Younger children like Chloe are brought upstairs into the sermon.

There is also an evening meeting for people who need to work on Sunday mornings, this is often a much smaller number and is quite informal. We are thinking that one of us will try to come to this meeting too. There are plans to start weekly Cell/home groups as soon as possible, probably in a couple of people’s houses midweek, but it will be difficult for some people to be able to get to these. There are also monthly prayer meetings and worship practices.

That is all about what the Church does meeting wise, but really Church is the people. We love the people. Even though I can hardly say anything to people, Roz and I both feel a real affection from God for them. They are so accepting, kind and gentle, many come from crazy backgrounds and it is amazing to hear them worship and love God. We are getting to know people little by little, starting with names and who is related to who! In some very large families this is quite complicated.

Since we have been here people have gone through tough things and this seems to be ongoing- serious illness, accidents, family breakdown, problems related to a past on the streets, job losses, crime and robbery and more. We have been telling you about our struggles but these are very little compared with what a lot of people in Church have been through.

Roz is planning to start teaching English to some of the women in Church- there are a group of maybe 7 who are keen. She is planning to start in one of the people’s houses on Thursdays. We are hoping that people will come and bring their friends too- it would be a way of other people connecting with Church.

We would ask you to pray for Church

  • For David and Sarah as they lead and do so much
  • For the people who come to Church as they face many problems
  • For more people to be involved with helping with the children’s work
  • For the language classes, that the timing and venue would be right, that people would come and bring friends
  • For the venue of our Sunday meetings, that we would find somewhere with more space, but still in a good location
  • For the Cell groups as they start- for the leaders of these
  • That Roz and I can encourage people however we can

We love the Church! But we know Jesus does so much more. It is a real anchor to us being here. At times when we are unsure what we are doing here we remember that God has called us to build His Church here in Santa Cruz.

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Responses

  1. Hi Guys
    Really good to hear how joyful you sound in the face of difficulty. We are sorry you lost your baby and I pray that God will comfort you both.

    How is the school going Ben? Life sounds refreshingly different out there ……hope the teaching English group starts of well Roz – you are in our thoughts xxx Caroline Gosling


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