“Adios” to our Brethren in La Paz, Bolivia
“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Acts 20:32
In Bolivia, saying “adios” is reserved for those times when the parting will be a long one. It essentially means, “I commend you to God.” In May with these words we embraced our dear brother and four sisters and interested friends in reluctant farewell as we left our home in Bolivia for the last time. Our year in Ecuador and three years in Bolivia were rich with personal growth and blessing from Yahweh. We miss our dear ecclesia very much and pray for them daily, knowing still intimately their struggles and triumphs.
Yahweh Has Brought Us Home Again Full
In the weekend before our departure, we gathered together for a mini 3-day Bible school, as has been our custom almost every year since the first members were baptized (just over 7 years ago). What a refreshing well of encouragement and respite it is for all of us! Our brother Brydyn Melles of New Zealand had joined us from Argentina, where he is currently living, and gave the classes on Ruth.
Some of our favorite moments at the “Bible school” were after lunch, when we sat in the shade in the fresh spring-like mountain air, surrounded by little gardens of yellow daisies and loose herds of munching llamas, just talking, sometimes of things serious, sometimes of things that sent laughter through the valley, sometimes of the theme we were studying that weekend. During one of our discussions, one of the sisters turned to Naomi and said, “You know, you are not like the Naomi of the Bible! She left Moab empty.” Indeed, we return full, with double the amount of children (our two youngest were born in Bolivia), and we ourselves filled with wonderful experiences and growth and new friendships in the Lord. Thanks be to God for all his generous gifts!
Established and Comforted
As we hear now from afar of our little ecclesia, we think of how the apostle Paul rested in the knowledge that Timothy would visit the Thessalonians and strengthen them: “… [we] sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow labourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith…” We are comforted by and are so thankful for the presence of Bro. Shimon and Sis. Jo Spina, with their young children, Dallas and Zander, in La Paz, and by the much-needed pastoral and preaching visits of Bro. Don Luff.
The little light stand in La Paz has shown that their flame will not soon flicker out. Our prayer for our brother and sisters is from the words of Paul to the Thessalonians: “Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”
The above was written by Bro. Paul & Sis. Naomi Osborn as they left Bolivia on May 29th after having served there since July 2010. On April 15th Bro. Shimon and Sis. Joanna Spina, from the Eastern suburbs Ecclesia, Australia. They have been planning on working in South America for some time and had about a month and a half overlap with the Osborn’s. We appreciate all the brothers and sisters who are willing to spend time in the mission fields spreading the Truth to those who are interested.