Time Marches On
While leaves change colour in Canada, spring has sprung in Bolivia. The days and nights are getting warmer, and the Jacaranda trees are bursting with purple flowers! As the seasons shift, we reflect with gratefulness on the past months and all that God has done in our lives and ministry.
With limitations on international travel, we have missed being able to host Canadian teams over the past couple of years. Yet, as restrictions ease in Bolivia, we have been able to facilitate several local ministry experiences.
CBM operates in partnership with various Bolivian Baptist groups to facilitate greater discipleship and missional service. We’ve taken this opportunity to increase local participation in integral mission projects. Recently we’ve coordinated ministry initiatives with young adult leaders, the Quechua pastors association, the national mission’s association, and the Cochabamba Baptist Women’s union. Our hope is that through tangible experiences, we can form a new vision for approaching mission in partnership together.
A young adults team recently returned from renovating homes with the Chagas prevention project and have committed to serving with Casa de la Amistad, Jireh, and other church based projects in the city over several months. The pastor and mission unions are working to strengthen their relationship with CBM and OBADES, through mutual support of ministries in some of Bolivia’s most isolated regions. Finally, the women’s group has just secured funding from the Latin American women’s union to partner with CBM in an economic initiative directed towards a group of ladies in a rural community. Together we’ll be undertaking holistic ministry that includes agriculture and business training, women’s health, devotions, and children’s programing. We are encouraged by these new partnerships and look forward to seeing them grow, evolve, and flourish.
Learning to Teach
The Seminary has made some significant changes in the way they deliver their classes, to accommodate COVID restrictions. For both the central and satellite seminaries, switching to online platforms has been a steep learning curve. The initial switch to virtual learning meant transitioning in-person class to video conferencing, with as little change as possible.
Both of us regularly teach core courses through the seminary; however, we have also had the opportunity to train students and teachers on educational tech, highlighting how to make it best serve their learning outcomes. Now more than a year into online learning, there has been greater recognition of educational tools and innovative teaching methods that can benefit rather than burden the classroom. We’ve enjoyed running training sessions with different seminary groups and working through the possibilities together.
These past months have also offered new opportunities for discipleship. Through the seminary’s spiritual formation program, Kallie has started mentoring and discipling a young seminary student. They regularly meet to talk about life, ministry, and faith, while working through different spiritual practices.
While Tim also participates in seminary mentorship, in a less conventional form of discipleship, he has been investing time in some of the youth from our projects. Sometimes this means going to an arcade, checking out the city, or getting something to eat. Because of COVID restrictions, many youth have been cooped up inside, attending school on their phones (or not at all), with little social activity outside the home.
These outings provide a much needed escape from the loneliness of the past year and allow for relationship to develop as they discuss questions and issues they have been facing in their life and faith journey.
- Pray for our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
- Pray for our partners as they try to predict what 2022 will bring and develop next year’s ministry budgets and proposals.
- Pray for the new partnerships that are being shaped between different ministry partners, each committed to participating in mission.
Peace & Love,
Tim & Kallie