I’m not typically the one to be a “worry wart.” Most would say I am “muy tranquilo.” But leading up to our departure for the 2016 RestoBolivia Trip, I found myself immersed in a perpetual cycle of questions and doubts:
- Are we really going to be able to make a difference during a one-week trip to Bolivia?
- Will the language barrier pose a bigger problem than we are anticipating?
- Will enough kids show up to our Vacation Bible School?
- Will our team be flexible and adapt to a different culture?
- Will we be able to build a genuine partnership with La Trinidad Anglican Church?
- Are they excited that we are coming or are we going to be more of a burden to them?
- Will we have trouble getting through customs with all of the supplies and bibles we are bringing?
- Will our team remain healthy or will they be the victims of parasites or altitude sickness?
- Will we be able to connect with the children of Niños con Valor in such a short period of time?
I won’t bore you with ALL of the questions that were running through my head. Those are just a sampling. As you can see, these questions ranged from the insignificant to the profound. Everything from “Do we have enough beads for the friendship bracelets we will be making?” to “What does God have in store for the future relationship between Restoration and Bolivia?”
Once we were firmly planted on terra firma in Bolivia, I felt an overwhelming peace. We did what we could to prepare for the trip in a wise and thoughtful manner, but now it was simply up to God as to what would happen in the following days. And what DID happen was extraordinary.
In reference to my earlier questions, here is how God responded:
- God affirmed that, indeed, we could make a difference by simply showing up.
- God reminded us that the language of His LOVE could overcome any language barrier.
- God blessed us with the perfect number of children for our Vacation Bible School.
- God orchestrated the formation of a team in which every individual was willing to put the needs of others before their own.
- God formed fruitful relationships between the members and leaders of Restoration and those of La Trinidad Anglican Church.
- God gave us the wisdom we needed to be helpful, not hurtful, towards our Bolivian brothers and sisters.
- God protected our travels and we had no issues navigating customs.
- God shielded us from any severe illness or injuries (though many from our team did come home with some new, uninvited amoeba amigos! )
- God created beautiful connections between our team and the children of Niños con Valor.
Each evening during compline, we reflected on what God taught us about himself that day. And almost every evening, my thoughts turned to the same conclusion, one that I clearly need to be reminded of daily.
As you can see, all of the responses to those previous worries and questions did not resolve through what I did but instead through what He did.
We taught the children about the story of Daniel during our Vacation Bible School week. Going forth, I pray that I can have the kind of faith that Daniel had:
The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.” – Daniel 6:23
~ Kate Liias