Dear friends and supporters:
Greetings! Since shortly after starting our sabbatical year in the United States last November, Starr and I have been living near my father and have been having a rewarding time. It has been a very good change of pace from our routine in Bolivia, and we have been able to get some much needed rest.
As we had indicated in a previous communication that we would give updates on new developments as they arise, we want to give you a report on a very significant trip that I made in March.
Because one of the pastors in Sucre, Bolivia had received from the Lord that I should go back in the middle of our sabbatical to visit the pastors I have been mentoring there, I took the matter very seriously and decided to make the trip for three weeks last month. I flew down there on the night of March 1 and landed in the morning of the 2nd in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. That same day I flew to La Paz, where I stayed in the home of Pastor Oscar Trujillo and his wife, two of the people my wife and I have been mentoring for several years. We held a series of meetings on Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday late afternoon and night in the meeting hall of their congregation. I also preached in their Sunday morning service. The presence of the Lord was with us strongly, and other people whom we had invited were able to attend. Among other topics I shared on moving from being just servants to becoming friends of the Lord Jesus, as He said in John 15:14-15:
14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you [NKJV].
I also spoke on some of the steps that need to be taken to help prepare a spiritual army of the Lord in Bolivia. On this latter topic I also asked a retired Bolivian colonel, who is a dear friend of ours, to teach. What he shared was very good, of course.
On Saturday morning, March 5, at the monthly meeting of the city-wide association of pastors in La Paz, I was given an opportunity to address those present. I spoke on the trumpet call being sounded in the church in Bolivia to prepare spiritually for what is coming to the people of God in that land.
On Monday the 7th I flew to Sucre to give a conference on similar topics. However, I had much more time and so could go into more depth on several subjects. I spoke on building a spiritual house for the Lord; becoming a friend of the Lord Jesus; preparing a spiritual army that God wants to raise up in Bolivia; some key patterns in the Bible (such as the tabernacle of Moses); and the Elijah ministry in the end-times.
While in Sucre I was so blessed to see almost everyone whom my wife and I had spent the most time with in our teaching and mentoring sessions over the past couple of years.
On Thursday, March 17 I flew to the city of Cochabamba, where I was expecting to meet with and teach pastors the same subjects I had been sharing in La Paz and Sucre. Instead of having many of them come to the meetings, there were more young people, with whom it was a blessing to be able to share.
I flew on back to Santa Cruz on Sunday, March 20. There I saw several friends before returning to the U.S. on Tuesday the 22nd.
All in all the entire trip was very successful. I saw fruit coming forth from the seeds Starr and I had been planting over many years. Later this year or in the beginning of 2017, she and I look forward to returning to Bolivia for a visit and seeing continued fruit coming forth.
With much love and appreciation,
John & Starr