Category Archives: Bolivia

Our Summer Newsletter: 3 Teams+3 Days=God Glorified!

If I had to imagine what this group could accomplish in 3 days time, I would have come up short. But we know what NEEDS to get done will get done. Because God is leading the way.

This was an amazing group.

We were thrilled to host Evangel Worship Center from Marianna, Florida and God did not fail at performing the unprecedented for this amazing group. Beginning with the airport!

The doctors bags were NOT searched. That is unprecedented . For any of the teams we’ve ever brought, since 2011, the airport issues have always given me hives (not really, but inside my gut that’s the feeling I always get).

Evangel brought 3 groups: Medical; Construction; and Crusade teams. They all worked so well together–harmony and the love of God was felt wherever they were!

The school was blessed by the supplies many of YOU donated money for–thank YOU. You will never know (unless you come and see for yourself) the impact those supplies make in the work and teaching that happens at the schools.

When we asked for donations, many of you gave! When Jeff and I, along with Nancy, a dear friend from Bolivia, went shopping for them. I kind of expected much lower prices than back home. But no. She took us to 4 different market (very low priced) stores and they were priced so close to what it is at home for many of the things, it made me wonder how the parents afford to send supplies with their kids…in short; they don’t. So this is a triple portion blessing, the parents, the students and the teachers. And our prayer for each of you who gave, to be triple blessed!! I know you didn’t do it for the blessing, but you cannot out give our Father!

I am going to be transparent with this next thing; I’ve been super homesick. So much so, that I clung to these with such joy and gratitude for them giving up of their vacation time to come and serve the beautiful people of Bolivia–my heart weeps again at their hearts of service. You really should have seen them in action.

The team stayed at the campomento that belongs to the church we attend and they all seemed to really enjoy the freedom that afforded them to walk the grounds to pray or explore in safety.

Each morning began super early as Pastor LaVon and his wife Brenda cooked breakfast with Kenny and Debbie helping–of course Jeff was right in there, not wanting to miss a moment with them. I, on the other hand, slept a little later. (I think Jeff’s clock is always set for 4:00 am) Pre-cancer, I could have jumped up and been ready to go, as I had when I helped (my super-chef-friend, Donece) one summer in our camp kitchen, but unfortunately I can’t do that anymore. I try and not beat myself up over it, but sometimes I just do. Then I remind myself, I can do what I can do and I am GRATEFUL to be able to do it!

I want to share some pictures of the amazing team at work. Unfortunately this is the first year I didn’t get the construction team in action! BUT, I can tell you they installed 40 fans in the cabins in 3 days. EWC paid for them, the construction team installed them, and the hundreds of people that will stay in these rooms from this point on will sleep more comfortably in the summer (November – April) months. These guys were amazing. I do have a picture of Jeff, Brad, Larry and Tim walking, exploring the possibilities of another project at a school that is need of a bathroom.

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Jeff took them on a visit to the local hardware street.

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The “walk-about”.

The last pictures I want to leave you with are of the medical and crusade teams. I cannot express enough how blessed we feel to have hosted this group as our first team as MA’s here in Bolivia. We hope for more.

The Crusade Team

Pastor LaVon and Brenda Pettis

There’s no way to give you the smells and sounds they experienced:

  • The smell of the garbage that littered every single roadway.
  • The sounds of the rooster crowing every single morning.
  • The sight of the children that are placed on street corners to beg…

But I pray those smells, sights and sounds will long remain embedded in their hearts.

Thank you Evangel. The impact you have made in the people (your new friends) of Bolivia will be told across the corridors of eternity! You have made a difference in, not only their lives, but ours as well. THIS is what we came here for. To help others know the love of Christ through the sacrifices made by those who would hear the call of the Father, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 hcsb


Finally, On the Road

We have SO much to praise God for-prayers answered!  (THIS was a good day.)

You would never believe, in all your wildest imaginations, what it takes to purchase a vehicle in a foreign country.  Never mind that a used vehicle of certain brands are almost as much a new one in the states… It’s crazy.   It has taken 4 months to find one… The RIGHT ONE… And almost two weeks to complete the deal. I don’t know the total number of people involved or how many offices were visited (Jeff is doing that part with the help of our pastor here).

When they were wading through the paperwork, they kept trying to tell Jeff he didn’t have the proper documentation to prove he could be here. What?   (Our supervisor assured us we did--but being in a different location and dealing with different people than the ones Jeff was with–and they wouldn’t budge.)  It’s been one more tornado of an event getting this accomplished.  When we buy our next car or truck in the states – I’m bringing the salesman donuts… cookies… Or cake. Or all of it!  (*truck stats at the bottom)

Saturday, we took the opportunity (since we now had insurance – again, that was a huge ordeal), to drive and see some of the city by ourselves. It’s been since January that we have arrived and we have either depended on a friend to take us, walked, or paid an Uber or taxi. I never imagined it would take from January 26 to almost May 1st to get where we needed to be–with a little more independence.

If you’re privileged to have your own mode of transportation and can navigate with a certain amount of confidence anywhere you need to go, you are BLESSED…. So thank God for this wonderful opportunity.

While we were out, we saw some familiar sights, and some not as familiar (New fellow sleeping in the door frame of the Catholic Church.). And the traffic?  It’s still just as crazy as ever–the difference is, we are part of the crazy in a real way!

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Several times, while we were driving in the country (to a certain village), our road on the map we were following, just disappeared. Then at other times, it was hard to tell which way to go, and yet at other times, it would say “turn right or turn left” ….and low and behold, there would be a fence. Or there would be a field. How in the world do you navigate that??

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There was one way we could get to where we were going, once we got close enough–

by looking UP.

There’s a very tall radio tower that can be seen from almost anywhere in the village, so once we got close enough to see that, although it was yet a few miles away, we could keep our eyes locked on the tower and keep forging forward.

Sound familiar?  

This journey has done some amazing and some very painful things.  It has brought out the best and the worst.  The worst needs driving far from us, and the best needs to just hold on–He’s doing something unexpected.

More than you would believe, I have leaned on this word:

“Wait on the Lord:  be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart:  wait, I say on the Lord.”  Psalm 27:14

“My soul, wait though only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”  Psalm 62:5

No one can do this for us; only us.  It was His voice who called,  our ears that heard, His hand that leveled mountains to get us here, and it is only by His grace and mercy we are kept.  I have found this to be the hardest thing ever, but I have found Him to be unimaginably faithful to His promises.

Friends, I have no idea what you are truly going through today.  Facebook and Instagram and all those great photo filters make it easy to keep the truth off the front page–but HE sees your front page every day–and He knows the last page.  Take stock today.  Dig into the Word and into your heart and let Him reveal what is needed in your life.

I will tell you straight up, there will be some hard days…but the times you will draw even closer to God than you ever imagined are sown in tight to those hard days.  For growth.

But they that WAIT upon the Lord shall RENEW their strength; they shall MOUNT UP with wings as eagles; they shall RUN, and not be weary; and they shall WALK, and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31 (emphasis mine).

Did you notice the order of things?  The mounting up is the exciting beginning. Then, the momentum is still there – so we are now on the run…running with the joy and excitement of this unbelievable journey…but let’s be honest here, it gets tiring after a bit.

Then there comes that time in this journey when we are too pooped to party and walking is about all we can do, and sometimes it feels like a “limping walk”.

We have a friend in Costa Rica who can “power walk” like nobody’s business.  He was amazing and I loved to watch him, because I couldn’t even trot and keep up with him.  The power walk–is not this walk.  This walk is like the “air is heavy and hard to breathe walk, the falling down and skinning our knees walk, and it is affecting our gait…but HE still remains steadfast and faithful.  NEVER leaving our side.

“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us.  Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.  For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2 HCSB

If I can encourage you today, stay in the race.  Wipe the sweat from your eyes (mixed with tears of frustration and pain) and let’s finish this!  You with us?  I hope so.  I don’t want to see anyone left behind.

*truck stats:  a 4 door 4×4, 2011 Ford Ranger, 98,000 miles and priced at $15,000 (thank you to all who gave offerings and who continue to support us!!). We had a budget of $10k but our director graciously requested on our behalf an increase so that we could get this more dependable vehicle.  We are so grateful!

Blessed to serve with you!

Jeff and Angie


www.tinyurl.com/sendjeffandangie is the link if you wish to sign up to become a prayer partner or a financial partner (in any amount).  Our prayer partners are crucial to this mission continuing.


From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Yesterday I woke at my ordinary time, did my normal, everyday, ordinary first morning things, got my coffee, put on a load of laundry because, well, take advantage of the sunshine. It was predicted to be a hot day and it would help dry the clothes while I did the other ordinary things. But this day, was to be anything But ordinary.

Our expected guest arrived about 9:30ish and I had already had my devotions that morning and prepared. We were to have communion.

It’s customary here in the church we attend to have communion on the first Sunday of every month. Jeff had been sick Sunday- with allergies and headaches almost since coming here like he hasn’t had in a long – long time. But Sunday was worse. So we decided to stay in, he would sleep, since he didn’t sleep hardly at all the night before and I would have my own service by myself with an online message and worship.

When he said he didn’t sleep any- I wanted to say, “welcome to my world” but thought better of it when I saw his face. He really was a sick fella.

When our pastor arrived we talked a little before we prayed and he shared and we all three partook of communion together.

It was such a sweet and holy moment. It reminded me when our girls were young and we had a time where we were teaching them about communion and we shared communion once a month for a while. It was important for them to know and understand about the cross, the resurrection and the sacrifice that Christ gave so that we might have eternal life.

As we closed the special time together, our pastor asked if he could take us anywhere. He had a couple of hours to spare and we are still looking for a dependable and affordable vehicle. We needed to get the big containers of water and while we were out, we asked it it were possible to go visit a special young girl. This young girl is special to our team members from the 2013 construction team we brought to build a church near her house.

“Of course we can go!” he said without a single hesitation.

We set off for the area she lived, about 30 minutes or so from our apartment. Still in the same city, just rough roads and traffic makes it a bit tedious to get there. Just ask any of the team members from 2013. But it was worth every second we traveled from the hotel to the church everyday to see what God did for that village in just 4 days time.

When we got to Ruth’s house, she opened the gate timidly at first, but when she saw our faces, hers lit up like the sunshine. I really wish I could have taken her picture in that moment. But not to embarrass her, I did not.

We were the visitors that broke up her ordinary day. And when she hugged me tight, I wanted to cry. Her sister as well. She did tear up, just as she did 2 years ago when we visited and brought her a new walker. What was so incredible, her sister remembered the very day we visited them.

As we sat on their porch and talked (our pastor did most of the talking- I didn’t really want to blunder my way through a conversation) , I took in the surroundings, my heart broke at the condition of things. It wasn’t the poverty as much as it was the lack of care. I’ve seen very poor people try hard to keep things neat, because they had hope in their heart and life. This was clearly a sad family who had not seen hope in a long, long time.

Even without a camera in hand, I will never forget what my eyes captured that day.

We talked about school, church, and our pastor talked to them about forgiveness. I could tell by watching their faces that the words were falling on thirsty ground. They hungered. They lived within reach of the church yet something kept them back. The young girl and her little cousin attended, but the big need is for the mother and daughter. They need to hunger for God, to find the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ. The two young ones need the example of the mother and older sister. Not to be sent to church, but to go as a family.

He’s not going to come in and pour money into their lives, but He will cleanse (them) us from our sins and give (them) us a hope that will forever change (their) our lives.

That hope will change the ordinary life into an extraordinary one. He can open our eyes to things we never saw before and I believe He alone can help us see beyond our circumstances into what life in Christ will bring.

We know this family has had a rough time- we’ve ministered as best we could, our team bought the first new walker little Ruth had when she was about 10 years old, and have continued to buy her one every other year. They don’t last long in that terrain. But they need more than that. They need Jesus. Please help us Pray.

Next week, we will be going back to take her a new walker, and some school supplies and teaching tools for home schooling. It’s a long story and I won’t go into it here.

Before we left, we gathered around them and prayed for the family, there were tears coursing down Ruth’s mothers face when I hugged her tight and told her we loved them and would be praying. Please help us Pray.

A note to our team, this family was impacted in 2013 when we helped build the church, they are still impacted today by your memory and the love you shown them.

I’m thankful that every mission team we’ve ever led, was never a blow in and blow out kind of trip. It’s always been about building a relationship with the people. It’s still about that.

That’s why we are here. And with the help of the LORD and your faithful prayers, we will see many more ordinary days turn extraordinary.

Thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for praying, giving, and when possible for yourself, for going. You are making a difference.

We are grateful…. Extraordinarily so.


Proving His Faithfulness

We are here. The Lord has been full of mercy- and has been gracious to my weary heart when I felt I would faint from all the newness surrounding me.

Overwhelmed. That has pretty much summed up my feelings the last several days. I’m surprised He hasn’t obliged my behind with a swift kick. But again… He’s full of mercy and it’s new every morning.

We went apartment looking yesterday and today – yesterday one out of three was a keeper – except for that little thing called a budget.

To find something in a safe area And affordable I was beginning up thinking was nigh impossible. But God looked down and set us up.

“When things look impossible will you still trust Me? “

I trusted Him without a second thought during my cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy and radiation…. What was the problem trusting and believing Him to find us an apartment? I was bone weary and emotionally spent. Every single ounce of my flesh screamed “stop and take a breath!”

We had several – what I will call “prayer crisis”. When we got to the Miami Airport to leave, we discovered that my tourist visa had expired. And to get one at the airport requires certain documents. Well, you would have thought we knew that it expired – but since Jeff’s was a 10 year tourist visa we never thought to check mine… We assumed. Yeah yeah. I know.

So there was a huge emotional deal going down in my head when we got to the airport checking in our bags. I asked a few prayer warriors to pray. Well…. They let me on the plane.

Of course you must know it was not a peaceful flight like I had “planned”. Instead my heart was filled with anxious thoughts. When we finally got here and deboarded the plane it was another ordeal and phone calls and anguish and tears – finally I was spent…. I was ready to go home and say “forgetaboutit“. I sat there in tears (while Jeff was – I’m not sure where, trying to get me in) and told the Lord “I’m done”. I said it twice for good measure. I was, as they say–being real with God.

That very instant when I admitted to having NO abilities on my own, and our merits could get us nothing, the guy walked over who had told me my papers were no good and not enough–and he asked for them again and he made it happen. More than an hour after we landed, we walked out into the freedom of a tourist.

There’s a LOT of spiritual lessons here once I unpack it all, but know this, God proves Himself daily. Every single minute of every day.

We are grateful to a lot of people-both here and at home. Our prayer partners are relentless. And so is our God.

My friend, Paola wanted to get Jeff to try something – her words were “have you proved this”?? He had not tried it… That’s us. Try HIM. Prove Him. He is trustworthy. It may not look like we thought…. I may not understand the whole process but His ways are eventually visible.

One last note – we don’t have wifi yet, but we have phones. If you see our family – love them for us. Hug them. This is the Hardest thing for me because I love my family more than anything.

I’m reading a book called “A Tale of 3 Kings”, by Gene Edwards. I want to leave you with a quote:

“… God did not have -but wanted very much to have – men and women who would live in pain. God wanted a broken vessel.”

I think that can often sum up the life of followers of God. To die to the desires of our own hearts and take up His. We are no different than you. Just a different assignment today.

(special thanks to Stevie Elam for this amazing gift!)


You Have to Believe it to See it

You’ve heard people say,– I’ll believe it when I see it? Try believing before you see. Try seeing it in your spirit. And then watch Him unfold the journey.

When in Costa Rica, I almost forgot that a blue this color existed. But the skies are that blue at home. #nofilter. And at night, the stars shine bright. It’s especially beautiful on a cold night. Head thrown back, thanking my Father for such wonderful gifts like this!

Every night while home, when I took my Gracie Mae out, I would look up at the night sky and draw in a deep breath of cold air and proclaim aloud my gratitude for the heavenly display of night-lights. I love it. If you have never had a length of time when you couldn’t see the stars– or a cloudless blue sky this spectacular– like only Northwest Florida (at my moms house) can produce, then maybe you don’t quite understand my immense joy. Even though I couldn’t SEE the stars in Costa Rica, I knew. I believed. They were still hanging around up there. Waiting to be seen!

I love coming home. Although we didn’t stay at mother’s this visit– (the things we both had to do were concentrated in Marianna), I still enjoyed my few short visits back home. It’s was really odd- the LORD really helped me deal with the emotions of each place I called home. The people– that’s another thing. It hurt to leave them again.

Our daughters and their boys are the delight and light of our hearts– but we have an urgent compelling to follow what God has laid on our hearts. It’s a compelling that we just can’t turn off.

The other night I heard something- it was actually in the wee hours of the morning– I lay there very still and the Holy Spirit whispered again. I got up to go to the bathroom with intentions of writing it down (typing it on my notepad) when I got back to bed. But just that fast– that word was gone. Stolen from my mind with all the busy things that kept rolling through night after night while we’ve been home.

As I lay in the bed, very still and quite, I asked the LORD, “please give it to me one more time.”

He did.

“You cannot unhear a call from God.”

Just like you can’t unsee something you wished you hadn’t seen- or unsay something you said and instantly regretted, you cannot unhear once the voice of God has called your name.

Oh how I love Him. I am so thankful that when He looked for someone to “go”, we both said “yes”. How in the world did it all happen?? Only by God’s grace and HIS divine guidance. All the pieces of this journey will hopefully one day find its way to a book– that’s what my friend Betty and I had hoped to get to work on– but it didn’t happen– too many things going on. We’ve planned it and talked it for several years now though. And God has kept piling on the Words and the journey is sweeter with every passing day.

A lot of things look different than what I first supposed. But I have followed Him long enough and lived for Him long enough to know that He is very purposed about every detail of our lives and this journey.

After being in language school with over 30 other students– from other districts, we do know that our district is the best. (Grinning– because our district is family) The West Florida District Presbytery Board gathered around us this afternoon before we left and prayed for us– and we have such admiration for what they each do. They are amazing. And one of them is our oldest daughters Pastor. And I had the opportunity to thank him for all the prayers he has prayed over our girl and her boys. God has been faithful!!

If you’re dreaming a BIG GOD SIZED dream– keep believing. If it won’t turn off in your heart and mind no matter what- keep praying. If every sermon you hear, every song and every Word keeps you coming back to circle your dream again– trust that In HIS timing, it will all line up.

No, it may not look like you imagined. You may be older, gray haired, a little weaker in body, but stronger in spirit, … believe to SEE the impossible. Believe to LIVE the improbable. And believe to be used by the Master Himself when the time is right. That’s what we are here for. Bring HIM glory, through telling His story which is our story and HIS story in us. That may have sounded like a jumble of confusion there– but it’s late. Jeff’s driving and I’m blogging on my phone.

When you look up at the blue sky– think of us. Pray for me that I will keep my eyes open to what HE wants to show me next. And when you look up at the night sky and see stars, count yourself blessed. There were many nights I teared up wanting to see them. I’ve never been on a mission trip to Bolivia and saw the stars. I only saw about 5 stars (and only saw the moon about 5 times!) while in Costa Rica. It saddened my heart a great deal because I love looking at the sky.

Well. It’s late. For us anyway. We may stop and sleep soon and get an early start in the morning. We love y’all. Every single one. Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep giving Him Praise and Glory!

Believing…. and seeing. They go hand in hand.

Believing BIG-

Angie

#aknightsjourney


You’ve Got Mail!

October Greetings!

I was reading in one of my devotional books, “Streams in the Desert”, last week and this jewel jumped off the page.  Mainly because, not only was it a powerful devotion, but it was spot on for what we have been feeling and going through –here in language school.

A piece of wood once bitterly complained because it was being cut and filled with rifts and holes, but he who held the wood and whose knife was cutting into it so remorselessly did not listen to the sore complaining.  He was making a flute out of the wood he held and was too wise to desist when entreated to do so.  He said:

“Oh, thou foolish piece of wood, without these rifts and holes thou wouldst be only a mere stick forever–a bit of hard black ebony with no power to make music or to be of any use.  These rifts that I am making, which seem to be destroying thee, will change thee into a flute, and thy sweet music then shall charm the souls of men.  My cutting thee is the making of thee, for then thou shalt be precious and valuable, and a blessing in the world”.

I was stunned.  My eyes filled and I wept with gratitude and a strong repentant heart for crying out while being that stick of wood, and complaining for all the “shaping” going on.  This school is rightly named.  Chisel.

Every time I have entered a sentence in my Spanish Dictionary and used the name of the school, Cincel, the word “chisel” comes up, since that is exactly what Cincel means in Spanish.  Chisel.  We have all felt the blows of the hammer as well as the knife on the stick of wood.  But you know, in our hearts we all long to be useful for the Master.  The One who called us surely has a plan and purpose for every splinter of whittling,  and gouging out the places that have so desperately needed work.

On an encouraging note, we can carry on a conversation with others now with a little more confidence.  I walk down to the beauty salon and talk with the young ladies there about once every couple of weeks.  It’s where I got my FIRST haircut after chemo! I was so excited, and I have made two new “Tica” friends in the process.  One of them even gave me her phone number so that I could practice my Spanish.  And another one made me some flashcards this week to help with my “beauty salon lingo”.

We have prayed for you all during all these weather episodes and the various things that have been going on.  Last week, as I was sitting here typing, we had a small earth tremor that shook the bed that I was sitting on.  Everything in this world is subject to change.  In the very next minute–your life or my life could change.  We have no promise of tomorrow, we have today–and it’s up to us to use it for the Master, or squander it away.

This weekend, we were privileged to be able to go with dear friends, about an hour out of the city to the mountain area and just relax for the morning.  We stood at a fence and just viewed the valley and surrounding mountains and we breathed.  It felt good.  I cannot quiet describe the feeling–but it was needed and necessary.  And best of all….we spent time with friends of like mind and faith, who also left home, family, friends, and jobs they loved, to follow into the unknown, our Jesus.

While talking with the young lady at the little coffee shop–we asked her about the coffee harvest season.  The process from the time of planting, to harvest, to roasting, grinding all the way to your favorite cup of coffee.

Something we learned by tasting:  a good cup of coffee does not need sugar or cream.  That had to be proven to me.   It is something I will be excited to share with my family when we get home in December.  A hot cup of the best Costa Rican coffee.

She was so passionate about her job–her love of coffee and all things Costa Rica came through with every word she shared.  That’s what I want others to feel and hear in us as we share about Jesus in our new language.  I want them to feel the passion in our hearts–hear it in our voices and see it on our faces.  I want them to desire to know Him and share His love with their own families.

That’s one thing we need you to add to your prayer list for us:  Our ability to speak fluently as possible and to be able to share without reservation or hesitation.

Can I share with you a list of daily prayer needs?

Sunday:  Pray for our spiritual lives.  Our spiritual growth, fellowship with local believers, integrity, reliability, and consistency.  Jeff was blessed with a lunch a couple of weeks ago from an invitation from a “Tico” friend he met at church.  What a joy!  Pray for more connections and development of relationships that will last long after we leave.

Monday:  Pray for our personal lives.  For our marriage.  You have no idea the attacks on marriages and families here.  I won’t go into the details–suffice it to say, prayer is necessary to the mission.  Pray for our families back home, their health, both physical and spiritual.  Pray for their protection.  What is it with mama’s and daddy’s that believe we need to be there to help?  God is not limited by distance.

Tuesday:  Communication.  Adapting with generous flexibility to the culture, customs and people.  The language study, clarity in speech, ability to hear and comprehend.

Wednesday:  Relationships.  Both in the churches and the community.  As well as not losing our relationships back home.  That’s a fear many have as they shift their lives to another field.  We have discovered through conversations with others and reading several articles for missionaries, home relationships (back in the states) almost always suffer, insomuch as they are forgotten altogether.  Or at the very least, once they return, they are treated differently than when they left.  We hunger for our relationships with you to either remain strong–or become even stronger.  Not become weaker or disappear altogether.

Thursday:  Evangelism.  Boldness, sensitivity, Holy Spirit led.

Friday:  Discipleship. That we can be mentors.  Training, equipping, and encouraging others even now before we get to our field of service.  May we serve Him now with fervor.

Saturday:  Pray for our country.  Our first and home country, the United States of America, and secondly, our country of calling:  Bolivia.  Pray for more schools to open in Santa Cruz, relationships to develop and grow under the anointing and presence of the Holy Spirit.  Help us pray now for a good, safe, and secure place to live.

Often many think that because they aren’t giving monetarily, they aren’t helping.  NOTHING could be further from the truth.  Your prayers make the difference.  We cannot do this without your prayers.  I cannot say that loud or long enough.  Prayer is the KEY to the KINGDOM.

Thank you for taking the time to add us to your likely already long prayer list.  It is undeniably what keeps us going strong.  We love each of you.  If you feel led to get further involved, an offering of any amount is always welcomed and needed.  The cost of living here is “crazy” expensive.  But I won’t talk about that any further.  It hasn’t brought the prices down one bit! 🙂

We received our 3rd mail here this week! (It takes about 10-14 days to reach us if there are no holidays involved.) OH Mercy I was giddy with joy!  My heart overflowed with the love from the words that came from the letter–but soon found myself weeping like a child.  God is SO good!  Thank you.  Every word meant the world.  I have all three cards we’ve received taped to the wall in our bedroom.  It gives me joy every time I look at them.

We wish you were here.  We miss you.  BUT, if the LORD is willing [as my Mamo always said], or “Si Dios quiere”, we will see some of you in December!  We wish we could visit every single one of you in your churches!  You are greatly loved.

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All for HIM,

Jeff and Angie

“Streams in the Desert, Morning and Evening Edition, page 649-650, September 20      (L. B. Cowman, Zondervan Publishing Company.)

© Angie Knight 2017.  All rights reserved.  All photographs © Angie Knight 2017.


Life Stuff and General UP-date

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Well friends, Christmas 2016 is in the memory bank and the New Year is upon us.  Right around the corner-so-to-speak.  In a matter of hours.  Has already happened for some of our friends living in other parts of the world…

Many unexpected things happened this year–many things I journaled–God words to my heart- for me alone-and some that I will share with you.

Several members of our family have gone through their own ordeals-as I am sure yours has as well.  Seems the devil is ever on his job–but we KNOW that God is watchful and is equipping us all for the battles that lie ahead…and are currently ongoing.  He is our strong deliverer–and HIGH TOWER.

We just KNEW we would be preparing to leave for Costa Rica (language school) this month-but God had other plans–and we humbly and gladly submit to what HE has planned because we are in this for HIS glory, not anything for our own selves.

I think that it’s specifically powerful that the verse of the day from BibleGateway.com is this:

I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.  Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 NLT

Years ago, The LORD brought this passage to my attention when I was going through a particularly difficult battle, today, it’s needed just as much.  A reminder that HE is in charge and NEW things are on the horizon.

Jeff and I are still working on our monthly commitments, meaning: we will need your help.  We are getting closer, but we still have much to do to get there.   We can’t do this without God lay it upon the hearts of others to help us for the next two years.

Beyond that, I don’t know what God has in store.  We will gladly stay in Bolivia until He calls us home–or we will go wherever HE sends next, but this we know–we must do what He has laid on our hearts to do.  That is, work with the children in the schools He has opened up to us in Santa Cruz, and continue to build churches for the villages where there is no Gospel Door open.

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There have been extreme forces fighting against us- the biggest one it seems, cancer.  But, we are over half way to completion of my treatments, only 6 more to go out of the 16.  The next step is radiation for 6 weeks and I have a dear friend who is currently walking that road just ahead of me.

God had the right team lined up for this medical mission on this side, and I have no doubt He will continue.  My biggest problem is on the days I feel good, I try and do as much as I possibly can to make up for the days I can’t.  For a “doer”, this has been a rough go.  However,  I have done well I think, and from what my oncologist has said, a “prize pupil”, or patient.  That’s all God’s doing, and all because of the mighty team of prayer warriors who have diligently sought God on my behalf. Thank YOU!  You are a HUGE part of this mission team!

Jeff has delivered his heart in many churches over the past year, I participated in the delivery until “chemo-brain” sort of held me back, but they say this is all reversible and I look forward with great anticipation to the day when I can bring a “word” again.    For now, I smile, hug necks, shake hands and am glad to be in the mix of things!  If you are wondering why you see so little of me in blogland, this is why.  I want to give God my BEST, but for these past few months of treatments, it seems I struggle with writing as well as talking.

It has felt so odd being a “by-stander” when I have always loved being in the middle of what God is doing, but I have “felt” His presence nonetheless.  And it has been powerful.  Believe me, I’m taking notes.  I have been writing in my prayer journal to record for later, this road.   Though muddy, messy and ankle twisting at times, it is one that I have seen God do miraculous things and I wouldn’t go back and change a thing…

We have just a few months to be ready to go.  If you are interested in helping us monthly, go to this site:  www.tinyurl.com/sendjeffandangie  (You can also give one time donations–we are eternally grateful for any and all help!)  We plan to leave in May, 2017.  We have already started packing…

Have you ever tried to do something that YOU KNEW God was leading you on and had the enemy fight so hard that you struggled in your heart to keep you focus clear?  That’s where I am tonight. I KNOW God has called us– He woke me with ideas earlier this week for the children… and just as quick as I get excited about that–the enemy comes and tries to steal the joy from that.

We can’t see all that is ahead, but we know and trust the Hand that leads us.  We will not stop until we feel we have done all that He has required of us.  He is doing a NEW thing in this NEW YEAR and we are excited to be doing our part!

The road up ahead will have curves, hills and even rough terrain, but HE is with us…all the way.  We are looking forward to seeing you in 2017!

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© Angie Knight 2017.  All rights reserved.


A Note From April Pettis- Crusade Leader

What an incredible week!  I thank God for the opportunity to serve him.  I thank each person who gave of their money, supplies, and prayers. Lives were changed in Bolivia…both Bolivian’s and Orange Team members.


To the Orange Team members: 
Thank you for positive and obedient attitudes. 

Thank you for “going with the flow” when direction changed, or when asked to rush and asked to wait.  

Thank you for having a servant’s heart.

Floyd, thank you for leading the “set up/break down crew”.  You all had this down to an art.  I knew when we set foot on each campus the “stage” would be set and ready to go within 10 minutes. Thank you for being willing to help with the object lesson.  I believe this visual will stick in the minds of everyone who saw it.


Sandi, Than you for heading up the puppet and game crew.  You always had everything ready to go.  You made each transition behind the curtain smooth.  Your positive attitude when things changed was so appreciated.  When given a task, you ran with it. Thank you.









Chase A., Thank you buddy for all your help.  From helping set up, to passing out candy, to helping with an object lesson and anything else I asked….I really appreciate you.  The world needs more teenagers willing to give up some summer activities to share God’s love around the world.  Thank you.










Chase C., You helped in so many areas. From setting up,  to entertaining kids, to demonstrating games….so many things…you were always willing to pitch in.  I so appreciate everything.







Shelly, You always had that beautiful smile.  It made an impact on many lives.  You were such a big help with the puppets and each game.  Even doing a little ballet with some of the girls.  I know they will remember this for a long time. I thank you and Chase very much for taking a week away from home and your sweet girls to touch the lives of so many who needed to see and feel your love and attention.








Mr. Aubrey, you were a constant.  I always knew you were behind me.  You did an awesome job manning the sound equipment.  Your encouraging words meant so much.  Not to mention the many children who flocked to you to see what your hands would create next.  We may never know just how much a “stick” affected each life.









Cindy,  you are the best mother-in-law.  I am so blessed to serve with you.  You are one of the hardest working people I know–you helped in so many ways.  I cannot thank you enough.  Anything I asked, you were there.  Your heart is so sweet and obedient.  I love you very much.  Thank you.









Lacy, you are such a sweetheart. I cannot thank you enough for all that you did this past week.  Your willingness to serve however needed was invaluable.  Your passion for Jesus is very evident. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for your ministry.  Thank you.



Daniel, you were such a big help in so many ways.  From helping physically each day during services to being our comedic entertainment.  You kept us laughing with your stories and tales.  You were a blessing to have with us this week. Thank you to you and Lacy for taking off a week from your jobs and leaving your children behind to work for Jesus.





Mother, you make me so proud to be your daughter.  Your willingness to step in at any moment was awesome.  Thank you for helping with lessons and entertainment.  Thank you for sacrificing time you could have spent doing other things to take photos of all of us. Thank you for your constant encouraging words.  I love you more…










Daddy, I could not be more proud of you.  You are an amazing leader.  You too, were so willing to do anything needed and asked.  Your positive attitude and obedience was constant.  Thank you for all that you are.  I cannot wait to see what all God has in store for you and mother.










David (George), you make me so proud.  You are always willing to wear anything silly, act out any skit, and make yourself vulnerable to make kids laugh.  Thank you for your support. I am so happy that I get to travel this journey of life with you. I love you.



Serving Him Together,
April Pettis

Now from Jeff and Angie,
We ditto everything April said- you all were the best we could have hoped for.  April, as your parents, we could not be more proud of you.  You excel in all you put your heart and mind to–and this was no different.  We love and appreciate  you.  You depict a true leader with a servants heart.  There is no other kind.

We can’t wait for the next one!

© 2015  Angie Knight- The Knightly News Blog. All rights reserved.
© 2015  Angie Knight Photography. All rights reserved.


Wearing Orange


The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, LORD.
 

 Psalm 9:9-10 HSCB

Orange.  Bright.  Easy to spot in a crowd.  When the masses that surround you have black hair and darker skin, and your bunch is fair skinned you really don’t need an orange shirt to stand out…

When we were getting our shirts and deciding on a color, orange seemed to yell, “pick me!”  “Make a decision to stand out and be counted for Christ~put ME on and lay your all on the altar!” Wearing Orange… It might cost you some time, vacation money, and possibly other extravagances….

Or, it might cost you your life.

Just like the persecuted Church.  They are easy to see from a distance.

It has been difficult to process some things we’ve encountered.  One particular day.  Wednesday–when our friends in our home towns were getting ready for Wednesday night Bible Study, we were riding back to the hotel, sweaty, exhausted and spent.  That’s what we came for.

When we begin this and all mission trips, we pray for God to direct our steps and our path–and we leave it entirely up to Him on the “how and when”.  This trip had a fully loaded fact.  Heart wrenching, emotional fact.

We encountered a young girl who had suffered abuse at the hands of a step-brother.  Had, in fact, been suffering in silence for 2 years.  It began when she was younger than 10 years old–in her prepubescent years the assaults began.  And she could tell no one.  Likely he threatened her life, and possibly the life of her mother.

Our paths crossed for a purpose and each of our lives will never be the same.  The team did not get to meet her or pray with her, but our Focus Forward Ministries team did–and hug her and give her a Bible and hope.  Hope that is only found in Christ Jesus.

It was no accident that this young girl, barely thirteen, now a child-mom of a 3-month old, encountered a team of orange wearing soldiers of the cross who would not back down from the pain that her wounds inflicted on each of our hearts.  We could do something.  Jeff and I will be sharing her story, along with our mission and purpose as we are able to meet with pastors and be in churches in the coming months.  It is a story and a purpose that has become embedded in each of our hearts.

Wearing orange gave us a particular boldness as we all remembered what our brothers and sisters in Christ were experiencing in their stand and statements.  Their stand, to remain associated with Jesus–their statement to not back down.

When our Presbyters wore orange ties at the recent District Council, they wore them in recognition for the persecuted church.  When I looked at the sea of orange as we filed off the bus, I remembered another single file line when I looked at the first group of Christians about to be beheaded.  I can’t even think of it now without crying.

Of the thousands of photographs I took, there are those that have a special place in my heart.  You may get tired of reading–and tired of looking at so much orange….but friend, this was one trip I am so glad I didn’t miss.

I may bleed red–but my heart boldly wears orange.

  

Whether they prayed sincerely, or simply bowed their heads because they were asked to is not ours to know–it’s between them and God….but the fact remains:  They were given an opportunity by a bunch of orange-t-shirt-wearing-believers who gave up a normal vacation for a trip to their country to give them a chance to know HIM.

To be continued….


© 2015 Angie Knight- The Knightly News Blog. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Angie Knight Photography.  All rights reserved.  


Harvest Time

If I started this blog with the phrase, “What an incredible week this has been”, I would not nearly come close to the truth.

There have been spiritual battles fought–and won.  There have been encounters that were God ordained.  And there have been tests and trials along this journey.  Tests of obedience (Jeff’s topic of devotion this week), and tests of patience….and tests of endurance.

I silently watch and observe how those that come with us are affected by the surroundings we are in–and constantly, I am amazed at how great is the love of Christ that continues to build in this team for the “world”.  Almost all individuals goes home wanting to do MORE in their own neighborhood–every -single- time.   The needs here in Bolivia reminds each of us of the needs at home.

There are faces that will be in our dreams each night and our prayers every day–hopefully forever.

Mr. Aubrey Graves is a child magnet.  It’s so funny to watch as the children crowd around him to see what he’s doing.  It’s amazing  how two little sticks can bright a child’s day.  Even a random child who possibly has no other toys–never had a toy given by a stranger.  To see the expressions on their faces…I don’t have to tell you about the emotion that follows.

Today we will go to two unscheduled schools.  They were not on our plan, but they were totally on God’s plan.  We had a visit to a church site yesterday, scoped out the school area–a very–VERY poor area.  This child is in the area.  I asked her mother permission to take photos, she smiled and nodded.  They are humble and kind.

Our plans are to make an impact next year in this village, as God leads our team, Focus Forward Ministries, Inc., in all the ways we can.  The needs are plenteous — everywhere your eyes land.

35 <span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-23415AU” data-link=”(AU)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 <span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-23416AV” data-link=”(AV)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>When he saw the crowds, <span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-23416AW” data-link=”(AW)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, <span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-23416AX” data-link=”(AX)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>like sheep without a shepherd. 37 <span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-23417AY” data-link=”(AY)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore <span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-23418AZ” data-link=”(AZ)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to <span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-23418BA” data-link=”(BA)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>send out laborers into his harvest.”  Matthew 9:35-38

© 2015 Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved.