Sunday, March 22, 2009

Off to La Pajcha...

One thing I encourage the seniors to do each year is to make a list of all the places they want to visit, foods they want to eat or things they want to do before they leave Bolivia. For many of them, graduation is the last event before moving away from Santa Cruz for good.

Kyle Swope, pictured here in the gray shirt, wanted to head back to the waterfalls, La Pajcha, one last time with a few of his friends. So Paul, Danny, Kyle, Tim and I headed up to the falls last Saturday, March 14. They didn't have school on Monday, so we were able to stay three full days and 2 nights. God gave us AWESOME weather for our entire trip. We had three warm, sunny, clear-sky days in the middle of rainy season to enjoy His incredible nature and the good company.
Yes, these trips are FUN! Yet, they are so important for the friendships and, in this case, the closure for someone such as Kyle leaving. It helps the rest of us in our closure as he won't be here in Bolivia after May.

Pray that the remaining two months of school and activities will bring good closure for all the students that will be moving on and also for those who will be staying behind.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spiritual Emphasis Week & Servant Day...

Our Spiritual Emphasis Week, March 9-13, focused on being made in the Image of God and the implications that follow. Steve Swope and I shared in three of the chapels, while the fourth chapel was dedicated to prayer. On Friday, the young people had an opportunity to reach out in community service as we finished up the week with a Servant Day. God blessed throughout the entire week of messages, worship and service!

Monday: Made in His Image - ON Purpose and WITH Purpose

Tuesday: Relationship with God through Prayer

Wednesday: Shaping His Image in You

Thursday: God's Image-Bearer

Friday's activities included painting, sharing and helping in various schools, churches, and other places throughout Santa Cruz. The kids enjoyed the time to reach out and were able to really minister through their giving.

These junior high students helped paint at a church.
I hear they even got some of the paint on the walls!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Senior Trip 2009...

The senior trip for 2009 was to the area of Bolivia bordering Brazil called the PANTANAL. It is a wetlands area that floods each year from the river, Paraná. There, we stayed in the beautiful Pantanal Hotel and were able to take in a few of the sites.

The 13-hour train ride to Quijaro, our final destination, was, thankfully, very uneventful and rather comfortable. The hotel was nice and gave the 21 students ample space and opporunity to enjoy the days away.
The highlights of the trip included visiting the neighboring Brazilian city of Corumbá, where we spent the day visiting local attractions, shopping and taking a two-hour boat ride on the Paraná river. While abored, we enjoyed the scenery and also the wildlife, including countless birds and crocidiles.

On our outting the following day, we were able to taste crocidile as it was part of our main course for lunch. It doens't taste like chicken; however, I really enjoyed it!

Overall, I beleive it was a fantastic trip. The seniors really enjoyed their times together and made great memories to take with them after they graduate and move on. I really enjoyed my time with them as well...yes, even the 16-hour train ride home!

Pray with me that the seniors will continue to enjoy this semester together and have a great closure to this juncture in life.