We all share the same god.

We were privileged to participate in an amazing morning of worship with Iglesia Emanuel today. Even with their limited resources they have created a beautiful place of worship to honor our Creator. We started with music led by their worship team prior to presenting the teaching we had prepared on the theme of Following Jesus for both the adult service and for Sunday school for the children. Josh, Steve and Leigh did a fabulous job and the message was well received. We were then entertained by the youth and children’s worship teams and watched a skit the children had prepared. The community was so welcoming, and their deep faith and the depth of gratitude was heartwarming.
Our afternoon was spent teaching families about how to show love to one another. The day ended with a family game that had them working together, smiling and laughing. We have so enjoyed interacting with these wonderful, gracious people. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Laura

Our hearts are full

Thank you to all who are following along in our footsteps through the blog. Your words of encouragement and prayers are more meaningful than you can ever know. Pictures and words cannot begin to describe how beautiful this place is, but we love sharing. We have already met so many amazing people with hearts generous beyond belief. We have shed tears and sweat. Our team is amazing and we learn more about each other, the people of Bolivia and gods plan every day.

An extra special thank you today to all military veterans who have sacrificed for our country and our families. We love you.

Keep following for more updates and stories!

 

 

Fun, laughter and touching moments

Today we had quite the tour of Lajastambo! The day was full of fun, laughter and many touching moments. In the morning FH held a welcome ceremony for us with songs, games and a personal welcome from the local director of FH as well as a neighborhood leader. We then had a welcome program with the children, roughly 75, they were all very excited to see us as we were excited to see them. We played many games, relay races and good ole tug of war!
In the afternoon we split in two group and visited some sponsor children that people on the team, or their friends, sponsor! Altogether we visited 9 homes. It was amazing to be able to meet these children in person that we have prayed for andsent letters and photos to. We were able to gift them with a bag of food for their family, some treats, and presents. We were able to talk with our sponsor children and get to know them personally and hear about their lives. We also prayed specifically for their family needs and health concerns. Many of the homes had multiple children. Some of the families had all their children sponsored and some did not. One multi-family home in particular really broke our hearts. In addition to several illnesses, there were 3 other children living there who had been abandoned by their parents. The sponsorship of a couple of the children through FH helped the entire home. So it really helped us see the need, how FH is helping, and what can still be done.
Please pray for the sponsor children in FH and their families. FH is doing so much good for this community, and it is an honor to be able to help alongside the wonderful caring staff here in Lajastambo.

We made it!

A Very Long Day that We call Thur-Friday

The well anticipated day finally arrived. With excitement intermixed with a certain amount of apprehension, the Bolivia GO Team Nov2018 gathered at Blackhawk Church for prayer and send-off between 7:30 to 8:30 on Thursday AM. We fit nicely into 2 vehicles and traveled to O’Hare Airport enjoying some good bonding conversations en-route. Once at O’Hare we went through the usual airport “dance” shuffling vehicles, checking 15 bags, migrating through security etc. (you all know the routine). We were blessed with uneventful travels to Miami (aside from one member of our team who kept trying to lose her things but other team members kept coming to her rescue…) The day continued as we boarded the plane to Santa Cruz Bolivia at about 10:00 PM and all attempted to sleep for the 6 hour flight. Unfortunately very few were successful in having a continuous and restorative sleep so we arrived at Santa Cruz customs excited about our entrance to Bolivia but feeling quite exhausted (most of us agreed this was really a continuation of our Thursday). We patiently waited in customs in the VISA line for 30 min-1 hr-2 hrs+ (keeping with the longest day theme) but finally were overjoyed to meet up with our wonderful FH friend, Fabi who had been waiting patiently for us on the other side of security for just as long. We had quite a gap until our connecting flight to Sucre so we explored the nearly 90 degree Centro de Santa Cruz and ended up eating an absolutely delightful authentic Bolivian lunch. Some were so bold as to try the alligator. The day continued with a dash back to the airport and a truly impressive demonstration of efficiency as the Airlines agents checked in 13 individuals, 17 bags, got us through security and tucked us into the plane in only 20 minutes (US airline companies could learn a thing or two from this heroic effort). The pinnacle of our Thur-Friday blend was the celebratory welcome by a number of FH sponsored kids, FH staff and other friends at the Sucre airport. The kids raised their beautifully crafted banner, sang their hearts out (3 songs with lots of dancing and hand motions) then presented each of us with smiles, hugs and our own FH embroidered shirts. Needless to say tears of joy were shed. We then traveled 30 minutes to Sucre and continued our Thur-Friday with checking in to our Hostel, going shopping for sponsored families and then having dinner near the plaza square in Sucre at about 7:45 PM. By 8:30 that night (as a continuation of our 36 hour day) we huddled one last time for our longest (yet joyful) day. Everyone looked a bit weary but could sense the amazing things that God has in store for all of us (our team, FH staff, the kids and families of the Lajastambo community). Most people are now asleep and I will be soon… Please pray for health and regeneration for us as we start this exciting week.

Steve

 

Super Excited

 

 
Hi! I’m David, and I’m super excited to meet our sponsored child in Bolivia in just a few days! My family put together a small photobook that I get to deliver personally. We’ve already exchanged a couple letters, and now we get to meet each other!

My role on the team will be to encourage and share experiences with local savings group members in Lajastambo and also play games with kids! Over the next few days, I’m looking forward to helping build ties between Blackhawk and the Lajastambo community & Food for the Hungry.

Lea. Go team!

My name is Lea and I am so excited to be blessed with the opportunity to be a part of this group. I am a busy wife, mom and career  woman. I am happy to be able to work with and learn from my team and the people of Bolivia. This will be my first trip to Bolivia and I can’t wait to share more with you all along the way.

My areas of expertise on this trip are nutrition education and working with children. Additionally, as one of the team photographers and blog editors I welcome you all to join us on this journey from afar and watch for updates along the way!

Almost Ready

The Blackhawk Bolivia Go Team for November is almost ready. The team bags are packed with markers, pens, activity sheets, stickers, soccer balls, and gardening tools. The various talks are assigned and outlined. The games are planned. Now to recheck the weather and pack our own clothes. Passport? check. Vaccination card? Check.

Only four days to find the last minute items. Four more days to prepare our hearts for humble service. Please pray with us for a humble and joyful learning attitude, for safe travel, and good relationship building in Lajastambo. Check back often for regular updates.

Excited to Serve

My name is Carlene, I have lived in Madison now for about 4 years. I am an assistant manager and catering associate at a cafe. During the summer, I lead mission trips through a ministry organization. I have been involved in other ministries with Blackhawk church in other areas, and now I am excited to be able to serve on the Bolivia GO team!

At a young age God gave me a heart for missions. Since middle school He has lead me on various mission trips all over the world. I am so great full God is now leading me to Bolivia with Food For the Hungry. I’m praying God does amazing things through our group to reach and connect with the great community of Lajastambo!

Getting More Than We Give

My name is James and I am part of the November Bolivia team. My wife Teresa and I, and our two daughters, have been part of Blackhawk Church for many years. I am looking forward to our trip to Lajastambo, Bolivia to partner with the community and Food for the Hungry. I have been part of many previous Blackhawk medical teams to Honduras as well as a few trips with Food for the Hungry to the Dominican Republic. I am excited to work with a partner like Food for the Hungry because I believe that their approach to “missions” is a solid one based on a biblical world view that can provide lasting change with all types of poverty, both ours and theirs. We have a great team assembled with many skills and backgrounds. I hope that we can assist Food for the Hungry in the great work that they are doing while we develop relationships with the people in the community. We always find ourselves getting more out of these relationships than we bring to them. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers for us and the community of Lajastambo.