Hi everyone! Thanks for reading about our adventures! Tonight at dinner, Francis read the blog comments people have made so far. We so appreciate all your love and support!
Today was a lighter (only 14 hour !?) day for team Blackhawk, or Halcón Negro, as we are sometimes called. We met with FH Bolivia director Marcio Oblitas Fernández, and he shared the “Heartbeat of FH” with us. Marcio used the analogy of an iceberg: the visible part is the obvious lack of resources such as food and clothing, while the invisible part, the more important part, is knowing the joy and hope provided by the gospel. FH knows they can leave an area when people have hope and when they are willing (wanting?) to help each other without compulsion.
Steve and Lea then did a wonderful job engaging Quechua Lajastambo residents while instructing them about hypertension and diabetes at the main clinic in the area. While that was going on, Leigh, Laura, and Alex led a group of kids around the clinic courtyard in a lively impromptu game of “let’s take a train ride.” James provided medicine to the two doctors at the clinic, and we all helped with making distribution packets for pills.
After lunch, we visited Rio Jordan church, one of the two churches Blackhawk has supported. James was impressed with the growth of the church building since his previous visit last year. The pastor was overjoyed to see us and expressed his love and desire to have us come visit again. We also noticed there was a thriving after school program at the church, including one child with Down Syndrome. This is a huge benefit to the community, as kids without guidance and direction in the community trend toward teen pregnancy and drug use.
We then split into groups and worked with homeowners to add roofs to three greenhouses. A large pig supervised the process, and we all gained more respect for FH agronomists. A thankful woman cooked some roots and served them to us out of appreciation for the work we were doing for her and for her community. The experience was significant in that, in order to get the roof on successfully, FH, Lajastambo residents, and Halcones Negro all had to pull together, side by side. We finished with prayer for the obviously grateful homeowners and their community, and, after saying goodbye to the pig and a kind woman spinning wool fibers into yarn with a hand spinner, we finally left around sunset to head back to Sucre.
Our group has bonded well on this trip, and we increasingly appreciate each other’s unique gifts and our two leaders, James and Steve. Unfortunately, Tupac’s revenge (Incan modification) has been playing out in grumbling stomachs among us. Tomorrow is our last official day, and it will include a long hike with sponsored kids and FH staff (and away from facilities). So if you’re praying, please include those whose faces have gone green that they can finish strong.