August 2018

Dear friends and family,

I’m now nearing the end of my time in Bolivia and although I don’t fly until the morning of Thursday 16th, I will need to leave Baures (where I’m based) on Monday, leaving me just under a week left of work here. There’s plenty still to do though, so the main objective now is to finish well and tick off a few final objectives! Since my last update the main activities have been training sessions with the local leaders and various bible studies and talks.

Bible studies with the local youth have continued once or twice a day and what I’d like to do this week is try and share some practical tips on how the boys can read God’s word for themselves, and how it’s exciting and important to do so. Please pray for an increased hunger, dependence and delight in the Bible, that would lead to godliness (Titus 1: 1). At the moment they struggle to apply scripture to their lives. The other prayer point on the youth front is for my final Christianity Explored talk this Saturday. For various reasons we’ve not been able to complete the whole course, but this week’s talk is on the Cross, which will give me a good final opportunity to encourage and challenge the young people. Please pray for focus from every youngster and, most importantly, that they would bring their sin to Jesus and then walk the way of the Cross.

I’ve had some useful training sessions with some of the local leaders here and am aiming to do two more with them, working through some of the material from the book “Dig Deeper”. There are three men in the group and the plan is that they each preach on a chapter from Titus before I leave, giving me the opportunity to give them some feedback. Please pray that they would be encouraged by these sessions and that they would gain new understanding and a hunger for expository bible teaching. I’ve also invited some of the youth leaders to these sessions, so hopefully they will come along as well and learn some useful things for their ministry.

The other thing I’d like to do this week is read the Bible with a couple of non-Christian men, who will hopefully want to continue doing this with others in the church after I’ve left. Please pray that they’d understand grace and that this would give them a hunger for more. As with many non-Christians here, their perception of Christianity is that it’s about man centred, works based religion, which is also the problem facing the youth I’ve been reaching out to at the local football pitches. I’ve not had time to do this so much lately, but please pray for long term fruit from the seeds that have been sown already.

In other news, yesterday was the anniversary of Bolivia’s independence from Spain, which involved plenty of activities, including marching round the town square. We joined in as a church and you’ll see a photo with our banner, as well as another of some of the local youth. The photo above is of me with my host family at a gathering of relatives. We had t-shirts made and I became an honorary member of the Durán family!

Thank you very much for your interest and prayers during my time here!

Love from,

John

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