July 30, 2008

final Bolivia update

After a very hard goodbye to all of my babies and friends at the Casa de Amor baby home, I headed up to spend six days in Riberalta, Bolivia where my maternal great-grandfather started the first Evangelical Church in 1921! Thanks to the current pastor of the church, Absalon Rojas and his family I was able to learn more about the city and the influence my family had on Bolivia. I also got to spend the week getting to know Absalon and his family and it was wonderful. His wife, Mary Luz, stays home with their three beautiful daughters, Rut, 8; Megumi, 2; and Aimi, 1. I of course fell in love with all of them!

While I was there I got to see the church in Riberalta that my great grandfather started along with the church that his church has since planted! I also got to see another church he helped plant across the river in Las Piedras, Bolivia. It was so neat to not only see the church buildings, but to also get to worship in them!

While I was there I also was able to "tour" the house that my great-grandparents lived in and my grandma and great aunts and uncles grew up in! I also was able to visit my great grandfather's grave.

Absalon, the current pastor, also made sure that I got to meet and visit with just about every person he could think of that knew my great grandparents or at least my Great Uncle Gaston and Great Aunt Sarah Suarez. Everyone told me great stories about things they remembered about my family and it was really special to learn about the legacy that my family left there. Everyone was especially excited to meet a great granddaughter of Alva Hinshaw because without him many of the people I met would not be Christians today.

It was an absolutely wonderful experience both in Cochabamba working with the babies and also in Riberalta getting to see the history and legacy of my family. I cannot wait to go back to my beloved Bolivia!

An extra special thanks to anyone and everyone who supported me while I was on my trip. Whether you gave financial support, prayer support, email support or any other sort of support it means a lot to me to have you in my life."

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