Serving in Bolivia
Ripe for Harvest
Welcome to the Wilson Website! We’re honored to share this info with you, thanks to the help of some wonderful friends! It’s our prayer that through this website you can feel more connected to our ministry- which you are a part of also. Through your friendship, support and encouragement of us- you too are participating in this ministry. That’s why we like to think of ourselves as an extension of your hands. Please feel free to check out our ministry news and photos and see firsthand the exciting things God is doing here in Bolivia! For some other entertainment, check out the photos of our family- particularly our absolutely adorable (and mischievous) daughters! If you’d like to read our monthly prayer reports and/or contact us, see the section on Connecting With Us. Thanks again for taking the time to visit our site, and please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. We’d also love to hear from you, so please drop us an email any time so we know what’s going on with your lives and how we can be praying for you, too! Blessings!!!Monte & Andrea Wilson
URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS:
*Please pray for Andrea's father who has recently been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. He has begun treatment, but we pray that the Lord will bless him with a number of years more, both for family and for ministry.
*Please pray for a miracle- that all necessary paperwork for the adoption and visa for Nicole would be completed by June of 2010 so that we can finally spend some much-needed time in the US.
Quick praise: Kayla invited Jesus into her heart on December 14!
Another praise: Nicole was baptized on Sunday, May 24th!
Preparing to leave? Returning Home? What’s Next?
The thought of actually returning home seems rather surreal now since we’ve hoped to return for many years now. But with the real possibility of returning approaching, we are praying for the Lord’s wisdom both for our current ministries and the future. While Following the Master Carpenter will continue on, we are pretty sure that Monte’s apprentice Junyor can continue there. On the other hand, because Casa de Alegria is so far away from the city of Cochabamba (close to 1hr or more each way by public transportation), it’s difficult to find volunteer(s) to continue on ministering to the girls. It’s not a well-run place or pretty and doesn’t have a Christian director, so that makes it even harder. So please pray that the Lord will lead up the right person or people to continue visiting and encouraging the girls. There’s no real adult presence among them and they need that so much! When I shared with them that I’d be leaving soon many of them cried. I also need to find some others who would be willing to continue discipling a couple of my disciples as well. Apart from all of that, we do have some other smaller goals that we’d like to accomplish before we leave- nothing major, but things with our kids or getting together with certain friends before we go, etc. Please pray for wisdom in terms of planning and taking advantage of the time we have left here. It’s said that often missionaries “check out” some months before leaving the field, but I think the opposite may be true as we try to cram in more things before taking off. God is good and we look to Him to show us what we can reasonably accomplish during this time.
When we consider returning home a lot of different thoughts come to mind. We can’t wait to see our family and friends and visit our churches! Yet we return with mixed feelings. We will of course miss our friends here, but also so much has changed since we’ve been away. It’s a little intimidating to know that we will be behind the times on so many things! Technology has changed so much! We barely even know what Twitter is! Also, so many of our friends were single or recently married when we left and they all have kids by now as do we! We’ve been told that our relationships with our friends will not be the same and I think that’s the hardest part- we hope, dream, and wish for great relationships with our friends where we can hang out and chat for hours like before (of course that was before kids)! We also most likely won’t be able to relate too much because our lives and experiences have been so different. We long to connect with everyone in the same way, but don’t really know what to expect. Also, we imagine others have unique expectations of us, too. We all have stereotypes of missionaries and what they’re supposed to be like and supposed to have accomplished and that’s sometimes the case but not always. We so appreciate your prayers for us as we prepare to return and try to prepare the girls for living in the US for the first time. Also, when we left we’d sold our home and most of our possessions so we don’t really have anything there either so we’ll be starting off from scratch- which should be fun, but still a challenge in terms of finances and also in terms of finding things to help our kids feel at home and adjust to the States. We plan to stay with Monte’s parents in Wichita, KS at first but will see where the Lord leads from there.
Speaking of where we go from there, we feel the Lord leading us to live in the US for now. We know that we need to readjust or we may never feel comfortable in the US again if we were to immediately spend more time overseas. We look forward to getting reconnected and refreshed. We feel like the Lord’s been good to us in allowing us some breaks along the way and not really stressful positions at this point in our ministry. With that said, we look forward to seeing what the Lord has for us next in terms of ministry. Monte is praying for a pastor position at a church that is on fire for the Lord. He’s most interested in Missions Pastor or Administrative Pastor or possibly Adult Ministries or College Pastor type positions. If you know of any churches looking for someone to fill that type of role, please let us know so we can pray about applying. After Monte finds a full-time ministry, then I would look for something most likely part time. Part of it will depend on what options we have in terms of caring for Brina until she’s school age. So we’ll see, but we are trusting the Lord for that as well. We are especially looking forward to being involved in a church with awesome preaching and great kid’s ministries in English! Again, thank you for joining with us in praying for this major transition in our lives. We are still open to missions should the Lord lead us that way, but right now we feel Him directing us home and at this point we are very grateful for that.
Every month we send our supporting churches and prayer partners an update regarding our ministry, family news, and prayer requests (if you'd like to receive a copy of that e-letter please send us an email). You may be interested in what goes on as the ministries develop, so we plan on including this info whenever we can. Hopefully this will help you really get a feel for what we do every day as well as the ups and downs, the challenges and struggles of our ministry here in Bolivia.
Below you will find a Ministry Update, and an Adoption Update and our previous Political Update (as not much has changed politically)
We have been serving in Bolivia since June of 2003. We are quickly approaching our 7yr mark! We honestly didn't expect to be here for so long without a furlough, but sometimes not knowing our future isn't a bad thing. We wouldn't trade this experience for anything, and it's been great that the Lord has just revealed a little bit of His plan for us at a time. We are currently serving in some newer ministries. Our primary focus is a new ministry started by Nate Hitson, called Following the Master Carpenter and is a ministry which takes teens at risk and teaches them carpentry in order to train them to provide for themselves in the future so they can stay off the streets and stay permanently out of bad lifestyles. The ultimate goal is that as they see Christ modeled and are discipled, that they will invite Christ into their lives and allow Him to be the One who takes them out of their former life and transforms them into godly men who seek to live like Christ. The other part of the program provides furnishings for local ministries such as churches, orphanages, day cares, Christian schools and more. Since there are over 100 orphanages in Cochabamba alone, there is a huge list of projects! Monte is a carpenter by hobby, so he is one of the guys who trains in the boys on building furniture and different skills. Andrea is primarily focusing on discipleship this semester and usually has between 5-10 ladies that she works with on a regular basis. We have also praying about starting our own foundation. To read more about our new ministries, check out our Ministry page.
In other news, we are still in the process of adopting Nicole, who recently turned 10 on February 23. It's amazing how time flies! As of the beginning of last May, we have been pre-approved to adopt by Child Social Services, and were waiting on paperwork showing that Nicole's father has abandoned her. WE've just received that document so as of the beginning of May we will have finally begun the official adoption process. As you can tell, there have been various complications along the way. Things are like this in a 3rd world country and the Lord is showing us new meaning to the word patience. So last year when we finally got most of the way through the pre-requisities for the adoption, we had an opportunity to sell our house and felt it was of the Lord so we sold it and are now renting. We were incorrect in thinking that we'd soon be home in the US, but we still haven't completed the house paperwork yet, so praise the Lord for allowing us to sell it when we did. We're also really blessed to live where we do now and are quite content. Here in Bolivia, it's just really difficult to anticipate all of the possible variations to a normal adoption procedure, as well as all paperwork in general. We will continue to do ministry for as long as we can here in Bolivia, but are praying the process won't take much longer. We've been told it could take up to one more year! We are so grateful for your prayers. This is often really stressful because for every advance, there seems to be something else holding us up. For example, our judge has now resigned, so we will be presenting our case to a different judge who has an enormous caseload now and who knows nothing about our family or our case. This can get so discouraging, yet we worship the God of the impossible, so we trust Him to work out the details just as He's worked out everything up to this point. We praise Him and thank Him for being so gracious to us and for giving Nicole to us as our daughter.
Politics, what can I say? Well, many of you have heard that in 2008 Bolivia voted to approve a new constitution, modeled after the one in Venezuela. Then in 2009 they voted to allow a president multiple terms in office and indeed the same was re-elected in December of '09. For now it means that Bolivia is a Socialist Republic. With that come some limitations. The one that concerns us is that it will restrict religious freedom in some ways. Catholicism is no longer the official religion and there is a big push to embrace the culture, traditions, and religions of the native indians. The indian culture has a sort of pantheistic view, meaning they worship many gods, but it is more commonly classified as animistic, meaning they find life in all things- such as rocks, trees, mountains, and more. If someone were to ask them to name the one main god they would say "P'acha Mama" or in our translation, Mother Earth. It is sad that this is happening because where they used to teach evangelical Christianity, they will now be teaching nothing, or this new/old religion. Another consideration of the government is to close all private schools so that religion cannot be taught and so they can govern more closely the things that they would like taught, such as an indian language. Another item of concern is that now technically only people of one indian group can teach religion to the same people group. That means that not only should foreigners not be missionaries to others, but even Bolivian nationals from one people group are not to go as missionaries to another people group. So far we've not heard of too many repercussions regarding this decision and we don't know exactly how they plan to control the spread of Christianity, but over time we anticipate more differences. The awesome thing is that Christianity seems to not only continue on in the midst of oppression, but it seems to thrive. So we pray for those who are believers that they will stand firm and not be afraid to share the gospel with others. We ask for your continued prayers for us, that we will be able to complete the adoption before any major changes are made (for example asking foreign missionaries to leave Bolivia).
Thanks so much for your interest in our ministry and the way you are a support to us and part of our team. To see recent prayer requests and praises, please click Prayer.
Monte & Andrea Wilson
Cochabamba International Church
Ripe for Harvest - BOLIVIA