Visiting with Friends in Cochabamba (sorry - pics won't upload)


 5/10/11 - On our travel through Bolivia, we went to the inauguration of the new church in Cochabamba. It is a small congregation called Congregación Cristiana Amigos. On Saturday, we got up at 5:30 to go over to the church and undertake a massive clean-up before the heat built up. The building was recently built and there were huge piles of construction materials and debris still there. The community consists of only four households and a few friends here and there, so our help was really needed, especially that of my three tall and strong teens. Everybody was floored at their strength and energy. We piled up a truck-full of trash for pickup out front, we sorted and stored construction materials and made some steps for the front door. Then we laid carpet and flooring and cleaned the place from top to bottom. It is a lovely building of which the Friends have the first floor, consisting of a worship room, kitchen and bath, and two classrooms. They have an audio system and with the guidance of Hans, one of our hosts, their audio-visual system for putting songs and pictures up on the wall is a marvel.

We saw their spirit of evangelism in action when they invited the neighbors who came out to see what was happening, and also the dump truck driver.
The next day we joined in the feeling of exhilaration as the sparkling new building filled with Friends and visitors from the community, joined by supporters from La Paz and Santa Cruz. Many had taken an overnight bus to get there and celebrate the opening of the new church. Lots of these Friends have helped start the small Cochabamba meeting which is a preparatory meeting under the care of the Santa Cruz meeting.
Each of the visiting pastors offered impassioned prayers and songs, asking for growth and health for the church in its new space. I was pleased to hear the beautiful song that our Cuban Friends love so much, Si no fuera por tí  (If it weren’t for you, God, what would have happened to me?)  The dump truck driver and his wife were there as well.
Friends Ninfa and Hans, Daniel, Freddie and Marta had worked for weeks on end to welcome the Friends who showed up (at least 100 were there). Afterwards, a catered chicken dinner was provided for all. We felt a kinship with this small meeting as our Amesbury meeting has been this small at various times in the past, and is now blessed with a growing and loving community. Ninfa and her family and community are working really hard and are building a wonderful meeting.