Returning to You!
By the time you receive this we will be driving back to Santa Cruz where we will fly back to Miami on Thursday. I want to THANK YOU so much, from the bottom of my heart, for partnering with me and sending me here to Cochabamba. God moved in an incredible way and countless lives were changed and entire churches were encouraged and revived.
Look at these girls. Aren’t they beautiful? Can you believe that each of them have already lived a life of homelessness, gangs, prostitution and drugs? Yes, it’s true. These teenagers have all been abused in one way or another and were abandoned by their parents. Many began their life on the streets at the age of 10 or earlier.
Here’s the good news. These particular girls have all been through several levels of rehabilitation and are now living at a special home called “Albergue de Restauracion” Restoration Shelter, a ministry that serves as the final step in their reinsertion into society.
There were 11 girls living there on the day of my visit. We all sat together in the living room and I shared my story in an informal and intimate way. They loved it! Guess what? At the end, 8 of these girls opened their hearts to Jesus!!! The director of the home and another leader were in tears. They had been working with these girls for so long. They were so thrilled.
Let me tell you about a special church I visited on Sunday night called “UCE Esteban Arce.” From the moment they heard that I was coming to Cochabamba and specifically to their Church, the leaders became so excited. This is a small church in a very bad neighborhood and normally on a Sunday night they have about 20 people there. But the worship ministry got together and promoted my visit to the point that they had to have the service outside. When I got to the platform, I could not believe my eyes as I saw a sea of people before me, all the way to the street! Yes, even the sidewalk was filled with people! There had to be 400-500 people. As I spoke nobody moved an inch. They were all listening intently, laughing and crying. At the end we were able to count about 51 people making decisions to Christ but we are unclear of the exact total because so many were standing in the street.
Afterwards, the Pastor thanked me with tears for coming and told me that other speakers never come here. He said that he truly felt abandoned by other speakers and evangelist but tonight he felt that God had blessed them in a special way by sending me.
There are countless more stories to share of how God was working during my time here in Cochabamba but my fingers would fall off if I try to type it all. I had opportunities to not only speak at churches but at many places where the Gospel is not usually heard like at the jails, rehabilitations centers, the chamber of commerce, TV, Radio and a private university. Let me just tell you that in 8 days I spoke 27 times and (from what we can count) 618 people gave their Lives to Christ!! The harvest was ripe here in Cochabamba and people are searching for answers. There is much more work to be done here. In fact I had to turn away at least 12 invitations to speak.
As I begin my journey back to Miami, I ask you to commit with me in praying for this 618 lives that were changed this week. Thankfully each one will be contacted and given an opportunity to begin learning more about Jesus. Pray especially for the 167 university students that made decisions. As you know, universities are filled with temptations.
Again I want to thank you for sending us here. Be assured that God really used us in a mighty way. It is with great sadness that I leave this city because I know that there is more to be done and that God can specially use me in a unique way to reach even more people here in Cochabamba.
Returning to you,
Posted by Bernadette at March 31, 2009 09:43 PM