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May 31, 2008
Still Going Strong!!
THANK YOU so much for your love, concern and continued prayers for me and my team on this Mission of Hope! As I type this, my mailbox is full with countless emails from you reminding me that you are indeed praying for us.
Today was AWESOME!! I had 2 sessions at Berea School scheduled but when I woke up this morning my voice was still a whisper and I really wasn’t sure I could do it like I did last night, especially twice. As you know, it has always been my practice not to cancel a speaking engagement but this time I thought I might really have to so that I’d be able to complete the rest of my schedule. But when Tony arrived for our daily breakfast meeting he had a unique idea. He said, “Since I’m the one who did the Spanish subtitles on your testimony DVD, I know your story word for word. What if I sit next to you and narrate your story and then you do the application and invitation?“ He said, “We are a team and I’m here to do what I can to help you complete your mission.” Then he repeated my own words to me, “Failure is not an option.” Wow, how humbling to have a person like this on my team.
Well, Vanessa, my interpreter, got a much needed morning off to be with her kids and the three of us went to the school. Between both sessions we had about 560 middle and high school students. Tony began by explaining that I usually do the speaking but today I had no voice do to a throat infection. As he spoke, I connected with the students using my facial expressions, laughter and smile. The kids were so into it, glued to his every word, yet keeping their eyes on me. Then when I began to whisper the room became silent and the kids seem to be lean forward to hear what I was saying. I told them how they can have the same joy and victory that I have by opening their hearts to Jesus. Tears fill my eyes when almost 50 students and teachers raised their hands to accept Jesus. I wish you could have been there to see this miraculous work of God. At the end over a hundred students stayed behind to greet me and to tell me “I said the prayer with you.” “You changed my life. “You brought me hope.” “Thank you for sharing your life.” The second session was the same with at least 20 decisions! What a confirmation that we can never give up on the mission that God has given us. He has a purpose in what he allows and this time he has chosen to display his work in my silence.
After that I had an interview with a reporter from Para Ellas Magazine, a magazine for women similar to our Women’s Day magazine. She was at the Rotary Club meeting last night where I whispered my entire testimony. There was a TV station there also last night filming me as I spoke. Apparently, they saw my TV interview earlier this week and found out that I was speaking at this exclusive event. I’m not sure why the media is interested in me but this is definitely an opened door for me to show Jesus. The magazine interview went very well and I was able to speak openly about the hope that is within me. The reporter herself left inspired and anticipating my return in October for the Mujeres de Hoy Conference.
As you can see this has been an incredible trip so far. God is moving in a mighty way here in Bolivia and in my weakness he has been my strength. He’s using this ministry in ways that we never dreamed possible. I just can’t wait for you to see the video!
Well I’m off to bed. We have to leave early to travel to the orphanage in Montero. I’m also speaking in a ladies tea later in the afternoon. Pray for me, that my voice will be strong enough to speak with Vanessa.
Love You Much,
Posted by Bernadette at 01:09 AM
May 30, 2008
Bernadette Whispers Her Testimony!
Tonight I witnessed one of the most incredible things I ever have seen in my life. My wife, giving everything within her to share Christ with others. A few hours before she was scheduled to speak to a group of very affluent (non Christian) Bolivian women, Bernadette totally lost her voice. As I write this to you, I'm holding back the tears. She told me that she would not cancel the event even if she had to whisper her testimony.
Well her voice did not come back. Not only that, it was a very, very cold night and the meeting was held outside on the patio. There were about 70 women in attendance and as Bernadette whispered you could hear a pin drop. No one moved despite the frigid temperatures. Except for God! He moved through her whispers and penetrated the hardest of hearts. As Bernadette gave the invitation for salvation, 14 women accepted Jesus as their savior!!! Afterwards, one by one, they came up to her saying, “I said the prayer with you."
Tonight God did not come in a strong or perfect voice but in the whisper of a humble servant not willing to give up but choosing to give her all. I am deeply moved. I am inspired. I am forever changed.
To His Glory,
Posted by Bernadette at 01:14 AM
May 29, 2008
Brokenhearted in Bolivia
Just a quick note to let you know that I'm doing well. Thank you so much for praying. I had to speak twice yesterday with my voice going in and out, but the Lord blessed my efforts and everything turned out great. My voice is much stronger today but the weather has turned cold and rainy so keep praying.
On a sad note, it looks like I will not be speaking at Palmasola Prison after all. Not because the Jail itself doesn't want to have me but because the pastor who was supposed to set things up failed to do so in time. Now my only opportunity to go is on Saturday morning but I have 150 orphans waiting for me to visit them on that day. I'm so sad and disappointed, not for me but for all the inmates who were expecting me. The same pastor who was helping us has a radio program and had been promoting my visit to the jail. When I was at the station this week, people from the prison called in saying how much they can't wait to hear my message. This just breaks my heart because I know that God could use me to bring many of them to Christ. So today as I look around the table here I see that there is a cloud of sadness over my team. We hurt over the souls.
Well, that's it for now, thanks again for all your prayers and emails of support. The three of us gather around the computer every night and read every single word that you write to us. We love you guys so much.
Brokenhearted in Bolivia
Posted by Bernadette at 10:07 AM
May 28, 2008
Battling in Bolivia
Please pray. We are having trouble getting in to speak at the prison. Now they're saying if I want to go, it has to be on Saturday (instead of today). Tony's trying to rearrange things but I have the orphanage and ladies Tea on Saturday. We're trying to see if I can at least switch the orphanage to tomorrow or Friday. I won't cancel these kids, they're expecting me plus I brought the 150 toys you sent.
Also, Jeff and Tony have been fighting a throat thing for a few days. They don't feel sick, but Jeff has a little sore throat and Tony lost his voice for 2 days. I feel great but I started losing my voice last night.
I know all this is just another attack from the enemy. I'm not giving up. I'm fighting. I'm calling on you to stand with me ... in prayer ... sort of like the guys who held up Moses arms on a difficult day in his life. Together we will be victorious!
Battling in Bolivia,
Posted by Bernadette at 08:11 AM
May 27, 2008
Busy in Bolivia!
I've been on the go. By the time you read this, I would have already spoken 7 times! I wish you could be here with me to see all the wonderful things that God is doing here in Bolivia.
I spoke at 2 churches on Sunday. The first one was in a very poor neighborhood with mostly native people. I was told that a typical Sunday service has about 30 people but our flyer distribution was very successful in the area and we had 69 in attendance!! And 8 accepted Jesus!!
The second church I visited on Sunday was great. Everybody was so friendly that I was hugged over and over before the service even started! The church was packed, standing room only with at least 250 people. It was a long service because they were doing a lot of special things for Mothers Day which is today here in Bolivia. I was worried that the people would be worn out by the time my interpreter and I got a chance to speak but as always God proved once again that He is the One who draws the heart of man, not me. At the end, over 30 people gave their hearts to Christ!
Yesterday was an unbelievable moment in the life of my ministry. To begin with, in the morning I had the incredible opportunity to be interviewed live on Centro De Noticias Matinal. This is a TV program similar to our Good Morning America, which is seen in 4 different parts of Bolivia.
The amazing thing is that this is not a Christian program. The station invited me mainly because I’m an inspirational speaker who travels around the world and they heard that I was going to be speaking here in Santa Cruz this week. As the interview went along, it was amazing to see the producer, the anchor woman and all the people who work behind the cameras and controls moved by my message of hope. I almost died when the host asked me what is the source of this incredible joy and hope that I have in my life. I was able to talk openly and honestly about JESUS and our need for Him in our lives. YES, I was able to give the gospel on live TV!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it? I was able to say that only in Christ can we find true meaning in life. Guess what? At the end, the anchor woman asked where can she come to hear me to speak. She said “I just want to hear more.” WOW!!! It’s so humbling to see God at work.
After that we drove quite far to Logos Radio, a Christian radio station here in Santa Cruz that reaches over a 300 mile radius. When we arrived, I couldn’t believe that we were at a radio station. It looked more like a farm to me with goats running wild. The building was old and beat up looking. But what a mighty work of God goes on inside that building. Their focus is mainly for the country people and they are working with cave age transmitter (they call it the grandfather) and equipment that is not supposed to be working anymore. The people they reach are people who would never be able to come to city to hear me but the station manager brought me to them. I was able to say my entire testimony (interview style) live and encourage the listeners that God has a purpose for each of us. Again I saw God working in the hearts of the radio staff. As I spoke I could see the guy in the control room, the interviewer and the director fighting back to tears as God spoke to their hearts. The director said what he heard has changed his life and that he will re-air the show again and again.
Later that afternoon I did something that I’ve never done before. I spoke at aluminum factory! There was about 30 workers gathered together, 27 men and 3 women. As you can imagine, it was a hard crowd. At first, they wouldn’t even look at me but after about 20 minutes, one by one, they began to look up and smile. No hands were raised here but we don’t know who may have said the prayer with me in their hearts.
Well, I better get going now. I have another radio interview in an hour. Take care until I write again.
Love to you from Bolivia,
Posted by Bernadette at 09:15 AM
May 25, 2008
Today we got to meet Tony’s family for the first time! It was his parents’ 35th wedding anniversary so the entire family (20 of them) gathered together to celebrate and to welcome Jeff and I to Bolivia. And what a welcome it was, there was more food than we could eat! Tony’s family is great and believe it or not they all live within walking distance of each other.
Tonight was the Campus Crusade monthly meeting for families of those who belong to Sede Sirari (an outreach project of Campus Crusade). There were over a hundred people in attendance and 15 people raised their hands to receive JESUS after hearing my testimony!
Well, I better get going. Forgive me if my e-mails are short some nights on this trip, but my schedule is very full and I’m trying to get as much rest as I can to be able to do a great job.
Thank you for your prayers and for emailing me. Please know that I have read each and every one and I’m encouraged by your love.
Love you guys!
Posted by Bernadette at 12:35 AM
May 14, 2008
Back to Bolivia!
May 23 to June 2
We're packing again! Venturing to yet another country on our 2008 Mission of Hope. This time we're headed to Santa Cruz, Bolivia for 10 days of personal evangelism and outreach through my testimony.
I just got my schedule and it's PACKED!!! I'll be speaking at 6 churches, on 3 TV programs, 2 radio programs, at 2 school assemblies, 2 times at Palmasola Prison, at an orphanage for girls, at a parents meeting, to workers at an aluminum factory, to a group of university students and at a ladies club. WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!! Pray for strength!!
Please Pray For:
Please pray for God to use me mightily to lead many Bolivians to Christ.
Lives to be Changed
Good Health & Strength
Vanessa - Interpreter
Tony - Video & Production
Physical Challenges & Accessibility Obstacles
Safe Handling of the Wheelchair
So The World May Know Him,
Posted by Bernadette at 01:00 AM