Dear friends and family,
Most of this was written yesterday, as we were flying somewhere over Louisiana, at a cruising altitude of 39,000 thousand feet, on our way to Miami International Airport. I say we, because my parents were on the same flight. They got on the plane to Bolivia today and I will follow them early next week. As you can guess, I’m so eager to be back in Bolivia with Genesis, yet that must wait a little longer. The Lord has opened some important doors for the ministry and specifically for the book in Miami, and I am eager to make the most of the opportunity.
“Thirst was made for water; inquiry for truth” – CS Lewis
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Genesis and I: With the passing of Genesis’ father in June, it has been a roller coaster of emotions at times. We are so thankful that he left us being so happy for his daughter and our future marriage. We have not yet announced our wedding date publicly, for the sake of the family, but it will be taking place early next year. We are so excited and are already organizing the details for our wedding. Also, we are hoping to have a reception in the Seattle area in June. We are praying a tourist visa for her will come through quickly so that we can make this trip.
Each day the Lord has been teaching us new things, growing us closer together, and showing us that the challenges are to prepare us for marriage. It has been said that “great men and women are made by great trials.” We are more certain than ever that the Lord is preparing us to serve Him, that we might be better and more useful to him together than we were apart.
Confesiones de un inquisidor: Whereas the book continues to continually surprise us with incredible sales on an international level, we do not want to settle for mediocrity. The publishing company has great hopes for this book and the ones to come, so they have invited me to spend the next several days at a conference center near the airport in Miami. “ExpoLit Miami 2017” is the single biggest Christian Spanish literary event in the world. Aside from important authors and the biggest publishers, some of the most well-known Spanish-speaking musicians will also be attending. I’ve never been to one of these events, but am looking forward to seeing what doors the Lord opens for us.
Over the next few days I will be meeting with publishers, authors, musicians, members of Christian media, etc. I’ve been told that I am scheduled to appear on radio, television, and be interviewed for magazines and newspapers about the book Confesiones de un inquisidor, as well as to promote the launch of the upcoming book Héroes. The fact of the matter is that this is a main-stream Christian event, a mixed group that includes some who have heretical viewpoints and whose god is money. May I be a light in this place, using this platform to proclaim Christ, as Paul did the Areopagus in Athens.
Mattix Coffee: God has truly blessed us at the coffee shop. Almost a year has gone by and our first months of loss were the last two. Those who know small business say that the first two years are often hard, mostly in the red. That has not been our case. The last two months were not losses because of a loss in quality or interest from the town. A couple months ago, the citizens of Camiri tried to get rid of the mayor. This led to violence on the streets that has never been seen in our quiet town. We had to shut down for nearly two weeks in June and over one week in July. Things seem to be better in August, so far. In our two months of loss, people were afraid and didn’t want to spend money, many businesses struggled so much that they had to go in to debt or close. Unemployment is also at an all-time high, and that is a national trend we are seeing as we dive deeper into the Socialist experiment that is slowly following the way of Venezuela and Cuba.
We are continuing, determined, with the Lord’s help, to make it through this slow time. We do not know what the future hold for Bolivia, but we would love to see this place succeed and even expand. Genesis does most of the oversight, and this is challenging as she lives 5 hours away and can’t come often to Camiri. That will change next year, and Lord willing we will be able to make many changes. Please pray for us as we struggle though these hard times.
Peru, US Trip: I was blessed by my time ministering to the brothers in Lima, as well as teaching and preaching for two weeks in Tarapoto, Peru. It was also a joy to visit several new churches in the Miami area, and I have a special love for the Spanish-speaking ministries. One of my hopes is to be able to encourage them to get more involved with missions, sending missionaries and helping the national workers in their country of origin. The hope is to return the US on a yearly basis, with this specific purpose at the forefront.
These past few weeks were spent in Seattle, visiting several churches as well as spending quality time at a family reunion that included Jerry and Gina with their respective family, my parents, my grandfather Gino and his wife Hilda. God is good!
- For open doors at ExpoLit Miami 2017, that the book would attract the attention of distributors and thus reach more people with the Gospel
- That Genesis’ would be able to get a tourist visa to the United States (once we are able to apply for one)
- For our upcoming wedding and for the Lord’s work in our lives to grow closer to Him and to each other
- That Mattix Coffee would continue to be a light in our town, to persevere and grow stronger by means of these difficult times
Thank you for the prayers, encouragement and support.