We hope and pray that you are safe and well during these difficult days.
This is Mickey writing. The headline from us is that we are doing well. These haven’t been the easiest weeks, but we have quite literally been counting our blessings. For being healthy, safe and together, for having the resources we need, for having enough space to live comfortably. We live in a city, like many others all over the world, where many people’s reality is very different.
Schools closed in Bolivia on the 16th March, and complete lockdown followed a few days after that. That means, for us, one adult can leave the house one morning a week (on foot) to buy groceries. The day you can leave relates to the last digit of your ID card. So, whilst Andy, Daniel and I have ventured out a handful of times, the kids haven’t been able to leave the house for nearly 6 weeks. In the last few weeks trucks selling various things have come to the neighbourhood which has been a real help.
We have found a pretty good rhythm for our weeks. Monday is our shopping and housework day, everyone has their jobs to do. The kids continue to do school work that their teachers send electronically, and have some class Zoom calls.
Andy has set up a desk in the spare room and has been working from there, using his morning of freedom each week to go to the Quinta and connect with the guys there. He has just signed a contract with Moody Press to write a book on what it means to be in the church in the ‘age of addiction’, which is going to be a major focus for him over the next couple of years.
Daniel is preparing to take British Lit and Calculus AP exams in a couple of weeks (roughly equivalent to A-levels) and has been working hard to prepare for those. We celebrated his 18th birthday a few weeks ago with curry, cake, Skype calls, and a family movie night. It is a strange time for this group of kids that are finishing their schools days in lockdown! He had been planning to take a gap year, to do a discipleship training school with YWAM in September. He is now waiting to hearing if this will go ahead. He is then hoping to go to University to study Law next year.
Jemimah has been busy learning her lines for the Middle School play. They have been having Zoom calls to practice, but sadly it seems unlikely that they will actually be able to perform it.
Daniel and Jemimah have been great at organizing themselves and getting their work done. The younger two have needed more help, and it has been a bit challenging juggling looking after Miah and keeping them on track. Some days are better than others!
We had a meeting with Phoebe’s class teacher and the Special Ed teacher before the lock down which was timely. It has been helpful (but not easy) for me to observe the things that she finds especially challenging, things that have been causing her some anxieties.
I think being locked down has probably been the hardest physically for JJ. For a kid that loves to run it hasn’t been easy to not be able to leave the house. He hasn’t complained, but he did say the other day “I feel like I have a lot of energy inside that I can’t get rid of”. He has had some projects that have kept him busy in the garden such as making clay out of termite nests and then making stuff with the clay!
Miah is a delight and exhausting in equal measure. She is toddling around and talking a lot, some words we understand, many we don’t yet! She is into everything – cupboards, drawers, scribbling on the walls with stray pencils that she seems to be very adept and finding. She is loving having everyone at home all day, and is a welcome distraction from school work for the others!
In terms of Novō, there should be a new update out very soon. In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it already, please take a minute to read Andy’s update from a few weeks ago here: Novō Coronavirus Update & Appeal
As I was writing it started to rain so I dashed out to get the laundry off the washing line. There were still patches of blue sky and the sun was shining. I thought, “oh great, there is almost certainly going to be a rainbow, there must be a profound thought about God and His faithfulness there!” After staring upwards for awhile I brought the laundry inside, a bit disappointed at the lack of a rainbow. I have kept going outside to check, scanning the sky, but still no rainbow!
This got me thinking that sometimes, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I can want to look up and search for a sign that God is good and faithful, that He is still in control. Sometimes I can see it straight away, sometimes it is more difficult, but, the truth is my ability to see or understand what God is doing doesn’t alter His goodness or faithfulness.
These verse keeps coming back to me:
The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.Lamentations 3:22-23
To close, we want to say a big thank to you for standing with us as a family! We are so blessed by the friendship, prayers and practical support which enables us to serve here in Bolivia with Novō.
With much love,
Andy, Mickey, Daniel, Jemimah, Phoebe, JJ and Miah
We serve in Bolivia as missionaries and do not receive a salary from Novō. If you would like to support us financially, whether with a one-off or a regular monthly gift, you can do so tax-effectively, and we would be most grateful.
In Canada you can support us via the EFCCM, designating donations to account #2-3231. You can do this online at EFCCM Donate! or by sending a cheque to: EFCCM, Box 850, Langley Stn, LCD 1, Langley, BC, V3A -8S6.