The Adjei Bi-monthly(ish)
Itís a time of change in El Alfarero just now as Salustio & Yanyt, the couple who have been in charge in the home, are now doing there YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS). So they will be out of the home for 5 months while they study at the training base and take part in the outreaches that make up the practical phase of the school.
In their place in the home we now have a new family who will be supporting Jimena - the girl who has been working alongside Salustio & Yanyt. They are Javier & Delia and their little girl, Sarai. Delia has already been working in the home since February as our teacher - teaching classes and helping with homework for those who go out to school. Javier, her husband, has been teaching mechanics to some of the older boys in El Camino. So they both have some experience working with the kids in the home, but it is still a big challenge for anyone to take on.
Please pray for them as they make the adjustment to living in the home as a family and for the girls in the home to be able to adapt to the changes that losing Salustio & Yanyt will mean.
It is also a time of change for Bolivia. We are going through what will possibly prove to be the most crucial time in Boliviaís recent history. 255 people have been voted onto a constituent assembly that has the task of ďre-foundingĒ Bolivia by rewriting its constitution. They have between 6 months and a year to do so, starting from the 6th of August - Independence Day.
After halving his and his cabinetís salaries, Boliviaís first indigenous president, Evo Morales, also forcibly renegotiated all oil and gas contracts with foreign oil companies, increasing the amount of gain from our natural resources that has to stay in Bolivia. There are moves to dramatically increase the availability of state provided health care and a large-scale national program of adult literacy has been undertaken. However, Evoís close ties with Venezuela and Cuba and his personal friendship with their presidents is a cause for concern. There are moves to take any kind of religious education out of the school curriculum and to take over all non state-owned schools and colleges - a very high percentage of which are Christian schools, both Catholic and evangelical which have formed the bedrock of good education in Bolivia for years. Consequently there have been threats, or warnings, from a variety of institutions, from oil companies to educational centres, that they may pull out of Bolivia completely. Already we know a number who have left the country or are in the process of leaving because of the current instability and the fear of the ruling partyís communist connections.
This all means that the constituent assembly is pivotal in terms of the future direction of Bolivia. The new constitution that they write will determine the place in Bolivian society of everything from civil rights to religious freedom, from the position Boliviaís various indigenous peoples to their respective land rights. And the Bolivian evangelical churchís traditional reticence to get involved in politics and social issues is being severely challenged.
Please pray for Bolivia. Specifically for these 255 members of the assembly who will rewrite the constitution, and for the churchís response and involvement in the whole process.
Gaby has now started at the same school as Jasmine which is run on the North American system and classes are taught in English. Her teacher this year is Isha Hulford who is our director Rogerís wife! Jasmine is now in 1st grade and is enjoying being back with her old classmates.
Lilyís adoption was completed at the end of June, although we are still waiting for copies of her adoptions papers and her birth certificate. She has turned out so far to be a very good sleeper at nights (except when she has a cold) which is a real blessing, but a bit more of a handful in the daytime. All in all, she is a lovely little girl and we are very, very happy with her. Both Jasmine and Gaby love her very much and are very good with her. They enjoy taking it in turns to hold her and feed her and will often help to rock her or push her in her pushchair when she cries. The only downside now is that Iím now outnumbered 4 to 1 and Iím going to need some kind of backup to be allowed to watch the football on TV.
Just after we last wrote, in the first week that Lily was with us, we went through quite a difficult time because Jasmine and then Gaby both took ill. Gaby wasnít as bad as Jasmine who had to spend 3 days in hospital on a drip due to a stomach infection. Within 3 hours of Jasmine being discharged Gaby started throwing up too, but thankfully we were able to treat her at home.... and all this with Lily having just arrived on the scene!! Itís at times like these that we really miss having the wider family around....
I have found things quite difficult recently - partly because Iíve been a bit run down with colds and stomach infections over the last few months - but also because itís challenging being in charge of the girlsí home and leading a church with such a high proportion of people who live in such difficult circumstances. Also this year has brought us some difficult times as a ministry with some of our longer-term staff being asked to leave. As a result I have now stepped down from my leadership role in Operation Restoration and Iím hoping Iíll be able to concentrate a bit more on my specific areas of responsibility - El Alfarero and the church, rather than Operation Restoration as a whole. So far with being ill enough to feel washed out but not quite enough to be stay in bed I havenít really felt any more free after making the decision - hopefully that will come soon!
Sarahís sister Catherine has been with us over the last 3 weeks, which has been great. The hard part as always will be saying goodbye to her. The good thing is that we have the visit of Sarahís parents to look forward to in September and then mine in December. Next year there will be 2 weddings in my family: that of my sister Anna-Marie and my brother Ben (thatís 2 separate weddings. Theyíre not marrying each other, I hasten to add!) So with the weddings next year plus Lilyís adoption over the last few months we decided to postpone our visit to the UK until next year. (Hence all the visitors this year!)
Thank you so much for all your care and support.
With our love
David, Sarah, Jasmine, Gaby & Lily xxxx