He’s got this.

He’s got this.

God’s business is putting things right.  – Psalm 11:7 (The Message)

I shared this verse with a member of our congregation and two other directors from the social services ministry of Cochabamba. Right before we went into a hospital room to pray last rites with a teenage girl. 

God is at work to put things right.

These three women who work selflessly for the well-being of the most neglected in society need to know that this is precisely God´s business so they do not lose heart in the face of so much need and injustice. Our world needs to know this as we read news that appears to indicate the contrary, with local  catastrophes and global crises. Families need to know this as we worry about what will happen tomorrow. I need to know this, as I struggle with aging and kids leaving home and congregation members struggling to grasp this very truth.

God is in the business of putting things right.  This is what it means to say God is righteousness.  This is what it means to preach that we have been justified by the death and resurrection of Jesus.  This is what we mean when we proclaim Jesus is Lord and will come again. 

This is what we prepare for in Advent – God’s putting all things right in Jesus.  

May we be confident in God’s work, even while we wait. 

May we have courage to share, serve, and love.

And may we not lose heart, nor become weary or indifferent, being assured that our labor in God’s business is not in vain.

He will do it.  He is able. He’s got this – and her and you and me. 

¡Qué Dios les bendiga!

Tammy & Rusty

Messy Church – Bolivian Style

Messy Church – Bolivian Style

We’d like you to get to know Messy Church – Bolivian Style.

La Trinidad goes to our neighborhood park and shares the Gospel with families one Sunday afternoon a month. The idea is to get the whole family engaged, get our hands dirty, and be the church. We call it Iglesia Abierta – Open Church.

A few weeks ago the lesson was on how to tend to the family – using the idea of how we care for plants.  Each family planted a seed, then at the next table they were given a plant and two pieces of paper for listing the names  of or drawing each person of the family on the plant. They got to keep the plant.

And we got to keep their names with the promise that we would be praying for them each week at La Trinidad.  It was a fantastic afternoon, and we were able to pray with each of the families there in the park.

The best part was last Sunday at La Trinidad.  We handed out the names and prayed for each person in small groups.  Then those names were posted on a prayer tree.  The whole congregation was involved! Our prayer is that these families will come to know the Lord and grow with us at La Trinidad.

Iglesia Abierta was started, adapted, and is run by lay leaders in the congregations, down to the lessons and activities themselves.  This is how God is moving at La Trinidad!  

We ask you to pray for the Iglesia Abierta ministry at La Trinidad and for our next activity on June 3.  Please pray with us that families will be transformed by the Gospel. As of yet, no family has visited us on a Sunday morning, but they are starting to look for us in the park on Sunday afternoons!  Please pray that we would know how God is leading us to also be transformed to better minister to our neighborhood.

¡Qué Dios les bendiga!

Advent Prayers from the Firestones

Advent Prayers from the Firestones

The Firestones share with you their Advent prayers: In Advent we continue to trust in the promises and purposes of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. We invite you to share with us at La Trinidad during this time of joyful preparation and service.

In Advent we continue to trust in the promises and purposes of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. We invite you to share with us at La Trinidad during this time of joyful preparation and service. We ask you to remember a specific area of ministry with us each week of Advent, as well as on the specific dates in bold.

First week of Advent – Puntiti Church Plant

We give thanks to God for the ordination of Juan Cris to the diaconate in October! On Sunday, November 27th, we will have our first confirmations in the Puntiti Church Plant. Please pray this day for Camila, Paola, Raquel, Jeremias, Ramiro, Ariel, David and Marcos as theysay ¡Sí! to Jesus.

Please also pray this week for:

Deacon Juan Cris, Jahel, and their two daughters, Lucia and Valentina.
The families participating in Bible studies, especially those of Jahel, Amalia, Valentina, Pacifico, Marta, Nardi, Julian, Irene, Charo, Reyna, Marcos, Belen, Felipe, Margarita, and Silvia, asking God for healing for Silvia´s son, Boris.

A new house for the church plant, since our lease will end in February. Please pray for a home in the same area and price range which will allow for continued ministry and growth.

Second week of Advent – La Trinidad Outreach

We give thanks for the new additions to our ministry team, missionary intern Cara Ellen from Good Samaritan (Paoli, PA) and Sue from CMS England.

Please pray that we at La Trinidad will continue to use our gifts and serve in unity.

Please also pray for the following events: Pedestrian Day outreach on Sunday, December 4th – that we can share Christ’s love with others by offering water, first-aid, bike repair and prayer on this day.
The youth and adults at La Trinidad have started playing soccer in the neighborhood park on Sunday afternoons. Please pray that we build relationships with our community.
Pray this week for the team preparing for our Christmas Club workshops in La Trinidad and in Puntiti for the following week.

Third week of Advent – Children’s and Youth Ministry

Please continue to pray for our Sunday school ministry as we minister to the children at La Trinidad and reach out to neighborhood families. Specifically we ask for prayer for the following activities:

La Trinidad´s Christmas Club from December 12-22nd – that we can reach un-churched families from our neighborhood.
Our Christmas Project with children in Puntiti on December 17th.
Continue to pray for our youth ministry. Pray for Natalí and Cara Ellen as they work with and disciple adolescents and for the fundraising for the January diocesan youth camp in Santa Cruz. Also pray that the camp and the Sunday afternoon soccer games will revive the university-age youth ministry at La Trinidad.

Fourth week of Advent – Firestone Family

We are so encouraged to know that you are praying for us and for our ministry in Cochabamba. During the holidays please ask for God`s blessing on our time together as a family, especially after a really busy month and as we look to decisions in the coming year.

Please pray for guidance as Thomas finishes up the college application process and decides where he will study.

Continue to ask for the Lord’s guidance for Tammy and her mom as they make decisions regarding her mom’s increasing life care needs.

Remember all SAMS missionaries who are far-away from their families for Christmas, especially Sue and Ellen at La Trinidad.

We also thank you and your congregations for your financial support this past year. You are providing for our ministry and are part of God’s transforming the Anglican church in Cochabamba into a missionary congregation. If you would still like to give this year or consider supporting us in 2017, please contact us or SAMS.

Rusty and Tammy Firestone have called Bolivia their home since 1998. Tammy is ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Bolivia and is pastor of La Trinidad Anglican Church in Cochabamba, working to build up leadership and plant new congregations. Rusty is a chiropractor involved in medical missions and coordinates short-term mission teams in Cochabamba. Support them here.

You are providing for our ministry and are part of God’s transforming the Anglican church in Cochabamba into a missionary congregation

The Firestones

SAMS Missionaries to Bolivia