Back to Bolivia, Back to Blogging

I wish there were a way to put into words all that has happened in my life in the last three weeks.  There is no possible way to explain all that God has done in my heart and in my life, but I will begin to share.
When I left the camp that I worked at all summer three weeks ago, I was so excited for what lay before me.  Two weeks in Bolivia, followed by a few weeks at home, followed by moving into the most linguistically diverse neighborhood in the US (in Minneapolis) where I hoped to find a job working with the Latino immigrant population.  There have been few times in my life where I felt as confident as I did about the plans I had made.  God had caused me to make each one exactly as He planned, and they completely lined up with my dreams of working for a few years before going on the mission field.
I hugged my parents goodbye during a quick trip home, and, this being my fifth trip to Bolivia, they joyfully sent me off with a "See you in two weeks!" and peace of mind.  I went back to camp to finish packing and prayed with Ellen Warneke about letting God use me however He wanted to while I was in Bolivia.  I had no idea what awaited me.
Once in Bolivia with a team of 21 from Arrowhead Bible Camp, we spent a week doing construction at an orphanage and speaking in churches.  On Saturday night, God began putting into action what He had planned all along.  Bev Smith, the missionary hosting us, mentioned that Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center (SCCLC) needed two more teachers for the upcoming school year which began in twelve days.  I jokingly mentioned that I had no job and should apply, and we continued eating.
When I woke up Sunday morning, the idea of teaching was heavy on my heart.  I kept thinking throughout the day that I had no concrete plans back home and that there was no reason why God couldn't use me in Bolivia.  That night, I began to ask people to pray for me.  I also called the director of the school and set up a meeting for the next day.  After going to the school, I was as lost as ever about what I should do.  Cody Kargus, Ellen, and Heather all helped me think through my decision, but all of them told me to follow God's leading. 
On Monday night I spent a lot of time reading Philippians over and over, thinking about the choices that lay before me.  When I went to sleep, I had no idea what I would do, but I had peace.
My school with the discipleship staff
Tuesday brought with it the flu, and I could not do ministry.  I stayed home, thinking and praying about what to do.   I kept feeling God gently asking me, "What's holding you back?"  "Haven't I created you for times like this?"  That night I told my sister that I thought I would try teaching.  Before I told anyone else or before I really knew what I was doing, I called the elementary principal at SCCLC and told her I wanted to teach 5th grade!!!  I was shocked when I hung up the phone.  What had I gotten myself into?  How would I support myself since the school couldn't pay me? What would happen to my dream home in Minneapolis?  What would my parents say?  What about my friends?  How was I going to survive in another culture for an entire year? 
My desk
These questions and many more have been in my mind for the last week (It has only been a week and two days since I decided to stay), but God has been faithful.  I am not a certified teacher, but God has been reminding me (through Ellen) of His word in Zechariah 4:6, "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty."  His strength is perfected in my weakness.  He will use me as I struggle through lesson plans and as I work to make students understand prepositional phrases and vascular and nonvascular plants. And He will receive all the glory, because I could not do this by my own power or might.  I will praise Him every day for using broken vesssels like me.

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