EPILOGUE - ADIOS!
This series entitled "GOING TO BOLIVIA" comes to an end with this post.
I began writing in June 2007 and have only now in 2016 brought that part of my story to a close in the previous post, "Going to Bolivia 19".
Perhaps I should start on a new series of posts which relate my experiences from 1993 onwards? We shall see.
THE END AND A NEW BEGINNING
The post "GOING TO BOLIVIA 19" ended on our safe arrival in 1993 January in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It signaled the end of my ministry in Asia and beginning of a leap into the unknown in South America. It has taken me nearly 9 years to put together a series of events which covered a three year period from 1991 to 1993.
I am tempted to redo these posts with a fresh perspective, in the form of a book. Much has happened since 1993 which has given me a deeper understanding of our journey.
Michelle and I, in the beginning, weren't planning to serve in Bolivia for such a long period. We've been in Bolivia now for more than 20 years. During this period we've seen the Lord do some great stuff. He transformed families and individuals. Guiding the emergence of a fledgling national leadership to replace missionaries and seeing the church expand was a blessing.
On a personal level, it would be disingenuous for me to suggest that it's been easy for us in Bolivia. No. Our families have paid a price. For instance, we were not there for our parents when they needed us. The distance between Singapore and Bolivia made it impossible for us to hop on a plane and return to Singapore. The Lord has been faithful and good to our loved ones in the midst of our trials and disappointments.
TIME TO LEAVE?
There were moments when I wanted to leave Bolivia and return to Singapore.
In 2005, I sensed the time had perhaps come for us to return to Singapore. A local clergy whom I had worked with and trained was ready to take my place, as pastor of the church. It seemed right to return to Singapore, for good. Michelle and I were also planning to return for a 2 year period in Singapore in order to accompany our son, Elijah was due to return and do his National Service obligations. John Sutton, the then Secretary General of SAMS UK, visited us in Santa Cruz a few months before my departure. He spoke to me of the dire need for experienced missionaries to help guide the new pastors and the national leadership. He made a convincing case.
Michelle, my wife, however, is the person God uses to convince me to stay on in Bolivia. She has a heart for the Bolivian people and is convinced that we need to raise a mature national leadership before we leave. And so we decided to return to Bolivia after our son's 2-year stint in Spore.
May the Lord grant us the grace to humble ourselves and to seek His glory in all our decisions.
¡He is faithful and trustworthy!