“Search me, oh God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts and see if there be some wicked way in me. Cleanse me from every sin and set me free. I praise thee Lord for cleansing me. Fulfill thy Word and make me pure. Fill me with fire where once I burned with shame. Grant my desire to magnify thy name.”
We know that some time has passed since our last update and we apologize for that. We trust this letter finds all of you magnifying the name of our great Savior. We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you were at, whether with family or not with family. God blessed and we were able to spend Thanksgiving in Icla with several co-worker families having a wonderful time. One of our big thanks over Thanksgiving was that God kept us from breaking down on the 4 hour round trip to Icla and back. The night before we went to Icla our truck broke down. It turned out to be a faulty wire that powers the fuel pump. The mechanic that helped us said that it was a temporary fix and he was right. About 45 minutes into our trip the truck acted like it wanted to die so I added some more electrical tape to the loose wire and it held the rest of our trip. We have so many stories like that where God kept us from breaking down in the middle of nowhere. God is so magnificent!! He takes such good care of us. “Casting all your care upon him for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 1:9
A lot has been going on since our last update. The Lord has given me some new contacts and possible open doors in the future. Awhile back the deaf school here in Sucre had a small expo on the main plaza promoting deaf education. Several others were involved including an ear doctor, a physical therapist, and a human rights section of the police force. We were not involved, but we went to the expo and hung around for several hours. While we were there an officer approached us and found out we were starting a church for the deaf. He then explained that he was the ranking officer over this human rights group in the police force. He said that he had over 80 police officers under his command. He also explained that he wanted to learn some sign language and really wanted to help the deaf in Bolivia have the rights that they deserve. He asked me if I would be willing to help them out in future projects with the deaf here in Sucre and also up in La Paz.
Also, just recently the deaf of Bolivia held their second national Deaf Olympics here in Sucre. 180 deaf from all over Bolivia participated in the Olympics. I was involved as one of the interpreters at various competitions. It was a great opportunity to meet new deaf from all over Bolivia. I spent a good while talking to a group of deaf from La Paz. I also had the opportunity to meet a deaf pastor from Santa Cruz who wanted me to come and be the special speaker at his church’s anniversary service the following week. But on such short notice and also since I had missed several of my own services due to traveling I declined that invitation and we talked about future opportunities for me to come to their church and preach. I really enjoyed those 3 very busy days! After the Olympics were over the president of the Deaf Association here in Sucre unofficially asked me if I would be willing to be the new basketball coach for the deaf guys’ team. Their last “coach” didn’t know a whole lot about basketball and it showed. The deaf hope to hold these Olympics every year. While I was busy with the Deaf Olympics my wife was missing me because she was unpacking boxes in our new house. We were told that we had limited time left to stay in the other house we were renting because our landlords wanted to move back into it, so God provided a cozy little house in a nice neighborhood for the same rent as the other house. It is a little smaller, but nicer. We moved on a Monday through Wednesday and Thursday morning through Saturday I was helping with the Olympics. But now we are mostly settled in and we love the new house.
I mentioned that I did some traveling. Most of you probably did not know about it. My sister and her husband had a baby girl that they were told was definitely going to die either in the womb or upon birth. But God had other plans and she was a beautiful miracle. She lived for one month before unexpectedly God chose to take her home. In her short little life she had a huge impact on numerous lives, even salvation and reaffirmation decisions. My home church surprised me and raised enough money for me to fly to Florida, where my sister lives, for the burial service and spend a week and a half there with them. It was so nice to see my little sister and her husband again and my nephew. They were a testimony to me of the amazing grace of God. Although there was still pain they had found peace and contentment. I also got to preach at my sister’s church which is a supporter of ours and spend some enjoyable time with the pastor. While I was in Florida trying to be an encouragement to my sister and her family, my wife Jessica was at home in Sucre dealing with our friends Santiago and Elizabeth whom we had mentioned before for salvation. They had recently moved to South Carolina and Santiago was back here in Sucre finishing up some work with his business. Elizabeth found out that Santiago was cheating on her and she arrived the same day that I left Sucre. Jessica was with Elizabeth when she confronted Santiago. To make a long story short, Santiago “repented” so to speak and they are going to try and work things out. Now they are both back in South Carolina. Please pray first and foremost for their salvation and secondly that they would be able to save their marriage. Elizabeth is 7 months pregnant with their second child. They were the people who promised us their truck, but while Santiago was being unfaithful he also sold his truck without talking to us. So that is a closed door and we will keep the truck we have now, which is fine. We are expecting to have to replace the transmission here at some point so you can keep praying for our truck.
As always, we are so thankful for your prayers and for your support. We covet each and every prayer of yours. God bless you!
For God's Glory,
Luke and Jessica Marie