Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Helen (who I have been staying with) does a Bible study in the women's prison every week, so I went with her on Friday. The prison is very different to how I imagined it to be - we walk into a courtyard that is crammed full of people! There are lines of clothes hanging above, across from either side of the courtyard, women cooking/washing/ironing in different areas, a few stores for food, and kids playing everywhere! It is so busy! 
Helen does the Bible study in what used to be the day care room for the kids that live with their mothers in the prison. About 50 women go regularly and on Friday the room was full! Helen did a talk about the holiness of God, we sang some songs and this week Helen gave out clothes to the women. It's great to see so many going and on Friday 3 women became Christians!
Two women that used to be in the prison go with Helen to help out, they are an amazing encouragement of how God can change and use lives. Going to the prison was a reminder of how our hope can be found in Jesus, and through him all can be forgiven. Some women are in the prison due to injustice, others have committed horrible crimes but they can all find hope in Jesus as well as acceptance and love.

Psalm 130:1-8 TNIV

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; 

 Lord, hear my voice.

Let your ears be attentive

to my cry for mercy.

 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,

Lord, who could stand?

 But with you there is forgiveness,

so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,

and in his word I put my hope.

 I wait for the Lord

more than watchmen wait for the morning,

more than watchmen wait for the morning.

 Israel, put your hope in the Lord, 

for with the Lord is unfailing love

and with him is full redemption.

 He himself will redeem Israel

from all their sins.

Monday, 14 January 2013

450 plates

I spent the first week of January helping at a Christian camp in the south of Cochabamba. It was run by 'Palabra de Vida' (Word of Life), an international mission organisation and had around 400 people going that first week. I helped in the kitchen with washing/drying all the plates, cutlery, bowls, cups, kitchen stuff etc for all 450 people there - so there was a lot to do! I was working with a great team and we had a lot of fun while trying to get everything done as quickly as possible, though some days it felt like the plates were never ending! We had a lot of free time and I met some great people - some from other parts of Bolivia and some from other countries in South America. Quite a few people knew some English which was good as unfortunately my Spanish is still slow, so chatting with people in Spanish became a game of charades with a lot of guessing!
There was a main meeting in the mornings with games, worship and a Bible message and then different activities in the evenings. One night they had team games - Bolivian style, another night we had a campfire on the top of a mountain with a full band and drama performance, another night was 'The Banquet' everyone got dressed up and the guys were inviting girls to go with them with promises of flowers and ice cream!
Despite having to get up at 6.15 am every morning I had a great time, came back really tired though! The second week they had 700 going - about 50 teenagers went from the church I've been at and invited their friends, so altogether nearly 100 went from church! They will also have a week for students, then a shorter camp for children, so please be praying that they go well and those that are working there do not get too tired and exhausted!