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4 weeks ago

Unidad Educativa Eben-Ezer Bolivia

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We know that we’ve been silent here on Facebook during the last several months. Bolivia went into strict quarantine starting in mid-March. While most every school in the country was temporarily suspended, we continued with our classes and daily activities. Because we are naturally isolated, the local officials asked us to keep our students at Eben-Ezer rather than send them to their homes potentially exposing them to the virus.

Anyone who has worked in a boarding school knows it’s a 24/7 job. As the quarantine was extended first through the end of April, then through May, and again through the end of June, we wondered if we were going to be able to take our scheduled mid-year break we all so desperately needed. A small window of opportunity opened at the beginning of June and we were able to get about half of our students to their homes for a mid-year break.

During our break, the Bolivian Ministry of Education announced that they were reducing the number of required days for the school year, and also that the remainder of the school year would happen virtually. We planned and prepared materials to offer “homeschool-style” academics both virtually and in-person for the last seven weeks of the school year.

Our students who live locally were able to return to campus, but those who live outside of the Ixiamas area were unable to travel. The day our students arrived to campus, the Ministry of Education announced that the school year would be completely cancelled and that everyone would pass to the next grade level for the next school year. In spite of the announcement, we moved forward with our plan to offer homeschool-style classes. The very next day, the Ministry of Education announced that private schools would still be able to offer classes to their students (even though all the students would be passing regardless). Just this week, the Bolivian Supreme Court annulled the decision to cancel the school year. While we could be frustrated by the constant vacillation, we choose to press forward and finish strong in spite of the circumstances.

Though we have been quiet on social media for a variety of reasons, quarantine and vacation have been anything but idle time here at Eben-Ezer. During the last several months, Welbiz, Yasmina, Aldo, and others have significantly expanded our agricultural program and we are beginning to reap the results! We have harvested corn, beans, cucumbers, squash, cilantro, basil, even some potatoes! Staff and students have been so excited to see the results of their hard work! God is so faithful! To celebrate the hard work, we had a special worship service of gratitude to the Lord around a bonfire and finished it off by enjoying our corn and squash! I’ve never seen 250 ears of corn disappear so quickly! 😊

We have also built and stocked our bakery! We now have a separate, finished building to work in, a professional mixer, a special bread oven, baking trays, etc. We’ve already been hard at work using them. Students and staff have made bread not only for us to enjoy at Eben-Ezer, but also to distribute to various neighborhoods and communities during this pandemic. Because of political protest blockades and fuel shortages, basic food staples haven’t been able to get through to town like they should. We have been privileged to be able to offer our “grain of sand” to help those in need and share the love of Christ.

We recently purchased a grain mill. This allows us to peel our own rice as well as make our own whole grain flours. It’s time to plant more grains!

Jerry and Alex have been working hard to get a small carpentry shop set up on campus to be able to make simple furniture. We hope to make our own tables, chairs, windows, and doors in the near future.

Jenny, Mirtha, and Dilma have been working on beautifying our campus. They have been busy making flower beds and planting flowers around the church, dorms and common areas on campus. There’s nothing like seeing the beauty of flowers to remember the creativity and love of our Creator!

Anthony and Ademar have been putting the finishing touches on the bathrooms in the new girls’ dorm. It won’t be long until the dorm is ready to be occupied.

We have continued outreach activities (within the established regulations set by the mayor’s office). Teams of students and staff have been spending time with our Chimane neighbors, visiting families who live in our area, giving Bible studies, preparing meals, helping with home repairs, etc. There is truly no greater blessing than to serve our neighbor and our Lord! We are grateful for this privilege and the freedom we still have to do so!

In addition to regular academic classes, we decided to offer a variety of vocational seminars to our on-campus students during the last seven weeks of school. Seminars include bread-making, carpentry, mechanics, welding, sewing, bookbinding, hairdressing, tortilla-making, nutrition, massage, hydrotherapy, computing, and more. These seminars have definitely been a highlight for the students and staff!

We are not sure what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future and we are moving forward in our mission to reach as many youth as we can for Christ!
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Comment on Facebook 1664443936970247_3217437281670897

Great update. You all have been busy. Continued prayers.

Looks incredible, praying for your work. Would love to come and visit soon!

Thank you for this update! God bless you all! 🙏 - Bien

Thanks for your post! Keep up the good work 😊

Outstanding work guys!

Thanks for the update always enjoy reading them. Keep up the good work so proud of all you have gotten done in a short time looks nice

Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

siempre en nuestras oraciones QUE SIGAN RECIBIENDO LAS BENDICIONES DE NUESTRO PADRE MARANATHA!!!!❤❤❤

Muchas bendiciones, Dios siga al cuidado de ustedes.😃

Que bendición!!!!

GOD'S blessings for good health be yours and the children.

Nuestro padre los bendiga en su ministerio

Praise the Lord for everything the group is doing down there!!

🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

Amen

Thomas Makowski

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Comment on Facebook 1664443936970247_2799654473449182

Beautiful church and participants

Happy sabbath!

Happy Sabbath 🙏🏻

Happy Sabbath!

Que hermosa la iglesia

❤️❤️❤️

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Comment on Facebook 1664443936970247_2734028833345080

El Señor guíe a todos ustedes en la misión de compartir el mensaje de salvación como de instrucción.. Bendiciones también a cada docente y cada alumno para aprender y crecer en todas las áreas. Un abrazo fuerte y estamos en oración... amén!!! Es bonito verles....gracias por subir las fotos!!! 😀 😀 🙏🙏🎶🎶🤗🤗

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